What to do about guests who outstay their welcome?

Recent Forums Chit chat What to do about guests who outstay their welcome?

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    • October 6, 2017 at 2:13 pm #242

      Firstly let me say that it is safe to assume that the person who I’m grousing about won’t read this, as she isn’t horsey……… not yet anyway (working on it!!).

      Sorry, a bit long.

      OK so a good friend came to stay with me recently. We’ve known each other about 20 years, met through work and then stayed friends when we’d both moved on to other things.

      We are chalk from cheese. She is tidy, punctilious, methodical, hates being in a place where there is junk, untidyness, and general disorder.

      I am totally the opposite. My house is (I confess, ashamedly) a tip. Though there is one room which I tend to keep as a “best” room which is OK. My place is 300 years old, and because it is a cob building it generates dust horribly – if I dust in the morning, you’d hardly know it by the evening.

      So – let us call her Eileen (not her real name) – came to stay, along with her dog. This is OK with my little bitch, who regards her (male) dog as perfect Stud material (only he can’t); but my little terrier (male) really does struggle giving up the dominance of “his” house and there’s always the prickliness to get through first, tho’ he does eventually settle.

      This time, she’d stated her intentions to come for “just a few days” but ended up staying on over for the Bank Holiday, a total of 6 days, she’s never stayed that long before.

      Problem is, I’ve just bought a youngster, who’s kept at a yard some 8 miles distant from me, so immediately I was faced with a huge dilemma as I really wanted to crack on. However, friend was happy to come on over with me and bring Fido with her and as there are some lovely walks in that area the problem sorted itself, and we were able to meet up for pub lunch while I worked on the horse, rode out, etc etc.

      I’ve let her lead my Neds around, in and out the stables and fields to their suppers, and they’ve both been fine with that and its given her something to do as well.

      So what’s the problem you ask.

      Well it was OK to start with; had she stayed just a few days as originally planned all would have been well, but its hard, jolly hard, keeping a “guest” entertained for six whole days, AND fitting in family commitments (aged mum, in a home, needs visiting twice a week) as well, plus horses (my two at home plus youngster at another yard), plus stuff like sorting out the post, getting car/house insurance sorted, etc etc. Not to mention my business – I’m a self-employed creative arts teacher/tutor, and at this time of year need to be cracking on with prep for classes starting in September. Again, that has ended up being shelved, not least of which because I need creative space to do stuff and can’t just do it to order, and that’s mega hard when you’ve got a guest in the house needing attention and generating conversation! So I ended up feeling more and more frustrated as the week went on.

      Then she got critical. Of the house, and my mess and clutter within it. OK so she’s got her house clean and tidy, and sorted. I haven’t. And I know she told, in passing, a mutual friend about it……… she’s groused about the fact that the bit of the house where she’s been staying hasn’t got a bath, it has a shower, and that’s not modern, its an older type, but hey it is serviceable and it works! FFS. She’s told me my computer is too slow (true! but I can’t afford a new one), and she doesn’t like the single bed she’s got, she prefers a double.

      I was always brought up with the slogan “don’t grouse in someone else’s house”; and surely, if you plonk youself on someone else as a guest then there’s an element where you have to grin and bear it if you don’t like it?? Yes?? But I still feel guilty for somehow not being the perfect host….

      We went to the pub for a carvery lunch on Sunday. I treated her, and for myself. The bill came to nearly £30 inc drinks. OK for some that isn’t a huge deal. For me that is a lot of money, I could eat well on that if I’d gone to Lidls or somewhere – and I was livid that she only picked at it and left a goodly portion of it. But for her I realise that amount would be nothing.

      She has inherited considerable wealth upon the death of her late father, and is in a good regular job, and has spent a lot of money on her house – which I don’t have a problem with, as she can afford it! But she’s endlessly told me what she’s bought, and how much it is, and how excited she is to be getting a “new car” in the autumn……. it just felt like an endless barrage of what she’s spending money on!! I just felt like screaming at her, something like “will the REAL person that I used to know please stand up”?? Please note I’m not griping about the fact that she’s lucky enough to never have to worry about money, its just the way she’s become about it, the only conversation she comes out with is either what she’s bought, or is going to buy! She’s had her bathroom done, her kitchen done, new conservatory, new garden furniture, solar panels put on the roof, has bought a Paramor coat worth £200+, plus new car in the autumn. And that was really, looking at it, the sole topic of our conversation. Oh and the bleddi dog. FFS, it drove me crazy.

