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Al Veoli: Fence, Aisle, Fence

Al Veoli

Dear Al Veoli:

I feel a bit silly asking advice at my age. I have just found out that I have osteoarthritis in both knees, but an extremely painful flareup in the left knee put me in the emergency room. I also had Lyme disease about seven years ago and that may have caused the problem since this problem doesn't run in my family. I had been in a relationship with someone for over four years, after three marriages. Most of the men I have chosen have been addicts of some kind, and emotionally abusive. This guy was mostly a sweet, darling man. Unfortunately, he is also impractical, a huge risk taker, and suffering the consequences of very poor financial decisions (no money and no credit, having to take from his family at 57). I threw him out of my house after the first year and a half because of his extreme moods, late night energy keeping me awake, and extreme sensitivity. Any kind of criticism would escalate within seconds to a huge fit of anger and a breakup. He was either madly in love with me or I was the most evil woman on the planet. Recently when I had this flare-up he cared lovingly for me for almost a week. I couldn't take a shower without help and he also did the cooking, laundry, shopping, even took care of the cats which he had said that he would never do since he didn't approve of my having them in the first place. He has always been a schemer and living in some fantasy that his latest idea would make him rich. Reality is that he survives on three poorly paying part time jobs, a small annuity, and handouts from his family. He decided to become a food vendor for a music festival. I allowed him to keep soda, equipment, etc. in my basement. Last Thursday he showed up with a 24 foot truck instead of the van that he had ordered (the truck company screwed up his order). He demanded to bring the truck down my extremely narrow driveway that I share with my neighbor. I told him no, and he wouldn't take no for an answer. It was very obvious that the truck would not fit. He tried to do the same thing three years ago and knocked down and broke the neighbor's railing. When he refused to take no for an answer, I had to call the police. He tried to sneak down the driveway again because he didn't want to lug all of his stuff up the driveway from the garage. I called the police again. This time he backed into one of my neighbor's cars and dented the fender. He already has tickets and chargeable accidents on his license. He flew into a rage, got his remaining stuff out of my house with the help of a friend, and left. I miss having someone to check in with several times daily. We didn't live together but slept in the same bed five nights out of seven. I just could not keep up with his wild ways, and was petrified of his financial irresponsibility. He was subtly pressuring me to buy another house so that he could rent part of it for his business. I am overwhelmed as it is with work, graduate school, and maintaining my present home, and my resources are limited. I have spotless credit; he has declared bankruptcy. I changed the locks, and if he calls, which I doubt that he will because I crossed a line by calling the police, I will have his phone numbers blocked and will delete any messages and block his email address if he tries to email me. I am feeling sad and a failure for not being able to sustain a decent nurturing relationship. I know that many who are married have many of their own problems. Still, I am sometimes overwhelmed with fear, thinking that with this disease I have to make my way alone in this world. My adult children are wonderful but do not live in my city. I do hear from them often and do have wonderful friends. Not one of my family members or friends thinks that my ex is good for me. Yet I am lonely and afraid at times.

-On the Fence

Dear On the Fence:

Al Veoli understands that it's easy to think of the good times you've had with this person and the times he has been of great assistance to you. It does seem that he was a wonderful asset when you were recovering from your arthritis flare-up. Unfortunately, you yourself have expressed that he is not a healthy person for you to be around. If his personality is that unstable that he will not listen to you and you feel it necessary to call the police, certainly a relationship with this person is not a good idea. Al Veoli understands that you are looking for a mature, intelligent, and compassionate partner; keep looking. Do not settle for someone who is emotionally unstable and self-destructive.

Dear Al Veoli:

I've been in a committed relationship for over three years. For two years we've been living together - most of the time happily and harmoniously. We have 2 cats and 1 dog, no kids. |He's 25 and I'm 27.The past year I've been ready for more and now I want to get engaged. We've talked about marriage and it seems that we're heading there, but he's just not ready. He wants money in the bank and to be older. Getting to the point: I love this man very much and want to be his wife. I want to give him the time he needs to come to this decision, but I don't want to wait forever ... If he's not ready now, how long should I wait for him to get ready? I'm fast approaching 30, and am finding myself almost bitter toward him for making me wait so long. Over 3 years is enough to know if you want to marry someone don't you think?

-Ready for the Aisle

Dear Ready for the Aisle:

It is curious to Al Veoli that your partner's logic in terms of waiting to get married is that he desires more money in the bank and to be older. One could understand this logic if perhaps you were going to make a major purchase together, or decide to have children. But since you already live together, it isn't very clear what the problem is in terms of the marriage step. It is possible that he has a phobia regarding commitment. It is also possible that he values his single status and independence. If you love him and know he is the one for you, then you can wait. Just remember to be straightforward and upfront about your position.

Dear Al Veoli:

My ex-husband and I tried getting back together two different times. We know it does not work but we still try. No matter what happens between us like we marry other people and divorce them we still end up together again. This last time we split we thought it was final and I moved on and started dating other people. Now after several months goes by he's trying to worm his way back in my life. He says and does things that make me fall for him and he knows what to say and do to get to me. Should I let him back into my life? How do I know if we won't break up again? If he does not want back in my life why does he come on to me? I am confused.

-flip flopper

Dear Flip Flopper:

Though Al Veoli does not think you are a true flip flopper, He had to use the really genius phrase that comes to us courtesy of bush and his little cronies regarding a man with actual morals. Anyway, not to digress: Stay away from your ex-husband. Or maybe agree to be friendly with one another, but not date. It clearly does not net you anything in the end to marry him or be with him one more time; it would doubtless result in yet another eventual breakup. Move on with your own life, independent of his.

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