Don’t let her move in if you’re not ready

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ARTS & LIFE - MAU­REEN SCURFIELD

DEAR MISS LONE­LY­HEARTS: My girl­friend has her own house, but since she came to my apart­ment, she does not want to leave! What should I do? — Un­will­ing, Win­nipeg

Dear Un­will­ing: You can’t let some­one move in, with­out be­ing asked, so say boldly: “It looks like you’re try­ing to move in and stay with me here as a cou­ple. I am not ready for a liv­ing­to­gether sit­u­a­tion with you.” Af­ter this pro­nounce­ment, she will ei­ther deny she is try­ing to move in and hastily pack her stuff, or beg for you to let her stay on be­cause you get along so well and she loves you. So why is this really hap­pen­ing? Is it tak­ing you too long to com­mit, or is she try­ing to es­cape home or an­noy­ing room-mates? If you have a new re­la­tion­ship and she is just feel­ing un­happy with her own digs, help her find a bet­ter place and move her fur­ni­ture. But, if she’s just frus­trated be­cause you won’t com­mit in a big way and a year or so has passed, it’s time to speak to her hon­estly about the re­la­tion­ship. It’s not fair to ei­ther of you if she’s try­ing to head for the al­tar and mar­riage and you just want to fool around.

Dear Miss Lone­ly­hearts: My wife is a penny pincher. She’s so cheap it kills her to pay for a bro­ken toi­let. She re­sents my buy­ing any­thing of qual­ity, with my own money. Last week the toi­let cracked and she didn’t want to get a new one. She told me to Crazy Glue the one we have. I re­fused as, this toi­let could cause a lot of dam­age in the house if it ex­ploded. We had a ma­jor fight where I told her she was crazy and needed help. She re­fused to go and say be­ing fru­gal is one of her best traits as a wife. When the plumber came and did the job, she sulked and wouldn’t talk to me for 24 hours, nor would she chip in. We have our own ac­counts but usu­ally split house­hold costs right down the mid­dle. I was mad! If you ask me, she’s los­ing her mind over sav­ing money. She’s off to the dol­lar stores for any small thing she needs, and she waits for sum­mer to get garage sale deals on fur­ni­ture. She has stacks of money in the bank — half of ev­ery pay­cheque she ever earned. I’m fru­gal my­self and at first I thought it was cool that she was such a money saver. But now, it’s got­ten em­bar­rass­ing and she’s ob­sessed. What to do? — Rea­son­ably Cheap, Win­nipeg

Dear Rea­son­ably Cheap: Since the cheap men­tal­ity is born out of fear of not hav­ing the ne­ces­si­ties of life, you need to talk to your wife about the cush­ion you both have against that ever hap­pen­ing. She needs to be talked into buy­ing things with value, and keep­ing the house in good re­pair. You need a toi­let that won’t break and cause thou­sands of ex­tra dol­lars and you need it prop­erly in­stalled so it doesn’t leak. That re­quires a real plumber, not you or her, with an in­struc­tion book in one hand. Your wife’s cheap­ness needs to be soft­ened to fru­gal­ity. The best way to do that is to talk about assess­ing the value of spend­ing in dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions, and not just look­ing for a way out of paying a de­cent buck for any­thing.


Adams de­liv­ers an ex­cep­tional, un­der­stated per­for­mance in Bashir Lazhar.

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