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The Strawberry Letter: His Family Never Has Any Money

Dear Steve and Shirley,

I'm married to the sweetest man on earth. He's very outgoing and loves to cook. Because of that, we can never have a quiet dinner at home. If he makes pasta, he has enough food to feed a multitude, and his family knows it. So they automatically drop by and fix a plate. My husband even has styrofoam to-go plates just for his family.

I complain about his family taking advantage of him, but he doesn't see it that way. I do sneaky little things, like asking his mother to bring a gallon of milk when she comes, but she always has an excuse not to do it. She'll say she wasn't dressed to run into the store or she forgot to shop. His brother always shows up empty-handed too.

Since the 4th of July is coming up, I told my husband to leave the planning to me after he ordered a bouncy house for our backyard so all of his nieces and nephews can play. I sent out eight individual emails to his sisters, his brother, his parents, and his godmother, telling them what to bring based on their income. I got eight emails back, and the first thing on each one was, "Did he ask you to send this to me?" Then I got six different excuses about them not having any money. It's the 1st of June, and they're already claiming to be broke past the 4th of July.

When my husband found out I sent the emails, he went off on me. He said I was dead wrong for asking his family to chip in, knowing they all have financial issues. I yelled back at him because I'm tired of him feeding and entertaining those broke grown folks with our money.

Is his ego taking over? Is he trying to impress his family? Why does he take care of them like this?