I'm hoping that this is the right place. I have a potentially sticky situation coming up. Sorry for the long background.
[BG] Dear friend lives in another country. As it's far away we can't often visit, but every 3 - 4 years we try. Usually we stay with her when visiting her country. ETA: We always offer to stay in a hotel but she insists we stay with her.
DF is originally from our country, so she tries to visit every other year.
When she visits she alternately stays with family, a property she owns, friends and usually ends up spending at least a weekend with us, and we meet up several evenings while she's here.
Although it's actually DH and her who are old friends, they can rub each other up the wrong way, and last time we saw her I was so frustrated trying to mediate between them that I had a big blow out with her on the last day of our trip. It wasn't an end-of-a-friendship blow out, just more a case of me explicitly stating to her that I was my own person, I didn't give a fiddlers what she would do in a particular situation, and that I would do what I felt was best for me. Then I flounced off to bed and she was fairly contrite the next day, probably shocked that I not only did not hold the same opinion as her, but that I dared tell her that my opinion was just as valid!
The other important point is that we both work full time, and she does not (have to) work, she lives off savings and investments
DH is also paranoid about safety - the house must be locked and alarmed, even if we're only popping to the shop (5 mins max). DF, the last time were were over, frequently left her house unlocked, windows open. We pointed this out and she said " oh, there's a prickly bush beneath the window, and besides they'd need a ladder", when we questioned this she assured us it was a low crime area
So a few months ago DF mentioned she was planning to visit for about 3 weeks in May with her new BF. We were on skype and talking about lots of differenet things, but when we finished the conversation DH said his impression was that she planned to spend the full 3 weeks with us. My impression was that she was planning to spend a few days, maybe as much as a week.
Now, I appreciate that she puts us up for a week - 10 days when we travel to see her. But as I mentioned above she and DH can get on each others nerves, especially when they're together for a long time like a week. As we work full time and get only the minimum holidays allowed under the law we would not be able to take time off while she was here, maybe a couple of days, but that would be it. There's also the issue of her & her BF staying in the house while we're at work, if they go out to visit friends DH's paranoid that they'll leave a window open or forget the alarm...
So, we havn't heard anything further from her regarding the trip so we're planning on skyping her this evening or sometime this week. How to get out of her what her plans are and to let her know that staying with us for more than a few days is just not on the cards?
Her property here is rented out, so that's not an option for her. There's no hotels near us either...
I know we can say "I'm afraid that won't be possible", but I kind of want to elaborate if she insists it's ok if we're working because they'll just do their own thing while still staying with us?
Virtual cookies to everyone who made it through this post x
ETA: We didn't pressure her about locking her house, nor do we assume to stay with her, so I've amended the OP background