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I still live with my ex

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  July 20, 2009 09:46 AM

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Good morning.

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? It’s not possible -- unless you’re living in Melrose Place. Ah ...Billy and Allison.

Don’t be lazy. Don’t stay in a bad situation because it’s easy. He's not your dependent. Give yourself the living space to be sane -- and to find someone new, when you're ready.

“We both feel trapped and unhappy.” There’s your answer. Take his hand, walk him to a computer, and help the man find a cheap sublet.

Readers? Have you ever lived with an ex? Is this guy a deadbeat? Should his housing be her problem? Share here. Twitter here. Submit a letter to the right.

-- Meredith

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184 comments so far...
  1. you aren't doing him any favors by letting him live there. yes, he may lose his job, but you're giving him no incentive, or motivation, to look for a better, higher paying job.

    on top of that, you'll never be able to escape him if he stays. you can move on and date people, but what will they say when they come over for dinner and your ex is just walking out the door, or comes home early?

    you have no responsibility to him. if there's an issue of repayment of the down payment on the house, i suggest contacting a lawyer to see what the legal issues are. since he owns part of the house, too.

    Posted by Mike July 20, 09 10:09 AM
  1. Now, at first I read Meredith's advice and thought she was being way too harsh. "Of course they can survive as roommates!" I thought. As I read over her reasoning, though - she's right. Laziness, convenience, and a desire to dodge the difficult (but correct) road seem to be the biggest impetus for staying put. Those just aren't good enough reasons to threaten your sanity - which an ex-as-roommate situation, born of feelings of obligation, certainly would threaten.

    Cruel to be kind - both to him, and to yourself.

    Posted by Fievel July 20, 09 10:20 AM
  1. If you were really over him, he would be out. He is not your child, it does not matter that he is going through a hard time. Give him two weeks, and then he has to be out. For your health and his. You are his landlord now, you don't owe him any favors. if he is paying for a third of the mortgage, he can afford to sublet a place

    Posted by E July 20, 09 10:22 AM
  1. Diane - He should definitely be searching Craigslist for a roommate. You both need to untangle yourselves from the cohabitation and then work out the legal stuff related to the house. The inertia can make it hard to get going, but - I've been in your shoes; separating for good & all is the best thing. Meredith is right!!

    Posted by heartseek July 20, 09 10:26 AM
  1. Give him three weeks to find his own place, then part ways. He's an adult, don't support him like a child. You will be compromising yourself if you allow him to stay. He is still gainfully employed, but if he loses his job you will never get rid of your "roommate". I agree with Meredith, Craigslist is a beautiful thing, notify him today.

    Posted by BrnHrnt July 20, 09 10:26 AM
  1. Amen, Merideth. Diane, if this all seems to cold and harsh, simply tell him he has until September 31st. That is plenty of notice. In the mean time, charge him market rent for the space in the finished basement. That will help him get used to having the expense, and not make it so comfortable for him to want to stay. You're a nice woman, you don't want to leave him in the cold, I know...he'll be fine. And so will you. It might have been fine for you to assume much more of the mortgage when you were an item, it is not ok for him to continue to have ownership rights when he's not pulling his weight as a roomate. Get a good real estate lawyer and figure out how to get him off the deed and the mortage, while your at it. It's not mean, it's life.

    Posted by coldhard truth July 20, 09 10:27 AM
  1. If you don't want him as a mate anymore, why would you want him as a dependent? What happens when you meet someone you do want to date? How do you explain the "troll in the basement"? I agree with Mike about talking to an attorney. You can probably refinance the house, buy out his share, get him off the title, and then he'd have funds to move on, perhaps to relocate where he could more easily find work. You say that he can't afford a studio apartment and has no friends to bunk with so there are no options. For him perhaps that may seem to be true but you yourself have a lot of options. You sound very kind hearted and concerned about the financial and emotional well-being of this guy but make sure that you are being fair to yourself and your own financial and emotional future.

    Posted by J Bar July 20, 09 10:28 AM
  1. To add some practical advice though: you have to figure out what you owe him if you kick him out. If he is on the title to the house, you can't legally kick him out without his consent or without a court order (note to everyone: do not ever buy a house with someone unless you are married, for this reason!). If you are both on the title, you both own it and are both entitled to live there. (Yes, even though you pay more on the mortgage.)

    So you might have to buy him out to kick him out. This is the kind of situation where you need to ask for an attorney's help.

    On a related note, I never understand why people buy houses together when they are not married. You're not comfortable with the commitment of marriage, but youre okay with a 30 year mortgage and legal obligations to share the space?

    Posted by jlen July 20, 09 10:29 AM
  1. This is happening to couples across the nation as the housing bust makes it extremely difficult to sell. Some couples, however, have found that as roommates, they treat each other with more respect than before. I say, go with your gut. If the magic is truly gone for you (you won't mind if he brings home a new gf) and you think he is a decent guy, a "roommie" arrangement just might work. If there is a lot hostility, however, don't do it!

    Posted by Bright side? July 20, 09 10:30 AM
  1. You need to find a way to extricate yourself from this situation post haste -- it's not your responsibility to worry about his ability or lack thereoff to get himself into adequate housing -- it's his. Your responsibility is to yourself -- get a lawyer and deal with the house issue and move on -- without him.

    Posted by Jennie July 20, 09 10:31 AM
  1. This is why all couples should live together for AT LEAST One Year before getting Married or buying a house together. This should be a a "fully independent" arrangement, no living in with Parents of other in-laws; two people living as self dependent adults, renting an residence and dealing with all the drama that goes along with it. People often don't see their mate's true colors, until they have to see them 24 hours a day in cramped quarters.

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 July 20, 09 10:34 AM
  1. Mike is right. You can't just kick out a partial owner of the house, unless you have the cash to buy him out. Which, I'm guessing you don't, or the issue of him being able to afford a new apartment wouldn't exist.

    It doesn't seem like the two of you are having a bitter breakup, just drited apart. Would it kill you to let him live in the basement for a few months just until his job situation has been resolved. If he manages to keep it, then he can find a new place. If he gets laid off, then he can move anywhere, so staying with you will be unnecessary. Remember, though, you have a legal obligation to buy him out.

    If this is all too traumatic for you, then maybe you should move out. Get tenants for the rest of the bedrooms and cover your costs as much as possible. And get yourself a new place. And next time, don't buy a house with someone you're not married to, without a legal contract on how you'd handle this situation. Or just don't do it at all.

    Posted by kelly July 20, 09 10:36 AM
  1. I've read that this is becoming more common among divorcing/divorced couples, so I'm not surprised non-married couples are having similar issues. However, I agree with Meredith - the two of you need to find separate living arrangements as soon as possible. I had a similar situation several years ago when my then boyfriend and I broke up, but still shared an apartment. He had been laid off, so I didn't feel right kicking him out. But, my letting him stay while I paid the rent probably made him feel even worse, and the living situation became so awkward and uncomfortable I finally had to give an ultimatum - move out or I will. Shortly after that he found a job and moved.

    You need to do something similar, and the sooner you do it, the better (and the, um, nicer you can be about it... maybe). If he can't afford a studio, he could find a room to rent on Craigslist, or the boston.com classifieds, or that roommates service that's been around for ages... you get the idea.

    Posted by OK Cupid Fan July 20, 09 10:39 AM
  1. 1. You need to sell the house and both need to move out.
    2. It's not fair for you to live in it while he has to move out. Although it was not equal amounts, he helped pay for the mortgage as well.
    3. You both need to cut your losses and take away a very expensive life lesson - NEVER partake in a significant investment transaction with a person who is not legally bound to you.

    Posted by LuLuLemon July 20, 09 10:41 AM
  1. You need to ask him to move out for your own sanity and well being. What are you going to do when your ex-turned-roommate starts bringing dates home? What if this happens next week? Are you prepared for that? Is he prepared to deal with you dating? This is a disaster waiting to happen. Be prepared for him to whine and tell you that he has nowhere to go and can’t afford a place or to give you a guilt trip. But be clear that you need to end this and the end requires his physical moving out.

    My other piece of advice is to have a conversation with a good attorney that has dealt with this type of situations. The best way to find a good attorney is to ask around, people who have gotten divorced or have had bad splits who can recommend an attorney. If all fails I’ll give you the name of mine (he is fabulous). Lay out the financial situation with the help of an attorney and figure out how you will pay your ex for any shared ownership. The reason you need an attorney is because a good attorney can take out the emotional piece that will inevitably come up and help you untangle your finances from your ex’s.

    This will be hard and will take time since you are emotionally and financially entangled with this man. But it can be done. At the end of all of it you will come out feeling much better, freer, and happy that you made the decision to make a clean cut.

    Posted by PoliteG July 20, 09 10:41 AM
  1. If his name is on the deed and you didn't make other arrangements, he is legal owner of 50% of that house and cannot be forced out on a whim.

    At the very least you'll need to buy him out of his share of the house.

    Posted by OTC July 20, 09 10:45 AM
  1. You haven’t even broke up yet, but he’s offering to sleep in the basement? Unless you decide to work on / salvage the relationship, you need to break up with him & he’s got to go. give him a few weeks to find a place, pack up & move. Does he have family he can stay with? you sound sweet & want to help him, but by him staying, you’re just going to make a bad situation worse. I don’t envy you – good luck!

    Posted by polly July 20, 09 10:45 AM
  1. If his name is on the Mortgage, then it is not as simple as saying you need to move out. The only option is sell the house at a loss and in some case you can get the bank to eat the differnece. If not, you can then divide up the amount you are upside down, (via bank loans ofcourse) and pay your half. Maybe you could both move-out and rent this house for for what the mortgage payment is? Otherwise, regardless of how much you make, it is as much his house as it is yours, if you truly bought it together. This is a risk you took together and you both should take the hit together.

    Posted by Mike July 20, 09 10:46 AM
  1. You do not want to be alone. What kind of new guy would be willing to put up with an ex-boyfriend in the basement?

    Good luck!

    Posted by Sarah Lee July 20, 09 10:48 AM
  1. Kick his butt to the curb...and get a 2nd job to turn your upside down mortgage right side up.

    This is the path to happiness

    Posted by Josh July 20, 09 10:50 AM
  1. It's really easy to find good roommates on craigslist. As long as he's normal, upstanding and really thoroughly interviews his potential roommate(s) before choosing, he shouldn't have a problem.

    Posted by Rae July 20, 09 10:50 AM
  1. Although not exactly the same, I too had to go through something similar by allowing my ex to keep his things in my house while he looked for another place. He took FOREVER and took advantage of my kindness. Don't let this happen to you.

    You won't feel like you can move on to find love again until he or his stuff is gone. It is a constant reminder of the past. Imagine all the explaining about your situation you'll have to do. Who will feel comfortable dating you?

    Two weeks is not long enough. But start talking to lawyers and getting a realistic plan immediately.

    Posted by Kicked Him Out, so should you July 20, 09 10:50 AM
  1. I agree with Meredith, he should leave. It's not good with either one of you if he stays. That said, jlen (post #8) has a point that if he is on the deed you can't just kick him out. You'll need to need to take him off the mortgage which basically means (if you are going to be fair) deciding on an amt to buy him out. I'm not really sure how that works when you're upside down on the mortgage, but having him move out is best for you both.

    Posted by CC July 20, 09 10:51 AM
  1. Well if they own the house together then she is going to have to buy him out.. Simple as that. Can she really afford the house on her own? Why did they get a reverse mortgage in the first place? She sounds like she couldn't afford to live on her own either. It's not as simple as kicking him out.
    1. she doesn't really have the right.
    2. she feels that she would lose a ton of money if he did leave.

    I think, they should sell the house, suck up the loss and both find studio apartments in a cheap town.

    Posted by Paul from Wellesley July 20, 09 10:52 AM
  1. This LW is another clear example of why people need a mate whom is their "Peer". In this day and age, why do people get involved with someone that they will end up having to "Support"??? Why would a "working couple" think that if someone makes HALF of what they make, that their relationship will be harmonious??? Then you are going into a relationship with an automatic argument issue, that slaps you in the face EVERY day; the person who earns the big paycheck feels taken advantage of, the person who earns the small paycheck feels looked down upon. Unless you plan on having a spouse whose entire life will be as a "Homemaker", then do yourself a huge favor and find someone who is your peer (otherwise they will just be your "Human Pet"!!!).

