DEAR ABBY: Living with ex-husband goes from bad to worse

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

DEAR ABBY: Although I have been divorced from my ex for eight years, we still live together. There is not —nor will there ever be — more than a platonic relationship between us, and I have made that abundantly clear to him.

It wasn’t always a bad situation, but now it’s worse than I could have ever imagined it would be. He drinks heavily on a daily basis and becomes verbally abusive. He has a woman over a lot, and I can’t sleep when she’s here.

She’s a drunk, too, and she also abuses her prescription medications. At least half the time when she’s here, I have to lift her passed-out body off the floor and drag her off to his bedroom. She steals money, cigarettes, food and booze all the time.

He dismisses me when I bring up her behavior. He tells me to shut up or get out. I pay for everything except the rent and homeowner’s insurance. Cable, electric, oil, propane and groceries are my responsibility. I also do all the inside and outside chores. I earn less than he does, but I pay more than he does.

He tells me what to eat and who I can talk to. I can’t have company. Yet he wants to know why I’m not dating. I can’t save any money so I can get out. I’m stuck, and he knows it. What do I do? — HORRIBLE SITUATION IN MAINE

DEAR HORRIBLE SITUATION: You owe this man nothing. You are being treated like a serf, and it has been going on far too long. If you have family or friends you can stay with until you save enough for a place of your own, start asking now. That should enable you to save more money because you won’t be paying for cable, electricity, propane, etc. for your ex.

P.S. When the girlfriend passes out, do not lift or drag her anywhere. That is your ex’s privilege and not your responsibility. With the load you’re already carrying, the last thing you need is a strained back.

DEAR ABBY: I am at high risk for COVID. My oldest son and his family live an hour and a half away. They have two children at home. Their daughter is also at high risk.

During this pandemic, they have continually posted photos of themselves and the kids maskless with friends, hugging each other and acting as if life is normal. My daughter-in-law has told me she’s “scared” and does the “wear a mask” thing and shares routine online posts, etc., yet she continues having people over.

In normal circumstances, it’s difficult for me to visit. I want to visit them, but every time I consider it, I see them on social media with someone else, sans mask and no social distancing. I’m sure they would say their friends are all healthy, but none of us can know for certain who their friends have been around. It’s like dominoes, and it’s scary.

I don’t know how to explain this to them because I know they will feel I’m being ridiculous. Also, my DIL is super sensitive and would be hurt and insulted. I love them. I don’t want to alienate them. I’m ready to just take my chances, although my other daughter is against it. What should I do? — CAUTIOUS IN NEW YORK

DEAR CAUTIOUS: Many people have grown complacent about mask wearing and social distancing. That’s unfortunate because, as I write this, “mask fatigue” has led to an increase in the number of people testing positive for the virus. Your concerns are valid, and I hope you will stick to your guns. As a member of a highrisk group, your life could depend on it.

DEAR ABBY: My sisters and I grew up in California. One of my sisters moved to Texas with her husband 29 years ago. Over the years I have had to listen to her put California down. On the occasions when she visits, she never fails to mention how crowded it is, how the air is terrible and how our government is a joke.

Recently, she asked to come here for a visit, and I agreed. The next day I got a text from her with an article attached about “Why California Sucks.” I am so irritated that I no longer want her to come next month. How do I handle this? — ANNOYED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR ANNOYED: Are you telling me you have tolerated your sister’s jibes about our great state of California all this time without putting a stop to it? That woman has a lot of nerve! If she truly hates it here, why is she willing to come?

Although California may have its natural disasters, a large homeless population, unhealthful air quality, scorching heat waves and the promise of even higher taxes to come — other states are not without their challenges. Yet folks still seem to want to immigrate to California in droves, judging by the traffic.

The time has come to draw the line. Tell your sister you don’t like her needling, and if she doesn’t cut it out, her invitation will be rescinded.