DEAR ABBY: I recently had a child with a man who is now incarcerated. I was widowed when I met him, and although he brought me happiness, it has come at a steep price.
I pay for literally everything. I love him very much, but his entitlement was an issue even before he had legal issues. Now he has become very nasty and minimizes everything I do.
If I send $100, he's upset that I didn't send $200. If I have a day off from work that I don't spend communicating with a lawyer and the courts, I'm "not taking initiative." He has even gone so far as to say it was my fault he got in trouble because I was on his case so often that he "had to go out to get some peace." His only redeeming quality is his wonderful relationship with the kids, who see none of our fights and regard him as a father figure.
He is now even more negative and derogatory than when he was at home. I manage a busy restaurant and a household of five children. Since he has been away, I'm ashamed to say life has actually been less stressful.
I think my loneliness when I met him made it easier to ignore red flags. In every other aspect of my life, I am an independent woman who has the respect of my peers. Is it too late to set boundaries with him? -- GROWING IN FLORIDA
DEAR GROWING: This emotionally abusive individual is milking you like you are a Guernsey cow. His ingratitude is boundless. You are not the reason he got himself in trouble with the law, and it isn't your responsibility to get him out or support him financially.
It is way too late to set boundaries with this manipulative ingrate. He won't change. What you must do now -- for your own sake and for your children's -- is tell him you are finished and cut ties with him.