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 July 20, 09 10:52 AM
  1. "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."
    While Meredith has some good suggestions, the above (differences, priorities, ideologies) matter a lot more in a relationship, and have little bearing if you're room-mates (as long as you treat each other respectfully and have some ground rules about living together). So, given that he is a co-owner, I doubt that you could simply kick him out, and if it comes down to living together as the only (uncomfortable) option for now, then you could - you will - have to learn to live as room-mates.

    Posted by The Dude July 20, 09 10:53 AM
  1. I had to re-read the letter twice, but I still think there is a typo in there. I swear that it says that the LW and her “boyfriend” (her terminology) are in their forties.

    Let’s recap: You bought the house together. You clearly stated that you won’t sell it. You refer to him as your boyfriend (present tense). He’s still sleeping in the same bed as you. You seem to have been fine with it up until the point where he had to ASK you if he should sleep in another room. You are paying twice as much of the mortgage as he is. He is still employed. You asked for advice on how to make this work long-term.

    My conclusion: yes, you are trapped. You could be an adult and try to correct the mistakes of the past, even if it involves a financial loss, or you can continue to remain in denial and continue being an enabler to him. Sounds to me like he has no incentive to go anywhere or do anything except continue the status quo. Why should he go rent a room? He already owns a house that has a great monthly payment plan. Sell the house, split the mortgage EQUALLY, or keep on keepin’ on as 40 year old partners…

    p.s. the advice to have him look on craigslist for a sublet is poor. They bought the house TOGETHER two years ago. She can’t just tell him to move out. I know the subconscious anti-male bias is going to come through loud and clear in the comments, but is usually (but not always) the case, it will be presented with flawed logic or just factually untrue statements. Sorry, but you can save your "Kick him to the curb!" speeches for the next book club or martini night out with the girls...

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss July 20, 09 10:55 AM
  1. Adding to Jlen's practical advice: you may not be able to take him off the mortgage. Filing a quit claim to the deed is easy - the mortgage is another story. It depends on whether you can afford the loan on your own. I am guessing that you couldn't afford to buy the house without a partner, so the bank (which these days is much more strict about such things) may not allow you to refinance and take him off.
    So first step is you need some legal advice here.

    Posted by good luck July 20, 09 10:55 AM
  1. I have been there and it just doesn't work. Even if you became the best of friends, it makes it very difficult to move on and find the person you deserve. I had to practically kick him out. It was very difficult, but absolutely necessary. The more you wait, the harder it's going to be. I know from experience!

    Posted by JohnB July 20, 09 10:55 AM
  1. Really? I lived with my ex for two years due to similar circumstances (and we were both too lazy to move out). We both moved on years ago, and moved out, and are both happily married. What that living arrangement taught us was how to become friends again - and we had a wonderful friendship, I'm grateful for the experience and grateful that we were both mature enough to make it work, and save our friendship.

    Posted by Anna July 20, 09 11:00 AM
  1. Good advice but not good advice. They bought the house together. How can she boot him out when it is his house also. He can take her to court and they will end up having to sell the property, which if they want their freedom, they should consider doing. It is not an easy matter when you buy something together, no matter who makes what.

    Posted by Beverly Anderson July 20, 09 11:00 AM
  1. Clearly, he needs to ask you to move out. He can introduce you to craigslist and even volunteer to drive the U-Haul truck for you. After you're gone, he can rent out a room or the finished basement to someone else to be able to pay the mortgage. This makes as much sense as the nonsense being put out here so far.

    Oh and another thing, it's not a reverse mortgage, morons. They are "upside down" (a.k.a. underwater) meaning they owe more than the house is worth on the market. Helllooooooooooooooooooooooo?!?!?!

    Ignorant and gender biases need not apply for advice dispensers...

    Posted by Bob Dwyer July 20, 09 11:01 AM
  1. It is time to get lawyers and figure out how to split it up legally and then he (if not both of you) need to move on. If you can continue doing this in a civil and maybe even kind manner, that would be preferable. Don't flush the civility you both seem to have down the toilet: It will save both of you tons of money in legal fees if you can work the situation out in a cooperative, friendly way. Fighting means more time with the lawyers which means more money. First sort out where you stand financially, make sure everything is solidly legally worked out, and then separate physically.

    Posted by merilisa July 20, 09 11:05 AM
  1. The early consensus seems to be for Diane to kick him out ... but who's name is on the mortgage? I realize she pays more in, but if he has been paying in anything at all, if his money has been going to meet the mortgage in any way, it seems to me he might have an ownership interest in the place that makes it not so easy to give him 3 weeks notice. Afterall, she did say they bought the place together. She may be able to afford the place on her own, can she do so AND pay him back what he's put in if she kicks him out, assuming she has a legal right to do so?

    Posted by eireanch July 20, 09 11:11 AM
  1. As others have noted: NEVER EVER buy property with someone unless you are married. Period.

    Now, you're both in your 40s. He should have savings to find emergency housing. Kick him out in two weeks.

    Posted by Joey July 20, 09 11:12 AM
  1. Soon to be ex Boyfriend .... if you are reading this, get an attorney. NOW. I was exactly where you are a few years ago. Please remember, when it comes to the law, your salary vs. hers is irrelevant. Your signature on the deed and your payment records are the power. If your ex girlfriend will not sell the house and give you your fair share of the profit or loss, you and your attorney will need to file a Petition to Partition the property. Then, the courts will put the the house up for public auction and you each will get exactly half of the auctioned sale price. Do not just slink away. Back when your ex loved you, you bought a house together and you paid your agreed-upon fair share, and you deserve your share of the equity. Either get your third plus whatever you put down, or put it up for auction.

    Woman who makes twice the money ... whether you want to or not, you are going to need to sell the house. You will get 2/3 of the net profit (or less) plus your share of the down payment. He will get 1/3 of the net profit (or loss) plus his share of the down payment. Just accept it because that is what is going to happen.

    Posted by kmacjp July 20, 09 11:17 AM
  1. Dump him ASAP, buy him out but get rid of him! My ex left me before the divorce and I couldn't have been happier. My current housemate is wonderful, helpful and appreciative of me, but if he ever behaves otherwise, it's out he goes (He doesn't want a lease contract). Never buy property together if you're not married to your partner. This is a hard lesson, but remember the owner has the upper hand. I would never move in with someone if he was the main renter/owner. It would be just asking for trouble. It's better to live alone than to put up with this baloney. Live in-love out!

    Posted by Liz Pakula July 20, 09 11:17 AM
  1. Rico is going to be straight with you:

    Rico thinks YOU ARE AND THIS BOYFRIEND ARE IDIOTS, STUPID, MORONS...Pick an adjective...You sound like a bit of a mean spirited B*&^#@ as well. Kicking a man while he is down? He can't even afford a cheap studio? Has no friends to put him up? Come on now, no need to throw mud in the guys face because you and he didn't work out as planned.


    That being said, you need advice and Rico is here to dispense some of it. So you make more money than he does and he may lose his job. You are upside down in the mortgage so you can't sell it...actually YOU ARE WRONG. You can sell it. You will either have to come up with the cash to subsidize the loss or get the bank to allow a short sale. YOU MADE THE BED TOGETHER NOW YOU NEED TO SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES TOGETHER. Go to a broker and get it out for sale and take the loss now before it gets worse. Rico wonders how long you were together and when the relationship fell apart? Only curious to see how long ago you realized the problems to see how dumb you were to buy in the first place. How did you get a mortgage? Any chance it was an interest only or an ARM so you could "afford" what you couldn't reallly afford? Rico has no sympathy for you at all in regards to the house. Rico doesn't care about your credit or his and actually thinks foreclosure might be a good route and even bankruptcy. Let Rico guess, you both drive fancy cars and have nice designer clothing and credit card debt in the $10's of thousands?

    Rico reads these and calls them as he sees them. Do Rico a favor and don't write in to tell us more of yoru sob story. GO TO THE BANK AND GET A SHORT SALE OR FORECLOSURE AND MOVE OUT. If he is on the mortgage you will need to get his name released to stay there on yoru own and if you can't get a mortgage then you are out of luck. Also, consider that you both had money in the down payment, where did that come from? Rico imagines he is going to want something in the form of CASH to get him out so you can stay there yourself or with a roomate.

    Rico suggests you speak to an attorney, Bank and Real Estate agent/broker...then get therapy to fix your brain because Rico thinks you are living in a fantasy world.

    Rico hates cheaters, but hates DUMB people about the same. Rico hopes your ex gets a new girlfriend and moves her into the finished basement with him...now that woul dbe a great letter to talk about...

    Love always,


    Biking is liking...the environment...

    Rico hopes everyone enjoyed the great weekend we had here in Boston...

    Posted by Rico July 20, 09 11:19 AM
  1. Call a lawyer immediately!
    A good divorce attorney will know how to handle this type of situation and can point you to resources for dealing with the emotional impact of it.
    Do it.


    Posted by DrK July 20, 09 11:20 AM
  1. I'm glad others picked up on the legal ramifications of this situation. If he is a
    co-owner, you can't kick him out or force him into the basement. It sounds like you need a lawyer. Overall, it seems like a very sad situation. His question about moving to the basement sounded so defeated it killed me. Ugghh. On the job issue, secure or not, BOTH of you need to be working part-time jobs on the weekend. It sounds like you are both way over your heads in debt paying for a house that no longer has the same real estate value. If his job is in jeopardy and he can't afford to live on his own, why isn't he spending weekends slinging coffee at Starbucks? The concern is that if he is not on the deed (not legally an owner) and moves into the basement-there needs to be an exit plan. A timeline for squatting. Things to consider-is the basement self-contained (kitchen, full bath, etc. or will you be ships passing in the night on the way to the bathroom and fridge? BTW, My DH and I have stable fulltime jobs, but we both also work part-time to supplement our income-and we have 2 kids to boot! In this economy even the most stable jobs are unstable! Both of you need to do the same.

    Posted by Massachusetts Miracle? July 20, 09 11:21 AM
  1. Yes, give him 3 weeks to get out and introduce him to the internet in hopes of finding a room to rent. I'm sure the hundreds of thousands of dollars that you'll have to give him (you know, as co-owner of his current residence) to buy him out, will make it much easier for him to move on without you.

    Many of you don't know your bleep from a hole in the ground.

    Posted by Hadie Nuff July 20, 09 11:22 AM
  1. You are definitely in a jam, because he owns half the house (unless you have a contract stating otherwise). As others have suggested, you may want to talk to a lawyer simply to find out what your options are. I wouldn't advise sicking a lawyer on the guy, though. That could get ugly and expensive.

    I don't know the details of your finances, but my guess is you probably have less than zero equity in the house. So, buying out his equity makes no sense. If he put in money for the down payment, I'd offer to give him back that money, in exchange for turning the title over to you. Otherwise, you should probably come up with another dollar amount for buying out his half. (Yes, even if you already owe more than the house is worth). This will get you in the clear, and provide him with some money to get on his feet, especially if he looses his current job.

    I would not advise letting him live there. At best, you both won't be able to get on with your lives. At worst, you two could end up hating each other.

    Posted by two sheds July 20, 09 11:25 AM
  1. If his name is on the mortgage, you can't just toss him out. Do whatever you have to do to legally and fairly unload the house, then move on with your separate lives. And isn't this a lesson learned about buying a house with someone you're not married to? I have a friend who went through this same thing and he said it was like going through a pseudo-divorce with all the legal wrangling they had to go through. He wanted to keep the house so he had to buy her out. And besides what will you tell people you end up dating? He lives here because we're too lazy to get out of this situation? Lame...

    Posted by bumbly-bee July 20, 09 11:30 AM
  1. Look at it from the mortgage lender's point of view:

    1) She pays 2/3, he pays 1/3 - it may not be half, but it is not an insignificant amount.

    2) She claims she can cover the entire mortgage with belt-tightening, but that's not the basis the lender qualified the loan on; unless she's made significant salary increases in the last two years, it's unlikely they are going to qualify her today for the entire loan

    3) The mortgage is upside down. This means there is nothing to "buy out," because they have lost any downpayment they put in, and the monthly payments haven't been making a dent. So don't worry about buying him out.

    However, this means it will be impossible to refinance. Which is required to take his name off the mortgage. That is the key point here. No matter how much you and he may want to take him off the mortgage, the lender is probably not going to allow it.

