DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm a teacher up at the lake for the summer with our children and my wife is in town working. My kids love me, but they miss their mother. She doesn't make any great effort to get out here and often arrives on Saturday afternoon, going home Sundays, right after dinner. She had the nerve to tell me last visit she treasures her city life with her friends, and almost feels single during the summers.
While I love to be at the lake, I am deeply resentful of the way she abandons the kids and me. There are several women out here who have adopted me as Mr. Mom, and the one who is single has a crush on me. I don't really want her, though she's a beautiful person, but I do need somebody adult and female around sometimes, so she brings her kids over for dinner from next door quite often to play and have a barbecue. The other day my littlest guy mistakenly called her mommy. She and I both looked at each other differently at that moment. Should I tell my wife? -- On the Brink, Lake Winnipeg
Dear Brink: By all means, tell her and tell her a whole lot more. You say you are on the brink -- of what? Giving into the single woman with a crush on you?
Spilling your guts will have a dramatic effect on your wife -- or not. She might brush it off, if she's too happy with her free and single life back home, and possibly seeing a summertime lover boy in the city. It isn't normal for a mom to want to be away from her husband and kids five-six days a week and not be eager to see them.
Get a babysitter for the kids and take your wife for a long walk on the beach and say: "Where has our marriage gone? Why are you so absent? I am missing you, feeling abandoned and angry. The kids are missing you and our baby has even mistakenly called the lady next door mommy. You need to come clean with me. There is a woman up here with a crush on me. I am lonely and embarrassed by your conspicuous absence. Is there another guy in the city? These are dangerous times for our marriage. Do you want to save it?"
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My husband, a former competitive swimmer, wears his old Speedo suits and they look terrible on him now that he's grown a beer belly. He used to be a swimmer, and God love him, he still thinks he's an athlete. I know better. Our teenage kids are embarrassed and tell me to tell him to get a decent bathing suit. I have told him, and he just passes it off. Why is he doing this? If I were pregnant with a big belly, I would not wear a string bikini. -- Frustrated Wife, Tuxedo
Dear Frustrated: Maybe he doesn't know how it looks. He may be able to maintain his delusion by never looking in the mirror. Take photos from four sides and leave them for him to see, in private. That may be the end of his Speedo days, or not. He could be a tough case. Please report back.