DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship with a wonderful man, "Andy," for two years. I couldn't ask for a better partner. We are both divorced with children, and they get along like brothers and sisters.
Even though our marriages ended, mine wasn't an ordeal. My ex and I both knew it wasn't working anymore, and we still get along pretty well. But Andy and his ex-wife never got along and argued for 18 years, and herein lies the problem. He gives me no space -- ever.
I have discussed it with him numerous times, and his response is, "Well, I have never been this happy, and I love spending time with you." I enjoy our time, too, but I feel controlled without him acting controlling. He wants to be with me every minute. I look forward to going to work to escape! How can I get him to listen? -- JOINED AT THE HIP
DEAR JOINED: The next time you have "the conversation," and he tells you he has to be with you every minute because he loves spending time with you, remind him that there are two of you in this relationship. Then inform him that with no time for yourself or friends, you feel claustrophobic, which isn't healthy for you or the relationship.
Healthy relationships are those in which both parties allow each other the space to be individuals. If you don't draw a line and insist that he accept it, he will smother you.