Annie Lane: Son invited ex to live with us

Published 6:30 am Saturday, November 14, 2020

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Dear Annie: I am a 58-year-old woman who shares a split-level house with my adult son, “Brad.” Brad lives downstairs in what is essentially a separate two-bedroom apartment with his 10-year-old daughter, although it’s technically one unit. Brad and I split the rent evenly.

Last year, my mother was dying, and I went to stay with her for some time to say goodbye. When I returned home, I found that my ex-husband, “Lester,” was living in the downstairs apartment with our son and granddaughter.

Apparently, Brad and his daughter invited Lester to visit while I was away. Well, six months later, Lester is still living there with them. Lester is not a very nice person. We were married for 16 years.

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I asked Brad to ask Lester to leave. He refuses, saying that he feels bad telling him to go. I have asked Lester to leave, and he laughs at me. He says, “This is my son’s house.”

What should I do?

— Put Out

Dear Put Out: It’s bad enough that your son invited a long-term guest to stay at the house you two share without first checking with you. It’s even worse that the surprise guest is your ex.

Implore your son to try seeing your side of things. Ask him to imagine how he’d feel if you invited his ex to live with you. Sure, Lester is Brad’s dad, and, of course, they should spend time together. But there’s no reason it needs to be at the home that you two agreed to share together, as mutually respectful roommates.

If he doesn’t budge, take a look at your lease. There’s a good chance that there’s a clause regarding long-term guests. Consider going to the landlord or property manager about the issue.

Dear Annie: I’ve been seeing my friend for four years. We’re technically just friends, but there has always been a romantic tension between us. I do call him pet names like “Bae,” and he does the same to me. He’s always insisting that we’re not together. Yet, if I tell him that I’m going on a date, he gets upset. I have no idea what to call our relationship. I just need him to tell me what this is.

— Lonely

Dear Lonely: I’d call it a con job. He’s using you for validation, to feel attracted and wanted, yet he refuses to commit to you after four years. Stop seeing him.

• • •

Dear Annie: I felt I needed to comment regarding the criticism from “Call Me From Home,” who was frustrated that people only called her when they were driving, as if they only wanted to talk when they had nothing better to do.

I, too, use the free time I have driving to call my mom and friends. However, even when I arrive at my destination (usually home), I have on most calls sat in my car parked in my driveway and continued my conversation until its natural end. Works for me and the person I called. While I understand the writer being miffed, I believe getting a call while someone is driving is better than never getting a call.

— Marguerite M.

Dear Marguerite: I have to note again that it’s important to exercise extra caution when talking on the phone while driving, as it reduces our ability to perceive hazards. But you make a good point that one shouldn’t feel slighted for receiving these road calls.

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