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I want to ask my ex to move out of my house

DEAR ABBY: I’m 55 and own my home. “Randall,” 53, lives with me and pays me rent. We used to be a couple, but COVID caused too much togetherness. He’s in the spare bedroom now. My house is cheaper for him than anywhere else he could go. I was trying to be nice. 

The problem is, he talks down to me. I want to have the interior of the house professionally painted, and he insists we should paint it ourselves. “It’ll be fun!” We were testing paint samples on the wall and disagreed over which shade of white to choose. He tells me I should “defer to him” and ends up swearing, and when I ask him to stop, he says I’m overreacting. This is why we are not a couple. 

I arranged to have the house painted, and he’s continuing to chastise me for it. It’s MY house! I want to ask him to move. I feel like he’s taking advantage of me. He has more stuff in my house and garage than I do. I’m a minimalist, and all his stuff drives me crazy. How did I get into this situation, how do I get out of it, and how do I avoid it in the future? — FEELING CONTROLLED IN COLORADO

DEAR FEELING CONTROLLED: This man moved in when you were a couple. The circumstances have changed radically. You allowed it to continue because it suited both of you. Because it no longer does, tell him you want him out of there because your relationship “is no longer working.” Then set a date for it to happen. This scenario won’t repeat itself if you set boundaries and assert them when they are encroached upon. 

P.S. If your renter is not cooperative, you may have to enlist the services of an attorney to get him out of there, so be prepared.

DEAR ABBY: My sophomore year of high school has been filled with family members passing away unexpectedly and beloved pets as well. The cat we raised got sick. He couldn’t breathe and got incredibly skinny. Despite my pleading to take him to the vet, my parents insisted he was already too far gone. My father finally scheduled a vet appointment, but my companion died the same day. 

An older cat we had also became very ill. My parents refused to take her to the vet either. Now another one is getting sick and, despite my pleading, they still refuse. They say, “Some cats just get sick like that,” or “Vets can’t always help.” 

My parents’ refusal to get them help has me confused, angry and disgusted. I get that vet visits are expensive, but surely a few bills are better than letting a furry companion die. How can I tell my parents how angry I am at them for doing nothing, especially since we don’t know if the last two deaths were preventable? — CAT LOVER IN KANSAS

DEAR CAT LOVER: Because of advances in medicine, veterinary expenses are higher than they’ve ever been. This is the reason that when someone acquires an animal, it is so important they buy health insurance for their new family member. Your parents’ reluctance to take the cats to a vet may be rooted in the fact that they are unable to pay for it. Please accept my sympathy for the losses you have experienced recently. 

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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