Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Teen's Affection for Mom's Boyfriend Raises Eyebrows

DEAR ABBY: I have a feeling that my girlfriend of one year, "Wanda," may be trying to manipulate our relationship in a way that I don't get to spend time with my friends, my ex and our kids. When I try to spend time with them, Wanda either gets sick or some terrible situation happens.

She has told me many times that she is a jealous person. I have backed off spending time with all the other people in my life, and now she's hanging out with her girlfriends, saying that because I work nights -- and she works days -- that she "can't just sit at home." She also says that when I'm off I should want to spend all my free time with her.

I was thinking about asking her to marry me, but now I feel cold feet approaching. What should I do? -- BEEN HERE BEFORE IN MISSOURI

DEAR BEEN HERE BEFORE: You appear to be a young man with good sense -- including your sixth. Jealousy and an attempt to manipulate are often signs of insecurity. Trying to quell your girlfriend's insecurity by isolating yourself won't make her less jealous because jealousy and insecurity are insatiable. Unless your girlfriend is willing to accept that she has a problem and get some counseling, my advice is to pay attention to those cold feet and keep walking.