Dear Abby: Groom hopes to escape from depressing living situation – The Providence Journal

Abigail Van Buren
| Syndication Andrews McMeel

Dear Abby,

I have no family and few friends, no one close. My live-in girlfriend of two years and I argue constantly. We no longer share a bedroom and I feel more like a roommate. I honestly feel like I’m being used for money. Her 24-year-old son died of an overdose two months ago, so I can’t help but feel sorry for her. He doesn’t work and I don’t know when he can come back.

I have no money to move. I wish you would. I’m miserable, she’s miserable, and I feel trapped. I am 46 years old; she is 44 years old. I pay the rent and 50% of the utilities, which is fine. But how can I ever get out? Moving is not cheap anymore.

I’m desperate for hope that I won’t be stuck here forever. I fear that if I move, even if I live in a tent for now, she will give up everything. She has two older children, but she was closer to the one who died. I feel guilty for wanting and having to leave. At the same time, I’m miserable. He is in therapy and medicine. Please advise.

— No hope in North Carolina

Start saving as much money as you can and explore other living options, such as renting a single room. Staying where you are in these circumstances will make you sick if you don’t take control of your life. Your ex-girlfriend is under the care of a doctor. You are NOT their lifeline. She will survive.

The friend’s ill-mannered children are straining their relationship

dear abby,

I am kind to a wonderful and caring woman. She calls to ask how I am, leaves coffee to say hello, etc. He has a big heart and soul. Our boys are close in age. Here’s the problem: I don’t like their kids.

Her children are difficult and treat her badly. She knows discipline is a problem, but she’s at a loss. My kids don’t like playing with them either. Their children are careless and do not listen to authority. I want to continue our friendship, but I like it better without the kids in tow. Should I talk or disappear?

— Conditional friend

You can’t blame your friend’s kids for things they were never taught. Tell your friend that when her children visit your house, you will set some “house rules.” If you do, you might be doing the whole family a favor. If your kids can’t comply, let them know your kids no longer want to play with theirs AND WHY. You need this information before your children become social outcasts. If your friendship with her fizzles out after this, and I sincerely hope it doesn’t, then what will be, will be.

Happy Lunar New Year to my Asian readers

Today begins the Year of the Rabbit. In Chinese culture, the rabbit is known to be the luckiest of the 12 zodiac animals. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are calm and peaceful. They avoid fighting and arguing, are artistic and have good taste. However, they can be insecure and sensitive and dislike criticism, making them resistant to change. I wish a happy and healthy new year to all of you who celebrate this holiday.

“Enchanted, Abby.”

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, aka Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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