DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm 36 and look 26. I'm hungry and dieting all the time to please my husband, who married me because I look like a model. As a result, we can't get pregnant. I am hoping to have a child or two but the doctor says I'm too thin to conceive easily.
I don't know what to do. If I gain weight, my husband will be unhappy and get even (he's proven it) and he may not be attracted to me again. If I don't gain weight, there may be no babies. I feel so much pressure now, that I just lose my appetite. Please help. He wants two babies. That has always been his dream. He came from a family of one child -- him! -- Troubled Wife, River Heights
Dear Troubled: He's still the "only" one, with little thought about you, his wife. What you need, more than a diet to make you heavier or thinner, is counselling in tandem with your controlling husband. You are operating in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation now. The pressure is hard on your general health and your body is telling you that you shouldn't have the strain of a baby without any back-up cells or any padding. Either he learns to cool his jets -- and it will take more than you to change that -- or you have to change your mind about being with him.
There are many kinds of beauty, and he needs to learn that. There's being rounded and beautiful "with child," there are lovely ample breasts for breastfeeding, and perhaps a different body after pregnancy as a mom. Maybe you're with the wrong husband to appreciate this. If he won't go for help, you go first. Maybe you'll figure out he's the problem. What kind of father would he make? No doubt a controlling one.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I fell "in like" again with myself this summer and my wife doesn't like it. I started playing the sports I used to enjoy before she married me and complained about them to the point where I dropped them. I have stopped going to her parents' cabin every weekend. Now I see friends and go to the horse races and golf and play poker.
My wife says I'm acting like a guy who's going through a "mid-life crisis, a new adolescence." I don't call it a crisis; I call it a breakthrough. I'm happy, but she's angry. Too bad. She says ignorant things like, "You aren't the man I married!" and "You need to see a shrink!" and "Are you having an affair?"
The truth is I've gone back to being the man she married (and managed to change) and I DID see a shrink, and I think that's what set me free. Now I might like to have an affair or even break up with her. The kids are gone. What do you think? -- Getting Happy Finally, St. Vital
Dear Getting Happy: Why not take this to the discussion table first, with a referee? It's not just your wife who's angry. You are furious, if you'd just let yourself admit it.
What you're doing instead is using passive-aggressive tactics. It's great you're getting your sports and friends back in your life and having fun, but you're also refusing to go with her to the lake at all or take her somewhere else. You are telling her: "1. I don't want to be with you; 2. You wasted my time; 3. I'm sick of you; go away!"
Those are silent, but very strong messages. You enjoy her being far away on the weekends. Now you're considering playing around. If you can't work this out with professional help, get yourself free and have a real "out there" romance, not a hidden affair.
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