I was married for 12 years when my ex-wife cheated and left. Before she was totally out of the house, an old girlfriend of mine came along and slid in, and has lived here on and off ever since.
I care for her, but when we're apart I'm not sure if I miss her. We get along and enjoy some things together but on other things, we're very different.
She's very close to her children. When they're here, it's like girls' night out. They're much older than my children and come and go as they please.
We're together, but separate at the same time. Although it's my residence, I do 90% of the cleaning, cooking, and I'm like a taxi. Financially, we do things separately. I pay all the bills and she gets the groceries. Is this the way things should be?
If this felt right, you wouldn't be asking. She didn't just "slide in," you turned to her for comfort without weighing the consequences of her being a separate entity with kids of her own.
She also failed to insist that you two get to know and talk about each other's tastes, and needs (including finances) before living together. Unfortunately, kids get brought into households where the parents haven't been wise enough to make sure they're doing the right thing for both families.
You haven't even mentioned "love." This was a union for convenience, which is now not so comfortable or convenient for you. Start talking about how to improve it, or end it.
I've been living with a same-sex partner for two years. We have a great time together... on the same page with many issues. But he never initiates any intimate act. I am always initiating. He usually brushes it off saying that I'm the one who wants it all the time. Sometimes he follows through.
He's not using me for money; we take care of finances together. He says he loves me. I'm deeply in love with him. However, he doesn't put a couples' title on our "union." He'll call me a friend, not a partner or boyfriend.
I know he had a very bad situation in the past. I would just like to feel more appreciated, in every respect.
Should I ask him why he doesn't initiate sex with me and what I represent for him, regardless of the outcome? Sex is not everything, but it is a part of any relationship, no matter what you call it.
Yes, ask. There's a negative "outcome" from not/asking not/knowing: your feelings of being unvalued, romantically and in status with him.
Most people have past baggage that affects their relationships... but it's unfair of your guy not to try to get past that and be open with you about what he can handle, and what insecurities he has. Instead, he's withholding on all fronts, and letting you carry the insecurities for both.
That's a poor way to hold onto a relationship. Speak up, and tell him so.
My daughter's 15. Is she a teenager?
Forget the label and focus on the person. She's no longer a "child"... she yearns toward adulthood, and greater independence, but her emotions can swing from childish whining to womanly dreams. She knows her own environment almost too well, but has little knowledge of how to navigate the larger world. Her ambitions are often far greater than her efforts towards a goal.
These are the teen years. She needs your love, understanding, and guidance, not just restrictions.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose mother dominates every conversation (May 6):
Reader - "The mother should have her hearing checked. She's exhibiting the behaviour of an adult who's unaware that she has hearing loss, so coping by dominating/controlling conversations so she'll know what's being discussed.
"Also, hearing loss sometimes causes amplified speech to sound distorted which is why listening over the phone is also very difficult.
"The daughter can test this theory by having a face-to-face conversation across a table in a very quiet environment with good lighting, while speaking clearly and the mother has a good view of the daughter's face (opportunity to lip-read).
"Chances are they'll have a two-way dialogue that she can't have over the phone or in a crowd.
"If hearing aids are recommended, get them immediately as the longer our brains go without a full auditory signal, the longer it takes to adjust to hearing aids."
Tip of the day:
A once-convenient relationship can become uncomfortable for all involved.