DEAR AMY: My boyfriend and his family have owned a farm for over a century. During his divorce, he agreed to let his ex-wife have access to the barn so she could continue to care for her animals. That's OK, I guess. But here is the problem: He got custody of his two teenage daughters. His ex-wife stops by the farm every day and feels that because her girls are there, she can come and go in the house as she pleases. She doesn't even knock. To top it off, she still has clothes in his closet. We are talking years after the divorce! I say the clothes have to go! This makes it nearly impossible for me to have a relationship with him at his place. I say it's time he take action, as she is just going to use this as another power play to squeeze me out. -- Gritting My Teeth
DEAR GRITTING: To review: You are the girlfriend. You're talking about his house, his barn, his kids and his ex-wife.
If the children live with him and his ex is on the property every day, then it seems rational that she would come and go freely; after all, that is the setup they have established.
If he wanted things to be different, they would be different. For instance, his ex-wife's clothes would have been packed in bins and stacked in the barn long ago. Or he would have established and enforced a "knock first" policy.
The decision you need to make is about you. Can you tolerate being a part of this household, just as it is -- because this seems to be working for your guy. When it stops working for him, he will take steps to change it.
-- Hate Passive Aggression
DEAR HATE: Readers are upset that I didn't call out these sisters for being selfish. But I read this query differently.