DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I have a problem with my husband because he cheated on me, so I paid him back by cheating on him with an old boyfriend. It was great sex; I can't deny it. In fact, it was the most satisfying I'd had in 16 years. I've been married 18 years, and after the first two years we had three kids. My husband has no imagination. I'm considering proposing an open marriage, so I can see this old boyfriend (also married) whenever I want, with no recriminations. He can see that other woman, for all I care. My husband will be shocked at this suggestion. but so what? He really hurt me and destroyed the trust in our marriage. We have been to marriage counselling, but the religious woman who counselled us made me gag. She emphasized how I "owed it" to my husband to be forgiving as he brings home the bacon. Should I suggest the open marriage bit, or just go ahead and do it? -- On the Brink, Winnipeg
Dear Brink: An open-marriage suggestion is going to make your husband hit the roof. If it doesn't, and he seems to like the idea, then you will be wondering and upset. The two of you need to get into counselling with someone who doesn't have a religious take on things and try to sort out what you want. Since your three kids must still be at home, you have their lives to consider as well as your own. Can you not put a lid on this until they are out of the house? All they need is to find out their parents have an open marriage and are having sex with other people for them to feel really messed up. You two need to be examples to these kids. Don't think you can put anything over on them if you start sleeping around as a lifestyle.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I got an embarrassing condition from my girlfriend -- which I refer to as the flea circus, but we both know it was a circus of a different kind. We were both treated, and all is well again, physically. She swears she didn't get them from anyone else. Should I believe her? -- Not Sure, St. Vital
Dear Not Sure: In rare instances pubic lice can get transferred on a towels or bed linens, but usually it's from sexual contact with someone who has them already. How's the emotional relationship going? Do you trust your girlfriend generally? Has anything changed lately? If things have not been going well and your feelings of trust are low, why continue with her? You might ask her how SHE thinks she got the infestation and watch her face carefully as she talks about her theories. If she simply says "I don't know" then you have nowhere to go with the investigation and then you'll have to make a decision based on your gut.
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