DEAR AMY: I’ve been dating my boyfriend for two years. Last year we moved into an apartment together. We decided to split the costs 50/50, because that’s only fair, right? Recently, he lost his job, and no longer pays for his share of the bills. This is not the first time this has happened. He leaves me to pay for everything (rent, internet, his phone bill, and food). I make relatively good money, but not nearly enough to carry the both of us. He hasn’t been looking for a job, and every day I come home from work, and he hasn’t done any cleaning or laundry or cooking to help out, he simply sits and plays video games or watches Netflix. He knows that this frustrates and bothers me. He claims he loves me, but everything he does proves otherwise. I just need help around the house, and I’ve told him kindly and calmly many times how this makes me feel. He’ll make a change for a day and then it’s back to nothing again. I feel like I’m his mother. I’m cleaning, cooking, tidying up after him, and paying for everything. I’m not even sure he sees me as his girlfriend anymore, considering I can’t remember the last time he actually kissed me. I’m miserable. I want to be together, but this is just too much for me. I don’t think it’s fair that I do all the work inside and outside the home while he lounges around. I’ve told him I need a break, and he’s gone to stay with a friend for two weeks. This is as far as I’ve gotten. And now I don’t know what to do.
DEAR MISERABLE: In the short term, you should consider changing the account settings on the wireless and Netflix account, so your boyfriend wouldn’t have access to nonstop entertainment (on your dime) while he is loafing around the house during the day.
If you cannot afford (or don’t want to pay for) your boyfriend’s layabout lifestyle, then a good use of this two-week break would be for you to scour the classifieds or Craigslist for roommates who could share the cost of rent with you.
You don’t present any positive aspect of living with your boyfriend. If he has a pattern of patchy employment and you aren’t able to inspire (or coerce) him into being more helpful during those times when he is out of work, then you should ask him to find other housing.
DEAR AMY: My son’s longtime mother-in-law lives five minutes from me. She hosted a family birthday party for her daughter (my daughter-in-law), and my grandson. I am a widow. I was not invited to this family gathering and I find it rather hurtful. We have always been OK with each other. I was disappointed, and so I asked my son to ask her why I was excluded. He is hesitant to do so, understandably, and feels caught in the middle. Your thoughts?
DEAR HURT: It would have been thoughtful for your son’s mother-in-law to include you in this family party, but it is challenging to be universally inclusive when in-laws live close by one another and are aware of one another’s social calendars.
If you were hosting a celebration party for your son, would you reflexively invite these in-laws, and do you do so each time you have a family celebration with your son and/or grandchild?
If so, then you (not your son) should be brave enough to say to this woman — whom you seem to have known for many years — “I was disappointed not to be included in the recent celebration. Please understand that I am very grateful for this close-by connection. Since my husband’s death I have felt my side of the family shrinking, and I’m feeling sensitive about being left out.”
DEAR AMY: Your liberal no-nothing true colors have finally come out! Your response to the letter from “Uneasy,” equating Donald Trump with a Nazi sympathizer, revealed your liberal feminist agenda.
DEAR FORMER: I have received scores of questions in the past few months from people worried about how to handle political differences in families during this very heated political season.
I did not equate Donald Trump with a Nazi sympathizer; the person who wrote to me described someone who was both a Trump supporter and a Nazi sympathizer. And, like Donald Trump does on the campaign trail, I let the outrageous association sit there, unchallenged.