    His name is going to be on the mortgage for a long, long time, whether you boot him out, he decides to willingly move out, or you continue to live together as roomies. No matter which scenario, you are going to need to have a lot of trust between the two of you. Therefore, I recommend you play this one on the nice side. I understand not wanting to be a pushover and being taking advantage of, but -- since you are going to be "business partners" for a long while -- you need his trust and he needs yours.

    Give him some latitude here and be generous - no ultimatums, no kick him to the curb, etc. That will destroy trust. You can ask if he would please move out, but you cannot demand that he move out. It's his house too. You couldn't have bought it without him, you do know that, right?

    Posted by anecdotal evidence July 20, 09 11:31 AM
  1. The two of you can't leave in the same house anymore. The only thing left to do is deciding on how to part ways. Since the house was bought together, the cleanest way is to sell the house but it sounds like the house will be selling at a loss at this point. If you don't want to sell and share the loss, then one of you needs to buy the other out.

    See if the two of you can come to an agreement on how much you should pay him to get him out of the house. If an agree is reached, put it in WRITING. If not, consider hiring a lawyer.

    Lawyers are not cheap and the fight can get nasty and ugly. So if you two can't agree on how much you should pay him, then try to see if there is an agreement on how to share the loss. Again put it in WRITING if there is one. Do the math. You may be better off selling and sharing loss then engaging in a long and costly legal battle.

    Posted by CutTheLoss July 20, 09 11:37 AM
  1. Di-
    I suggest a detailed, deep conversation should be the logical step between the both of you. Don’t blind-side him, give a “heads-up” about what you are planning, whatever it may be, and set a date to discuss the idea of moving forward. Moving into separate rooms sounds like a first step. Make a 3 month or a 6 month plan that both find reasonable. If there’s no reasonable approach get a third party involved to sell and split the penalty costs and or profits.
    There’s no reason to be harsh like Meredith suggests – seems like the relationship is dissolving instead of being blown-up….there’s a difference.
    Make a mutual plan, as best as you can

    Posted by twocents July 20, 09 11:39 AM
  1. a darned good example here of why we shouldn't buy property together when there is no legal commitment (like marriage) for doing so.... have him move out is not as easy... and not fair either! Both should move out, sell the house and move on.

    Posted by chins July 20, 09 11:43 AM
  1. Here's an idea... how about dating someone, getting to know them, getting married (which, contrary to popular belief is supposed to be a LIFETIME commitment) and THEN buying a house together.

    Sorry if this seems harsh but man oh man, the expectation of couples has gotten ridiculous.

    My Wife and I dated for many years and had our good times and bad times as we learned about each other. When things got tough, we had our separate homes to go to. When we were ready, we got married, and THEN bought a house together.

    People are way too quick to jump into co-habitating now. The media doesn't help. Sitcoms and movies try to make it look like the norm.

    Personally, I'd be insulted if someone expected me to put my name on a mortgage with them without making a commitment to me first.

    Set your standards high.

    Of course, I'm prepared for the slings and arrows about how "archaic" my thinking is, but I'll tell you, I've been happily married for 10 years and we did not live together first. If we had lived together first, we never would have made it to the team we are now.

    Posted by Happily Married July 20, 09 11:43 AM
  1. To paraphrase Dan Savage,


    Lose The MFer Already!

    You need him to go. If this necessitates selling the house, so be it. You've got to sever the connection...

    Posted by mz July 20, 09 12:00 PM
  1. I don't know, but I think it is kind of mean to kick someone while they are down.
    Just because it is not working out romantically it doesn't mean that people should be inhumane to each other!!

    Unless he is a leech, undeserving SOB, which doesn't seem to indicate so in the email, you guys were obviously a couple for a reason. Should you be more of a friend to him? Where is the human decency of helping each other out.

    Posted by Michelle July 20, 09 12:06 PM
  1. If the house is in both names, she has to buy him out. The only way to get him off the mortgage is to refinance.

    Posted by Kathy July 20, 09 12:07 PM
  1. I had to reread your letter. For all those saying "kick him out". She can't legally kick him out and he'd be a fool to move out since he's legally obligated to pay on that mortgage and with that on his credit record, he'd have a difficult time securing an apartment. They need to put the house on the market and start negotiating with the bank for a short sale. With enough persistence and the right attorney it will work. In the meantime, he has as much right to live there as she does - if it was the other way around and a man posting that he made twice as much as his girlfriend and he wanted to kick her out - people would be all over him. Cut this boyfriend some slack, we're only hearing LW's version of events.

    Live separately in the house. It won't matter since neither of you are emotionally ready to date others anyway, so just get through this, sell the house and move on.

    Posted by Patty July 20, 09 12:13 PM
  1. This, btw, is why gay marriage is so important. Marriage isn't about love. Obviously love can exist without marriage. Marriage is about a legal commitment and rights and all sorts of other things.

    NEVER buy a house with someone you're not married to. Divorce exists for a reason, and it's a hell of a lot more difficult to handle these things alone than with a clear, binding, legal marriage.

    Posted by Mike July 20, 09 12:15 PM
  1. Quite comical actually, the number of women blindly responding "Give him three weeks and then he's out." My response to that would be "or else what?"

    Posted by Dave July 20, 09 12:16 PM
  1. There is a central point here that cannot be understated; if both of your names are on the mortgage then it is your absolute best interest to work with him and not against him. This is doubly true since you're underwater. Being so significantly reduces your financial options.

    So please disregard all of the hateful and vindictive posters who are urging you to throw him out or to give him ultimatims. You try anything like that and you create an enemy who will have even less incentive to dispose of the property and/or his obligation in a way that works best for you.

    And to all of those hateful and vindicative posters, if it was he who wrote the letter you'd be telling him to throw the bi*&^ out! I wish life was as simple as you make it out to be...

    Posted by Brett July 20, 09 12:16 PM
  1. I'm making a strong assumption here but I bet she loses the house if he goes and that is why she keeps him around. She's trying to buy time to figure out how she can assume all of debt. I'm assuming she doesnt' make that much money either. Getting a upside down mortgage in Chelmsford is pretty sad.

    PS. I'm not saying the Chelmsford is a bad town, I'm just sayin..

    Posted by Paul from Wellesley July 20, 09 12:17 PM
  1. I agree with the others....you need to get real estate advice STAT since that will affect some of your options. Assuming though that you are legally able to get him out before you refinance and buy him out, then I wholeheartedly agree that he needs to move out quickly, or at least within a specific period of time not to exceed 3 months. Curious why you seem to think the only option for him is to either move in with friends (which isn't feasible) OR stay with you. I get suspicious when people think there are only 1 of 2 options available and decide to ignore hundreds of other options. What about roommate options with strangers? What about him thinking out the box and offering services to someone with an extra room like yard work, car repair, accounting services (insert any of his skill sets here) to offset a room rental? In this economy, I'm sure there is someone out there that would love to get paid (albeit a modest amount) in cash and real services they don't have to pay for. There are tons of options, but the both of you are choosing to have your heads in the sand and think woe-is-us, we only have two options. And if he's not making enough at his current job, then he should be busting his butt with a 2nd job (or 3rd if he has to). Even though the roommate thing COULD work...I think it's all about moving on. You broke up....you need to cut the ties immediately so that both of you can move on emotionally. It doesn't make sense to half you-know-what things in life. He is not your responsibility. The relationship dynamics have changed, so you need to act accordingly.

    Posted by bklynmom July 20, 09 12:20 PM
  1. You are no longer a romantic couple, this is clear. It is also clear that when financial assets are intertwined, the solution can't come as fast as you would like.

    I think it might be a good idea to move your boyfriend temporarily into the basement. Another idea is for you to pay him for his portion of the house until you can figure out a way to buy him out. This will of course require you to get a roomate (not always an attractive option when you are in your 40s).

    Any way you slice it, you have some hard decisions ahead of you that are going to take an immense amount of maturity on both sides. My condolences.

    When my ex and I split up, I moved into my own place - even though my job was going to be eliminated. I was really surprised to learn how much money we wasted when we were together as a couple. I thought I couldn't afford to move out, however, the reality is that once I was out of a negative environment, I needed a lot less stuff. When there is a will, there is a way.....

    Posted by older and wiser July 20, 09 12:21 PM
  1. Time to hire a lawyer? You don't indicate the terms of your house purchase. If he contributed to the down payment, and he is contributing to the mortgage, this situation is a bit more complicated. He can move out in the short term but he ultimately may have some claim to the property, no?

    People should live together if it makes them happy - who are we to judge. But marraige is a committment, and a contract too. If you are co-habitating, and decide to buy real estate, have kids, etc you need discuss how things will be handled if the relationship does not work out. I don't understand how people can go into something like a house purchase without thinking this through.

    Posted by Ava July 20, 09 12:24 PM
  1. Do not consider allowing him to live with you as a tenant. In the best of situations it will be awkward and make it hard for both of you to move on. At worst you could end up as I just did - having your roommate/former lover finance their next move by stealing your credit card and selling your posessions while you are out of town.

    Unfortunately as the months and years move on your kindness and charity will eventually be seen resentfully by your soon to be ex. I never thought this would happen to me - don't let it happen to you!

    Consult an attorney immediately about legally assigning a value and a buyout process for the house. If you can't buy him out unfortunately your only choice will be selling the property.

    Posted by ecnalg July 20, 09 12:24 PM
  1. Soon to be ex-boyfriend,
    a) Do not move. It's might be instinct to slink away to the basement, but do not. It's your house, too. You get stay as long as you need until you find a new place to live - as long as you continue to pay your fair share until the house is sold. She decided to break this off, not you. If she can't stand your presence, she is going to need to move out. Or to the basement.
    b) Get an attorney. It is worth every penny when your lazy, greedy, entitled ex gets the letter saying, "Guess what - you make more money, but your ex has paid his/her agreed-upon share of the expenses in good faith. You decided to break up this relationship and now you need to sell the house and divide the profit (or loss) fairly or it's going up for public auction for pennies on the dollar!."
    c) don't worry about the attorney fee. This is a simple, cut and dried procedure. My attorney asked for a small deposit, and I had to settle (and it was not that much) once the house was sold.
    d) be prepared for people to get on the Dont Buy a House Until You Are Married High Horse. Ignore them. You didn't ask for this situation. Plus, The Marrieds go through worse legal hoops their marriages break up.
    e) stand up for yourself. Do not offer to move to the basement.
    f) be prepared for your ex to freak out. Entitled, selfish people tend to do that when you stand up to them.
    g) in the mean-time, live cheaply, live honestly, live with dignity and do not attack (pursing your legal rights is NOT an attack). Save your money and mentally prepare to move on to your own, nice apartment and be happy.
    Good luck!

    Posted by Been there :( July 20, 09 12:27 PM
  1. Right after I posted an earlier comment suggesting the two parties working out an agreement on their own, I came to the realization that removing someone's name off the deed is a highly compliccated legal matter. So this is something they can not and should not handle on their own. Advices from lawyers are needed on this issue ASAP.
    Or they can take the sensible way out - selling the house, sharing the loss, and move on.

    Posted by CutTheLoss July 20, 09 12:29 PM
  1. No legal advice (or cheap moralizing) here, just a simple Don't Live Together as Roomies ... it doesn't work. Good luck.

    Posted by BoSoxKris July 20, 09 12:31 PM
  1. I relegated my live-in-ex-boyfriend to the finished basement, but I bought him a pool table as a peace offering. He got really good. Slightly interrupted my long-term plan to turn the basement into a S&M parlor, but in the end, he split for Vegas. Easy come, easy go.

    Posted by Sally July 20, 09 12:31 PM
  1. I think people should give the woman a break regarding the relationship and commitment, especially as we don't really know all the details. These things happen. I'm sure at the time, they had every reason to believe that they would be together forever, but life doesn't always work out like that. Who really knows what is round the corner..

    I do agree that they should look at trying to make a clean break as amicably as possible. So either someone buys out the other or sell the house.

    Posted by strewthbruce July 20, 09 12:33 PM
  1. To all those spouting advice about "never purchase property together prior to marriage", please provide the time machine that the LW will need to make your advice even the slightest bit relevant and timely.

    Also, I will add that if you are warning others who may be reading, you should also point out that millions of real estate transactions involving non-married people take place each year. Many of these work out just fine in the short-term and long-term.

    Posted by Stop Lecturing July 20, 09 12:38 PM
  1. Perhaps SHE got the mortgage & HIS name ISN"T on it but he is helping pay the mortgage. You can't assume people.

