Look at what the housing market has done to us.
Q: My boyfriend and I, both in our forties, bought a house together 2 years ago. It has been a rough couple of years as we work to co-exist, and what has become apparent is that he and I are just too different, have different priorities and ideologies, and that a split is imminent. The issue here is that I make twice his income, and consequently pay twice the amount for the mortgage. My job is reasonably secure while his company is down-sizing, so he's nervous about losing his job. While I could afford this house on my own with some belt-tightening, he could not. In fact, a studio apartment is out of his reach right now. He has no friends with whom he could share a place with, so it seems there's no option but to co-exist here as roommates, rather than a couple. He asked me last night if I wanted him to sleep downstairs in the finished basement from now on, and I think that's the best option. Selling the house is not feasible; we haven't built up any equity, and in fact are upside down on our mortgage. We both feel trapped and unhappy. Anyone have any experience making this kind of living arrangement work long-term?
-- Diane, Chelmsford
A: Diane, if all of this is true -- if the romantic relationship is really over -- he has to go. Now. Out.
You can tighten your belt or get a roommate. He can go online and discover the magic of Craigslist.
You've learned you can't co-exist as a couple, right?. What makes you think you can co-exist as exes/roommates? Itís not possible -- unless youíre living in Melrose Place. Ah ...Billy and Allison.
Donít be lazy. Donít stay in a bad situation because itís easy. He's not your dependent. Give yourself the living space to be sane -- and to find someone new, when you're ready.
ďWe both feel trapped and unhappy.Ē Thereís your answer. Take his hand, walk him to a computer, and help the man find a cheap sublet.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.