DEAR AMY: My boyfriend and I recently moved in together, and ever since, I have felt it was a mistake. I'm not sure why, but it felt as if, as soon as we made the move, my love for him disappeared.
His job is the most important thing in his life, and he puts it on a pedestal and complains about being too tired to do anything when he gets home after work.
I am certain he doesn't even know where the garbage chute in our building is.
He never wants to visit with my family, and trying to get him to go out is like pulling teeth, but when I visit my parents on my own, he makes me feel guilty.
I feel so unhappy all the time, and once he leaves for work, I just cry because I am so sad about my situation. I love the apartment, but I can't afford it on my own and we signed a lease for a year. I feel as though I have to live with my mistake until I either get a raise or our lease is up. I don't know what else to do.
— Trapped and Confused
DEAR TRAPPED: If you are convinced that you do not want to work on your relationship, then you should commence the process of breaking up.
You seem to think that if you stick it out, you can end up with the apartment, but if you want to leave the relationship, you also will have to be prepared to leave the apartment.
No apartment is worth living in a relationship that depletes and depresses you. You may have to offer your boyfriend a financial settlement to get out of your part of the lease — he may also be willing to have you find another roommate to take your place. If you have to move in with your folks or with a friend while you work this out, you should.
DEAR AMY: My daughter-in-law is a good person, a good wife and a very good mother.
The problem is that she is basically an introvert with a limited personality.
She is not mean-spirited or mean. She basically speaks when she's spoken to, answers questions, etc. She rarely initiates a conversation.
My son says that he has tried talking to her, but other than that, there is little he can do about it. He says that's the way she is.
My husband says I have to learn how to accept her the way she is and not take everything she does (or doesn't do) personally. She loves our son and her children. She is a working mother but finds the time to cover all bases with the kids.
I don't know what to do, or if I should "suck it up." Do you have any suggestions?
— Frustrated Mother-in-Law
DEAR FRUSTRATED: Not only should you find a way to accept your daughter-in-law for being herself, but you should also personally work harder to celebrate her role in your son and grandkids' lives.
There's nothing wrong with being an introvert. People who are quiet offer a wonderful balance against the noise of the rest of the world. Please don't try to "fix" this wonderful wife and mom. Your job is to offer a supportive, warm and welcoming family wherein she can occupy her own quiet place.
DEAR AMY: The letter from "Sober Friend" about trying to stop her friend from drinking and driving broke my heart.
The woman who killed my son and co-worker in the wee hours of April 2, 2004, is no longer drinking and driving. Her friends took her keys, but she found them and tried to drive home.
Now she is in prison.
That morning she ruined her life and broke the hearts of many loving family members of the two men she killed.
If you are really a friend to someone who is too drunk to drive, take the keys, call the cops — do anything to keep her off the highways.
— Brokenhearted Mom
DEAR BROKENHEARTED: I am so sorry for your tragic loss, and hope this will help others to intervene.
Send questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Amy Dickinson's memoir, The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.