Dear Amy: About six months ago my boyfriend, "Gabe" and I broke up after I found out he had been meeting up with other women without telling me. However, we had recently renewed our leasing agreement, so I agreed to move in with my brother and let Gabe stay at the apartment until the lease expired. Because of this, we have been in constant contact since the split. We are mainly amicable. I made it clear to him that I would be willing to work on our relationship, if he was too.
Fast-forward to now. I just found out that Gabe has had a new girlfriend for the last two months. She's been living in our old place with him, and he's been lying about it the whole time. I will sometimes assist him with bills and rent if he doesn't have enough, so this was infuriating.
Now he tells me that he isn't really into her and he allows her to stay there only so she can help with the bills. He kisses me every time he sees me, tells me he loves me and misses me, etc.
I'm getting mixed signals, and I'm stuck at that place where I don't know if I should wait to see how it pans out or if I should move on. Is he just keeping me around in case things don't work out with her? Should I stay or should I go?
Unsure: You sound like a fairly smart person. So — what about life with “Gabe” is so confusing to you? His behavior is consistent: He hooks up with women because he feels like it and because they help him pay the bills. Then he bounces back to you because you are his backup plan.
Let’s recap: You are co-leasing this apartment but not living there. Evidently you have the resources to not only relinquish your apartment to him, but to also give him money. All Gabe has to do is to kiss you now and then, and continue to lie to you. Are you really so easy? I hope not.
But, to answer your direct question, I do NOT think you should go. HE should!
However, understanding that you probably won’t be able to get him out of this apartment, you should contact the landlord, ask for a lease modification and make every effort to get your name off the lease. Not being tethered to him should help you to move on, because then you won’t have any reason to be in touch.
Dear Amy: A good friend of mine has been married for years to a jerk. She acknowledges that he is emotionally abusive and controlling, but has decided to stay with him because she recognizes that she would have a hard time on her own.
She complains endlessly about how terrible he is but then gets upset when her friends don't want to spend time with him. She can socialize without him, but she insists on bringing him to larger events and gets upset when some of us indicate that we'd rather not include him.
In addition to knowing how awful he treats her, he is also obnoxious. She feels that we should at least act as though we are friends with him, too, because otherwise she is being punished twice (by him and by us).
I understand that it is rude not to include a spouse in social activities, especially when other spouses are invited, but I hate having to act friendly and pretend that I don't know what an awful person he is.
Is it okay to occasionally ask her to attend events alone, even when other spouses are invited, and if not, what is the best way to navigate this?
Flummoxed Friend: If you know in advance that a behavior you’re contemplating is rude, then your choices are to either be rude with abandon — and own it — or to simply not be rude and include this husband when others’ are also included.
Your friend already knows how you feel about her husband. Perhaps, if he offends you at a gathering, instead of communicating about him through her, you could (privately) call him out on his obnoxious behavior.
Dear Amy: "Frustrated Granddaughter" described how her grandparents had moved across the country and were now pressuring family members to visit! This is the sort of thing elders should think about before making a huge move, don't you think?
Slapping My Forehead
Slapping My Forehead: Yes, I do.