DEAR ABBY: Earlier this year I moved away from home to move in with my boyfriend. We had been dating for more than a year and were close enough we could see each other whenever our schedules allowed. However, over the last few months I have been second-guessing that decision. I'm noticing things that I realize won't work.
To make matters more complicated, I met a girl who quickly became a good friend three months ago. She has inspired -- and in some ways pushed -- me to go back to college and improve my life. I find myself falling for her. The thing is, she just started dating someone, and I would never betray my partner by being unfaithful.
I don't know what to do. I can see my relationship with my boyfriend is not going to work out, and I know I'm not going to violate my female friend's relationship either. How does someone end a relationship when they live together? And how do I deal with the fear that I'll be miserable being on my own again, and the guilt of breaking my partner's heart? -- MIXED-UP GUY IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR MIXED-UP GUY: The first thing you need to do is recognize that being unencumbered can be a positive thing, particularly if you are not happy or satisfied with the relationship you are in. The adage "When a door closes, another one opens" is usually true.
Start looking around for alternative living arrangements, and when you find something that will work for you, explain to your boyfriend that you need to "make some changes." It's better for both of you than living a lie.
As to your relationship with the young woman, whether she stays with the person she's dating is something neither of us can predict. When you are single, she may become available. Or, you may meet someone else and start a relationship. Don't be afraid. These are the things that make life interesting.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been together six years. This Christmas will be our second year as a married couple. On Christmas morning, my husband goes over to his parents' house to open gifts with his siblings. They are all adults; the oldest two are almost 40. (Both are single.) I'm not invited and have never been invited to their home, despite living five minutes away, because his mother is a hoarder.
We are expecting our first child in April. My husband works in law enforcement and is typically not off the entire day on Christmas. He calls me selfish and accuses me of trying to ruin their family tradition when I tell him this needs to end. I do not appreciate my husband taking off on me for four hours every Christmas morning. I want us to start our own traditions. Am I wrong? -- WANTS OUR OWN TRADITIONS
DEAR WANTS: Be thankful you have never been invited to your MIL's home because from your description, the experience wouldn't be pleasant.
Since you and your husband are starting a family now, I see nothing wrong with wanting to start some traditions of your own. However, it doesn't have to be an either/or situation. A way to do that without causing WWIII would be to suggest alternating the Christmas mornings he spends at his parents' house, or schedule your gift exchange for a time when your husband can be with you. Once the baby arrives, holiday plans are bound to change.
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