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Dear Mari: Can’t get along with aunt, dad

SHE CAN’T GET along with the landlord-aunt, but is wary of moving back with dad.

Dear Marilyn,

I am currently living with my aunt, and I have been for almost two years. Recently, things between us have been rocky.

She is constantly picking on my little imperfections, and she has threatened to kick me out a couple of times. After our fights are over, she will later come into my room and inform me that I can stay, but that the rent is going to be raised $50.

   Lately, I’ve really been thinking about moving out. It’s just that rent in this area is so expensive, even with a roommate!

My father understands my situation with my aunt, and he has told me that I am welcome to come and live with him. There are two problems with that idea, though. The first one is that we constantly fight. The second one is that he lives in Modesto.

As far as the fighting goes, he promises that this time we won’t argue or bicker. I sort of believe him.

Moving to Modesto is a bigger problem. My life, and my friends are here. Should I sacrifice everything I’ve got out here, and move back with my father?

Please help me before I become homeless!

Signed, Torn Between Two Homes

Dear Torn Between Two Homes,

   The obvious answer is to stay with your aunt. However, you need to make some changes.

   The fact that you are fighting with both your aunt and your dad is a big clue. You state that she “picks on your imperfections.” You don’t elaborate on what they are. I have a feeling they may have to do with your choices regarding guys, or alcohol or the friends that you hang with.

   As you know, it is very expensive to live in an apartment. You have a good deal living in a home with your aunt. The tradeoff is that you can’t do anything that you want to do. In exchange for very small rent, you have to live by house rules.

   Until you can afford to live on your own, you need to make the peace with your aunt. Sit down with her, and agree on ground rules. Then, stick to them. Don’t test her, and don’t bend them. That is the fair trade-off for living in the town that you want to live in, and paying very reasonable rent.

Dear Marilyn,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for over a year. When we first began dating, his old girlfriend used to call him. Then, he moved, and his phone number was changed, and he didn’t hear from her.

About a month ago, she got his cell phone number, by being sneaky. Since then, I’m not sure how often she calls, but I know that it has been more than a few times.

When we are together, and she calls, my boyfriend leaves the room to have his conversation. He never tells me when, or how often she calls, so it’s left to my imagination.

This situation really bothers me. He told me that they used to sleep together. When they talk to each other, I turn cold and aloof. I can’t help it.

He asks me what is wrong, and I don’t say anything. I can’t decide if I am being jealous and unreasonable or not.

I don’t want him to fell like he can’t keep in touch with his old friends.  I want to give him freedom and respect. Still, their relationship is hurting me.

My boyfriend is the jealous type. If any of my old boyfriends were to call me, he would freak out. In fact, most of our fights have stemmed from his jealousy. I don’t want to do act jealous, when I hate it when he does that.

I am not sure if he calls her, or only she calls him. I checked his call logs on his phone once, and I am afraid to do that again. I feel sneaky, and I’m also scared at what I might find.

The bottom line is that I feel really hurt, and I am tired of pretending that I am cool and secure with his relationship with this girl.

Signed, Scared

Dear Scared,

   Stop pretending. You have every right to feel uncomfortable. Your boyfriend is taking calls from his old girlfriend, and in front of you, yet!

   Talk to him. Find out what is going on. In reading between the lines of your letter, I think that you are afraid of what you will hear. However, that shouldn’t stop you.

   It is very likely that he is in frequent contact with her. But, as you have figured out for yourself, taking a sneaky look at his phone bill isn’t the way to go here.

   I know that you are scared that you might break up over this issue. However, the fact that he is talking to his old girlfriend is a clue to you that it may happen at some point anyway.

   Remember that you are a person of value and worth. You deserve a guy that treats you with respect. Talking to his old girlfriend is a bad sign.

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