Her guy wants to live with her ... and his ex

Family Enjoying A Barbeque
Blending their families will be difficult if his ex-wife is living in the house with them. (iStock photo)

DEAR ABBY: I am a divorced woman with three children ages 24, 22 and 16. I live on my own with my girls. I have been dating a man, "Reed," for three years. We are very much in love and have been working to blend our families. (He has two children.)

We have decided to move in together at the end of October. My lease will be up then, and Reed has sold his condo. We will be moving into the house he shared with his ex-wife. Everything is fine except for one thing: His ex-wife has not yet found a new home to move into. He's now suggesting that we move in and live with his ex-wife until she finds a new place. Reed believes this will be very short-term - a month or so.

The house is big enough for all of us, so that's not an issue. His ex-wife and I are friendly, so that's not an issue either. But I'm not comfortable with this plan. Should I just act like a grown-up and make the move, or should I refuse?

- Second Thoughts in Mass.

DEAR SECOND THOUGHTS: What if Reed's ex can't find a place that suits her in a month or so? What if it takes six months or even a year? While you may like the woman, do you really want to share your dwelling with the "Ghost of Marriage Past"?

If I were you, I'd talk to my landlord and ask if you can get a month-to-month extension of your lease. If that's agreeable, Reed can move in with you for the "short term." I'm sure you'd both be happier.


DEAR ABBY: My mother is a wonderful woman, but she makes us late for everything. When we go to pick up Mom, she announces that she has "just a few" chores she wants to do first, and they take forever.

We are not "a few" minutes late; we're significantly late, and sometimes miss events altogether. These have included weddings and funerals, and we have wasted hundreds of dollars on tickets to missed events. She'll often make a show of apologizing, but her behavior never changes.

We have stopped inviting Mom to some events, but she makes us feel guilty if we don't take her to a family event. We have tried helping her do her chores the day before and lied about starting times. Nothing works, and Mom finds more to do.

We have asked her friends about this behavior. They say she never pulls these stunts when they pick her up for things. Help! - Late for a Very Important Date 

DEAR LATE: It's interesting that your mother doesn't behave this way with her friends. That tells me her behavior is controlling. I would handle it this way: Tell Mama you will pick her up at a certain time and that you will wait no longer than five minutes for her. If she's not out by then, you will leave. And then do it.