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by Abigail Van Buren

Living With Ex-Husband Goes From Bad to Worse

DEAR ABBY: Although I have been divorced from my ex for eight years, we still live together. There is not -- nor will there ever be -- more than a platonic relationship between us, and I have made that abundantly clear to him.

It wasn't always a bad situation, but now it's worse than I could have ever imagined it would be. He drinks heavily on a daily basis and becomes verbally abusive. He has a woman over a lot, and I can't sleep when she's here.

She's a drunk, too, and she also abuses her prescription medications. At least half the time when she's here, I have to lift her passed-out body off the floor and drag her off to his bedroom. She steals money, cigarettes, food and booze all the time.

He dismisses me when I bring up her behavior. He tells me to shut up or get out. I pay for everything except the rent and homeowner's insurance. Cable, electric, oil, propane and groceries are my responsibility. I also do all the inside and outside chores. I earn less than he does, but I pay more than he does.

He tells me what to eat and who I can talk to. I can't have company. Yet he wants to know why I'm not dating. I can't save any money so I can get out. I'm stuck, and he knows it. What do I do? -- HORRIBLE SITUATION IN MAINE

DEAR HORRIBLE SITUATION: You owe this man nothing. You are being treated like a serf, and it has been going on far too long. If you have family or friends you can stay with until you save enough for a place of your own, start asking now. That should enable you to save more money because you won't be paying for cable, electricity, propane, etc. for your ex.

P.S. When the girlfriend passes out, do not lift or drag her anywhere. That is your ex's privilege and not your responsibility. With the load you're already carrying, the last thing you need is a strained back.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Addiction | Abuse | Money