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Ask Dr. Dombeck
Psychotherapy and Mental Health Questions

Asking a second time for boundaries to be respected

I share a house with a friend. We have separate bedrooms. I have a computer in my bedroom, and I use the computer for personal and business use. For about 1 1/2 years, I shared my computer with my housemate for a variety of reasons - he set up the computer for me, was without a job for a time, and helped me in various ways with my business. Recently, because my computer had significant virus problems and computer technicians advised me to limit access and because my housemate had held a job for over a year, I asked him to stop using my computer. I also asked that he not allow any of his guests to use my computer. He understood and stopped using the computer for a time but asked on occasion to check his emails, to which I agreed. I was recently out of town and upon my return realized after logging on to my computer that he had used the computer for more than emails and apparently allowed his father to use my computer. Please help me with an appropriate approach to this issue. I very much like my housemate (and his father, by the way!) and in general, we get along very well. But I do not want him using my computer (for at least more than emails) and I do not want his houseguests in my bedroom (which is usually pretty messy!) and on my computer. My housemate continues to do nice things for me when I ask for his help and his father has been nice as well, which, I think, is why, I find it difficult to ask for this request of mine to be respected. Help!

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