      She went, on Sunday night. Thankfully. Now I’m having to catch up with everything I didn’t do last week.

      She will want to come again, oh dear. I don’t want to refuse her, and could (probably) deal with just a weekend-length break of say two nights, maybe three, but not any more. Not again, because I fear we will seriously squabble if she starts getting bossy again. She’s been a good pal, we’ve seen each other through some really tough times, and I still believe we have a good solid friendship, but unfortunately this money-focus of hers is getting in the way. I’ve got horses, and know I’ll never be rich, so why stress?? I have enough to live on, and own my own house, so am not in that sense envious of her. But she has offered to give me money and/or lend it, and that does bother me as it would be so easy for that to spoil our friendship.

      There IS a lovely B&B not a mile from here where she’s stayed before when she’s come up – the only reason she’s stayed here is coz my mother is now in a home and there’s room for her here, and the spare bed. But I really don’t know what to do. I feel inclined to suggest, nicely, that perhaps when she comes up in future that I “wouldn’t be offended” if she stayed at the B&B and then I’d be reassured that she’d be in a nice environment where there is everything that she needs and she’d be comfy there and not in my place which I recognise is a bit of a challenge for her, those kind of words.

      I do feel a bit sad if I am honest that that this is the only time, ever, that I’ve actually been glad to see her go. I usually enjoy her company and we get on fine. We’ve overcome considerable life-challenges and are closer because of that, and I can’t help feeling distressed that this time it was so awful, basically.

      Any advice folks?? Anyone dealt with a situation like this before? Its not that I dont’ want to see her, or break off friendship, but a few days are fine not a whole bleddi week FFS!

      Would you suggest she goes to the B&B next time? What words would you choose? Or would you let her come to the house and stay, and tough it out. And what form of words would suffice to make it clear it is a short stay rather than open-ended? Oh help……….. :-{

    • October 6, 2017 at 2:13 pm #243

      She sounds insufferable and insensitive tbh.

      For someone like this I think you are going to have to be specific about future arrangements ie if she asks to come for a week say you can only spare a couple of days as you have too much on.

      If you don’t want her in the house because she is critical suggest that she would be more comfortable in the local B and B.

      I do sympathise about her sudden focus on money as a good friend of mine has had a promotion with a big salary and doesn’t shut up about it. She doesn’t actually earn more than me but I don’t feel the need to brag / share information about money as I don’t want that the basis of friendship .I just say I value other things and so could you is your horses / dogs / family / hobbies .

      She actually sounds rather sad tbh and you’ll probably find she envies you .

      • October 6, 2017 at 2:14 pm #244

        Thank you for this, after posting I felt guilty about how I felt about her, and a tad disloyal! Oh dear.

        Yes I think I WILL have to be specific and not woolly about future arrangements; that was the problem this time I think, plus I know she is dealing with a lot of changing things in her life right now and does look to me as a kind of Guru as it feels like she needs somebody to tell her what to do.

        Yes she IS sad, I wouldn’t disagree with that …… there are some things so precious that money can’t buy them.

    • October 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm #245

      I wonder if she is still rather in the ‘stunned’ stage of enjoying her new found wealth and doesn’t realise that she is becoming rather insufferable endlessly talking about her money. I can’t believe that she let you pay for lunch at the pub, it should have been her treat for you!
      I would tell her straightforwardly, that you would love her to stay with you for the weekend but that you are too busy to have guests for longer than that though so if she would like to stay for longer, the B&B is still along the road. No need to fall out with her, although I’d be tempted to add “qnd you will be able to have a bath there!”

    • October 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm #246

      Despite having a lovely home to go back to etc….she still stayed longer than intended didn’t she? So she must have been enjoying herself…..perhaps your more relaxed lifestyle is more attractive to her than you think.

