DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: This is in response to the engaged woman who found out about her boyfriend's secret online messages with women. I understand what she's going through -- wishing she'd never found out because she really doesn't want the relationship to end. When I first found out my ex was still communicating on dating websites, he claimed they were just friendships he'd made over the years. I pointed out it's a "dating" site not a "friends" site. Some friends of mine sent him messages online as women. He fell hook, line and sinker for it. When I confronted him, he didn't have time to get his story together, so he called me "insecure."
People like this are a facade with no conscience, and have mastered the talk, so as hard as it is, we have to only pay attention to their actions because that's their only truth. This woman deserves better and will only find it once she is out of her current relationship. She probably knows in her gut she has to leave him. For me, now, even stormy days are followed by sunshine and I'm now with someone who is everything the "talker" was not and it feels wonderful! -- Hope Lies Ahead, Winnipeg
Dear Hope: Sometimes the only thing you can do with a person who may be betraying you is to fake an online presence and trap them in their lies. While it might feel beneath one's dignity, it's necessary for those who need 100 per cent "caught ya!" proof. There's also a strong argument to be made for punting someone you suspect before you have to go that far. Thanks for taking the time to send this message. It is important for someone in a difficult situation to hear from people who have experienced the same set of problems and have freed themselves.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: After 10 years, my relationship ended. The father of my son is addicted to all kinds of prescription pills. He needs help, but doesn't think he does. I love him and always did. We are both 30. We have a young son who adores his father. They have a relationship no one can break. He had a fight with me and I asked him to leave so he did something bizarre while on drugs and got charged by police with public mischief. After that he kept texting me and telling me he was going to sleep with different women. I texted back "Have fun!" He cheated on me right after we had our first kid. He got his cousin's fiancée pregnant at the same time as my second pregnancy.
I hope my ex can get help. I miss his old self before the prescription pills turned him into a junkie. It's sad how drugs ruin a person and families. I want him to get help or I will be paying for a funeral and have a sad, lonely little boy whose father is his superhero. I know I can't change him, but all I can do is pray. -- Sad & Confused, Winnipeg
Dear Sad & Confused: You need help to get out of your romantic dreaming about your ex and what he could be if he stopped using drugs. Allow yourself to see clearly. Whatever you do, don't send that little boy out with his father alone, as the man is probably experiencing a roller coaster of highs, lows and withdrawals. Supervised visits would be the way to go if he gets the help he needs. For now, you both need to be away from this man, his drug use and bizarre behaviour.
This is the perfect time to take care of your own emotional hangover. Your physician can refer you to a psychiatrist to help you give up on the dream and get over this addict and cheater -- psychiatrists are covered by Medicare. You should also call the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (204-944-6200) and get connected to a group created for friends, family and loves of people addicted to drugs. You were right to ask him to leave. Now take care of yourself to be the best single parent you can be for your boy.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I dislike the word "boyfriend" because it doesn't sound very mature or serious. We're not 14 and we live together. I usually say "partner," but on many occasions this has led people to assume I'm gay, which is fine, but untrue. I personally would rather spend money on a home or travelling than a wedding so I won't be referring to him as my fiancé or husband anytime soon. What are some ways you recommend I could refer to my significant other when talking to other people? -- Wordless, Winnipeg
Dear Wordless: Significant other is a long, awkward phrase. "My guy" or "my man," as they say in Europe, is short and sweet. "My partner" makes sense, too. So what if people have to guess which sex it is? "My boyfriend" is too immature for older people and doesn't encompass the living together commitment. "My lover" is too much information and sounds like an affair partner. It gets an amusing reaction, though. Maybe save that expression for cocktail party introductions.
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