    Posted by no assumptions July 20, 09 12:40 PM
  1. Charge him for sex! make a little pin money on the side.

    Posted by Mumbles Menio July 20, 09 12:42 PM
  1. I did not read every comment but the majority of the replies seem to be from women. Turn it around ladies, would you still say "throw the bum out?"

    Posted by maleresponse July 20, 09 12:42 PM
  1. I've read several comments suggesting that he be thrown out or get a craigslist roomate. I would like to know how the people making comments here would feel if the roles were reversed? Would they be saying "throw her out", "let her get a Craigslist roomate"? Is there a different standard, if the woman is the one with the unstable job and not able to afford the place on their own?

    Posted by Jim Dabi July 20, 09 12:43 PM
  1. Welcome to my marriage...

    I think if I were in your situation (could afford the place on my own or could perhaps get a roommate to help cover expenses, didn't have kids and didn't have to go through a divorce as well as dissolving the property issue) I would push him to find a cheap rental and get him out. I'm sure he can find some old lady who has a small room for rent above a garage for low rent. Get creative, get him out and move on!

    Posted by Jen July 20, 09 12:46 PM
  1. My sister and her ex are in the exact same situation. Lucky for them, they live together well enough, though I don't agree with the "sit and wait it out" approach.

    If it were me, I would definately NOT sell the house at a loss or short sale. Who wants to have bad credit and no house at 40 years old? I would really really try to buy out and refinance with a trusted family member. Then rent the basement to help pay the mortgage.

    Posted by Bee July 20, 09 12:47 PM
  1. I don't understand why people keep saying "buy him out". The house has negative equity, there is nothing to buy, just debt to split up, right?

    Posted by Sarah Lee July 20, 09 12:47 PM
  1. @ #6: if he's given until september 31st, he'll never leave.

    Posted by 30 days hath september, april, june, and november July 20, 09 12:51 PM
  1. Meredith's advice would be spot on if the BF didn't have ownership in the house.

    But since the letter writer made clear that they "bought a house together" then tossing out the BF would be legally unenforceable.

    An attorney is needed immediately to straighten out/clarify ownership issues, who owns what percentage of house, etc.

    Perhaps GF can, after sound legal advice, take over 100% of mortgage (maybe in exchange for BF relinquishing his "share) and then charge BF market rate for renting. That might get him into a Craigslist mood!

    Posted by Sigh July 20, 09 12:51 PM
  1. It's interesting how Meredith automatically assumes the guys is a "deadbeat" and needs to be kicked out of the house. If the letter were exactly the same except the writer being male, I don't think she'd be so quick with the same advice.

    As others have pointed out, legally, he has every right to be in the home and can't be simply kicked out. Also, the writer never says that her ex hasn't lived up to his financial commitments so he's not a "deadbeat" or a "leech" that people seem to be quick on labeling him as such. I don't think it's as impossible to live together as roommates as Meredith suggests. With the economy the way it is, I'm sure they are not alone. As long as they can be mature about it (they are in their 40's), no reason to think it can't work in the short-term. Otherwise, sell the place and split it or buy him out.

    Posted by egomaniac July 20, 09 12:56 PM
  1. Don't let the men here distract you with this lawyer nonsense. He's a man, if the relationship ended, it must be his fault. Don't even give him 3 weeks notice to clear out of your castle. Just kick the deadbeat to the curb!

    You go girl!!!!

    O. Beese Hauswife

    Bon Bons, not pom poms!

    Posted by O. Beese Hauswife July 20, 09 12:56 PM
  1. Is your ex seventeen years old? No? Then he should man up and find a friend, family member, room for let, etc. And get out of your house. You don't owe each other anything.

    Posted by ericalina July 20, 09 01:00 PM
  1. To #62 CutTheLoss - getting a name off the deed is not that complicated. It is a simple filing of a "Quit Claim" document.

    It's getting his name off the mortgage loan that is a lot, lot harder. The only way to do it, really, is to sell, or to refinance. And that's the problem here. You can't refinance these days if your house is underwater. Unless the LW can come up with the difference between the appraisal and the loan amount. And even if she could, remember that the original loan was assuming that there were two salaried people covering the payments. If she couldn't qualify two years ago on her salary alone, there's no way she's going to qualify today, what with lenders getting stricter.

    Posted by anecdotal evidence July 20, 09 01:02 PM
  1. Diane,

    My first suggestion is you have a frank (not mean) talk to your ex, about your concerns and see what his take on the situation is. If you are agreeable to him living in the basement, you can give it a shot and see how it goes for a while. If you are just roommates though, you need to discuss things like who pays what utilities and each of you purchasing your own food, sundries etc... I don't think you have the legal right to "kick him to the curb" since his name is on the mortgage too.

    If things work out as roomies great, but if not, your next step is for both of you to talk to a lawyer. They can tell you what each of your legal options are, whether buying him out is even an option. It may come down to you needing to refinance the property and if you can qualify on your own. Goodluck in whatever you decide.

    Posted by sundiego July 20, 09 01:05 PM
  1. If he is on the mortgage, which I assume he is, you're screwed and you need to both move out, sell the house and both take a loss. You don't want to be caught in a situation where you are buying him out of half a house that you paid for the majority of in the first place.

    You need to cut this off cold turkey. Besides, you don't want to live in a house where your relationship went to hell. Get yourself a small, managable condo, or move in with friends until you re-coup the loss of the mortgage.

    Posted by anonymous July 20, 09 01:07 PM
  1. I'd tell him to move into the basement....and he can occupy the % of the house that he owns. Have an orgy on your side and watch how fast he leaves.....

    Posted by Sabs July 20, 09 01:07 PM
  1. His name on the mortgage is irrelevant. It is the *title to the house* that matters. If he is on the title, he owns half the house. Period.
    The mortgage is a whole different can of worms. Refinancing fixes *nothing* if he is on the deed. He owns half the house and you cannot kick him out without paying him for what he owns of the house.

    Posted by jlen July 20, 09 01:12 PM
  1. You need legal advice to disolve your joint mortgage. He should leave, but he is owed something. Even if you paid more, he has still contributed.

    It's fine to buy if you are not married, but these things should be addressed BEFORE you get to this point. I have a good friend, who bought a house with a close plutonic friend after a divorce. They knew the arrangement wouldn't last forever, but my friend also didn't want to just pay rent and subsidize her friends mortgage either. At the time the market was much better, but the idea was to make sure they split the profit/loss fairly (which is not to say evenly). They had a simple agreement drawn up prior to the closing. Had they not taken that precaution it could have turned ugly, since the the friend was of course not happy when my friend moved on and remarried a few years later. They remain close friends to this day, and I'm sure that simple step preserved the friendship and avoided some potential disagreements.

    Posted by RealityChic July 20, 09 01:15 PM
  1. Being married does not change the situation with the Real Estate.

    Mortgage is still underwater, BF + GF still make the same amount of money.

    If anything, being single makes it simpler to disolve their relationship. It's a matter of dealing with the House, that's all. Granted, in this case everyone's going to take a loss but that would be true with a divorce too.

    Posted by sean July 20, 09 01:19 PM
  1. To all of you who are saying 'don't buy a house before you are married' are being ridiculous. There are a hell of lot of bitter divorces over property and people left feeling screwed. It has more to do with finding someone you can have a civil breakup (married or not) and ending it before the stuff hits the fan and acting like adults.

    Posted by WakeUP July 20, 09 01:19 PM
  1. You both need to sell the house and go your separate ways and sanity is worth more than a mortgage. Who needs to marinate in negativity.

    Although it's difficult to sell in this market, both of you could rent the house while the market improves.

    And I'm chiming with the chorus - GET AN ATTORNEY.

    Posted by lolipopp July 20, 09 01:19 PM
  1. For all of you pontificating about "never buy property with someone you are not married to" I can't see how that possibly has any relevance to this quandary. LW and her boyfriend would be in the exact same jam even if they were married (only then they'd also have to get a divorce). Plenty of couples marry, buy a place, and then split up in a couple of years and face the same problem. I know a married couple that split up and they remained roommates until their house sold so that buyers wouldn't think they were desperate -- being married didn't make the situation any easier or better. Passing judgment on unmarried couples isn't helping here.

    Posted by move on July 20, 09 01:20 PM
  1. Oh my, what a quandry. There are things in life that should not be easy-breezy and taken lightly. One is a mortgage, another is a committed relationship i.e. living together (the alterna-marriage). This writer has comitted some no-no's and has to clean up the doo-doo now. It will not be easy, it will not be pretty (on the pocketbook mostly), but these are the consequences in life, lest we forget that actions have consequences. I'm feeling a little self-righteous today and liking it,

    Posted by lilmonkeybean July 20, 09 01:24 PM
  1. I agree with what everyone says... accept for the comment posted by Fievel, because I don't know what "impetus" means.

    Posted by Somewhere Out There July 20, 09 01:33 PM
  1. Oh my, what a quandry. There are things in life that should not be easy-breezy and taken lightly. One is a mortgage, another is a committed relationship i.e. living together (the alterna-marriage). This writer has comitted some no-no's and has to clean up the doo-doo now. It will not be easy, it will not be pretty (on the pocketbook mostly), but these are the consequences in life, lest we forget that actions have consequences. I'm feeling a little self-righteous today and liking it,

    Posted by lilmonkeybean July 20, 09 01:33 PM
  1. Bring home different guys every night for loud, boisterous (safe) sex. He'll pack his bags pretty quickly.

    Posted by Kay-Man July 20, 09 01:36 PM
  1. Why is everyone so harsh. I've been housemates with my ex for about 5 years now. Why? Simple. We have one of two choices: live alone in a small, dumpy one bedroom apartment somewhere or continue living together in a decent-sized house with a driveway, back yard, laundry, even extra space for home office etc. The second choice is much better for both of us even though we have both moved on. We feel perfectly comfortable with the other dating and even encourage and talk about it. We became good friends through the relationship although we were not compatible as a couple any more. As far as room mates, what's the old saying ... The devil you know...

    Posted by amicable July 20, 09 01:38 PM
  1. Diane, here's what you do:

    Allow him to stay in the basement. But bring home a parade of strange men over the course of the next few weeks. Then make *LOTS* of news from upstairs (hopefully you are a screamer).

    When these men finish and go home, walk down to the basement and lord it over him. Make him lick your boots. Break out the cat-o-nine tails. Call him names. In other words, fulfill your Domme destiny. Revel in his abject humiliation. He'll be at your beck and call forever...

    Posted by Don Juan Lynn July 20, 09 01:53 PM
  1. Because this is the Love Letters blog with the effervescent Ms. Goldstein rather than the Real Estate Now blog with loveless finance geeks Van Voorhis and Fischman…and because it’s not an exercise in the seemingly tartaric art of “I told you so”, I will, how shall we say, Focus on the Pocus. You’re either going to get yourself out of this mess or not, but here’s what’s waiting for you and Brigham Young there if you remain co-mingled:

    I have a woman friend who dates online with the same regularity as I make right turns. She’s an attractive, successful, single mom who is drawn to hillbillies. At any one time she’s juggling Jethro Bodine, Bubba Gump and Sling Blade. Apparently, she’s been up, over and under with this one guy who lives with his ex-wife (to be?) and his kids. They even moved recently nearer to my friend (if you can believe it) as a broken family unit. It’s OK…They have an ARRANGEMENT! I refer to the guy (fair or not) as “The Polygamist”…‘nuf said. You’re making good money…you can afford hair treatments…and you have a few years before you hit menopause. Remove the fly from the ointment, smooth out those crow’s feet and focus on the pocus in private.

    Posted by valentino July 20, 09 01:53 PM
  1. Meredith, why do you suggest that he moves out? She's the one with the problem, she can easily move out and be done with it.

    Meredith, you should suggest that they sell the house, take a loss and just move on. That's the cleanest break there is. Otherwise, they are going to hire lawyers, and lose even MORE money.

    This writer says selling is not feasible. YES IT IS. She's just being greedy. She doesn't want to take a loss on a bad choice.

    Even though he pays 1/3 doesn't mean he owns 1/3 of the house. They both own it EQUALLY unless something was written down beforehand stating otherwise.

    The writer wants out of the situation. She knows the cleanest path, yet she chooses not to take it because she's being selfish.

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants July 20, 09 01:54 PM
  1. I'm sorry, but for a column / blog titled "Love Letters", this question misses the mark. This should be sent to the "Free Legal Advice" blog.

