DEAR ABBY: I am a woman, 34, who has finally met the man I want to spend my life with. He's 31, and his family lives about six hours away. He plans to move his mother here to live in the near future. She doesn't work or drive. She's on state assistance, and her Section 8 isn't enough for her to get an apartment on her own here.
My boyfriend plans to buy a duplex in the next year or so and have her live in the other apartment. This would involve me paying for part of the house because we'll likely be married by then. The problem is, the state won't give us any money for her to live in it, so we'll have to cover all her expenses. On top of that, I'm not comfortable with the lack of privacy.
I have tried bringing this up to him, and although he has been receptive, I haven't been as straightforward as I should have been. I know it's a touchy subject, and I'm not sure how to approach this. I don't want to lose him, but I'm afraid this will affect our lives too much. Help! -- THINGS DON'T LOOK BRIGHT
DEAR THINGS: You admit you haven't been as straightforward as you should have been with your boyfriend. In a case like this, honesty is the best policy. I urge you to start telling him exactly how you feel now, because your concerns are valid. His mother will be depending upon her son -- and you -- for everything when she relocates. If you aren't up to sharing the responsibility -- in addition to the loss of "personal space" -- he needs to know now. And if it spells the end of the romance, so be it.