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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Dec 10, 2013
DEAR AMY: Is it possible for me to break up with my live-in boyfriend without seeming like a total jerk? We have been dating for about four years and the relationship has been up and down. We have been going through the motions for months.

He has been supportive of me going to school full time but has also struggled with alcoholism. He has a strained relationship with his parents and does not have any friends. My friends have repeatedly tried reaching out to him but all he is interested in is staying home and watching TV.

Almost six months ago, his car was totaled in an accident and he was not reimbursed for the car. Almost two months ago, he lost his fairly well-paying job.

I have been very supportive by letting him borrow my car to get to interviews and paying the rent with my meager paychecks. He is now about to start a job that doesn't pay very well. Our lease is up in two months and we were planning on moving to a new place together but I don't want to!

I would feel terrible leaving him with no car and barely able to support himself but I also feel that his irresponsibility with money is partly to blame for this situation. He doesn't really have anyone else who could help him, but does that mean I have to?-- Still Care

DEAR STILL: If you are strategizing about breaking up with someone who also happens to be at a low point in his own life, you're going to have to face it: You will seem like a total jerk. But then you're going to have to be brave enough to do what you need to do, regardless of how you seem to others.

You can try to be a good friend to him while he is going through this rough patch, but the sooner you let him know that he will be on his own when the lease is up, the better. What you should not do is blame him for this break -- even if you feel it is essentially his fault.

DEAR AMY: My 52-year-old son is educated and single. I am a healthy and vigorous 81-year-old dad and widower.

My son visits once a year for a week at Christmas. We used to go hiking with my daughter and her family the day after Christmas as a family tradition, but for the last three years my son has had very little to say or do with any of us. He gets up at around 5 p.m. and eats by himself (he is a vegetarian). Then he watches TV until I don't know what time, because I go to bed.

I think his behavior is rude toward me, and I don't look forward to his visit. I wonder if I could say or do anything to make this a happier visit for both of us. We used to be so close.-- Sad Dad

DEAR SAD: Take the question you posed to me and ask it of your son: "Is there anything I can do to make this a happier visit for you? We used to be so close."

Is he depressed? Has he changed jobs (or lost his job)? Is he addicted to online gambling? Is he struggling with a health issue?

I'm not suggesting that you pepper your son with questions, but that you try to consider all the angles and then ask him, kindly, "What's going on? Can I help?"

Your son will probably respond by saying, "No Dad, everything is fine." If so, you should reflect back to him that everything does not seem fine and that you aren't judging him but are worried about him.

DEAR AMY: Here's another response to the issue of "Missedcallitis," when you miss a call from an unknown number. I have young kids underfoot and almost never listen to voice mail. I routinely call back anyone who has called me, regardless of whether I recognize the number. It might be a relative calling from someone else's phone.-- Hollering Back

DEAR HOLLERING: Many, many readers say they never listen to voice mail!
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#2 Dec 10, 2013
LW1 - It's time to get out. It really is. If you don't, he'll ruin your life in addition to his. You've tried. It has not worked. Now it's on him. Yep, you are going to feel and look like a jerk, but you need to take care of yourself first.

LW3 - Oh, bother. If they didn't care to leave a message, they didn't care to get in touch with you that much. Are you not busy enough with your little kids to return a call from every wrong number, scammer, or "you won a free vacation" pitcher?

Since: Mar 09

Hollywood, FL

#3 Dec 10, 2013
L1: What Cass said. If you know you want out of the relationship, you have to pull the trigger. Waiting until he's "back on his feet" could take YEARS and it's not fair to either of you to go through the motions for that long.

L2: What Amy said (oh, it pains me to say that!). Or ask your daughter if her brother has said anything to her about what's going on.

L3: If someone I know is calling me from an unfamiliar phone, they'd better be smart enough to leave a message letting me know who they are.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#4 Dec 10, 2013
1 Sure, dump the guy when he is down. You did not say boo about him when he had his car and well paying job did you? He's probably better off without a gold digger you you and your friends anyway.

2 Your son is gay. Dont believe me? Just ask him.

3 What JMW said.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#5 Dec 10, 2013
1.Dear Amy,

I have now been sober for 2 years but it took falling to the lowest point to make me realize how alcohol had take over my life. I totaled my car and because it was my fault, insurance did not replace it. I lost a good job. My girlfriend got fed up with me and dumped me. I was living in a shelter for a while . But now I am back on my feet because it git so bad that I saw I had to do something,
/signed/ Still Care's Ex

You are his girlfriend not his rescuer

2. Your son is depressed, not sure about the gay gambling addict parts

3. I am one of those who calls back missed call numbers. My phone plan has unlimited minutes- what's the big deal?
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#6 Dec 10, 2013
About the only constructive thing I can see that LW1 can do is buy him a bus pass and get her own place...

LW2 probably offended his son--or is sending out a
signal that "not talking/leaving well enough alone" works.

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#7 Dec 10, 2013
LW1: I don’t believe you should kick someone when they are down, but if it’s not there, it’s not there. I can see why a woman would want out of a relationship with a man who is so dependent upon them financially and socially. Alcoholism to boot.

