DEAR ABBY: I have no family and few friends -- nobody close. My live-in girlfriend of two years and I argue constantly. We no longer share a bedroom, and I feel more like a roommate. I honestly feel I'm being used for money. Her 24-year-old son died from an overdose two months ago, so I can't help but feel sorry for her. She isn't working, and I don't know when she can return.
I don't have the money to move. I wish I did. I'm miserable, she's miserable and I feel stuck. I'm 46; she's 44. I pay rent and 50% of the utilities, which is fine. But how can I ever get out? Moving isn't cheap anymore.
I'm desperate for hope that I'm not stuck here forever. I'm afraid if I move -- even if I live in a tent for now -- she will give up on everything. She has two grown kids, but she was closest to the one who passed. I feel guilty for wanting and needing to leave. At the same time, I'm miserable. She's in therapy and on medicine. Please advise. -- WITHOUT HOPE IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR WITHOUT HOPE: Start saving whatever money you can and explore options for other living arrangements, including renting a single room. Staying where you are under these circumstances will make you sick if you don't take control of your life. Your former girlfriend is under the care of a doctor. You are NOT her lifeline. She will survive.