DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I want to go on a trip to Mexico with my girlfriends, but my husband won't let me. He's afraid there will be a lot of tequila and getting wild in the bars and "something could happen with some guy." Nothing would ever happen. I'm a faithful person and don't drink much. My five best girlfriends from university are going and we are all in our late 30s. He says he won't let me, and last night I said, "I'll go if I want to. You may be married to me but you don't own me!" Now we're not talking. I need your advice quick! -- Determined to Go, South End
Dear Determined: Can a husband or wife forbid their mate something? Not usually, in Canadian culture, but they can make it nasty. You two must talk this out with a professional, like a relationship counsellor. Even if your marriage has never had any strain before, this needs to be worked out.
Some people back home have cheated on their mates, thinking that the one who went away would surely cheat. Then the mate comes home and nothing happened when they were away. Now the guilty partner is the one who stayed home! Guilt and secrets create space and things can get rough after that.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Speaking as a veteran of a one-sided high school crush, your advice to Perplexed, who had a female admiring her, was right on the money: don't be nasty, just take it as a compliment. It also seemed to me as if Perplexed was looking for permission to confront her unwanted female admirer about her presumed "intentions" and to cut her down to size.
My guess is Perplexed is experiencing a high level of hostility over this and hiding it because it conflicts with her image of herself as a kind, friendly person. She needs to do some serious self-examination to figure out where her own feelings are coming from, and not be satisfied with the easy out of blaming the other person. -- Been There, Winnipeg
Dear Been There: She may be nervous feeling the crush vibes coming from this girl who likes her, just as some straight guys freak out if they perceive a gay fellow likes them. There is nothing to be done here. The person who is uncomfortable does not have to do a big self-examination and doesn't have to address the girl with the crush. People just need to accept that nice people of all sexual preferences -- straight, gay, whatever -- may have an unrequited crush on you at different times, and all you have to do is be polite in response. Period. Civility is what is needed in this world so we can all get along -- tolerance, kindness, difference strokes for different folks. The hippies were right on this.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I want to reach out to the lady who was using food to cope with her feelings of jealousy about her boyfriend. I want her to know that she's not alone and not crazy in her actions of eating to deal with feelings. She could reach out to Overeaters Anonymous as they have been a huge help to some friends I know who have similar difficulties in coping with different feelings and anxiety. OA is free and has no waiting list. -- Sympathetic Reader, Winnipeg
Dear Sympathetic: Thanks for your suggestion. The phone number to connect with Overeaters Anonymous is 204-334-9008. Leave a message and someone will call you back with meeting times, places and people to contact. More information is available at www.oa.org.
Please send your questions or comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6