No room for both mom and boyfriend in woman’s life

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FEATURES - Abi­gail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I was in a re­la­tion­ship for 12 years. “Jenny” was my best friend. I had to end our re­la­tion­ship be­cause she had al­lowed her mother to de­stroy it.

Jenny is 35 and her mother cooks, cleans, does her laun­dry and makes her bed for her. I would re­turn from work and find her mother sleep­ing next to her in bed ev­ery day. It seemed to me to be her way of putting a wedge in be­tween us.

If we went to a con­cert, we had to buy three tick­ets be­cause Jenny al­ways had to bring her mother. When I would ask Jenny out to din­ner, she would say, “Can Mom come?” Is this nor­mal? If we had an ar­gu­ment, her mother would get in­volved and it would be­come two against one, and I would al­ways be in the wrong. Noth­ing I did was right.

Since we broke up, Jenny doesn’t speak to me. I lost my best friend, and I don’t know what to do. — THREE’S TOO MUCH COM­PANY

DEAR TOO MUCH COM­PANY: Jenny’s pri­mary re­la­tion­ship was — and prob­a­bly for­ever will be — with her mother. You may have felt that Jenny was your best friend, but Jenny’s best friend is her mother — a bond that her mother works very hard to keep in­tact. Ac­cept it, ex­pand your so­cial cir­cle and move on. That’s all you can do be­cause Jenny is taken.

DEAR ABBY: I hope you will let me un­load on you. I lost my much-loved cat a year ago and would like to get an­other pet, but I can­not af­ford it.

Hav­ing been in busi­ness, there are some costs I can un­der­stand, such as vet care, groom­ing and ken­nel fees if a trip is planned. But the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prices are sim­ply un­af­ford­able, with vac­ci­na­tions, flea medicine and meds when the pet is sick — not to men­tion end-of-life care. I can­not put a pet down just be­cause it is old.

I am el­derly and, while not rich, I do get by. But I can­not af­ford pet in­sur­ance, ei­ther. I am a widow, and a pet would be a great com­fort to me. Any ideas? — MONA IN YUBA CITY, CALIF.

DEAR MONA: Have you con­sid­ered fos­ter­ing a cat while an an­i­mal res­cue group finds a per­ma­nent home for it? Con­tact some in your area and ask whether they cover the cost of ve­teri­nary ex­penses while the cat is stay­ing with you. You may be pleas­antly sur­prised to find that they do.

Also, con­tact a no-kill shel­ter and in­quire if it’s pos­si­ble to fos­ter a pet or to vol­un­teer there. In ad­di­tion to the grat­i­fi­ca­tion you will get from hav­ing a furry house­guest, you will be do­ing the kitty a huge fa­vor.

DEAR ABBY: I am 64 and my live-in fi­ance is 73. He has no re­tire­ment or sav­ings. He has a win­ter job he loves and works oc­ca­sion­ally in the sum­mer. We will not marry so we can keep our fi­nances sep­a­rate, and he has contributed one-fifth to­ward my home.

My prob­lem is he wants to go out to din­ner all the time. I sug­gest that we eat at home to save money, which is also more healthy. We have up­com­ing roof and boiler ex­penses that he won’t be able to con­trib­ute to. Any sug­ges­tions? — MONEY MAN­AGE­MENT IN COLORADO

DEAR M.M.: Just this. Point out to your fi­ance that be­cause of the up­com­ing main­te­nance ex­penses, eat­ing out as of­ten as he wants is more than you can man­age, and tell him that if he wants to eat out, HE will be the one pay­ing for it. Sum­mer is here now, and he should ar­range his work sched­ule so he can af­ford it.

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www. or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. For ev­ery­thing you need to know about wed­ding plan­ning, or­der “How to Have a Lovely Wed­ding.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus cheque or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wed­ding Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)

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