My mom used to joke that I shouldn’t get a guest room because people would feel more than welcome to stay at your house. I used to think it was a bit mean, but now I certainly understand. Having overnight or extended stay guests can certainly put your relationship in a funky place. I’ve never been one for entertaining for long periods of time in the first place. When I lived with my grandparents, there were several occasions when my grandpa (who loves to entertain) invited his relatives to stay at the house instead of the two perfectly capable hotels around the corner, leaving me to give up my room to distant cousins and sleep on the pull-out bed in the couch in the living room. However, have someone hog your bathroom and junk up your room isn’t the only way guests can get on your nerves.
A couple months ago, my husband recently found out he had a brother that no one knew about. He came, met the family, and stayed in our area for a couple weeks. The brother had been staying with an uncle about an hour away, then decided to stay with hubby’s parents. My husband, wanting to show hospitality to his brother, offered our guest room for him (and his girlfriend, who no one knew was coming with him) to stay. That was quite the experience. They were loud, they wanted to party, they ate a lot (boy, did they eat), and they stayed longer than we anticipated (and tried to stay longer!) When they finally went home, we were so relieved.
These past few days, we’ve been keeping my 18-year-old sister while my dad is out of town. I thought maybe that would be easier to have her as a visitor than having my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. No, it’s a different kind of difficult. She’s sort of thrown off our routine, as we have another person to consider when we’re having a meal, our dog is intrigued that we have someone else in the house for more than a few hours, and not to mention our entertainment choices are different since we want to make her as comfortable as possible (less of our television choices and more of hers). Being a host is stressful.
When you have guests staying with you, whether they’re staying on your couch or in your spare room, you have some added pressure. If you and your spouse aren’t on the same page, you don’t want to argue in front of company. Depending on whose company it is, one may feel that they’re a reflection of the person who invited them to stay. It can prove to be a financial hardship, especially if they’re using up all your groceries and utilities. To lessen the toll a visitor may have on your marriage, consider these things first:
- Can you afford for them to stay with you?
- How long are they staying?
- Where exactly will they be sleeping?
- Is your spouse okay with having a guest?
- Are you okay with having a guest?
Have you ever had a guest that overstayed their welcome? How did you handle it?
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