DEAR HARRIETTE: I just moved to New York City and into my own apartment -- well, sort of my own apartment. I share a two-bedroom apartment in the East Village with my best friend from high school and her boyfriend. When I agreed to the idea, I was primarily thinking about my finances and how this was the best move for me. What I did not take into consideration was our personalities mixing while we lived together.
One month in, I have realized that my friend and her boyfriend fight more than they don’t fight. They have screaming matches at 11 p.m. when I am trying to fall asleep. I have previously tried telling them to quiet down, but it happens almost every night.
How do I deal with this? I don’t know how I can approach the two of them, because it is their apartment as much as it is mine. -- Sleepless Roommate, Manhattan, New York
DEAR SLEEPLESS ROOMMATE: Sharing an apartment with a couple is typically challenging, even when the two of them get along well. What you are facing sounds harrowing. The only way you will have a chance of getting them to notice their behavior and consider curbing the fights is by talking to them. Schedule a meeting where you agree -- all of you -- to talk about your living arrangements. Start with something positive. If they are tidy, complement them on that and thank them. Anything else that works should be mentioned. Then express your concerns about their constant arguing. Acknowledge that you understand that couples may have disagreements from time to time, but they argue constantly. Tell them that you cannot sleep, and this behavior is disturbing. Ask them to pay attention so they notice how frequently they fight. Beg them to stop. Ultimately, you may need to move.