    Posted by dizzle July 20, 09 01:55 PM
  1. I hear there's a market for 40-something "mature" women to "befriend" older, financially secure gentlemen. Viva, Viagra!

    Posted by Viva Viagra July 20, 09 01:57 PM
  1. The other option is that YOU move out. He can post ads on CL to get two male bachelor roommates, set up a nice bachelor pad, have some kick-a$$ parties and have fun in the house.

    It's absurd at how many people here are acting like she can just "kick him out". What gives her that right?

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants July 20, 09 02:02 PM
  1. I love #77 (O. Beese Houswife)'s and #78 (ericalina)'s comments in sequence.

    Posted by frightful July 20, 09 02:06 PM
  1. I guess I have a different view than most of the others.. While everyone seems to think you should definitely NOT live with your ex, no one has really provided an explanation of HOW you're supposed to do that.. Truth is, you legally can not kick him out if his name's on the title of the house.. If you want him to leave you better ask nice because he can make this a very difficult process if he wants too. He could refuse to move out, in which case you may have to hire a lawyer, may have to buy him out, or may have to sell the house at a loss.. Do you really want to go through that? If you are considering letting him live there, this means you think there is a chance this could work.. I have read about couples that have broken up but remained friends and kept living in the same house even when one of them got remarried and the new spouse moved in.. As weird as it sounds, you have to do what works for you, and not worry so much about what other people think ...

    Posted by Tom July 20, 09 02:09 PM
  1. Why are y'all trying to guess at what needs to be done? We were not given any details about the house purchase so we have no idea. We have no idea who is right, who is wrong (deadbeat man, mean woman, whatever).

    And putting the "morality" issue totally aside, because it's irrelvant to helping these people with their problem - the next step should be - get a lawyer. Period.

    Both parties need to understand what their options are, regardless

    And as far as making a major investment, like buying a house, with someone you're not legally bound to? CRAZY, w/o some kind of agreement in place. Splitting up is hard enough, isnt it, whether you are married or not

    And by the way, I am a woman. A smart one.

    Posted by Ava July 20, 09 02:09 PM
  1. As long as you can live together civily, what's the problem? He has just as much right to the house as you do if you bought it together and he signed the papers. Get advice from a lawyer and don't do anything in haste.

    Posted by PMason July 20, 09 02:10 PM
  1. I'm glad I am not in your situation. It was bad enough for me when it was a break up with a longtime girlfriend in an apartment with a lease we couldn't break. Three months of watching her walk "home" at 8 am with her clothes all messed up made true enemies out of us. You must think you are so trendy like starlets in Hollywood making up and breaking up whenever it suits you. Reality sucks huh?

    Posted by glambake July 20, 09 02:12 PM
  1. Once Diane seeks legal advice about the deed and mortgage and if it is even a possibility for her to attempt to keep the house she should be brutally realistic as to weather or not she can truly afford the house alone. This often is the biggest mistake people make is trying to keep the house when they really cannot afford it. Depending on her financial resources she may be better off selling the house and starting fresh on all fronts.

    Posted by financial planning July 20, 09 02:15 PM
  1. ericalina, I guess in your feminist rage you missed the part about it being HIS house too. Perhaps YOU should "man up" and admit you blew it.

    Posted by Dave July 20, 09 02:23 PM
  1. Chelmsford address ? house price ?

    Posted by more info please July 20, 09 02:28 PM
  1. Need to sell your home ? We buy houses fast ! Gest fast cash from investors.

    Posted by WeBuyHomes July 20, 09 02:31 PM
  1. It all comes down to who is on the mortgage and who is on the deed. If they both are, she can't kick him out.

    Sounds like you probably agreed to pay more when you both bought the house. If so, don't complain about it now. He's already taking the raw end of the deal by sleeping in a "finished" basement. Of course, he may have done something that would make me not care if he slept outside in the backyard, but you haven't indicated anything like that.

    You liked each other enough as adults to buy a home together, so now you need to deal with the fallout of an adult breakup that has legal and financial ramifications. You may need to learn how to reside as roommates. You can decide upon any groundrules the two of you want, perhaps the two of you decide that neither one can bring home a date, whether it is to have dinner, hang out, or other activities.

    Grown ups have grown up problems. If he's legally allowed to be there, then this is one you have to deal with without stamping your foot and demanding he leave. Hopefully the market will turn around soon.

    Posted by yupokay July 20, 09 02:31 PM
  1. Only you are saying " Selling the house is not feasible; " ? is he ?
    this seems like one-sided talk,
    so get the other pen who signed the deed!

    Anyone have any experience making this kind of living arrangement work long-term? why anyione ? YOU YOURSELF dear !

    Posted by where's the man? July 20, 09 02:36 PM
  1. Only you are saying " Selling the house is not feasible; " ? is he ?
    this seems like one-sided talk,
    so get the other pen who signed the deed!

    Anyone have any experience making this kind of living arrangement work long-term? why anyione ? YOU YOURSELF dear !

    Posted by where's the man? July 20, 09 02:39 PM
  1. I love how all the uptights in here jump all over with lectures and demands of hostility. The fact is, they got into a bad situation together over a period of time. It will take time to get out of the situation as well. Might as well make the best of it.

    Get chinese takeout (you pay two-thirds of the bill, he pays one-third), get zooted, open a bottle of wine, play 'Physical Graffiti' (particularly 'Ten Years Gone'), get intimate one last time, then collaborate on an add for renting out the finished basement on Craigslist. Then look into supplementing your incomes somehow. The goal being to use the extra money to pay down principle while you wait for rates to drop or housing prices to rise, or both. It could be a while....

    Posted by Boo Ya Bonham July 20, 09 02:45 PM
  1. I love how all the uptights in here jump all over with lectures and demands of hostility. The fact is, they got into a bad situation together over a period of time. It will take time to get out of the situation as well. Might as well make the best of it.

    Get chinese takeout (you pay two-thirds of the bill, he pays one-third), get zooted, open a bottle of wine, play 'Physical Graffiti' (particularly 'Ten Years Gone'), get intimate one last time, then collaborate on an ad for renting out the finished basement on Craigslist. Then look into supplementing your incomes somehow. The goal being to use the extra money to pay down principle while you wait for rates to drop or housing prices to rise, or both. It could be a while....

    Posted by Boo Ya Bonham July 20, 09 02:48 PM
  1. These poor kids only wanted to play house. Not fair for reality to show up and ruin their fun, making them trapped and unhappy and all. So, Diane, here is what you do. Go to the center of your highly leveraged living room – maybe you call it the “Great Room” in Chelmsford. Stomp you feet very loudly and scream at the top of your voice “Go away nasty old Mr. Mortgage! Go away!” If that doesn’t work, call your parents and convince them to buy out your boyfriend’s portion of the house. You know how to ask your parents for money, right? I thought so.

    Posted by Greg Bardy July 20, 09 03:06 PM
  1. " Selling the house is not feasible; "
    how about renting ?
    renting to own, renting to lease, lease to own, investors to own

    Posted by RENT July 20, 09 03:07 PM
  1. Comment #8 is right... never buy a home with someone unless you are married! My girlfriend is going through the exact same thing with her ex. It's a mess. You can't legally kick him out, Have the house re-assessed and repurchase the home solely, buying him out of his portion with the re-assessed value. Talk to banks/mortgage lenders on how to do this. You may not get approved solely unless you legally promise to have roommates who pay you rent.

    Let's hope the economy get better soon! Good luck!

    Posted by Billinnewton July 20, 09 03:08 PM
  1. This piece of advice is too late for the LW, but I'm passing it on in case it helps someone else. When my boyfriend and I bought our condo, the lawyer offered to write up a document that sort of resembled a prenuptual stating what was to happen in case we split up. He said that it seemed cold, but that he had clients who hadn't done so and were in a bad place when they split up. We took him up on his advice. Fortunately we got married and have stayed together since, but we did appreciate is advice.

    If you buy a house with someone and you're not married, ask the lawyer to write you up a contract.

    Posted by lpb July 20, 09 03:11 PM
  1. Caught in a very similar scenario during the dot-com bust in the Backbay. We ended the relationship, lived as roommates for a month then 9/11 happened and I had to move for work. 8 weeks of living together proved we were not making a mistake and we went our sperate ways...

    Posted by Darwin July 20, 09 03:12 PM
  1. Right on #91..

    Posted by Paul from Wellesley July 20, 09 03:12 PM
  1. Only you are saying " Selling the house is not feasible; " ? is he ?
    this seems like one-sided talk,
    so get the other pen who signed the deed!

    Anyone have any experience making this kind of living arrangement work long-term? why anyione ? YOU YOURSELF dear !

    Posted by where's the man? July 20, 09 03:12 PM
  1. lilmonkeybean (90)-- And how exactly would it have been better if she'd married him first? I hope you don't get vertigo up there on your high horse.

    Posted by anita July 20, 09 03:15 PM
  1. Hey Meredith,
    It would make sense to actually READ the letter before dispensing advice. The comments have picked up on the legalities that you missed. You deserve a shot here, just like the LW's get. You should read your response again. You slammed this guy, WHO IS EMPLOYED, who I'm sure works hard but isn't as "well off" as the woman. All about the money, isn't it Meredith? Maybe your next wine tasting will be in France with your dream guy who can fly you there with his millions instead of driving your used Honda down Route 24 to Westport. Shame....shame.
    You're usually spot on with advice, but on this one you missed badly. Not even close. Stay away from the Lifetime Movie network next weekend and regain some perspective.

    Posted by leykis101 July 20, 09 03:20 PM
  1. Uh... when did Love Letters turn into Real Estate Letters?

    I fail to see how this has anything to do with the usual fare of this column...

    Posted by monkeycaller July 20, 09 03:23 PM
  1. that sucks. i saw this exact thing on hgtv yesterday. a girlfriend/boyfriend decided on a whim to buy a house and were touring houses...wtf? are you kidding? i'd want a ring on this finger before signing over my life to a mortgage! and then you're putting money into something that isn't even yours...bad decision...anyway i think you should just set a date...that way your ex has a time line of when he has to be out by...and it gives him enough time to save up the cash...and everyone can play nice.

    Posted by Chris July 20, 09 03:25 PM
  1. Anita-

    First of all, get your posts right. Lilmonkeybean is post#91. All he was basically saying is that life isn't easy and there consequences with your actions. That's all. I know in today's Dr Phil world everybody wants an easy way out or to blame it on your parents.. I'm not railing against her buying a home with her boyfriend just don't cry out for help the this inocent school girl..

    You made your bed, now sleep in it!!!!!

    Posted by Paul from Wellesley July 20, 09 03:26 PM
  1. Because this is the Love Letters blog with the effervescent Ms. Goldstein rather than the Real Estate Now blog with those loveless finance geeks …and because it’s not an exercise in the seemingly tartaric art of “I told you so”, I will, how shall we say, Focus on the Pocus. You’re either going to get yourself out of this mess or not, but here’s what’s waiting for you and Brigham Young there if you remain co-mingled:

    I have a woman friend who dates online with the same regularity as I make right turns. She’s an attractive, successful, single mom who is drawn to hillbillies. At any one time she’s juggling Jethro Bodine, Bubba Gump and Sling Blade. Apparently, she’s been up, over and under with this one guy who lives with his ex-wife (to be?) and his kids. They even moved recently nearer to my friend (if you can believe it) as a broken family unit. It’s OK…They have an ARRANGEMENT! I refer to the guy (fair or not) as “The Polygamist”…‘nuf said. You’re making good money…you can afford hair treatments…and you have a few years before you hit menopause. Remove the fly from the ointment, smooth out those crow’s feet and focus on the pocus in private.

    Posted by valentino July 20, 09 03:26 PM
  1. IDIOT!!!!!! (shaking my head in shame)
    What the h*!! were you thinking.And you say your in your forties! Your worst then theses twentie-something idiot LW's. Its time for both of you to grow up. You need to decide "TODAY" if you can handle being "Just" roommates and if you are willing to foot the majority of the bills, while Mr. Ex is in the basement chill`n with his new girl. But who knows it could work out perfectly, as long as their is no ill-will towards eachother. Kinda like #93 (amicable). But you got to be a really stong (or crazy) women. I couldnt handle my Ex living with me and doing the monkey dance with another women in my house. And it would be hard telling your new man that "the man downstairs is your Ex". Yikes!!!!!
    Im at a lose on this one. Good Luck to ya!!!!!

