Dump the stuff — and her

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR -

Dear Amy: I have been dat­ing my (prob­a­bly ex) girl­friend for more than 11 years.

Af­ter she had a run of fi­nan­cial prob­lems, I helped by stor­ing a lot of her fur­ni­ture and per­sonal prop­erty at my house. I helped a lit­tle bit with her bills, helped her move, took in a cou­ple of her cats (and many other things) be­cause I was her boyfriend and be­lieved I was be­ing a good per­son to help her.

I’ve done these things, even though when I need help, emo­tional sup­port or some form of thank you, I never re­ceive any­thing. For in­stance, I got a two-word text mes­sage for my birthday.

Now she is start­ing to ghost me af­ter I asked for some of my money back.

How long should I hold on to her things be­fore I call a thrift store and have it hauled off? — Taken for Granted

Dear Taken: You should make a good-faith ef­fort to con­tact this woman to tell her that you in­tend to get rid of the pos­ses­sions she has left in your home. Doc­u­ment your at­tempts by print­ing out texts and emails, and keep copies. Give her a spe­cific dead­line to pick up these items (two weeks seems rea­son­able). Tell her that if she doesn’t pick them up, you’ll be do­nat­ing her fur­ni­ture. You should not do­nate any of her small per­sonal items (let­ters, doc­u­ments, pho­tos, etc.). These things should be put in a bin and left at her house at a pre­ar­ranged time.

If you gave this woman money be­cause she was your girl­friend, you will not get it back. If you loaned it to her and have a loan agree­ment in writ­ing, you may have to take her to court.

You de­serve bet­ter, and I hope your next re­la­tion­ship is more pos­i­tive and bal­anced.

Dear Amy: This year marks my 25th wed­ding an­niver­sary with my wife.

Our mar­riage has been quite tu­mul­tuous, and we have come close to end­ing it, but ul­ti­mately we have stayed to­gether “for the sake of the kids.”

I’ve kept our mar­riage go­ing (which has been a re­gret) for most of the last 20 years. My wife has put up this fa­cade of hap­pi­ness for many years, and my two chil­dren (17 and 20) know ex­actly what is hap­pen­ing at this point.

I threw my wife a sur­prise 40th birthday party and have al­ways re­mem­bered her on hol­i­days — even if we were fight­ing at the time. How­ever, when­ever I at­tempt to make plans to cel­e­brate these spe­cial oc­ca­sions (in­clud­ing plan­ning a trip to Europe for this an­niver­sary), my wife finds an ex­cuse not to par­tic­i­pate.

Should I treat this an­niver­sary like any other and buy my wife a piece of jew­elry, or should I cor­ner her and in­sist that she do some­thing spe­cial? — Un­happy Hus­band

Dear Un­happy: You say you’re un­happy. Your wife seems dis­con­nected.

You should plan what­ever you would en­joy doing and un­der­stand that you may be fly­ing solo. “Corner­ing” her won’t work.

How­ever, your wife might be de­lib­er­ately un­der­min­ing your ad­mirable ef­forts to wring some cel­e­bra­tory joy out of your union. If that is the case, per­haps you should present her with an ap­point­ment for mar­riage coun­sel­ing — or a sepa­ra­tion agree­ment — for this land­mark an­niver­sary.

Send ques­tions for Amy Dick­in­son by email to askamy@amy­dick­in­son.com or by mail to Tri­bune Con­tent Agency, 16650 West­grove Drive, Suite 175, Ad­di­son, TX 75001.

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