Finding a new relationship later in life often involves taking on another person's baggage. Here, a reader looks for advice for when the load seems too heavy.


Q. I’ve been dating a man for two years, and we really love each other. We’re both in our 50s and met online. Here’s the problem. He has a 21-year-old son who is a recovering heroin addict and alcoholic (my sweetie paid a lot of money for his rehab). The problem is he constantly enables his son by making excuses for him every time he relapses or makes bad choices, which is often. He also gives him money (always saying “it’s the last time”) and never seems to hold him accountable for his own actions. I’ve raised three children myself and I know a parent’s love is powerful but I think what he’s doing is wrong, and it’s a HUGE issue for me. We fight about it often. I love this man but I hesitate to plan a future with him. He sees a therapist but ignores his advice. I know we all have baggage at our age, but I wonder if this load is too heavy for me.

Liz, Toronto


A. Ultimately, this is a question only you can answer. But there are things to consider that might help you make a decision. Dr. Guy Grenier, a London, Ont.-based clinical psychologist and author, is well-acquainted with addiction issues, and he warns against oversimplifying the cure. He has clients who’ve been struggling with addiction for more than 10 years.

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