Annie's Mailbox: How do I deal with ex's flame?

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Dear Annie: I was married for 35 years to a cheating husband. We have been separated for the past nine. The house we lived in for 25 years belongs to me. It has three floors. I live on the top floor, my son and his family live in the middle and my estranged husband lives on the bottom level.

Here is the problem. My husband has his current girlfriend over all the time. This is a bit much. I get very angry when I see them together and even angrier when my children visit their father when his girlfriend is with him. I believe he is being inconsiderate and disre-

spectful.

I think at the very least he should acknowledge my feelings on the matter and keep her visits to a minimum. What do you think?

— Kitty

Dear Kitty: We think you are not separated enough. Unless you plan to get back together with your husband, you should not be sharing a home. It complicates everything.

If you want to reconcile, get into counseling. If you don’t, you must learn to be more tolerant of his social life. Right now, you are his landlord and not much more.

We don’t understand why you haven’t asked Hubby to move out, but since he hasn’t, you’ll simply have to figure out a way to put up with the girlfriend.

And please let your son make his own choices.

Dear Annie: I am a young adult still living at home with my parents and am not financially stable enough to move out.

My family and I clash, but the fights are usually with my mother. The toll it takes on me is unbearable. My parents automatically assume that because I’m one-half of the fight, I’m the one who needs therapy. I have been to multiple therapists, yet there has been no change.

While I admit to my fair share of demons, I believe therapy hasn’t worked because my parents refuse to attend the sessions. I cannot work out our problems without their participation.

What do I do? I think therapy is a waste of time if I am doing all the work alone. I do not have these problems with other people at work or school.

I love my family, but unless they agree to work on these issues with me, I don’t see any end to the fighting.

— Frustrated

Dear Frustrated: Ask your therapist to speak to your parents about the importance of changing the family dynamic, which means their participation is critical.

In the meantime, please find your own place to live, even if it means a dorm, an apartment with six roommates or staying with a friend. You need to put some distance between you and your parents.

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