Avoiding a Place in Line


I’m wondering whether to move in with my boyfriend. We’re in our early 30s and have been together for just over a year. I don’t have any moral objections, and it could be good for us (emotionally, financially, logistically). My hang-up is that he lived with his last two girlfriends. I want to live together eventually, and don’t think I’d get married without having done so first. But I see how his other relationships failed. -Third Time’s the Charm?

The whole notion of pledging your life to someone involves believing that this relationship is unlike all that came before, and that it has an ability to endure in a way that others couldn’t.

And it’s an inevitable step: You know that you want to live together eventually, so there’s no way around it. I understand your fears of being the third strike, and yes, there might be tensions over dirty dishes or beard trimmings in the sink. But if those things break up the relationship, then it wasn’t meant to stand the test of time. Of course I’m not telling you to rush moving in together. But don’t use his relationships with other people as the guide for his relationship for you.

Cocktail Party Confrontations

I have a pretty terrible relationship with the husband of a friend of mine. He and I are at odds politically, morally, you name it. Several times he’s drunk too much at parties and we’ve argued. He seems to like to pick fights with me because he knows how different we are, and I think he’s jealous that his wife and I are such good friends. (I am female.) I really can’t stand to be around him. My friend is good about doing stuff with me without him, but we still have to hang out in groups a lot, and I just want to clock him. -Annoyed Friend

And I thought that enduring drunken, aggressive men on behalf of friends was supposed to end when they got married, not begin!

You don’t say how your friend reacts to these conflicts, or whether she tries to make things better. In an ideal world she would create a buffer. Otherwise, she’s going to have to sacrifice even more of her time with you. Talk to her, and tell her how much your friendship means, but that you are even going to further limit your exposure to her husband, especially when he has exposure to Jack Daniels — then try your best not to engage him.

Dr. Andrea Bonior writes Express' advice column, Baggage Check.
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