I want to ask my ex to leave my house

DEAR ABBY: I am 55 years old and I own my house. “Randall”, 53, lives with me and pays me rent. We were a couple, but COVID caused too much togetherness. He’s in the guest room now. My house is cheaper for him than anywhere else he could go. I was trying to be nice.

The problem is that he speaks badly to me. I want to have the inside of the house professionally painted, and he insists that we paint it ourselves. « It’s gonna be fun! » We were testing paint swatches on the wall and disagreed on what shade of white to choose. He tells me I should « leave it to him » and ends up swearing, and when I ask him to stop, he says I’m exaggerating. That’s why we’re not a couple.

I arranged to have the house painted, and he keeps scolding me for it. It’s my house ! I want to ask him to move. I feel like he’s taking advantage of me. He has more stuff in my house and garage than I do. I’m a minimalist, and everything he does drives me crazy. How did I get into this situation, how can I get out of it, and how can I avoid it in the future? — FEEL CONTROLLED IN COLORADO

DEAR CONTROLLED FEELING: This man moved in when you were a couple. Circumstances have changed dramatically. You let him continue because it was fine with both of you. Because that’s not the case anymore, tell him you want him out of there because your relationship « don’t work anymore. » Then set a date for it to happen. This scenario will not repeat itself if you set boundaries and assert them when they are encroached.

PS If your tenant is uncooperative, you may need to hire a lawyer to get them out of there, so be prepared.

DEAR ABBY: My sophomore year of high school was filled with family members who died unexpectedly, as well as beloved pets. The cat we raised fell ill. He couldn’t breathe and became incredibly thin. Despite my pleas to take him to the vet, my parents insisted he was already too far gone. My father finally made an appointment with the vet, but my companion died the same day.

An older cat we had also got very sick. My parents refused to take him to the vet either. Now another falls ill and, despite my pleas, they still refuse. They say, « Some cats get sick like this » or « Vets can’t always help. »

My parents’ refusal to ask them for help makes me perplexed, angry and disgusted. I understand vet visits are expensive, but a few bills are surely better than letting a furry friend die. How can I tell my parents how angry I am with them for not doing anything, especially since we don’t know if the last two deaths were preventable? — KANSAS CAT LOVERS

DEAR CAT LOVERS: Due to advances in medicine, veterinary expenses are higher than they have ever been. This is why when someone acquires a pet, it is so important that they take out health insurance for the new member of their family. Your parents’ reluctance to take cats to the vet may be rooted in the fact that they can’t pay for it. Please accept my sympathy for the losses you have suffered recently.

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 http://www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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