I Love My Boyfriend. However Why Does He Dwell With His Ex-Spouse?

My boyfriend (of eight months) and I are deeply in love. He steadily talks of marriage and our future collectively. We’re in our late 60s, however due to geographic distance we solely get to spend a number of hours collectively each week — and by no means at his home. Why? He lives together with his merciless ex-wife who forbids guests. They divorced 20 years in the past however continued sharing a house “for the sake of the youngsters,” who at the moment are adults. They host their grandchildren now. My boyfriend needs to promote the home and divide the proceeds, however his bitter ex-wife refuses. (He can’t afford to stroll away from the asset.) He’s every little thing I need, however that is turning into painful. What ought to I do?


I’m sorry on your predicament. However I believe it’s time to look at your boyfriend’s story extra critically. Regardless of his affection for fairy-tale motifs, his ex-wife is just not a depraved witch holding him hostage in a citadel tower. He has stayed together with her for 20 years after their divorce — and continues to remain — as a result of he chooses to.

He might, certainly, be unable to desert an vital asset corresponding to their marital residence. However a divorce lawyer might assist resolve this challenge, both by compelling a sale or negotiating one other truthful settlement. This could set him free and provide the consolation of ahead movement.

Your boyfriend might know this already. Nonetheless, give him the good thing about the doubt and share your emotions, in addition to a attainable resolution. My worry is that he has not applied an exit technique as a result of he prefers the identified (if often disagreeable) portions of residence and household. Until you see indicators of progress or can tolerate the established order, think about transferring on.

I’m a latest faculty graduate. I don’t have a lot expertise with roommates as a result of I lived at residence throughout faculty. Once I met up with my present roommate to speak about sharing his house, he instructed me he often cross-dresses — I suppose to verify I didn’t have an issue with it. I don’t! However I do have an issue together with his going via my closet after I’m not at residence. Issues are undoubtedly not the place I go away them. In any other case, our house share is working properly. Recommendation?


You make a wonderful distinction: Supporting your roommate’s curiosity in cross-dressing is completely different from giving him entry to your closet. Say: “I like dwelling with you, however you need to respect my privateness — and keep out of my closet — if this house share goes to work.” Ask him to vow he’ll. If he breaks his phrase or in the event you don’t belief him, search for new digs. Feeling compelled to lock up your room (or closet) from an intrusive roommate violates the protection of residence.

My husband and I married two years in the past. I selected to maintain my identify, a choice my husband respects. I’ve no challenge if individuals who don’t know this name me by my husband’s surname. My downside is that my mother-in-law — who does know — nonetheless addresses me by my husband’s identify each time she sends a card or letter. My husband spoke to her the primary time it occurred: He instructed her I stored my identify. She appeared effective with it, however she continues to make use of the mistaken identify. (She’s additionally very delicate.) Ought to we increase this once more or let it go?


I obtain this similar query (proper all the way down to the mother-in-law’s sensitivity) about 20 instances a yr. I used to marvel in regards to the motives of those mothers-in-law, considering which may assist crack the case. As a result of a girl’s choice to maintain her identify has been widespread for many years.

Now, I now not care about motivation. Your identify could also be an vital a part of your id. And your mother-in-law’s sensitivity doesn’t entitle her to misname you. If this bothers you, name and politely remind her to make use of your authorized surname. (To all the ladies who didn’t right their mothers-in-law and who will write to say it’s not value it: That was your selection — not the one selection.)

I’ve by no means loved being round canines. However final yr, I found I’m additionally allergic to them. (My allergist carried out a pores and skin check.) My brother and his girlfriend worship their canine. At residence gatherings, they at all times ask me if they will convey their canine inside “for a bit of bit.” I’m afraid if I refuse each time, it is going to create distance between us. What ought to I do?


You’re allergic to canines! You’re completely entitled to ask your brother and his girlfriend to maintain their canine outside once you see them. You’re additionally sadly right that your refusal to permit the canine inside might make them much less inclined to go to you.

However that’s no purpose to topic your self to identified allergens. Allow them to know the way sorry you’re that your well being requires that they preserve their pet outside — even in the event you really feel no regret! Which will assist.

For assist together with your awkward state of affairs, ship a query to SocialQ@nytimes.com, to Philip Galanes on Fb or @SocialQPhilip on Twitter.

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