I have great chemistry with my boyfriend of two years. We enjoy each other’s company a lot. My problem is that he lives with his ex-girlfriend. They have lived together for 16 years but claim they have had no relationship for the past four years (except as roommates). I asked my boyfriend to invite her to move and just be friends. They are very close friends and are very familiar with each other. She is always in his bedroom using his computer. She shops, cooks, cleans, does his laundry and mows the lawn in exchange for a lowered rent. He said he has asked her to move, and she is taking her time. She lives off of a small trust fund and doesn’t work. He is retired. I work full time. He is from Turkey, a culture that has a history of men having more than one wife. I had decided to set a boundary to move on after two years, but I am having trouble following through. He wants his roommate to move out at her own pace, but it just doesn’t seem to happen. I feel like a fool for staying with him. Am I controlling and rigid, or is this is a legitimate beef?
Is it controlling and rigid to request that your boyfriend change his living arrangements? No. Is it rigid and controlling to hide your legitimate concerns beneath the issue of your boyfriend’s roommate? Yes. You are being unkind to yourself by denying your true fears. The real question is: Where is this relationship going? It sounds like you want a deeper commitment, the certainty of exclusivity and a promise of a future with your boyfriend. You believe that if this woman were out of sight, she would be out of mind. Let me suggest that if your boyfriend had the intention of being genuinely committed to you, he would take your request and deadline seriously. Of course, if you were genuinely committed to you, you would take your request and deadline seriously, too.
If your boyfriend respected your deadline, he would lose a wife/mother. If you respect your deadline, you risk losing him. You want him to make a choice, but your fear says that if you let him go, you may not find anyone else with whom you have such great chemistry. Stop investing in scarcity thinking. Have the courage to challenge your fears and move on to create what you truly desire.
I’m 14. My 12-year-old sister goes into my room, tries on my clothes and leaves them all over the bed and floor. When I confront her, she denies it. I should lock my door, but I forget. If I go into her bedroom, she hits me and yells for mom.
Take responsibility for the problem. Apologize to your sister for entering her room. Don’t try to strike a bargain with her and don’t try to force her to say she was wrong, also. Just apologize. After all, if you want her to respect your space, you must begin by respecting hers. Then, put a sign on the inside of your door and one above your light switch reminding you to lock up. Finally, fill your mom in on how you have tried to handle the situation. Secure her support in teaching your sister how to respect your privacy. You also might consider giving your younger sister a few outfits or offering to shop with her. She’s obviously attracted to your taste in clothing!