Stay or Go

His boyfriend bails whenever there’s trouble. Can he save their love?

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A gay man living in Texas has appealed to stalwart advice columnist Abigail Van Buren–better known by the moniker “Dear Abby“–for help. The man in question appeals to Abby for advice in saving a very troubled relationship.

” I’m a gay man who has been in an on-again/off-again relationship for three years,” writes reader “A Lot Wrong in Texas.” “My partner still lives at home with his mother. He has never left the home, aside from a four-month period when he and his mom weren’t getting along. My issue is, aside from never fully committing, my partner, ‘Damien,’ seems to always find a way to abandon me when I hit a rough patch. I lose my job and I’m low on money? He yells at me and leaves. And he manages to not return until I’m ‘back on my feet.'”

A Lot Wrong goes on to recall several incidents where he lacked food or money, and Damien abandoned him rather than helped him. At one point, Damien even seemed to mock him by going out to eat while A Lot Wrong sat home starving.

Related: Dear Abby steps in after nosy sons investigate parent’s same-sex love affair

“Before, when I was homeless, even though he doesn’t have a place of his own, he never offered any help,” A Lot Wrong concludes. “If I say, ‘I know you’re really guarded with your money,’ he becomes enraged. And when he hears about my difficulties, he talks down to me and mocks the situation I am in. He attributes his never leaving home to his family helping him and caring about him. The fact that I’m not in a situation like his implies my family doesn’t care.”

“Can you help?” A Lot Wrong presses. Abby’s response doesn’t mince words.

“I’ll try,” Abby replies, with maybe just a hint of hesitation. “It’s time you recognized that Damien is NOT your ‘partner.’ Partners HELP each other when they are in trouble. The sooner you lose this person, the sooner you will start to feel better.”

“Damien is all about Damien,” she observes. “His character is fully formed. You can’t change him, and neither can I. Leaving Damien may help you become more independent — and that’s a good thing. Trust me on that.”

We have to agree. Dear Abby has a long history of helping out LGBTQ people and their families at a life crossroads. Just this year, Dear Abby advised a grandmother on how to best accept and support her transgender grandchild. Abigail Van Buren also has a history of calling out homophobia in her readers.