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Health & Spirit

Tenancy causes relationship tension

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Don't ask permission to express yourself. Tell your boyfriend that as a co-owner of this property, you'd like to make this casual arrangement "official," including an end date. Call a "house meeting," present a legal short-term lease with a definite expiration, ask "Bart" to sign it and then hold him to it. Bart's future plans are his own business, just as his tenancy in your home is your business.

Dear Amy: I've been with my boyfriend for four years. We have been living together for three years.

Lately, I feel I'm wasting my time with this relationship.

His family always comes first, and I can't take it anymore. I've talked to him about it, many times, and he always says that things will change soon -- but they don't.

I don't know how to approach the situation. This is a major block in our relationship. We have talked about the future, but it doesn't look bright to me. Can you please give me some help?

-- Almost Done

Dear Almost Done: You and your guy have been together for several years. You don't give details about his family priorities, but in a healthy relationship, partners put themselves at the center of their family life. His family -- and yours -- should accept some realignment.

You have described this as a major problem in your relationship, and despite talking about it he either isn't able -- or doesn't want -- to change.

You already know everything you need to know. If this isn't the relationship you want to be in, you should consider leaving it.

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Dear Amy: I just wanted to thank you for your advice for "Burdened," the man worrying about the child he had fathered as a teenager who was given up for adoption. Honesty and truth are the absolute best policy.

As someone who works to reunite adopted children and birth parents, Burdened's other children would probably be far angrier to find out about their half-sibling after his death.

Thank you for encouraging him to be honest.

-- Advocate

Dear Advocate: There has been a large and compassionate response to this question. Thank you.

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(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamy@amydickinson.com. Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)

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