DEAR AMY: For the most part my fiancee is great, but she has started to become very negative toward me.
She seems to think it's OK to yell at me for any reason she chooses. She seems to be looking for my flaws rather than for anything good.
I am trying to figure out what would be the best way to tell her to stop being so negative and talk to me like an adult — or I am ending this relationship. I am really tired of feeling as though I'm not appreciated. If we don't fix this, I'm leaving.
How would you suggest I do this?
— In a Fix
DEAR FIX: The best time to broach this is when your fiancee is calm.
The best place to fix this is in the office of a professional counselor.
You two need premarital counseling. Everybody does.
Your fiancee's behavior is unacceptable. She needs to figure out how to talk, express her frustration and argue with you differently.
Emotions run high when a wedding is in the offing. The stress can cause people to behave badly. But I agree that if your fiancee isn't able to change her negativity and abusive behavior, you should leave the relationship.
Do not get married unless you feel absolutely confident that you will be treated with respect.
DEAR AMY: I have been in a relationship for seven years. Last year we had a baby together. We live in different states due to our financial and personal situations.
My daughter and I fly down to see him each month.
He has children from a previous relationship, and they live in the small town where he lives. I have been a part of his kids' lives for about six years, and now that we have a baby I make every effort to see them when I am in town.
Unfortunately, my boyfriend has a rocky relationship with their mom, his ex.
Years ago, I suggested that I should at least meet her.
I thought she would want to know who I was, considering that I was spending so much time with her kids.
A couple of years ago when I was pregnant, I stood by the door one day as she was dropping them off. I elbowed my boyfriend, and he finally introduced me. I said hello and extended my hand. She said nothing but shook it, turned abruptly and left. She avoids me when we run into her in town, and when we go to the kids' games, she sits on one side and we sit on the other.
I told my boyfriend that this was ridiculous, so I called her to say that I would be in town for the holidays and would love to help out in any way that I could, thinking that maybe I could pick up the kids from school. I also suggested that I take her out to dinner so that we could talk. I haven't heard from her.
I'm not trying to resolve my boyfriend's past relationship issues, but I don't see a reason why I can't be cordial with the mom of my daughter's sisters.
— The Other Mom
DEAR OTHER MOM: Your persistence seems to come from a good place, but — please — stop bothering this person, who obviously doesn't want to have contact with you.
You can and should be cordial. But you should not contact your guy's ex to socialize with her. She has made it clear that she is not interested in being friends.
Your boyfriend seems to leave quite a bit of personal drama in his wake. His choice to have children and not marry their mothers, his passive reaction to you and his high tolerance for his ex's rudeness makes him seem like a pretty poor pick for a partner.
Even so, you have little choice but to follow his lead in befriending his ex.
DEAR AMY: I'd like to weigh in on the women who are complaining about the gifts given to them by their husbands over the years.
My question to them would be this: Are their husbands kind, loyal, faithful, loving and supportive? Aren't those the things that matter? My soon-to-be ex-wife was none of those things.
I couldn't care less about the gifts she may have given me over the years, no matter what they were.
— Counting My Blessings
DEAR COUNTING: I'm enjoying these "worst gift" stories, but I very much agree with you that when people are loving, loyal and kind, other more material gifts don't matter.
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