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DEAR ABBY: I am a 30-something single gay man. My parents are older and have a strained marriage. They no longer have a relationship but stay together. I live with them because of money issues, and they sometimes need assistance. I do not have the ability to bring friends or dates over, and I feel as if my mental health is being affected because of this, among other things.
I own the house we live in, but because my folks are helping me, I feel I can’t tell them to leave. They irritate me to no end, and I feel awful about that. What can I do to encourage them to leave me alone? — FRUSTRATED IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR FRUSTRATED: You and your parents are all adults. In a sense, your relationship with them now is its own “marriage of convenience.” You are overdue for a frank conversation with your parents about boundaries and privacy. You should be able to entertain friends, and your folks should give you the space to do it. You should also care less what they think about the way you conduct your life. You are a big boy now, and as an adult, you can do what you like.
DEAR ABBY: I am having a conflict with my 27-year-old daughter over watching my grandson. She thinks I should watch him every day because I don’t have a life and she wants to live hers. I love my grandson, but I’m 54 and have medical issues. I had a heart attack last year on top of having diabetes and back pain. I’m not employed, but I tire easily.
I told her I want to see him when it’s convenient for me and, if she asks ahead of time, I will watch him — but not all the time. I believe it’s up to her and the father, who is unreliable about watching him. Now when I ask to pick him up at school, unless I’m keeping him for a while, she refuses. I’m the only grandmother in his life, but she wants to keep me from him unless it’s on her terms. What is your opinion on this? — CONFLICTED GRAN IN NEW YORK
DEAR GRAN: My opinion is your daughter is attempting to blackmail you, and you should stand your ground. She is frustrated that her child’s father is unreliable, and she is looking for someone to share her responsibility. For the sake of your health, please don’t let it be you.
DEAR ABBY: I dated a separated married man for six months. He said he wanted a committed relationship with me, but after two months, he decided he still wanted to have sex with his wife occasionally. I assumed he’d be with her, like, maybe once a month or once every three months. He told me I would be his primary girl. Well, I found out that she, not I, was primary.
I have cut it off with him and am now moving on, but he still wants to be friends. At first, I did too. But now, when I look back at the betrayal, I no longer want to be his friend. Am I wrong? Should I continue the friendship? — SECOND PLACE IN MARYLAND
DEAR SECOND PLACE: No, and NO!
— Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.