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That Reminds Me Sometimes a column can spur a memory. A recent column about a woman who was short-changed in a relationship had that effect on Marnie. "The column caused me to totally (mentally) revisit my experience with a high school boyfriend named Reggie. "I …Read more. Girls Going Wild Long before someone figured out a way to make money from it, girls have been going wild. Some are happy about it; others regret it. TANYA: I graduated from college magna cum laude with a chemistry degree. Then I took my MCAT for med school. I didn't …Read more. Why Did She Cheat on a Wonderful Man? Dear Cheryl: I've been married two years to a wonderful, caring, loving, kind man. We have a 1-year-old son together and he's raising my older son as his own. This past summer, I was reunited with an old flame from high school, and we had a very …Read more. Keep Your Mitts Off My Man! Dear Cheryl: My boyfriend Jeremy has a close friend, Lucy. I know men and women can be just friends. In fact, I have more guy friends than girl friends. I'm not jealous of him hanging out with other women in general. But Lucy bothers me because she …Read more.
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What's With These Losers?


Dear Cheryl: I'm 53 and my two boys, whom I raised alone, are all in their 20s and independent. For the past year, I've been dating Gage, a wonderful, kind man. Unfortunately, he has a 24-year-old son, Chuck, who lives with him and is very dependent on him. Chuck smokes pot, and I suspect he uses cocaine. He brings friends home almost every other night. They drink his father's beer and liquor.

Chuck has a job and makes $15.50 an hour but never has any money. His father pays for everything. He's been going to community college since 2012, but he still has a good year to go. He lost his driver's license. He's terrible to Gage and tells him to shut up and go back to sleep if his friends wake us up. I can't stand it. But for some reason, Gage seems to have a need to take care of him.

I care for Gage and he for me. He wants me to hang in there. He says his son won't be living with him forever, but I don't see him moving out for some time, if at all. I would like Gage and me to spend the rest of our lives together. We laugh and have fun, but I don't know how long I can put up with Chuck. — I've Just About Had It

Dear IJAHI: Unfortunately, Gage and Chuck are a package deal. Chuck isn't going anywhere. Why should he? And Gage isn't going to kick him out. So where does that leave you?

You've got three choices. No. 1: You can put up with Chuck in order to have a relationship with Gage — which is only going to get harder and harder.

If you can't stand Chuck now, the more you see him abuse his father, the more you'll resent him. No. 2.: You can tell Gage that as much as you enjoy his company, you can't see him anymore because of Chuck.

Or No. 3: You can try to get Gage into counseling. Someone has to make him realize that by supporting Chuck, he's turned him into a good-for-nothing bum, and, if he really loves him, he'll use some tough love and kick him out. It won't be pretty, but if someone doesn't intervene, Chuck is headed for a sad, sad life. Jail or an overdose could be in his future.

It's your call.

Dear Cheryl: My ex-boyfriend keeps calling. He's 32 years old and still living with his parents. He barely works. He's basically an unemployed drummer. I'm 12 years older. We had a sexual fling five years ago and we've remained friendly ever since. He's a super nice guy who wouldn't harm a flea, but I really have nothing in common with him.

For the past two years I've been dating someone else. My ex is dying to meet him and be buddies with us. I'm uncomfortable with the idea because I dated him when I was at a low point in my life and desperate. I don't want to be reminded of that. What do I do? — Moved On

Dear Moved On: Tell him your boyfriend is insanely jealous and insists that he stop calling you. Tell him you wish him a happy life and then say goodbye.

Got a problem? Send it, along with your questions and rants to And check out my new ebook, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."



6 Comments | Post Comment

Gage? Come on. What's his father's name, Intake Valve?
Comment: #1
Posted by: Jpp
Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:58 PM
@ Jpp - Ha ha, then he would be "Gauge" not "Gage". Wouldn't it be funny if the dad was named "Feeler Gauge" and the son was "Spark Plug". Hee hee.

As to the LW, I can't see this relationship going anywhere unless her BF finds his backbone and kicks his loser son out, a scenario that seems highly unlikely, seeing as the son is 24 and going nowhere . I have NO idea why parents allow their kids to walk all over them. One of my best friends, Donna, has her 22 year old grandson living at her place. She's raised him since he was 5, and did the best she could with him. He won't work or try to find a job, treats her like a piece of crap, and eats her out of house and home. He's also a pot head. I've tried convincing her to kick his lazy ass out so she can try to enjoy what life she has left, but it's like talking to a brick wall.

LW1 could try to wait it out, but at the age of 53 who wants to waste time like that? I'd tell Gage to either go to counselling, or give me a call once the son is out of the house and move on.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Barbara B.
Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:56 AM
LW2 -- You must have had someting in common you had a sexual fling with him. O'll yea - it "was at a low point in my life and desperate." How come you've "remained friendly ever since?" Was the sex good or is there some kind of guilt in there? It's not a good idea to lie as Cheryl has suggested, that won't make your ex-boyfriend stop. You're the one that has to make it stop - take responsiblity for your past. If you don't want to be "reminded of that" then tell the ex what you told Cheryl, tell your ex not to call you ever again, block his calls.
Comment: #3
Posted by: J
Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:09 AM
LW#2: You say your ex is a super nice guy, and yet he sounds like a stalker. I'd send him a text or e-mail telling him in no uncertain terms not to contact you again. That way if he still bugs you, you can go to court to get an order of protection, and you have proof you warned him.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Madelyn
Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:22 PM
"Just About Had It": Cheryl's advice is on the nose. Go with your gut. Chuck isn't moving out. Gage isn't throwing him up. Finishing community college, should he actually do it, won't make a difference. Unless you want to live the rest of your life with Chuck, you have a choice to make.

"Moved On": That ship has sailed. You have nothing in common with him. There's no reason to be friends. Don't let him interfere with your relationship because that's exactly what he wants to do.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Wordsworth
Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:30 AM
LW1: Your new beau is an enabler. If you want to become an enabler too, by all means team up with him. Your special role in this dysfunctional family will be to support and enable the person who enables the addict. If you want a man who will take from you in order to give to someone else, Gage will be there for you just as long as you want. Indeed, you can look forward to a lifetime of giving, giving, and giving to this family. Enjoy your walk down a one-way street, but don't lie to yourself and tell yourself that it's going to lead anywhere pleasant.
If you want to actually have a happy life, Cheryl's option number 2 is the only viable one.
LW2: Stop stringing your ex along. The longer you stay "friends" with someone when you've got nothing in common with them, the more they become convinced that you value them for their own sake.
Comment: #6
Posted by: R.A.
Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:40 PM
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Cheryl Lavin
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