DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My husband insisted we have a cheap shower installed in the basement and has been inviting me nightly to join him down there to try out the new shower with the big nozzle head. At first it was all about showering together and a few kisses. Finally he got up the nerve to launch his real project, which caused so much trauma to the shower wall that we broke it and the shower toppled sideways. This amused him so much he opened his big mouth and told his curling buddies. Last night we went to a curling get-together and people were drinking. The story came out in background conversation and everyone was sniggering. I pretended to laugh, but I was furious. I told him I want no part of him ever again, and I'm sticking to it. This has him worried and now I am feeling lousy about my "no sex" rule, too. By the way, we have been married two years. -- Shower Sideshow, Winnipeg
Dear Sideshow: It's always a bad idea to say "never again" when you're mad at your partner. Soon enough your body is going to want what your mind doesn't think it wants, and then you look like you caved -- and you may still be mad. It's much better to fight it out and then make love as a part of making up. We can all attest that makeup sex is sometimes well worth a spat. This fight is just that -- not a deal-breaker. You may be embarrassed, but console yourself with this idea: To the curling crowd, who may not be having a wild time with their sex lives, you two are heroes.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is so awfully embarrassing and messy. I used to be married to my current husband's older brother. We had an affair, got caught, and I'm ashamed of what I did. But I did it -- spilled milk, right? The younger brother was in great shape, where my husband was older than me by eight years and had a beer belly from drinking too much. He was not alcoholic, exactly, and he was a good guy. When I took up with his youngest brother, it broke my ex-husband's heart. He's had girlfriends since, but he always backs off when things start to get serious. Recently, my present husband went away for a several-month stint on a job. We were both willing to be apart, but faithful. Word filtered back to me that my man had a woman over there. Then at New Year's, the water heater at our home broke and the only guy in town you call to fix such things was my ex-husband. To my shock, he didn't send his co-worker; he came over himself. We had not spoken in years. I was in tears already over the water flooding, and he was kind. One thing led to another and we kissed, and kissed some more, and ended up in bed. Now I am so confused because I realize I love both of these men, though in different ways. Plus my first husband turns out to be the better lover and he says I will always be his true love. What a horrible mess. Help! -- Torn Between Two, Rural Manitoba
Dear Torn: Your husband may or may not be cheating where he is working now. Reports aren't always reliable. But without knowing for sure, you were quick to call your ex-husband's firm for a rescue, instead of the one in the next town over. There's no doubt your current husband would have called for the fix from someone other than his older brother. And you had to know there was half a chance your ex would show up! What should you do now? Hard to say. For sure, leave your ex-husband alone and wait until your present husband shows up home. You may want to split, and perhaps he will too, which leaves the path open back to your first husband if you want to take it. Readers, this is a very difficult problem. Please write the column at the address below if you have some added advice.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org