Dear Abby: My husband’s brother and his wife come over every six weeks and are guests at our house. My husband is very close to his brother, and I know that the time they spend together is a blessing to both of them. My problem is his wife. she drives Me Crazy. She wants to be in my business and is very vocal.

My husband’s parents and his other brother have passed away. Other family members have places to stay, but I am the only one who has opened my house to them. I don’t want to create problems in the family, but she criticizes what we see on TV and tells us what she likes to watch. She wants to go out to eat and I have repeatedly told her that I do not want to do that. I still exercise caution about COVID, but I can’t say the same to her.

They have a lot more money than us, so spending $100 at a restaurant is nothing to them. I am not comfortable spending money like this. I cook at home, which she rarely does. I dread when the weekend comes. How do I tell her that in our house she should keep her opinion to herself? – fed up in the south

DEAR FED UP: Do not quarrel with your sister-in-law to maintain family harmony. You and your husband should talk to her and her brother and set some ground rules regarding their trips, especially excessive spending on restaurants. Divide TV entertainment time equally among you. If that doesn’t suit her, offer to lend her a book or suggest that she bring reading materials the next time she visits.

Until you are quarantined, try to move to another health conscious friend so that you are not with this lady all the time. You can also suggest to “Sweet” that it doesn’t seem fair that she spends all of her time with you during these visits, depriving other relatives.

Dear Abby: While doing some genealogy research during the pandemic, I came across my maternal grandfather’s death certificate. I knew that he had died very young during the Depression. But I was shocked to know that he committed suicide by ingesting carbon monoxide poisoning in his car in the garage of his house. His small restaurant was not doing well, and was short of money. I think he was desperate and sad.

My mother had anxiety problems, which could be a result of her father’s suicide or a genetic problem. Should I share this information with my adult children? Could it be helpful to them in any way? My mother did not share this with me. I have a close relationship with my kids and this secret is troubling me. – withholding information

Dear Rok: Your mother did not share the details of her father’s death because suicide was considered a cause of shame at that time. The stress of keeping his father’s suicide a secret may have contributed to his anxiety. Fortunately, attitudes are more enlightened today and the topic of suicide can be discussed.

Because this secret is bothering you, you must bring it out in the open. It may be helpful for your children to know that depression can run in the family.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or at PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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