Dear Abby: I am a 56-year-old woman who has been with my boyfriend for seven years. He never lets me come to his place, but he comes to mine and stays every weekend.

He always has his married children staying with him, even though they are financially well off and don't need to. Every time I suggest we should be together by now, another child's family needs to move in, even stepchildren of his.

I left him for six months because I was tired of the rejection. We are back together again, and this last son and daughter-in-law (with their child and another one on the way) are there. Now he's saying he wants to move in with me because they need the room for the new baby. He says that's not the entire reason — it's because he loves me — but I suspect he doesn't want to be there with an infant on the way. I feel I'm being used, and I am not sure what to do. Advice, Abby? — Crowded House In Michigan

Dear Crowded House: Your boyfriend of seven years has made plain where his priorities lie. You have never been high on the list. In fact, you appear to have been more a convenience than a love interest.

The surest way to avoid being used is not to allow it. Do not permit him to move in unless you are clear on what YOUR objectives are, and have a firm commitment or he will break your heart (again).

Dear Abby: I thought you might like a variation on one of your "Pennies From Heaven" stories. When I was in my early teens, I had a close friend whose grandparents picked us up every day from school. We would stay at their house for a few hours until our parents could pick us up.

One day as we were leaving school, her parents' car was there instead of her grandparents' and her mom broke the news that her grandfather had died that morning. Needless to say, we were both very sad.

The following day was partly cloudy and rainy. After school, we walked toward where we usually met her grandparents and we saw a rainbow. When my friend saw it, she looked at me and said, "He's OK!" She meant her grandfather. Ever since, when I see rainbows I think of him, even though that was almost 20 years ago.

Last month I was driving home on the same kind of rainy day, and when the sun peeked out from behind the clouds, I saw another rainbow. Of course, I thought of my friend's grandfather. Later that night I learned her grandmother had passed away that morning. When I told my friend about it, it made her cry. We both believe it was a sign from them that they are fine and together in heaven. — Rainbows in California

Dear Rainbows: Many readers have written to tell me they have found similar comfort after discovering coins that had emotional significance. If rainbows have special meaning for you, then I hope you will continue to enjoy them. Your letter made me smile. Thanks for sharing.

Write to Dear Abby at P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069 or at dearabby.com.

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