Dear Abby: I’m sick of financially supporting my boyfriend

Dear Abby: I’m sick of financially supporting my boyfriend

My girlfriend and I have been together for eleven years and have lived together for seven. He is a real estate agent in his hometown. The stroke I suffered four years ago forced me into early retirement. Real estate is a dog-eat-dog occupation. Paychecks are infrequent, therefore I cover the rent and all household expenses. He pays his own expenses and business expenses as a real estate agent.

He is currently bankrupt and unable to pay his personal expenses. I will not pay them. I believe he should acquire a part-time job to support himself, but he refuses. Obviously, there will be retaliation, and he will blame me. He will lose his automobile, telephone, real estate license, health insurance, and auto insurance, among other things.

I have previously bailed him out, but I am no longer willing to do so because I have exhausted my retirement savings. He owes me thousands of dollars for multiple loans, which I do not anticipate recovering. What do I do? I do not want to separate or continue arguing over this. — PLANNING AHEAD

Your “partner” refuses to look for a part-time job so he can be financially independent and not rely on you? Dear girl, you may not want to break up after this length of time, but you can no longer afford your spouse. Accept the situation and move on.

My boyfriend of two years works 95 miles from our town for a company with 160 workers. He hosted a party at a restaurant near the business. I did not recognize anyone, and I highly doubt I will ever encounter them again.

I met a young woman at the party who, like me, was there with her boyfriend and didn’t know anyone. We discussed the holidays and made general talk for thirty minutes. When she revealed that she had recently been diagnosed with an illness that I also have, I provided her several websites to visit for further information and reassured her not to worry. I also told her that if I can overcome this issue and be healthy, anyone can. We spoke for approximately 15 minutes, and I did not ask any personal questions. She remained alone at the party after I had to leave and began to play with her phone.

The next day, my boyfriend was unhappy because the woman, upon departing with her boyfriend, told him, “Your girlfriend was bugging me about my health and wouldn’t shut up.” I was stunned and hurt. I attempted to be courteous. Why did my boyfriend tell me? He said nothing to defend me to her. What was he hoping to achieve by repeating what she had said? He knew it would make me feel horrible. I will never encounter these individuals again. Am I wrong to feel pain? — MISTAKEN IN THE EAST

DEAR DUMBFOUNDED: I am still perplexed as to why someone would disclose her medical condition to a stranger at a party and then take offense if the stranger offered assistance. If your words made her feel uneasy, she should have addressed her discomfort to you, not your boyfriend. You are not incorrect to feel hurt. You are, however, incorrect to blame your partner for telling you something he believed you needed to hear. This is what couples that love one another do.

What is an appropriate gratuity for a server at an all-you-can-eat buffet? They deliver water and clear the table, but we provide our own food and beverages. They do not work as hard as wait staff in a sit-down restaurant. — QUESTIONING IN THE EAST

If you’re dining in a restaurant, leave a few dollars for the bussers who are clearing the dishes. If you receive service beyond that, 10% is appropriate.

Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, writes Dear Abby, which was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or via postal mail. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.



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