      You’ve poured your heart out in this post and it’s obvious that you value her friendship, so if she is a good friend….couldn’t you just say some of this to her? I doubt you’ll be telling her anything she doesn’t already know. The money thing will probably wear off pretty quickly….it’s a fine line between wanting to share news about good fortune and going over the top as seems to have happened a bit here.

      Rather than suggesting the B&B , which sounds rather distant, you could try setting a time limit next time….something like, yes I’d love to have you stay until Sunday but I won’t be around much for the rest of the week.
      Hope you can sort it…

    • October 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm #247

      I think she was being a bad guest – I have a good friend who I go and visit from time to time – I always take flowers and wine, we go out shopping and lunching and I insist on paying for lunch – after all I am getting free bed and board. I help with the cleaning up etc when she cooks for me and when I leave I strip the bed and put the bedding and towels by the washing machine for her (she always changes the bedding between guests) OK so I am a guest in her house but I am a friend first not a paying guest in a B&B or hotel.

    • October 6, 2017 at 2:16 pm #248

      Guests like turbot go off in three days .
      no matter how much you love the people it’s hard work and you can’t just create more time and if you have horses you just can’t make the horses disappear .
      You end up tired frazzled and behind on stuff you need to do.
      It’s just the way it is.
      OP six days is too long next time make sure it’s three nights max .

    • October 6, 2017 at 2:16 pm #249

      IS she lonely? 6 days is a long time to stay.. I’d have a reason ready as to why next time she coudl only stay 3 days.
      Also – be aware if she has money you maybe quite jealous even if you don’t want to admit it so extra sensitive about her talking about having nice things – when to her this is just normal.

    • October 6, 2017 at 2:17 pm #250

      I think Mary has the nub of it, she’s lonely. I fear, however, that you are not there to entertain her and after six days, I would have been done for murder.

      I can manage two nights, max, of anyone, even my best mate who I adore (she’s a show jumper, so happy to do yard stuff) It’s just the whole entertaining thing. I feel I can’t even put on the laundry and I should be taking people to places constantly.

      I consider the welfare of guests to be paramount, but six days is taking the proverbial. Next time, tell her you can do two nights max and if/when she moans, suggest that she stays in the b&b next time or maybe drive to meet her halfway for lunch instead.

    • October 6, 2017 at 2:17 pm #251

      Offer to stay with her instead, taking your two dogs and maybe your horse, plus a good dose of messy real life. I think she’ll soon get the idea that a short visit is more appropriate!

      You sound lovely, too kind to tell her what she needs to hear

    • October 6, 2017 at 2:18 pm #252

      Next time she asks just tell her you are terribly busy and really can only manage a couple of days over the weekend. If she wants to stay longer then fine, but could she use the B&B for extra nights as you need the evenings to catch up with work.

      It’s very sad how money can change some people. I had an amazing friend, she was much older than me and was the mother I had always wanted. We would have meals together and she and her husband would visit here often.. I adored them. Then she inherited a considerable sum of money and changed completely from the warm, loving person she had been to one of these rather fake, brittle people who judges everyone and everything. Our time together was over… she now moved in a different crowd. I was terribly terribly hurt… as I imagine you are… and missed the real person so much. It was actually a relief when they moved away from the area. The conclusion I drew from this is that even the oldest and best friendships sometimes run their course and it’s time to step away before you become crushed by them.

      Think carefully and consider whether or not you are getting anything from this friendship other than mild annoyance, a feeling of being used and sadness for the way she has changed.

    • October 6, 2017 at 2:19 pm #253

      just remembered the time I had a, frankly barking, guest to stay. To get rid of her, as she was showing no signs of leaving, ever. I had to pretend I had been called away on business, pack up, put the dogs with my neighbour, etc and usher her out as I was ‘going away’. I then had to hide up the road for hours till I was sure she had gone. Guests, oh dear! I do sympathise OP.

    • October 6, 2017 at 2:20 pm #254

      I would do as you said about the B and B for next time and also set some kind of schedule, i.e., yes, you can come then, but then I have big commitments on for work/a show to go to/a visit to family, so I will be away as of X day.

      Hopefully, the money thing will wear off. It’s obviously very new. I’d guess that in the end, it will either wear off and you’ll get the real her back or she’ll stay that way. Time will tell.

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