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House guests vs Ungrateful vacationers

Joined: 8/1/2015
Posts: 1
So, here's my situation: we live full time near the ocean and lots of activities. After moving here we invited friends and family to come visit and several have for several years in a row. Some stay for a weekend or a week, some for several weeks. In the past we have stocked the refrigerator with some of the items we know they like, bought tickets to events for their entire family and cooked meals as well as paid for some when we dined out. In return, we barely get a thank you, in fact we are still owed money from one couple for an agreed upon outing that we said we would book and then spilt the cost!! I have talked about sharing costs for everything from meals to outings, for instance in the grocery store when discussing dinner, we agree upon chicken, we need 2 packages, you would think I would pay for one and them another right? Wrong! They watch as I am then "forced" to put both in my cart, otherwise I guess we aren't making dinner, so what choice do I have? One of the families is so cheap, despite saving at least 1,500 dollars in rental costs by staying with us, that they refuse to do anything with their small children and rely on us for entertainment, taking them in our car if we do venture out. Yet these same people spend money shopping for themselves. If we want to get out of the house while they are here( and stop the kids from wrecking the house for one night) we feel forced to pay for an outing or two. Another time, a family member , after eating the pound of cold cuts I had in the refrigerator, while at the store, watching me load items in the cart for the numerous dinners I would be buying stuff for and cooking, had the nerve to say you are out of deli ham. They proceeded to buy the drinks they drink and some fruit, but not offering ONE dollar toward the items I was getting and wouldn't have needed if they were not staying with us. They allow their pets on my furniture, even though I do not allow mine, and have expressed this to them. others borrow our car when visiting, but never fill the gas tank. I have said, a thank you bottle of wine, dinner paid for or cooked would go a long way. In soothing my frustrations. We are well to do and these people seem to take advantage of that. When we had less, they were more grateful, now it is like an expectation. I am now so frustrated by the lack of graciousness showed that Not only do I not want them at our house, I am questioning continuing some of these relationships. (Even with family) I have tried to talk to some, not all of these offenders ,but they don't seem to get it. My husband and I Have said we are going to set better boundaries and not have the refrigerator stocked and state right out that we are going to spilt costs of meals and cooking. But what we really want to know, what is our responsibility as a hosts, most of these "guests" are return visitors and know the area well, if they weren't staying with us, their costs would be much higher, so is it wrong to expect them to carry their fair share of meals, cooking and obeying the house rules? And again, talking to them, doesn't seem to help! We truly don't want to stop having visitors, but it is getting hard to overlook these actions.
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