DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm walking around like a chicken with its head cut off. My partner left me when I stayed a few nights at a drinking buddy's place. She took the four kids, who I love like my own, and moved to her parents in Ontario. I miss her kids a lot, although I couldn't support them. She said I was like "the fifth child."
My friends say, "Go to her and talk to her." I don't have a car or any money to go. I don't know where I'd stay anyway. You can't stay in a tent in this weather. She's mad at me because I fell off the wagon when I lost my job and I haven't found another one. The truth is I haven't really looked because I keep drinking and can't quit or I'll get the DTs. Her parents must have sent the money for the tickets because we didn't have money like that -- just what she made. I don't know what to do. My friends are keeping me because I'm broke and so sad and lonely. Please help. -- Totally Love Her, Winnipeg
Dear Love Her: Sometimes love isn't enough. You need a plan. First, you need to get back on the wagon before your ex is going to even listen to you. Call the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (204-944-6200) about counselling and rehab, and Alcoholics Anonymous about meetings. When you get yourself straight, your next move is to get a job, or two part-time ones, doing anything at all, to make enough money to feed yourself and give your friends money for keeping you. Call centres will hire people and pay them while they train them, as will fast-food restaurants and most gas stations. Getting sober and supporting yourself, will elevate your self-esteem and your chances of starting to communicate with your ex and the children. It's the best you can do right now, and it's worth trying.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My wife is younger than I am by more than 20 years. At first she loved having a wealthy older man as her life partner, but now she's beginning to make remarks about my health and fitness levels. Yesterday she brought me a book and a game to help keep my memory sharp, as I'm newly retired. I know what's going on. She's worried I am going to become a forgetful fool and she will have to look after grandpa.
So now what do I do? I don't kid myself she's still "in love" with me although she may enjoy her lifestyle with cars, designer clothes and holidays in Europe where I'm from. Frankly, I'm weary of her, too. I would like to say goodbye and look for a woman more my age. My wife was smart enough not to sign a pre-nup so that's the sticking point now. What should I do? -- Going to Pay Big Time, Crescentwood
Dear Going to Pay: No pre-nuptial agreement for finances? Love must have blunted your mental acuity when you were marrying this young woman. The pre-nup is the first thing you do when you're wealthy and you've married someone decades younger.
It's time for damage control. See your lawyer now about different ways to pay out what you owe your wife. If she's greedy and favours instant gratification, she may be happy with a sizeable cash payout and not care if it's less than she could get in court. Remember, you made a two-way deal. She gave you her youth and beauty and you shared the joys of your savoir faire and wealthy lifestyle. She may have researched the latter quite thoroughly with her own lawyer.
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