Dear Abby: I have been with “Paul” for 10 months. We met shortly after he and his fiancee broke up. Because of her, he had gone into debt, and after their breakup he lost his job.
I have helped him with money from the moment we met. He’s still jobless and his unemployment benefit will end shortly, but Abby, he is careless with money. He ends up spending mine and borrows from friends who have to be paid back. Last month, he took my credit card, and within a week 1,400 euros were gone and bills were left unpaid.
Because Paul is stressed and depressed, he goes out and drinks. More than once, he has spent the rent money in bars. He often gets home at 4 a.m. He’s also jealous and controlling. He texts and rings me constantly and asks why I took so long to answer. If I go out for a coffee, he demands to know who with. He has a hot temper and shouts at me for the slightest thing — like if I didn’t close a door, or he thinks I didn’t pay attention to something he said.
Our sex life has never been great. He blames me for that, too. He says I don’t initiate it enough, and he’s threatening to start going with other girls. He is also bossy. He always says I never do anything for him. Even though I work until 5:30, he expects me to bring him water, coffee, turn on the air con and stuff.
I love Paul, but I don’t feel appreciated. I’m scared of what he will do when I leave. Please, Abby, I need your advice.
— Torn in London
Dear Torn: Your Paul is an emotionally abusive, bottomless pit. He will suck you dry financially and emotionally if you let him. It’s important that you get rid of him now.
If you think Paul might do something to you if you end the relationship, contact the police or a domestic abuse hotline and take their guidance. If you think he might harm himself, forget it. Paul will survive. It doesn’t take a psychic to predict he will quickly find someone else to use, so don’t worry about him and don’t look back.
Dear Abby: Every year, a co-worker brings her daughters to the office to sell Girl Scout cookies. The kids are adorable, and it’s hard to say “no” because Mom hovers nearby as the girls approach each cubicle. Regardless of whether one cares to donate to the cause or not, it feels like Mom is forcing us into buying by doing this. What happened to the old “leave the order sheet at the reception desk” custom? Am I overreacting?
— Soured on Sweets
Dear Soured: Yes. All you have to do is smile and say, “No, I’m sorry, sweethearts. I can’t do it this year.” Actually, you may be doing the girls a favor, because an important part of selling is learning to cope with disappointment when a customer says no.
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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.