Dear Miss Emily:

I have lived with my boyfriend for 6 months with his 19 year old son who is lazy, doesn't work eats sleeps bathes and runs the streets. His dad gives him money.  He also has his daughter, 27, and grandson, 6. She works but but pays no bills and leaves her son at home with us every time she goes out, and we don't know she is leaving til she's walking out the door.  He told me she pays the utility bills which now I have discovered she does not pay them -- he does!  My boyfriend gets mad if I suggest we go out to eat, or go anywhere on the weekends and then says he's not mad but it is so obvious that he is.  Honestly, we do go out to eat once a month.  His children don't clean up after themselves, and I cannot stand a dirty house so I clean it.  I have begged and pleaded with my boyfriend to tell them what is expected of them as adults living at home, and he says he will but he doesn't.  I have told him I realize we are broke all the time because he has to help his children, and I know they come first, but I need him to take me out more and, occasionally, buy me a card, flowers,  little figurine, gift or something from the dollar store just to let me know that he thinks about me and cares about me instead of supporting his 2 grown children. I work full time and give him half of my check and use the other half for my bills. I feel like he is taking from me and giving to his kids. That may be wrong on my part but that is how I feel. It seems the more I talk to him about it the worse it gets. I don't think he comprehends what I am saying. What can I do to show him what I am talking about?

-------------------------------Miss Emily's advice--------------------

The only thing I think you can do is stop talking and take action. First of all, you should avoid picking up after his children (and babysitting). I know, you don't like the mess, but you are a built-in housekeeper and, as long as you do it, you are an enabler. Since the majority of people living in the home are adults (4) give your boyfriend 1/4 of the rent and 1/4 of the utilities. His kids should be paying their share of expenses. Bottom line: Your boyfriend does care for his children in all the wrong ways. He is showing them that they do not have to be responsible adults. They are a reflection of who he is as a person -- and that would be an emotionally weak man who would rather neglect his commitment to you (and I use the word "commitment" loosely) than be a stand-up guy with you and his obnoxious, useless children. If I were you, I'd question why I have put up with him this long, and consider taking that paycheck of yours, saving for first and last month rent on my own place, and see him when he's not tied up with his misguided obligation to his children. If you move out, the burden of rent, utilities and babysitting will be on his plate, and he might reconsider his generosity to these freeloaders. If you let this go on too much longer, your complaining about this situation will continue to fall on deaf ears and you will have no one to blame but yourself for your participation in this nightmare.