    Posted by LilShorty98 July 20, 09 03:27 PM
  1. If this was a man saying he paid twice as much as his girlfriend, and he wanted out - the same people on here stating "throw the bum out" would be all over the guy to be fair to his girlfriend. LW's boyfriend has as much legal right to be there as she does. Stop trashing this guy as some sort of deadbeat when we know nothing about him, other than through the assumptions of posters. Also stop criticizing their living together. She's looking for advice. Give it or don't, but don't judge.

    Talk to a lawyer - together. I still think the best option is a short sale. Having bought a short sale, I highly recommend an attorney who has specific experience with those. In the end, the banks don't want to own properties so they'll take a short sale in lieu of foreclosure.

    Good luck to both of you.

    Posted by Patty July 20, 09 03:28 PM
  1. Does your soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend do annoying things like give you a piece of advice and then follow it emphatically with the word "period," but then go on talking for like for like five more minutes? Then I would say work out another plan besides living together platonically. Cuz' that kind of sh*t grates the crap out of me.

    Posted by Sally July 20, 09 03:29 PM
  1. Rico has one more thing to add then he is done...maybe, for today...

    Rico said that you shouldn't buy a home together unless married or with a legal agreement and he sticks by that. However there are some on here saying that it is ok since it is less of a problem to dissolve of the house than of a marriage and all the assets. This is correct in a sense but it is not the whole truth.

    Remember, statistics don;t lie, liars use statistics...

    Rico explains it this way. Unless you have committed to one another through marriage which traditionally happens after dating for a short time, engaged for a time and living together possibly during that time then you shouldn't buy a home together. While BF GF could have met a year ago and bought together for their first shared apartment. The truth is that each and every relationship and its timing is different. Following the marriage example makes more sense even though it too may end in divorce. Buying as GF BF there is no guarantee the relationship willl work or not but without a legal document you are only asking for trouble, especially when one has more money or the house drops in value.

    Both are 40 or over and have no money? This is pretty sad and brings Rico to another topic...How could you get to 40+ years and be broke? Rico's assumption is that you are both pathetic morons that care more about today than any future whatsoever. You plan on using the system to take care of you when you get old and unable to work and you will be blaming everyone else for your stupid decisions...This house being one of many stupid decisions you have made.

    Now please go and get a lawyer, RE agent and go back to being a renter since you are not qualified with enough brainpower to be a responsible homeowner...and throw away the sharp objects as well as anything that could burn you since you are not capable of acting like an adult.

    That is Rico's rant for today,

    See you all tomorrow...back to work now :)

    Love always,


    Posted by Rico July 20, 09 03:29 PM
  1. It's 5 hours after I first read this letter and I'm still trying to figure out a reason why the LW's boyfriend is getting shat on from commentors for anything other than the fact that he urinates standing up and is allowed to go topless in public.

    He has a job. He's still paying the agreed upon share of the mortgage. He's cooperating. He volunteered to move into the basement of a house he owns. The "deadbeat" labels and "kick him to the curb" nonsense must be coming from people who own multiple cats, are divorced, or are still married but have let themselves go physically and therefore are devoting a significant portion of their unfulfilled lives bashing males. Unintentionally comical at best, absolutely pathetic at worst.

    Posted by Hoss July 20, 09 03:31 PM
  1. #116 -- Paul from Wellesley, big whoop, so I got the post number wrong. You really got me there!

    I'm just glad Lil Monkey Bean (#91 or #89, whatever) has company up there on his high horse. You make your bed now you lie in it? Give me a break, grandpa.

    Posted by anita July 20, 09 03:49 PM
  1. Wow You guys are harsh. Lets remenber we have only heard part of the story. While you make more money then he and your job is more stable, nobody ever said that he doesn't participate in the household expenses in a fair manner or that he didn't help out with the downpayment or purchase. The fact is that you entered into a financial partnership when you purchased a home no matter the market conditions and you have to extricate yourselves in a fair manner, relationship or not. If he is to leave then you should pay back any intial downpayment he might have made as well as expenses contributed in running a household, or if not a gaurantee in writing of future profits when the house is sold in the future again based on his financial contribution. The idea is fairness as a business partner which has nothing to do with a now ended relationship and you should have considered that when you entered into the deal in the first place.

    Posted by Steve K July 20, 09 03:52 PM
  1. Boy, Diane, bet you're sorry you asked, huh? Ask for advice, get a lot of lectures from self-righteous moralists who don't know their arse from their elbow, body parts from parts of speech (ahem #38, morons and idiots are nouns, not adjectives), not to mention dispensing dubious legal advice. Look, you and your soon-to-be-ex seem to be good people who grew apart. It happens. There's no reason why you cannot work this out civilly. You seem to be generous. He needs to be fair-minded. He cannot continue to depend upon your largesse. He was your lover, your partner, not your dependent. He needs to find a new job or a second job. If he's going to continue to live in the house, he needs to pay a reasonable share. Living in the basement, he ought to pay less, but he also needs to bank some dough so that he can move out eventually. Since you both say you feel trapped, he probably wants to move even more than you want him to. Unless the home is solely owned by one of you, you will need a lawyer. Check with the probate court. In Norfolk County, the Bar Association holds free legal clinics. Court officers may be able to direct you to some free or discount legal advice. (Too bad you're not in your 20s. You could have hooked up with last week's lawyer who was looking for a nice woman and gotten some pro bono advice.) Anyway, ignore those who would pass judgment on you. Live and learn, right? Good luck to both of you.

    Posted by Kate's Nonna July 20, 09 04:03 PM
  1. I've been very critical of Rico in the past but I believe he is spot on today. Hoss I agree with you as well... This lady needs to get a life and start taking responsiblity for her actions. Can't believe how pathetic you are for girl in her 40's!!

    Posted by Paul from Wellesley July 20, 09 04:15 PM
  1. #55 - I have to agree that if the shoe was on the other foot, you know everyone would be HATING on the ex-girlfriend. But since it's the girl who wears the pants here, and citing equal rights (danged feminist movement) we have to crap on the guy who is only paying a third of the mortgage.

    Which leads me into the next point - why be with someone if they can't provide at least an equal share? F that - if you can't go 50/50 on a mortgage or bills or whathaveyou, then there's no equality in the relationship and it's DOOMED. (oh, wait, it's already over. never mind then)

    #61 - Thank you for providing the other side of the story. It's good to know that this deadbeat has company in the rat trap.
    #64 - that was GREAT - if you have any plans to change it back to an S&M parlor, please take my email address. Vintage! PS - can you add a trap door through the floor for my buddy? He likes wearing leather and don't worry, he doesn't talk a lot because he's got a ball gag. You might have seen him in Pulp Fiction...
    #82 - You never said if the ex can participate in the orgy. Whatever money he would make cleaning up, wearing the biohazard suit to fend off diseases and foul airbourne particulates should be discounted from his payment of the mortgage.
    #93 - same deal, eh? Do you complain if she brings someone over for loud sex? In any case, you are certainly in the minority. And your woman must still love you or something.

    OK - last piece of advice for our dear friend Diane in Chelmsford - Follow the consensi here and GET A LAWYER ASAP. It never hurts to get free legal consultation. What will hurt you in the end is not having the information you could have had today and for FREE.

    Best wishes.

    Posted by Admiral Antgro July 20, 09 04:32 PM
  1. Rico does have an added thought and he can't believe he is actually writing this:

    Rico is actually in agreement with Hoss, and guesses Hoss feels the same as Rico?

    The guy bought a house with his girlfriend and put up an amount of $$$ whatever that was along with sharing the mortgage, taxes, heat/electric, cable, etc...because they were IN THIS TOGETHER. That is what a relationship is about, marriage or not. Also Rico is just guessing here but did the LW go into this thinking about how much she was paying vs him? Rico doubts it. Does she help out with fixing things, lawn work, painting or is that a man's job?

    Look, Rico isn't going to get into man vs woman here. The fact is they made a STUPID mistake at 40+yrs of age and most likely will be a burden to society for years to come. They can't afford to lose what they are about to lose so they decide to compound the mistake by living as roomates...BRILLIANT. Rico suggests maybe having an extra entrance added for him and rezoning to a 2 family. Who gets the garage? Who clears the snow? Mows the lawn? Paints the house?

    Dumb and Dumber...Need Rico say any more???

    Getting Rico in agreement with Hoss...is that a chill Rico is feeling or what?

    Global warming? He-LL just froze over...


    Posted by Rico July 20, 09 04:41 PM
  1. Why does Rico fling around words like "pathetic morons", "not qualified with enough brainpower", and "YOU ARE AND THIS BOYFRIEND ARE IDIOTS, STUPID, MORONS...Pick an adjective...You sound like a bit of a mean spirited B*&^#@ as well. " Nice grammar there Rico, and BTW you DO know that these are nouns, not adjectives, right? Then Rico ends his posting "Love Always". Rico, please just for once SHUT IT. Some salient points: 1) Rico can't know the whole story; 2) the LW said that she CAN afford the place by herself, she didn't say she was broke; 3) the LW didn't ask whether she should throw him out - she asked whether anyone else has experience with this situation. Rico, if you were as worldly wise and sage as you would like us to believe, perhaps you could develop other interests aside from boring us LL posters with your absurd rants. You do not help anyone - you only post to read yourself in print. Now, why don't you do what you say you should do and go back to work! I'm assuming that you are a pizza delivery boy or someone equally critical to the world economy so your busy time should be coming up right about now with the early dinner orders flowing in. I'll take a large pepperoni please - deliver it to Sally's house. We have a party planned for tonight.

    Posted by J Bar July 20, 09 04:53 PM
  1. Anita- it's #91.. Just in case you wanted to get something right. Explain in the best way you can (use pig latin if you have too) why #91 and myself are on a "high horse".. or are you just another half-wit who doesn't take the time to actually read the content of peoples comments. Bunker Hill starts in September. You may want to enroll in some sort of class..

    Posted by Paul from Wellesley July 20, 09 05:06 PM
  1. I'm assuming he contributed to the downpayment, yes? Then offer to buy him out, and suggest he look at ads for roommates, etc. But if his name is on the mortgage and the deed, and if he's contributed to the payments and the downpayment, you can't kick him out like he's a roommate in a rental that has only your name on the lease. So if you want him to go, you have to either sell the house and take the loss or buy out his share of the mortgage. That's only fair. If you can't afford to buy him out or take the loss on the mortgage, then you two had better work something out--perhaps a timeline when you can expect to be able to buy him out. While Meredith is right in that he's not your dependent and there's no need to mother him, you can't just kick him out of the house (and I'm not going to assume that he's a deadbeat).

    And. . .not to sound like a mother hen, here, but for the love of all things sensible, don't buy a house with a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Just don't do it. Things get way too messy if you break up (yes, if you're married, you can get a divorce and that's messy, too, but ideally, you get married if you're really sure it's the right step. Well, you would only do it if you were very sure, wouldn't you?). And if you get married--PRENUP. For real. Get. A. Prenup. Even if he's a multi-billionaire and you're not interested in his money (or vice-versa)--it saves headaches like this down the road if you do divorce.

    Paul, I have yet to meet any girls in their 40's. By that age, we're women--whether you like the choices of a particular 40-something woman or not. Just like you're not a "boy" in your mid-thirties. I don't refer to males in their thirties and forties as boys. They're men (even if some of the posters here don't act like them).

    Posted by PM July 20, 09 05:10 PM
  1. Put the house on the market, take the losses selling the house, divide the loss between the two of you, dissolve both relationships and eat the cost. case closed.

    Posted by Whatever July 20, 09 05:44 PM
  1. In one hand, you have been in a relationship with someone you were once in love with. A breakup doesn't mean you stop caring all together. A lot of couples have remained friends after a breakup. Since you are both adults and he is willing to go downstairs...does he pay some sort of rent? does it help you currently in your financial situation? can you both act cordial, respectful and kind to each other? If you have a healthier friendship outside of a romantic one...then both of you should write up some sort of short term NOT long term agreement to get him and yourself situated, I think that is fine. However, I don't think this is healthy long term. I know a lot of married couples whom have broken up and ease out of the financial mess instead of it being a nuclear bomb where no one gets ahead.

