DEAR ABBY: I'm having problems with my boyfriend, "Adam," and I feel stuck. He recently was accepted to graduate school, and we're planning to move there. We haven't lived together before, and I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing.
I will be working and paying for everything, and Adam will be just going to school. He thinks this is a fair trade-off because "we won't have to worry about money at all" once he has completed his education.
Abby, I don't think he cares that it's me going with him. I feel like a space-filler and a meal ticket. How do I go about finding out his true feelings and intentions? He doesn't make me feel special, wanted or important -- ever. I worry this will end badly. I do love him, but I don't want this to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Please give me some advice. -- TO MOVE OR NOT TO MOVE IN INDIANA
DEAR MOVE OR NOT: You do need advice -- and here it is: Your woman's intuition is telling you this isn't right, and that your boyfriend can't be trusted to fulfill his part of the bargain. You should listen to it because that's a poor basis for uprooting yourself and becoming his benefactor.
The person you have described is someone centered solely upon himself and his own needs. A man who doesn't make you feel special, wanted or important would make a very poor husband.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have three daughters in their 20s and 30s. One of them, "Lauryn," is married with four children. She and her husband are behind in their mortgage, student loans, federal, state and property taxes, utilities, etc. Over the past 15 years, we have given them more than $40,000 to help them stay afloat. Things have not improved.
Now that my wife and I are retired, the money we provide is cutting into our retirement savings. For the sake of our grandchildren, we continue to bail Lauryn out hoping their finances will improve. But now we have begun to think our handouts should come at a cost.
We want to tell Lauryn and our son-in-law that the money we've given -- and have continued to give -- will count against their inheritance. It doesn't seem fair that we have given so much to this one daughter and her family and relatively little to her sisters. Do you agree? We'd appreciate your thoughts on this. -- LOVING PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS
DEAR LOVING PARENTS: I do agree. And for that reason, you should discuss this issue with an attorney who specializes in estate planning, wills and trusts. Your other daughters should not suffer because Lauryn and her husband have been perpetually needy. An attorney can guide you, and it will be money well spent.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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- DEAR ABBY