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Find a way to break out of emotional prison

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: The song I felt for my wife when she walked into the room 22 years ago was You Are My Sunshine. The song I feel for her now is Stormy Weather. She has a mood disorder and doesn't monitor herself or take her daily medications to keep herself stable. God help me if I tell her to take her pills. I have had many years of dealing with this bipolar disorder now and I hate it. Sometimes I feel like I hate her. I don't know how much love is left deep down, if any.

I don't know what she would do if I told her I was leaving, as she threatens to kill herself if I ever hint at it. I feel sick that I am her prisoner for life -- or that I might have her death on my soul. Is there any way out of this trap for me? -- In Her Personal Jail Cell, Winnipeg

Dear Jail Cell: Take this relationship to a counsellor. Make the appointment and absolutely insist to talk about your unhappiness in the marriage. Your wife should know the only power she has now is to take her medications faithfully and try to fix things with you. It should be clear by the time you leave that office she will lose the marriage if she doesn't make positive changes. Her suicide threats will hasten the day. If she goes home to the bathroom, locks the door and threatens suicide, tell her you are calling 911, and do it. Alert her entire support network -- medical, family and friends -- of this situation, especially if you decide to leave and need them to come over and look after her.

On the bright side, there's still a chance you won't need to escape. Things could get better through therapy and marriage counselling. The counsellor will help her see the reason why she is not taking her medication and how she is using the disorder and suicide threats to control you and make you stay, no matter how she behaves. At this point she may not know how miserable you are, so tell her, "When you don't take your medication, I don't feel loved. When I don't feel loved, I don't know why I in this marriage with you, and frankly, I want to leave." Love is wanting your partner happy.

This is always a difficult problem. If any readers have left a person who threatened suicide, and have helpful information to share, please write in and share your experience. See the contact info below.


Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My four sisters are up to something. I'm driving to our previous town's reunion in August and there is a lot of whispering and Facebook-sneaking going on. I'm divorced for the second time. I was married as a teenager to a guy from that town and everything went south because of my total immaturity and my continued partying. Thank God there were no babies. I just found out from my oldest sister that one of my interfering younger sisters -- who is newly separated -- has been talking to my old ex, who's single again, on Facebook. She knows I still have old romantic feelings and regrets about him. Is she talking to him to flirt with him herself, or is she trying to get us back together. What should I do? This is making me mad. -- Awkward Situation, Fort Garry

Dear Awkward: Take this grown-up bull by the horns. Send a Facebook message to your old love and ask him what your sister is up to contacting your old flame on social media behind your back. He will probably laugh and get a kick out of this and write you back, unless he is now flirting with your sister. Then he's caught and won't know what to say, and you will get a guilty two-word hello, or no response at all, to your attempt to "friend" him and see what he's doing. Then let her know in person you have written him about her meddling, and watch her squirm.


Please send questions and comments to or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, R2X 3B6

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 24, 2013 C4

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