Can't Compete With His Sister

Q: My partner lives with a sibling who is jealous of me. I was assaulted, leaving me so frightened that I made a painful choice to move out. I have not found a job yet as I worked part-time for my partner. He says if I don't pay half of my costs to have our own place, too bad. The sibling never dates, has an unhealthy interest in her family member and threatened me, though I can't prove that. Her word vs. mine. While I scramble to put my life in order, I suffer watching the sibling living in what should be my role. I don't just feel rejected, I am. Because I am a citizen from a foreign country and unmarried, I was told I had no rights despite this long-term relationship. I am distraught to say the least. How do I let go and leave this behind me? -- Mary, 50

Dr. Susan: You need to find a way to support yourself. Your partner wouldn't let you go if he really valued you. I'm not convinced that his sister is supplying all his needs, but whatever he has without you is enough for him. He doesn't sound like much of a prize at this point, though it's natural to miss him anyway. And if you're being threatened, stay away. If your partner loves and wants you, he has to make a major change and let her go. It's not only her fault: it's his too. Get yourself on a stable financial footing, and then find a counselor at a free clinic or sliding scale center with whom to talk this all through.

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