    Posted by lisa July 20, 09 06:21 PM
  1. Yeah, time out here, folks. They BOUGHT THE HOUSE TOGETHER. First off, Diane has not one scrap more legal right to that house than her ex does. Second off, Meredith has some gall calling a guy a "deadbeat" who is still, as Diane says, holding down a job and paying what he can for expenses; as some posters have said, if the situation was reversed, people would be demonizing the scumbag man who dared to toss the woman aside and at BEST make her sleep in the basement until she hit income parity. My wife has NEVER earned better than two-thirds of my salary; does that mean she's a "deadbeat??"

    Yes, Diane and her ex need to put the house on the market - and maybe she ought to be REAL nice to him so he’s amenable to playing ball - and probably ought to see a lawyer about a MUTUALLY ACCEPTABLE agreement to split the proceeds, or she ought to buy his share out at the prevailing market price. And if she doesn’t like the split, she can call that her lesson for signing contracts without a legal commitment: buying a house with a “boyfriend” (instead of, say, a *husband*) is stupid and dangerous.

    Posted by Crystal Phoenix July 20, 09 06:33 PM
  1. To Paul from Wellesley,

    I've taught at Bunker Hill Community College and was offended by your gratuitous (and off-topic) swipe at it. Bunker Hill provides a useful bridge to further education for many people, including new immigrants, who would otherwise have no access to higher education.

    Paul, there's no excuse for bad manners like that.

    Posted by Fed Up with Rudeness July 20, 09 06:38 PM
  1. I read Rico and agree with him 100%, maybe a bot harsh but he is right. Using the words moron or idiot to describe someone is essentially an ADJECTIVE although the word itself can be used as a noun as well. To the english major that said otherwis apparently you must have missed that class?

    Rico had it right as did Hoss and others.

    Posted by Standing up for Rico July 20, 09 06:43 PM
  1. Post 136, Standing up for Rico - I am the "english major that said otherwis (sic)". I didn't miss an English class but I daresay you did. Moron and idiot are both nouns. Moronic and Idiotic are adjectives. At least use a thesaurus before flame throwing (a transitive verb to criticize somebody with offensive and disparaging e-mail) especially when such hurtful words could be thrown back at you (see - Mirror). Just out of curiousity, what does a "bot harsh" mean?

    Now, Rico, where's my pizza? Do I get free delivery? It's been more than 30 minutes.

    Posted by J Bar July 20, 09 07:13 PM
  1. Paul from Wellesley -- Now you've managed to insult both people who have different values than yours AND people who don't have as fancy an education as you do. Nicely done. For your info., lilmonkeybean double posted, so his post appeared at both 89 and 91, as I said. Oh, what? Paul is not as all knowing as he seems?

    I'm not sure why you are making this all about you, since my comment was directed at another poster -- but my point was that any of you posters that think you know better than LW simply because you BELIEVE that the root of her problems are because she didn't live up to your value system (ie by not getting married) are looking down from a pretty high horse, it seems to me.

    Posted by anita July 20, 09 07:23 PM
  1. Idiotic is an adjective. Moronic is an adjective. Idiot and moron are nouns. There is no such such thing as “essentially an adjective." If someone taught you that, Standing Up for Rico, that person is a moron and/or an idiot and I am glad I missed that class or I may have felt compelled to say so. I would comment on the rest of your message, but the misspellings and grammatical and punctuation errors make my head hurt. I'm going to take two aspirin and call you an airhead in the morning.

    Posted by Kates Nonna July 20, 09 07:33 PM
  1. Meredith missed this one. Badly. He is a deadbeat? Clearly if the roles were reversed, you wouldnt have dispensed the same advice. You wouldnt have called her a "deadbeat". He works and is living up to the agreement. Whats your problem. Man hating double standard? Very dissapointing.

    This is becoming a common situation with the economy in the tank. This woman should calm down and let it work itself out. She commited to this situation and now has to deal with the consequences.

    Where is Kathleen when we need her.

    Posted by billy13 July 20, 09 07:36 PM
  1. Lou Zer

    Posted by Lou July 20, 09 08:15 PM
  1. Fed Up #135 -
    When someone is off topic it's important to report them to the hall monitor.

    Class...Class...Class.........SHUT UP!!!
    thank you

    Posted by sister mary elephant - aka val July 20, 09 08:33 PM
  1. This situation has nothing to do with love, emotion, relationship, maturity or comfort. It is a cut-and-dry legal issue that can be resolved with the help of an attorney. The house must be sold as soon as possible. While that may not be what either of you WANT to do, it is the only equitable way to part ways. At this age, both of you have enough life experience to realize that you can't always get what you want. Hire a lawyer, get the house sold and move on from this. Simple.

    If you wish to co-exist as roommates, so be it. I know that I couldn't handle that, but everyone's different. Perhaps this couple can transition into such an arrangement, but - with all due respect, beware that new significant others might very well think you're a couple of weirdos..

    Posted by Jetta July 20, 09 08:52 PM
  1. Joey (#35): Now, you're both in your 40s. He should have savings to find emergency housing. Kick him out in two weeks.


    Not all people in their 40's have an emergency housing savings account. I'm sure people of any age are not expecting to have to move out on such a short notice, so why should he be saving up to move out, especially when, up until recently, though they had issues, there didn't seem to be any indicator that a split was going to happen, until the end. Of course, that is only based on what I read.

    Now, as for this, well, Diane was foolish to buy a house and sign a mortgage with her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend. Like some others have said, they should have lived together and rented for a year or two, to make sure that they were compatible, and then they would have an easy out at the end of a lease. A mortgage isn't a lease, and it's not as easy to get out.

    You both need to get a lawyer (either one together if you both think you can be civil) or each get your own, and work out how you are going to separate from each other financially & legally. You may not be married, but because of the house (co-ownership), you get to have some of the same issues that divorcing couples experience.

    And for everyone who says kick him out, think about what happens after. He OWNS half of the house, whether she kicks him out or he leaves, he LEGALLY OWNS half the house, and unless Diane is in fear of him or something, he doesn't have to leave legally. That's just the way it is. They need to come up with a plan that they both agree with, and follow thru, whether he leaves or she leaves, whether one buys out the other, or they sell the house, or if they both leave and rent the house, they need to come up with a mutually acceptable agreement.

    So, when you all say kick him out, you are all ignoring HIS legal rights. Is that ok because he is a guy? Is it just man bashing and gender bias like Bob Dwyer said (#32)? Because he is being lazy by not making as much money as she does? Or is it something else? I’m curious as to why all the hating is going on here.

    Posted by Charles July 20, 09 09:02 PM
  1. Billy13,

    I think M jumped the gun with her reply, but to be fair she didn't call Diane's ex a deadbeat, she asked the readers if he was a deadbeat. IMO, he's not. He's a guy in a $hitty situation, along with Diane. I can't see calling M a man-hater....could just be me.

    What they need to do depends on 1) how important is the $$ impact to both of them and 2) can they share space while working on bettering that impact.

    Posted by SettleDown July 20, 09 09:26 PM
  1. #142,
    Ohhhhhh, now we cannot wink without permission from SME ....
    you and #135 should be in FOREST not in CLASS or hall....)
    GOOD not bad people GET OUT OF BOSTON !

    Posted by Love always July 20, 09 09:32 PM
  1. I generally agree with Been there (#61), except that there is nothing wrong in moving to the finished basement, unless there is a separate bedroom upstairs, then the soon-to-be-ex should move there, but they do need to separate physically from each other, even if both stay in the house. It gets very confusing to be living together broken up as it is without sleeping in the same bed. So, find a new room to move too, and then go from there.

    The other place I disagree with Been there (#61) is their point d. The ex did ask for this situation by buying the house in the first place. Buying the house in and of itself has the potential to put the couple into this situation, and guess what, the couple is now in this situation. At least being married, there is already a road traveled that helps out with a division of property. Not being married adds additional problems to a situation like this, where the couple doesn’t have all the legal protections that marriage and divorce provide. If you are not married, and you and your significant other are thinking about buying property, REALLY THINK ABOUT IT!!! Talk to a lawyer first, and get the whole lo-down before you sign any documents, and make sure you prepare for all contingencies, even if you can’t imagine breaking up, be prepared for it ahead of time. It’ll make things so much easier and situations like this less likely to happen.

    Posted by Charles July 20, 09 09:37 PM
  1. i think that many of you need more to do :) and that this particular post has been analyzed and flogged to death.

    Posted by Ava July 20, 09 09:37 PM
  1. J bar,
    "bot harsh" mean? Back on Topic harsh and not bunker grammar.
    here it is a typo, bit harsh.
    Waiting for you especially for hurtful words could be thrown back at us while seeing the Mirror.
    Is it after the FREE pizza is delivered by the elephant in the hall?
    if it is more than 30 minutes, ask for a refund or another basement delivery guy
    not RICO!

    Posted by cheer leader say it again ENGLISH MAJOR July 20, 09 09:48 PM
  1. What would everyone be saying if this couple were unmarried and wanting to split but had three kids...and only one of them was working? The one caring for the kids is a deadbeat? One of them should be kicked to the curb? The point about who makes more money is not really relevant if the agreement was that Diane and her BF would buy the house first and figure out who could contribute how much money each month later.
    See my second post for part 2 of this. For some reason I can't fit it all in the box.

    Posted by Kathleen July 20, 09 10:37 PM
  1. The reality is that Diane can afford to stay there solo and the BF can't, so she should stay and he should go. I think she should pay the full mortgage while he saves the amount he's been paying to get a new place (rental). They can co-exist with him in the basement for that time period--maybe 6 months? Then they either decide that, since there is no equity, he just walks away....or that if she sells the house in the future, he'll get some percentage of any profit. That can be based on who put what in during the approximately 2.5 years he was living there.
    Can this work?

    Posted by Kathleen July 20, 09 10:41 PM
  1. Hi Diane-a bit of a rough crowd today but lots of good info. Here's my thought...or recap..Have a good talk with your ex. See if your on the same page about sub-letting/renting to help pay the morgage - allowing the option for some-1 to move out. Would he consider selling his half which could help his fianances? Whatever you discuss,come up with a common goal. Be easy to work with & objective,he's your buisness partner-(important)! If that goes smoothly then thats less time living together. Talk to your Realitor who may have FREE access to a lawyer or info. The quickest way thru this is by working together. The sooner your living apart,the better and healthier for everyone. I know,easier said than done for sure!! Go one day at time & be patient.

    Posted by JP July 20, 09 10:42 PM
  1. Hi Diane-a bit of a rough crowd today but lots of good info. Here's my thought...or recap..Have a good talk with your ex. See if your on the same page about sub-letting/renting to help pay the morgage - allowing the option for some-1 to move out. Would he consider selling his half which could help his fianances? Whatever you discuss,come up with a common goal. Be easy to work with & objective,he's your buisness partner-(important)! If that goes smoothly then thats less time living together. Talk to your Realitor who may have FREE access to a lawyer or info. The quickest way thru this is by working together. The sooner your living apart,the better and healthier for everyone. I know,easier said than done for sure!! Go one day at time & be patient.

    Posted by JP July 20, 09 10:43 PM
  1. Cheer Leader,

    Drink much?? English your third or fourth language?

    Posted by J Bar July 20, 09 11:00 PM
  1. For Meredith:

    Why should he have to leave when they bought the house together? You didn't address that though? Why not suggest they sell the house together instead of having him leave?

    Posted by Charles July 20, 09 11:47 PM
  1. Meredith,
    For some reason you (and many others) are completely out to lunch here and have lost all sense of objectivity and are exhibiting dismally low EQ, gender bias, etc.

    The amount of knee jerk, selfish, one dimensional, flippant, myopic and woefully malformed holier-than-thou responses sheds a poor light on the vast majority of posters here...

    There is nevertheless a wonderful glimmer of hope:
    All should take heed of the sense of balance and appreciation for emotional maturity put forth by #30 (Anna) and #93 (amicable). And kudos to similar thinking put forth by #46(twocents). Wow... 3 out of 140+ with a mature, adult EQ.

    Let's face it: there is an all-too-common set of behaviors in our 'modern' advanced(not) society that do us far more damage than good.

    Too many are too quick to 'throw out the baby with the bath water'. There is a dearth of patience, an unwillingness to compromise or make short-term sacrifices for long-term benefits. It's all about "I want my peace and satisfaction and I want it now" - I can't handle (read: I feel entitled to not have to make) the emotional effort to make the best of a situation', i.e. if things aren't rosy - just give up... and call a lawyer.

