DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm 39 years old, and I’ve been in a monogamous relationship for seven years. Not long after moving into the house I own, my girlfriend quit her job. She's been unemployed for more than five years now. We've had sex once in the last three years.
Even though I care about my girlfriend and want her to be OK, I've checked out mentally. I’ve expressed that things aren’t working between us. I don't want to just throw her out; she would be homeless. I've offered to help her out with some money, but she refuses. We’ve gone through this before, and eventually she asks me to give our relationship more time or pretends like we haven't broken up, forcing me to remind her of our split and crushing her. This is wearing me down. What can I do to help her get out on her own without being a jerk? -- The Breakup, Denver
DEAR THE BREAKUP: The more you avoid the end, the more difficult it will be. Talk to a lawyer to find out your legal rights in “evicting” your girlfriend. It isn’t always easy to do. Research social services that may help her to make the most comfortable transition. Armed with this information, give her a deadline for moving out -- and stick to it. Help her pack her things. When the date comes, offer to drive her to her new home. If she has nowhere, drive her to a local shelter. Yes, this may seem harsh, but it may be the only way to cut the cord.