My husbands’ unemployed cousin is living with my family. I thought it would be for a weekend, but there is no end in sight. We are doing a total remodel/renovation on our house (stressful enough on our marriage) and he does help my husband work on the house, but my husband was just laid off and his cousin, who doesn’t have a job, pays nothing and I am not ok with this. I’m ok with my husband taking time off because he is a carpenter and is building our home. I’m the only one working to support a family of four (plus helping my daughter and her two kids), and having another grown man to feed is expensive and, quite frankly, infuriating. I have two jobs, one full-time and one part-time, and I pull overtime. My husband expects me to buy their cigarettes as well (I’m not a smoker). I’m becoming resentful because my husband agreed to ask him to leave, but now says he doesn’t know how to and so he has yet to do it. While I know my husband is benefiting from having the help working on our home, our marriage is suffering. While I feel selfish for wanting his cousin out because the house has been a beast of a task, I don’t feel like our home is home (I want to walk around in my undies if I want but am confined to my room). What do I do to resolve this without ruining my marriage? In all fairness, I should mention, that prior to his moving in, we were paying his cousin to help with the house renovations and he was a great help to my husband. — Wanting My Privacy Back
Your husband’s cousin needs money, your husband needs help with the house, and you need the cousin out of your home. Talk with your husband about what you’re able to pay the cousin and then tell the cousin that, while he can’t stay in your home anymore, you would love to have him continue working for pay. I wonder if your husband and his cousin might also be interested in working on other projects together if this goes well and that a long-term plan for getting them both employed again could involve partnering up and marketing themselves as carpenter/handymen in business together–with your home as an example of their work.
Regardless, you agreed to a weekend, it’s been more than a weekend, and you need to put your foot down and insist that your husband tell his cousin to leave. Stop buying their cigarettes (or at least the cousin’s) and work with your daughter on ways she can be more financially independent so you aren’t responsible for helping her and her two daughters on top of supporting four other people.
I am currently in a long-distance relationship. I live in Chicago and my boyfriend lives in LA. We have been dating for almost nineteen months now. I see him every month, and in the summer it’s for a few weeks at a time because I am a school teacher and I have summers off. I am also a mother who has joint custody with my ex-husband. My boyfriend thinks that it’s easy for me to just up and move to LA, and I keep explaining to him that it’s not. I have a secure job, I have a house here as well that I would have to try to sell, and most importantly, I’d have to fight to relocate my daughter. Do you have any advice for me, especially on how to communicate with him on this issue? — Chicago or Bust
You say to him: “I’m a mother and I have a responsibility to my child to make life comfortable and secure for her. In my mind, that means giving her easy access to both her parents and working with her father to make sure she knows she is our top priority. Because of that, and because of the good job I have that I don’t want to leave, I don’t see myself moving to LA. You could come here, but I’m not going there. If you aren’t open to moving to Chicago, then I think it’s time to part ways because I’m not open to moving to LA.”
(And, frankly, this is a conversation you should have had many, many months ago!).
Back in January I started dating a guy I met on Coffee Meets Bagel, an Internet dating website. He told me he was looking for a relationship; so was I. After our first date we felt a lot of chemistry and we wanted to see each other again. I was honest with him letting him know I was a single mom, and had a 3-year-old. After that I felt he resisted, but told me it was okay. After dating for 2 months and being intimate with each other, I told him it would be nice for us to meet each other’s friends, or be friends on Facebook, at least. But then he told me he was not ready for a relationship because of my son, that he was scared to take into parent role. I was hurt because I opened myself to him, and lied to me about being ok with my having a child. I also had a feeling he was not over his ex girlfriend, since they still had pictures together on FB.
We didn’t speak for six months and then three weeks ago, I reached out to him by text just to say hi. He was impressed and apologized for how much he hurt me and wanted me to give him a second chance. He happens to have a trip planned this weekend in Vegas with three women, including his ex (he’s the only guy), and they are renting a house. He invited me to go, but I don’t feel comfortable spending a whole weekend with his ex. He reassures me they are only friends, and that going forwards we will do trips together ourselves.
How should I feel and react? He’s asked me to be his girlfriend, by the way… — What Stays in Vegas
Are you looking for a serious, longterm relationship? If so, this isn’t the guy for you. He’s already told you, explicitly and implicitly, that he’s not interested in being a father-figure in a kid’s life. If you’re looking for something casual and/or short-term, this could possibly work, but if you’re casual, you really shouldn’t care whom he goes to Vegas with or what he does there as long as he isn’t exposing you to any health risks. You need to be honest with yourself and MOA if you think, like I do, that you two simply are not a good match for each other right now.
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