DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I overheard my husband saying something about me that enraged me. I was upstairs when I heard him loudly and drunkenly say to his brother, "God, she hasn't had any kids yet, and look at her ass. It's two axe handles wide!" Then I heard his brother say, in a deeply angry voice, "You don't deserve the wife you've got. If she were my wife, I'd treat her like a queen!" Then he walked out, and slammed the door. I've always known he cared about me. He is five years younger and was the best man at our wedding. He started to tell me how he felt about me at the wedding rehearsal, but I just put it down to my looking sexy and his having too much wine. He has never married and he's always over here. I should have married him, as he is twice the man his brother is. My husband is now sleeping in the guest room. What should I do? I feel like going to his brother, who loves me the way I am. -- Fighting Mad, Charleswood
Dear Fighting Mad: Do you really love the younger brother? He's the one who needs some consideration here. Clearly, you're in revenge mode, and who can blame you? But the younger bro sincerely loves you and wants you. Wouldn't you just use him to hurt his brother, and then discard him for someone who really excites your soul? Deal with your marriage problem in isolation from the younger brother. If you separate, that brother will probably come after you and declare his long-standing love. But, you're not just looking for someone who will treat you like a queen. You want someone you love who will treat you like a queen. There's a big difference.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I just found out my mother has never been married to my father and I'm in shock. It's always been a joke that the two sides of the family both have the same common last name, but I never thought for one minute those old hippies who are my parents hadn't tied the knot at some point. It's true they don't formally celebrate their anniversary, although they know the date they first met and sometimes make a little deal about that. I feel like I've been tricked and I'm illegitimate. It's not a real marriage, and therefore not a real family. I told them I want them to get married and so do the grandkids. They say, "We've been in love since the day we met and nothing can change that, so we don't care." What else can we do to get this marriage happening? -- Illegitimate Child, Wpg.
Dear Child: Hippie parents? You must be one very old child. This is what you can do: Be thankful your parents' common law marriage is so strong and vibrant, and stop pushing them to do something they don't want to do. Half the marriages made in modern times have fallen apart. Your parents' union is rock-strong. That is cause for celebration, not for whining and sniffling, ya big baby!