DEAR AMY: I have been involved with a man for more than four years. We are both in our late 50s.
At the beginning of the relationship, I lived with him, but I had to move out because of his spoiled adult kids.
They didn't like the fact that I was around and "monopolized all his free time." They made it very difficult for both of us.
I have been in my own apartment for the past year. He and I had talked about me moving back in with him. My lease is up in February. Now he says he wants me to keep my place — indefinitely!
I pay rent for an apartment that I hardly live in. By my choice, I spend pretty much every night at his place and we spend every weekend together. We are like two peas in a pod and get along great.
He still wants me to continue to come to his place every night, but I feel that it's time to make some changes.
I would love marriage, but I've sort of had enough. I feel that enough time has passed; we've proven we are a couple and everyone says we are so good together.
I am not quite sure how to read him or the situation. My head says to "move on" but we are so good together I don't want to screw that up. At the same time, I feel compromised.
Amy, I have never been so confused. I'd like some no-nonsense advice.
— Ungrateful Girlfriend
DEAR UNGRATEFUL: Quick question: Who is in charge of your life?
That's right, he is. Or rather, according to you, his "spoiled adult kids" are.
You say you're confused, but the situation you present is not at all confusing. You are in a relationship that is all about what the other person wants and not at all about what you want.
Cohabitation with this guy will never work because he doesn't want to live with you.
Marriage will never happen because he has no motivation (or desire, evidently) to get married.
I suggest that you start living in your apartment. Get a philodendron. Acquire some interests, hobbies and friends. Find another pea to share a pod with, or, better yet, dare to spend a night alone.
You could start the process of change by not showing up at his house one night. I suggest you try it.
DEAR AMY: We are friends (I use the term "friends" loosely) with a couple who frequently wants to get together with us.
My husband used to work with her husband and the guys really enjoy doing things together.
Unfortunately, I don't enjoy being around this guy's wife. She is very opinionated, gossipy and is "right about everything." She is usually the one who sets everything up and it's always on her terms.
When we do get together, she controls the conversation. I feel she is very disrespectful to him and others. She works in a school and yet trashes the kids who go there. She is "toxic."
I do not want to be around her, and this is causing conflict between my husband and me. He feels the same way about her, but likes to be around her husband.
Amy, what do you suggest?
— Frustrated "Friend"
DEAR FRUSTRATED: Must you and your husband do everything together?
The obvious answer here is for your husband and this woman's husband to spend time together, independent of both of you.
Your husband could get the ball rolling, so to speak, by suggesting that he and his male friend join a club or activity together.
I recently read an article reporting that bowling is all the rage (again). Any sport where you can wear rented shoes and drink beer is bound to cement a nice friendship.
DEAR AMY: I can totally relate to "Kelsie," who was frustrated at her boss misspelling her name. This happens to me all the time.
My own father misspelled my name on a personalized graduation present.
Honestly, it doesn't bother me at all because it doesn't affect me financially.
For Kelsie, I would say that if it doesn't affect your payroll, then it's not a problem.
DEAR CHRISTEL: Words to live by. Thank you!
Send questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org