Dear Abby: It’s hard to work when roommate is yelling, abusing kids

Clients on the phone overhear the drunk man and his drunk girlfriend fighting and hurling F-bombs.

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DEAR ABBY: My roommate owns the house. His girlfriend and her two children are over here all day, every day. I have my own living room, office and bedroom, and we share the kitchen and bathroom.

I’m clean and respectful and try to mind my own business. The problem is, neither of them work. They drink heavily every day and then scream and fight for hours. Since COVID-19, they have been drinking even more and fighting constantly. Sometimes it gets physical.

My roommate is a verbally abusive drunk, and his girlfriend threatens to leave when he starts abusing her kids, but doesn’t follow through. I have intervened a couple of times on behalf of the children, but there’s only so much I can do.

Lately, they’ve been screaming at the top of their lungs about me. I work from home and often customers on the phone hear them drop F-bomb after F-bomb. I’m afraid their behavior will lead to me losing my job. They’re also up until 2 or 3 a.m. every night fighting, which keeps me from sleeping (even with earplugs).

I’m completely stressed out and starting to get depressed. I’m not sure what to do. I have limited funds, so moving would be difficult. I’m wondering if you have any suggestions so I can weather the storm. — BAD SITUATION IN UTAH

DEAR BAD SITUATION: This storm isn’t going to end. I feel for the children whose mother doesn’t protect them from her abusive boyfriend. The result will be they will think they deserve the mistreatment they are receiving, which may affect them for the rest of their lives.

I am not sure there is a way to “weather” the storm. Because these addicts cannot control their behavior, and it is affecting the way your clients perceive you, it would be better to get out of there. If possible, go live temporarily with a friend or relative until you find affordable alternative living quarters. Your job may depend on it.

DEAR ABBY: My daughter-in-law “Hannah” told one of my children that she is sorry she married my son. He does not know. They are both young adults.

Hannah and her mother had pushed for the marriage. She even bought her wedding dress before he proposed. My son loves her. He is special-needs, lower IQ and gullible.

What do I do with this information? It will hurt him, but I don’t want him wasting years married to someone who doesn’t love him. He deserves better than that. — SAD MOM IN FLORIDA

DEAR SAD MOM: Your son needs to know what Hannah has been saying and receive as much support from the family as possible. I think the news should come from the person in whom Hannah confided rather than from you, which could be perceived as meddling. This should also be discussed with an attorney. I hope you will do it soon, before there are children involved.

DEAR ABBY: On May 3, you responded to a cancer patient about what to say to those who bring up her cancer. What do you recommend to readers whose good friends disclose their cancer for the first time? What can be said that shows concern, understanding and being supportive? — AT A LOSS FOR WORDS

DEAR AT A LOSS: I will share what I have said to people I care about when told of their diagnosis. I hope it will guide you. I tell the person I am sorry to hear the person is having to fight that battle, that I will mention him or her in my prayers until remission is accomplished, and offer whatever emotional support the person is willing to accept from me. And then I follow through.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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