The husband of my wife’s best friend is a successful entrepreneur who enjoys his success by moving to
bigger and bigger houses.
We recently had our first baby and bought a “fixer-upper.” I received an unexpected bonus at work, so we could renovate sooner than originally planned.
The couple offered us a chance to rent the house they were just vacating. We agreed to a six-month lease with an option to extend another six months, hopeful that our reno would be finished before then.
But on the first day of the sixth month we opted to extend, and renewed the lease.
Three weeks later their new house had a flood which damaged their bathrooms, kitchen and main floor.
They’re now asking us to leave with a week’s notice! (Our mid-reno house isn’t safe for us to move in with our newborn).
It’s causing a major rift between the women as the friend’s husband is pushing to get us out, despite the terms of our lease.
They can afford to rent something temporarily. Insurance will probably cover it.
How do I house my family safely but also maintain the peace in this friendship?
If the lease agreement was drawn legally, you can stay put in the friend’s former home.
The successful husband likely knows this perfectly well. But he’s angry and aggravated by the unexpected flood which, even if covered by insurance, will have added costs for the new house.
He may now also be worried about the quality of the work crew he’s hired to get the house ready.
Don’t overreact to his knee-jerk statement that you must move. Say that you understand how upset he is. Gently explain that it’s impossible for your family, with an infant, to live risk-free in the midst of renovations there.
Thank him for his initial desire to help you out, comment on the wives’ long and meaningful friendship. And say that you hope your two families are soon settled into the finished homes.
All this, of course, depends on whether the lease was legally drawn. A lawyer’s scan of it will inform you.
If this man then pushes you further, he’s focused on his wallet and discomfort, not on the friendship.
However, the wives should decide for themselves how to handle their relationship. They’ve remained close friends despite lifestyle differences and can try to find solution ideas.
They can tell the men they love that they intend to stay friends, so, a reasonable move must be found for each side.
Through researching her ancestry and genetic profile, my daughter then discovered someone she thought was a relative of mine in another city. The woman whom she then reached by email agreed that she’d like to hear from me.
I knew that, as immigrants to this country, my family had kept secrets about their past. I was their only child, yet only accidentally learned when in my 20s, that there were half-siblings living in other cities, from each having had a previous marriage.
The woman I called was definitely my cousin. We talked long, but she also shied away from new revelations about the family. I’m late-50s and would like to know more. But I’m curious whether there’s a downside to this search.
Have others among your readers found unknown relatives through similar searches? How has this affected their lives?
Ellie – Readers, here’s your chance to share your stories (anonymously, of course)! What are the pros and cons of finding unknown relatives?
Reader’s Commentary “You’d asked during the Christmas season for readers’ favourite holiday traditions and here’s mine:
“I’ve kept all the Christmas cards that my husband and I exchanged and received, through all our years together. When we decorate for Christmas, the first thing I do is pull out the cards and display them - on wooden blinds, the mantle, coffee tables, etc.
“Each year, I re-read the cards in my late mum’s handwriting, and my dad’s chicken scratch. I read cards from friends no longer together, some no longer living, and the occasional card from myself to myself when my husband was at sea during the holidays.
“It’s my favourite decoration, easy to set up, always brings a tear to my eye and a smile to my heart... It was my mum’s tradition and I cherish it.”
Ellie – I love the image of all those fond messages brightening your home and your heart!
Tip of the day:
Even the best of friends need to make sure that financial agreements are drawn up legally.