    HELLO: to ALL the posters who suggested 'get a lawyer ASAP' - All that does is absolutely maximize the chance that it gets contentious and ugly in a hurry. The bottom line reality is that ultimately all any lawyer is paid to do is to make his/her client WIN. Period. Wake-up and smell the Java. As soon as you add that agenda into the BF-GF mix each is then being schooled on all the ways to 'get one over on the other' all in the name of 'protecting yourself' - and the lawyers are getting a nice big chunk of $$ you could be saving for other purposes.

    There is a fundamental choice here people:
    [a] direct your intellect and energies on resolving conflict with someone that was once very close to you and finding mutually agreeable compromise solutions.
    [b] Focus said intellect and energies on preparing and engaging in 'war'.

    If all you care about is you (which is all-too-prevalent in today's society) then you will go with [b], in the process you may cut off your nose to spite your face, buy into a "scorch the earth" mentality and pat yourself on the back when you both lose and say to yourself "well, I lost less than he did - so I win".

    Stop the madness!! Just because you realize that someone has turned out not to be Mr./Ms Right does not mean they are the devil incarnate or some horrible person to be summarily discarded. Indeed, if you are mature and balanced and want to make the best of it for BOTH parties then you will go with [a].

    Solution: DO NOT engage lawyers unless there is a complete breakdown of communication with no hope of compromise. (note: that does not mean you shouldn’t make dispassioned queries of legal counseling services or online profesional legal forums to understand the legal implications of your mutual options – that is worthwhile).

    What to do instead?? Whatever happened to emotionally mature, calm, respectful, reasoned thinking? Propose some options and discuss the merits or lack thereof. CHILL OUT and TRY IT - you will likely be quite heartened by the benefits. If you need some direction on how to do that then go see a counselor to help facilitate it (note: they are a lot cheaper than lawyers).

    You seem reasonable; your BF seems reasonable; only you and he know all the particulars. It is for sure, however, that you both own the problem of getting into the situation and you both own getting out of it - and the more amicable it is resolved - guess what?? - The less financial pain you will both suffer and the less emotional stress you will both suffer. Sounds like a win-win scenario to me.

    I simply ask that you think about all this and discuss it calmly and objectively with the BF - or use it as food for thought to begin a joint discussion with some form of mediator or 'relationship counselor' that you both can trust. Yes, it may be 'less than ideal' until one or the other of you can financially afford to make a move but there may be a silver lining: you just might find that without all the emotional baggage of an intimate relationship you could turn out to have a valuable friend that wants to make the best of it as much as you do.

    Posted by The-Goal-is-Enlightenment July 21, 09 01:05 AM
  1. Sally, Love your posts. Always laugh out loud, then not surprised to see you are the letter writer.

    Posted by fan66 July 21, 09 01:45 AM
  1. Just for shots and giggles, rewrite this letter with the man's and woman's roles reversed, and see what the comments are.

    Posted by JoeyGeneva July 21, 09 06:53 AM
  1. valentino, #117, I usually find your posts harsh and sometimes even cruel. That post was hysterical and I loved it, especially the Tucker Max reference.

    Anywho, LW needs to sort out the legal matter involving the house and move on whether its buy him out, sell (not recommended given the current market), or whatever. I would personally hate to see an ex of mine bringing over new pieces of a$$ to our shared home. Just awkward and harmful to your mental health.

    Posted by summa! baby bumma! July 21, 09 08:26 AM
  1. First of all, there are clearly legal issues that need to be dealt with; if the guy's name is on the house it is not so easy as forcing the guy out. Go to the professionals.
    Secondly, look ahead - how is the ex living in your basement going to look to prospective dates?? I would steer clear of that situation, but that's just me.
    Do what you can to get yourself extricated from this situation. And get a lawyer.

    Posted by manda July 21, 09 08:33 AM
  1. Why don't you rent the house and both get out? But then you're potentially screwed - does he own 50% of the house? Potentially he would be entitled to 50% of the rent and could continue to pay 1/3 of the mortgage?

    My friend went through this. She gave her ex a deadline. And it passed. She gave him another. And it passed. And the hostility built up. He finally moved in with his mother. In her case though, she owned the house on her own.

    I say sell it. Give the keys back to the bank. Get on with your life.

    Posted by Anomity nomous July 21, 09 08:39 AM
  1. Rico wants to thank you for standing up for him but do so with correct grammar if you are going to spout it to the masses. Thank you again...

    Rico also wants to add that regardless of his grammar or spelling errors the point was made. Now Rico has work to do till todays letter is posted :)

    What will it be? Rico is curious...and hopes it is better than this middle aged couple acting like children.

    Love always,


    Posted by Rico July 21, 09 08:53 AM
  1. When I divorced my ex, I was afraid that he'd end up homeless.

    You know what? Without me to enable him, he managed to afford an apartment downtown. Yeah, he had roommates, but it worked. He didn't go hungry, and he even had some cash left for beer.

    This man is a capable adult, he can support himself. Good luck!

    Posted by HollyP July 21, 09 09:16 AM
  1. "Give him notice"..."kick him out"...."give him 3 weeks"...."charge him market rent for the space in the finished basement"....."You are his landlord now".....

    I'm struggling to find out where Diane has the right to say, demand, or assume any these things. He is part owner of the house and has a right to stay there as much as she does. As much as they don't like it, they are now effectively business partners.

    I also don't understand the insinuation that he is a 'deadbeat' ....it's common in couples for one to make significantly more than the other. It simply means on has a better paying job than the other, no more than that.

    I do agree he needs to go, but the right way to do it is to approach him about buying him out - or possibly even to sell the houe outright and *both* move out. Show him that if he's paying 1/3 of the mortgage, he should be able to find a place (but in the end, that's his problem). If he is unable to continue paying his share, then legal action should be considered to "force" him into a sale. Calling yourself his landlord and "evicting" him from his own property is wrong.

    Posted by JF July 21, 09 09:24 AM
  1. Dave -- she says he is staying there because he is "nervous about losing his job," (Ok, who isn't?!?!), "a studio apartment is out of his reach," he "has no friends" he could move in with -- and you say I'm in a feminist rage because I think he should do the right thing and move out when it is clear that HE can't afford this house anymore and, most importantly, THEY AREN'T TOGETHER? Most men would want to move out and try to do the best they could on their own. They wouldn't want to live in their ex-girlfriend's basement. But then again, if he can't even afford a studio apartment in his 40s, I doubt he's going to be bringing home many women. He's a loser. It doesn't take a feminist to see that.

    Posted by ericalina July 21, 09 09:36 AM
  1. Since my pro-male statement never got posted by Meredith yesterday, I'll repost.

    Meredith, why do you proclaim this guy is a deadbeat? Why are you being sexist in your comments? You know that she has no right to throw him out or to even make him move to the basement.

    so what if she makes more? I doubt that any couple makes EXACTLY the same amount per person. Who cares? Maybe someday he'll make more than her! Why does income even matter? It's not like he's just not working and mooching off of her.

    I think the guy should make HER move out, he should get two guy roommates and turn the place into a bachelor pad. She's the one that wants the situation changed. She can move out. Problem solved.

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants July 21, 09 10:34 AM
  1. have him stay ok since you two are still friends ok no need to have him leave ok

    Posted by samoy2e July 21, 09 10:36 AM
  1. They are not even married and yet Meredith and dozens of commentors still classify it as the "warden - inmate" relationship. "Kick him to the curb / Put in lockdown".

    Why should he have to move out? Why is he getting beaten up here? Deadbeat? Are you bleeping kidding me?!?!?!?

    This forum is about as objective and unbiased as 'The View'.

    It's time to start swinging the ol' hammer up in here....

    Posted by Hadie Nuff July 21, 09 11:07 AM
  1. Ya think Diane has enough food for thought now? We've come up with many viewpoints, even solutions to problems we don't know are there.

    Hey Globe, time to move on?

    Posted by Ava July 21, 09 11:45 AM
  1. Some rather harsh comments here. We are all in a tough situation and now is the time to watch out for each other.

    You are room-mates now and the boundaries will have to change but there is no reason you cannot happily co-exist if you are clear and communicate with each other. Make new rules - about dating and bill paying. Sounds like he can pay rent to you and you own the house in the end. In the meantime, he can search for another situation, but there's no reason to make another person homeless and possibly jobless in these times.

    Posted by have a heart in Quincy July 21, 09 12:46 PM
    ericalina (#164) and others who blurt out the the ilk of "he's a loser" - may you someday be enlightened. It is a sad commentary how many are disparaging simply because he is not very well off in his 40's. What a myopic, arrogant, smug world view you have adopted.

    HELLO: there are all sorts of reasons that people in the 40's and older that are not well off these days - and none of them deserve any such demeaning label.

    [a] maybe he is in a lesser paying profession - somebody has to do them and god bless those with the patience and fortitude to stick with it, make the best of it and try to better themselves and perhaps the world on what is a usually a slow road. note: A lot of those professions are in the direct or indirect service of others that too many take for granted - most likely people like you.

    [b] maybe he is caught up in a planned (or more likely unplanned) career change and starting out low on the new totem-pole. In that same vein maybe he working part-time so he can take courses on the side to learn a new skill; look around... a lot of good people are dealing with this.

    [c] maybe he was overly generous or 'taken to the cleaners' by a previous divorce so his ex and/or kids have greatly benefited from his past assets.

    I could go on.... but I can only hope to awaken some of the blinded to re-think.

    Just remember - it could be your turn someday. It will be an unfortunate but very good life lesson to see someday if misfortune befalls any or all those who utter such teenage drivel. Maybe they or their significant-other/spouse loses an income or is forced to change careers etc - maybe a big medical bill - and then the shoe is on the other foot... and you find out first hand that others are putting you down in a similar fashion. It's simple: remember the golden rule.

    HUMILITY is a lesson often delivered as a steam roller that runs rough shod all over your comfortable, then current world map. EMPATHY is an all too forgotten and hidden quality; it gets buried beneath our own pain and/or ego. It is nevertheless remarkable how they are born again and both come back out when we are down and out.

    Posted by The-Goal-is-Enlightenment July 21, 09 01:01 PM
  1. Probably not the ideal situation for either party. However, it's not a dead loss.

    Best and cleanest solution (psychologically)is if both of them could find their own place.

    However, if finances prevent, how about putting a kitchen and second entrance in the basement or somehow dividing the house up. One of them lives in one part, one in the other.

    Then even if one of them moves out, it is easier to get rental income, which it sounds like the woman would appreciate since she says it's a stretch to comver the mortgatge by hersellf.

    Posted by steve in W MA July 21, 09 01:20 PM
  1. You're all very annoying!!

    Posted by L July 21, 09 01:32 PM
  1. Uh.....you bought this house together. So for all of you that said kick the guy out now, they bought this house together. She may pay a greater percentage of the mortgage, but from this letter, he continues to pay his third of the mortgage. She knew he couldn't afford this house on his own in the event they split up, and so did he, so everyone was informed of the risks. If this woman ever cared about this guy, be nice. It doesn't sound like it was a nasty break up, he didn't do something so horrible that warrants horrible behavior in return. I don't think living together for the long-term is the answer, however, pack your stuff and you're outta here isn't right either. They may be upside down in the mortgage today, but the markets will turn around and that upside down will eventually turn into equity, therefore, if she's keeping the house, he shouldn't have to pay up for the current loss. I'd say give this guy a few months to save up some cash by allowing him to move into the basement rooms. Talk about the fact that there is a desire on everyone's part to move on, therefore, there is an expectation that someone will go out on a date at some point. That doens't mean you can't offer some respect for the other person by surprising them over pancakes some Sunday morning. Set a time limit, a few months perhaps for this guy to find an apt. and in all honesty, she should be forking up some cash for his security deposit, etc. After all, she's the one keeping the house that he has helped pay for.

    For those of you bitter women out there, this is coming from a woman. I am a home owner, and living with a long-term partner. We choose not to marry for our own personal reasons, however, none of those reasons warrented not purchasing a home together. I am in a similar position in that if my relationship ended, I'd be the one moving out and he makes considerably more money than I do. It's just a fact of our lives. However, we do have an agreement and in no way would I be moving out empty-handed. This guy shouldn't either.

    Posted by kiteflyer252 July 21, 09 02:21 PM
  1. leave is ok

    Posted by cala2009 July 22, 09 04:45 AM
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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.

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