DEAR AMY: I am currently a university student. When the program I am enrolled in ends, I am thinking about moving out of the country to live with my boyfriend. He and I have been friends for a long time and recently started dating. I am positive that he is the one I want to spend the rest of my life with, and he has told me he feels the same.
However, my mother refuses to let me go. She doesn’t want me to be with him. She won’t let me travel to his home to get to know him better. She keeps telling me all the negatives about being with him instead of listening to how I feel and what I want for my future.
He is a wonderful guy, and he treats me incredibly well. I don’t understand why she’s being so closed-minded. I know she is trying to protect me, but she is making me miserable. I don’t know what to do. Please help. -- Overly Protected Daughter
DEAR DAUGHTER: I don’t even know you, and I’m tempted to hide your car keys. Why? Because you sound young and naive. You just started dating this guy and yet you say you want to spend your life with him. You want to move with him to another country the minute you finish school.
If I was your mother, I would tell you, “If you and your boyfriend want to know each other better, he can come here, introduce himself to us, and pay a nice long visit.”
You might get further with your mother if you present her with a plan; this should include ideas about how you will support yourself. In the meantime, you can look forward to the day when you are old (and/or mature) enough not to require your mother’s permission to do what you want.
DEAR AMY: I am 57 and my girlfriend is 50. We have been together for two years. After ending her 30-year marriage, my girlfriend was very active socially and very popular with her friends and co-workers. She changed jobs and cities to live with me.
Her new job requires her to be back in her former town up to three times a week. She has lunch with men she used to work with and drinks with a group of co-workers. She comes home very late. I am never included with this clique of friends.
I feel hurt that she wants to spend so much time with these people. She says she is “living her life” and if I don’t like it, too bad — she’s not going to change. Her huge circle of friends demands that she be available to party at their beck and call.
We agreed to try to work things out. We agreed to keep wearing our commitment rings, but I have found her on more than a few occasions without it. I think she only wears her ring when she knows she is going to see me. Am I being unreasonable? -- Loving Boyfriend
DEAR BOYFRIEND: After ending her marriage of 30 years, your girlfriend doesn’t sound willing (or ready) to settle down in a new town with you. She is declaring that she wants to live her life a certain way. She is also telling you that she will not change and that you can either like it or lump it.
You should trust her enough to believe that she is telling you the truth about herself. Rather than continue to worry about the fact that you cannot control her, you should set her free.
DEAR AMY: “Worried Wife” suspected her husband was gay. With little evidence to go on, she could be wrong.
She could also be right. I could have written her letter. After many years of marriage, I finally confronted my husband, and he told me he was gay. I hope Worried takes your advice and finds ways to support herself. I am proud that I was able to live independently after my marriage ended. -- Straight Spouse
DEAR SPOUSE: The Straight Spouse Network offers support to people married to gay spouses: straightspouse.org.