Dear Annie: I am a single mom of two children, ages 10 and 16. I have a good job, can make ends meet on my own, and consider myself very independent and self-reliant. I am in a relationship with a wonderful man. "Bill" also has a good job and a salary almost equal to mine. He has never been married and has no children. We love each other and have been living together for two years. This is not a temporary relationship.
The problem is, how do I get Bill to contribute to our rent and utility bills without having to ask him directly? When I fall short on rent and ask him for money, he gladly gives me whatever I want with no hesitation. But usually, I go from paycheck to paycheck while his pockets remain full. It bothers me that I have to ask him to help. Shouldn't he automatically contribute without needing an engraved invitation?
- Don't Want To Be Confrontational
Dear Don't Want: Bill should be proportionately responsible for the upkeep of the home, including rent, utilities, phone bills, groceries and everything else.
Bill may think an independent, self-reliant woman would find his offer of help insulting, so he waits until you ask. But every couple who lives together should sit down and work out a budget, incorporating both salaries. Stop playing passive-aggressive, and speak frankly. You need to get this done.
Dear Annie: My boyfriend constantly stares at other women and makes salacious comments about them under his breath, as if I weren't there. Then, when I say something, he denies it and says I'm crazy. Worse, he feels free to criticize my appearance. My boyfriend is overweight, but I never have made a negative comment about his size.
I am an attractive woman with a nice figure, and when he belittles me, he doesn't understand why I don't want to have sex with him. I tell him his behavior toward other women hurts my feelings and makes me feel inadequate, but he says all men do it and that I should get professional help to control my insecurities.
I think he's a bully. I wouldn't mind counseling, but he would never agree to go. I've asked. We are in our late 40s, and I have never been treated this way by any man. Am I too sensitive?
- Stressed Out
Dear Stressed: Let's see. Your boyfriend ogles other women, demeans and criticizes you, and when you tell him it is hurtful, says you are crazy. He won't get counseling. Why are you with him? He sounds like a loser. So lose him.