The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Woman feels trapped by living arrangment

- Jeanne Phillips Write to Dear Abby at P.O. Box 96440, Los Angeles, CA 90069 or

Dear Abby: I live with my longtime boyfriend, “George,” and his 88-yearold father, “Frank.” Frank does almost everything anyone in their 60s would do. However, he’s very regimented about everything.

Frank gets everything taken care of. He pretty much keeps to himself. We have a coffee machine that’s easy to use, but Frank expects to have his coffee at a specific time as well. He refuses to even try to make it himself, which means we can’t sleep in.

I hate that Frank lives with us because it has caused a lot of problems. I feel trapped. If I have a disagreeme­nt with Frank, George takes his father’s side.

We cannot financiall­y have Frank in his own place, either. I own a third of our house. All three of us depend on our Social Security for household expenses, and Frank pays the insurance on the cars. I just feel that as much as I do for them, I should get some backup. Please let me know your thoughts.

Feeling Used in Florida

Dear Feeling Used: If you haven’t told George how trapped and unhappy you feel, you should. Perhaps it’s time he assumed responsibi­lity for his father. Suggest he invest in an automatic coffeemake­r that can be set for a specific time the night before Frank’s morning coffee is expected. That way you can sleep in if you wish.

From your letter, it’s clear to me your problems with the men in your life go beyond coffee duty. If you are truly unhappy with this arrangemen­t, consider consulting an attorney or a financial adviser about how to access the money you have invested in that house so you can live independen­tly.

Dear Abby: My wife and I had an excellent relationsh­ip that involved a lot of partying. After I was injured on the job, I became addicted to painkiller­s, which resulted in a 20-year battle with addiction. Over the years of trying unsuccessf­ully to get sober, I asked my wife to slow down her drinking to help me get sober. She refused and, ultimately, our marriage fell apart.

We decided to stay together until our kids were out of school and no sooner did we separate than I was able to get sober. I know it wasn’t her fault I was addicted. I think I’m probably better off getting divorced, but I still love her, and I’m curious if you think we should end it or give it another try.

Sober Guy in Massachuse­tts

Dear Sober Guy: If your wife was unwilling to sacrifice imbibing in order to help you overcome your addiction, you were right to separate from her. Congratula­tions on your sobriety. If you wish to maintain it, follow through with that divorce.

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