DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship for five years with my boyfriend, "Clay." We live in separate houses. I have three children, ages 18, 17 and 12. My 18-year-old is away at college.
Clay never comes to my house. Every weekend, and sometimes during the week, I must pack my bags and those of my kids to go to Clay's. This is hard for us. I have discussed it with him, but his answer is that he's "set in his ways."
He expects me to drop everything at a moment's notice to host parties for him, or meet him for dinner with his co-workers. I have explained that a single mother cannot do this all the time.
I am tired and frustrated. I have stayed with Clay this long thinking that one day he'll want more from this relationship. But it's difficult enough taking care of one home without having to look after a second one.
Am I wasting my time? Should I move on? I feel he does love my kids and me. We have never argued, and he has never mistreated me. I just don't know what to do anymore.
- Miserable in Mississippi
DEAR MISERABLE: Why should Clay want more from a relationship that's working just fine for him? He has all the perks and none of the responsibilities that come with marriage. When he snaps his fingers, you run, regardless of the stress on you and your children.
That when you have mentioned a compromise he tells you he is "set in his ways" should convey a strong message. It's time to lay your cards on the table and tell Clay what you want and what you need from this relationship, so if he isn't prepared to give it to you, you can make other plans.