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DEAR ABBY: I’m having a big problem with my boyfriend. We had a baby five months ago, and since then he has changed drastically. He previously had a problem with addiction, but had a handle on it. He told me the baby was powerful motivation. My pregnancy was blissful, and he was attentive and caring.
I know babies are stressful, and ours had colic, so we had many nights filled with screaming. I do most of the work with the baby. I quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom and nurse him. The only time my boyfriend takes care of the baby is for me to take a shower. He has been drinking every night and now he’s doing marijuana as well. He is pretty funny when he’s high, but I don’t trust him to take care of our son when he’s that way. He is also addicted to his phone.
When I try to tell him how I feel, he gets defensive. He accuses me of “trying to start problems.” He also lies about his addictions. I only recently found out about some of his lies, and now I’m having a hard time believing anything he says. This is not how I wanted my life to be. This is not what I wanted for our baby.
I’m trying to decide whether it’s better to put up with it or leave. I’d have to get a job and find child care. The thought of my son in daycare makes me sick, but so does being treated this way. Please advise me. — TROUBLED NEW MOM
DEAR MOM: Face it. Your boyfriend has backslid, and you can no longer trust him to be truthful with you. Your problems will never be resolved if they can’t be discussed without contention. Start looking for reliable daycare for the baby and for a job. If you do, you will have a head start on the inevitable. If you and this man separate, he will be legally responsible for contributing to his son’s support. It may also be the “jolt” he needs to get straight again.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a queer woman who has a crush on a girl. “Gwen” is kind, outgoing and very intelligent. The poetry she writes is brilliant and sometimes soul-crushing. We are close friends and bonded over our writing. My wife and I have talked openly about my feelings for this girl, and my wife understands why I like her.
The problem is, Gwen is heterosexual. She has said, partly in jest, that it’s “oppressive” that she’s straight. Without going into too much detail, she has had a bad time with past relationships and is presently single.
I am bound and determined to nip this crush in the bud. I feel telling Gwen about it would be unethical. I know for certain that she’s straight, but my brain refuses to shake this “feeling.” I’m terrified that it will ruin our friendship. What do I do? — CRUSHING IN INDIANA
DEAR CRUSHING: Do the same thing that other mature married people do. Step back from something that could threaten not only your relationship with Gwen but also your marriage. Whether Gwen finds her heterosexuality to be “oppressive” (said in jest) or is bi-curious should not affect your creative relationship with her. If you feel you cannot control your emotions, take a step back and see her less often, if at all.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)