LW2: Where the f’ did “addicted to online gambling” come from?

Maybe he just wants to relax and recharge his batteries while he’s on vacation. Maybe he doesn’t want to do what you want him to do on his vacation. He’s not an 81 year old man, who is retired, such that every day is a vacation day.

Since: Mar 09

Hollywood, FL

#8 Dec 10, 2013
Sublime1 wrote:
LW2: Where the f’ did “addicted to online gambling” come from?
I know... randomly specific. Oh well, that's Amy! She couldn't find a way to accuse him of being an alcoholic so she went with gambling instead.
Blunt Advice

Cedar Knolls, NJ

#9 Dec 10, 2013
1. Dump him. He will reconcile with his family afterward.
2. Go visit your daughter for the holidays or go away somewhere.
3. What jmw said.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#10 Dec 10, 2013
LW1: My soft heart understands you not wanting to hurt this guy and I'm wondering if there is any way that you can transition from being bf/gf to roommates. This way you don't leave him hanging but he gets the message (and time to deal with it) that you two are just friends.

The workablity of this plan, however, really depends on how mature you think the both of you can act. If you even suspect he'll be a total doosh when you start dating someone else, the forget about it.

LW2: Whatever, what Amy said.

LW3: I almost never answer a call from a number I don't know and I damnsure don't call it back.
Kuuipo

Marina, CA

#11 Dec 10, 2013
LW1: On the plus side: He has been supportive of you going to school full-time. On the downside: He's alcoholic, has no friends, only wants to watch TV, doesn't have a car, has a strained relationship with his parents, and had to take a low-paying job after losing his well-paying job. I'm not seeing how you're a jerk for wanting to break up with him. You need to have the hard conversation with him and tell him that this isn't working for you. It would be kind of you to ensure that he has money enough for rent and bus fare before you move out.

LW2: You've let this go on for three years? Talk to your son.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#12 Dec 10, 2013
1- I'm more inclined to agree with Race. She was enjoying the meal ticket he was providing, but now that he's on bad times, he can't support the life-style she was used to, now it's time for her to move on.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#13 Dec 10, 2013
PEllen wrote:
I totaled my car and because it was my fault, insurance did not replace it.
Granted all insurance companies are different, but I don't see them not paying because the driver was at fault. It's likely the deductible was more than the car was worth.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#14 Dec 10, 2013
squishymama wrote:
LW3: I almost never answer a call from a number I don't know and I damnsure don't call it back.
It's your neighbor down the street, I just found your kid wandering around my back yard! Answer the dam phone!

Honestly, people, what are you so afraid of? You never know who could be calling or why. I think you people have watched Scream too many times.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#15 Dec 10, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
It's your neighbor down the street, I just found your kid wandering around my back yard! Answer the dam phone!
Honestly, people, what are you so afraid of? You never know who could be calling or why. I think you people have watched Scream too many times.
I don't know any neighbors down the street and my number is not listed. My children know my number and if I don't answer the first time, they know to call back right away. I will answer it if I see the same number calling repeatedly.

I have never watched Scream, so I have no idea what you're talking about. I have a long-standing phone phobia that I work on every day; I don't have as much trouble at work, but at home it's a different story.

I don't like to talk on the phone, so sue me.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#16 Dec 10, 2013
squishymama wrote:
I don't like to talk on the phone, so sue me.
I tried once but the lawyer said you never answered his calls.

Phone phobia? I'm sure there's a support group for that. Just call the numb... oh, nevermind.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#17 Dec 10, 2013
1: This isn't a marriage. Life is so freaking short and you only get one chance. Why do people waste it on paths leading nowhere??

2: How can people MAKE a person, raise them from a drolling infant, have a "close" relationship, and not be able to use their words to them 8 decades into life?
It's only 1 silly week out of the entire year he spends. If he were depressed, I'd think he wouldn't show at all. Who knows.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#18 Dec 10, 2013
Ha!
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I tried once but the lawyer said you never answered his calls.
Phone phobia? I'm sure there's a support group for that. Just call the numb... oh, nevermind.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#19 Dec 11, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
It's your neighbor down the street, I just found your kid wandering around my back yard! Answer the dam phone!
Honestly, people, what are you so afraid of? You never know who could be calling or why. I think you people have watched Scream too many times.
Hey, neighbor down the street. Ever heard of answering machines and voicemail? Leave a message, dude. I'll call you back.

And speaking of answering calls from unknown numbers, that's not what the discussion started with. It started with the question whether one needs to return calls from unknown numbers when there was no message left. So, somebody calls me; the number is unknown to me; the caller didn't leave a message. I am not going to bother to return the call. I have other things to do - the ones that are actually important to me.
NicoleK

Sulgen, Switzerland

#20 Dec 15, 2013
Do something that interests your son. Ask him to teach you vegetarian cooking, or if he's a lousy cook, surprise him with a nice veg meal.

Go watch TV with him.

Since all you've given us to go on is he's a TV-loving vegetarian, that's what I'm running with.

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