Dear Annie: I have been with “Paul” for the past 10 years, and we have three kids. We never married.
Paul was once abusive both emotionally and physically. He got better when our first child was born six years ago. I will always care about Paul, but I don’t love him anymore. He knows this because I’ve told him.
The problem is, Paul will not leave the house. We both agree that things between us will never work out, but he refuses to go. I have been seeing another man for the past seven months, but we haven’t been intimate because of Paul. So would it be wrong if I started having sex with my boyfriend while Paul is still in the house? – Tired of Being Held Back
Dear Tired: Even though you never married, you and Paul may have a legally binding common-law marriage. Unless you want to continue sharing a home with him, one of you needs to leave. Talk to an attorney about how to disentangle the finances and home ownership, and have a custody and visitation agreement in place for the sake of your children, who need both their parents. Please take care of this before you start having sex with another man in the same house as your children’s father.
Dear Annie: This is for “Terrified and Confused in Canada,” who wanted to take a break from her boyfriend, but worried about losing him forever.
Three years ago, I went through a heart-wrenching breakup with my long-time boyfriend, “Zane.” Two years later, we started talking again and worked through our old problems. We are now living together and talking about marriage.
Taking a break did wonders for our relationship. I love him more than ever because I know what my life would be like without him. – Head Over Heels in Minnesota
Dear Minnesota: You and Zane were wise to understand that you needed the perspective a break offered.