Dear Amy: My girlfriend and I have been together for over 10 years and have three kids together, ages 7, 4, and 2 years old. Once our first was born, I gave up going out and drinking — no complaints.
I feel like the kids are well taken care of. However, her moodiness and spending habits have gotten worse. I generally don’t complain about it, but when she asks, I am calmly honest. Sometimes that leads to me being yelled at.
I’m not perfect, but I’m pretty dang good. I cook at least half the meals, buy at least half the groceries, spend a lot of time reading and playing with the kids, and I try to involve her in anything I want to do: Hunting, fishing, watching movies/sports, games, whatever. But if I suggest it, she doesn’t like it.
She screamed at me because I bought a house for us, even though I had been screamed at for years because we were renting.
She’s mad that even though she contributed nothing to the purchase, I wouldn’t put her on the deed, due to her past bankruptcies.
We agreed to split household bills and the mortgage (“rent,” as she calls it) 50/50, but she is always late with her payments.
I’m ready to contact a lawyer to draw up eviction papers.
My preference is to have the kids stay with me 100 percent of the time. Fifty-fifty is what she’d want.
With a 50/50 arrangement I find it highly unfair that I would owe her anything.
The fact that I make three times what she does means I should have to pay for her choosing a bad profession? Ridiculous.
Basically, I want my kids and I want to continue living my life. I’d rather not drag her through the mud in court, even though I think she’s emotionally abusive to me and the kids.
Seriously, my best plan right now is to serve her eviction papers if she continues to be angry all the time.
Any better suggestions?
— Mr. Pretty Dang Good Dad
Dear Mr. Good: First this: You may not be able to simply “evict” your partner, just because you want her out.
Money is obviously a key issue for you, but you make triple your partner’s income and yet you two split your mortgage and expenses 50/50. Why is that? Also, depending on what state you live in, income you’ve earned during your relationship could be considered “community property.”
Before breaking up the family, you should invite the mother of your children into counseling so that you both might learn better ways of relating and behaving.
A lawyer would update you about your legal rights and responsibilities regarding your children. If you truly are a martyr to your screaming wife, and not someone with a martyr complex, the court might award you sole custody, but if you share custody, because you are the higher earner, you would likely be expected to help support the other household; this is intended for the benefit of the children.
Mediation might be the least expensive (and least stressful) way for you two to part ways.
Dear Amy: My parents have been dead for many years now.
I have a sibling who visits their grave every day and takes pictures of the gravesite.
I don’t know why my sibling feels they must do this daily, but I do not like receiving pictures of the gravesite. I find it quite odd.
I believe this is a somewhat delicate situation, and don’t want to hurt their feelings.
How can I let them know I don’t want to receive the pictures?
— Sad Sibling
Dear Sad: Memorial Day isn’t too far off. If it is possible, you might want to visit your sibling and go to your folks’ gravesite together.
I hope you won’t judge the choice to visit these graves every day. Some people find cemeteries to be beautiful and quiet spaces inviting contemplation (I happen to be one of those people).
Tell your sibling: “These pictures of the gravesite really trigger my sadness. Can you do me a favor and not send them to me?”
Dear Amy: “H0 Scale” was burdened by a model train set moldering at his father’s house. His father seemed to want to dispose of the set, but both men seemed conflicted.
He could turn this “model” train connection with dad into many real train adventures.
There are many trains around North America offering scenic tours.
— Time Well Spent
Dear Time Well Spent: I love this idea.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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