It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.
My boyfriend and I have been living in our first apartment for nine months and it’s been really hard. A couple of times I had to pay rent myself because his job was cutting his hours. Neither of us has a car and I’m the one always paying for ubers. He has always been a little irresponsible with his money — spending all his paycheck on clothes, shoes, alcohol, and parting with friends. I, on the other hand, use whatever amount I get paid for the rent. If I have to save two paychecks to pay my half, I do that with no problem. But he hides his money and wants me to pay the ubers even though he knows I barely have any money. I even started taking the bus and bringing my lunch to work to save. He comes home really late sometimes and sometimes he keeps me up all night playing loud music. I feel like he’s being really disrespectful and doesn’t know his boundaries. Our lease is almost up and I don’t know if I should renew the lease with him. I don’t think I can take this for another year. What should I do Wendy? — Paying His Way
You should MOA. The bar is so low that it wouldn’t take much to find a better roommate (you know, one who actually pays her/his half of the rent) and, in time, a better boyfriend, too.
My wife and I have been married three years and I’ve been cruising Craigslist casual encounters ads mostly out of curiosity. I answered a few of the ads, but I never wanted to cheat on my wife and I never have; I was just curious as to what people would say. She has found the emails and is very hurt and doesn’t trust me anymore. I never meant to hurt her, but now I feel like an ass. I love her very much and don’t want to lose her, but I don’t know what to do to save our marriage. This is a mistake I may regret for the rest of my life. — Craigslist Cruiser
You grovel, you beg for forgiveness, you try to explain why you were curious about “what people would say” from Craigslist casual encounters. You go to counseling together. Maybe you go to counseling alone (especially if you don’t know why you were curious about the Craigslist ads). And if you do all that and you still can’t earn back your wife’s trust and your marriage can’t overcome your indiscretion, then you apologize again and you go your separate ways and you accept that, yes, this may very well be a mistake you regret for the rest of your life, but hopefully you learn from it and you don’t let it ruin your life and you do better in your next relationship.
My boyfriend, “Craig,” has a daughter who is 21 months old and the mother has passed on. I am 27 years old and I don’t have a kid, but I told Craig that I am ready to be a mom and he told me that he is not ready to have another kid anytime soon. The reason he’s not ready is because he’s still supporting the child and he can’t afford to take care of another baby. I’m hurt. That daughter will be part of his life forever so should that stop me from being a mother?! — Ready to Be a Mom
No, not at all! What should stop you from being a mother is your total lack of compassion, your disinterest in the child who is already in your life, and your seeming lack of patience and flexibility (qualities that are vitally important in good parents). I hope your boyfriend moves on already.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.