Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Get out of your cage and fly free of jailbirds

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm in my 20s and my man got out of another Manitoba jail recently and got my initials tattooed on him. I met him just over a year ago. He's quite a bit older. He also left his wife. We have the best sex ever and I can never complain. I love him and think I want to spend the rest of my time with him.

Then again, I want to be with my love who is in Headingley. When I got out of jail last year, I was heartbroken because he had gotten together with another woman. I honestly feel like I love him. I'm learning to forgive myself and others. He has hit me before and tried to scare me last time we were together. Any advice? -- Reading Since I Was 11, Headingley

Dear Reading: Since you are learning to forgive yourself and others, you're also getting some counselling now that's making a difference. It's time to start making better decisions for your life outside of jail after this. Let's start with this idea: Just because you have been in jail doesn't mean you have to be with a guy who has also been in jail when you get out. Maybe it's time to break that cycle.

When you have to ask "Which guy do I love more?" you don't love either man in the big way that makes for a long-lasting relationship. Your major interest in the new guy seems to be the great sex, and you enjoy it that he admires you enough to get a tattoo of your initials. It sounds like you're not as deeply involved as he is, and that may break his heart. As for the old boyfriend, he's gone from your life now. Let him be. He's abusive and frightening. That's not love. It's too easy for you to romanticize old relationships when you are in jail and lonely, but that one was just bad news.


Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My dad's stepmom passed away six months ago. All these years Dad and his siblings thought she was stone broke. She did have a few dollars socked away to pay for her funeral, and the four of them got a little bit each. The problem at hand is the possessions -- a 20-year-old car, furniture and some knick knacks. In their 70s they are squabbling and name-calling and no one is talking to each other. I say enough is enough. What do you think? -- So Stressed Dear Stressed: Dodge these petty oldsters for at least six months. Reduce your stress by backing away from the squabbling. Sometimes we have to take a vacation from our relatives when they're being rude. When these folks phone you to say nasty things about each other, make any excuse to get off the phone, no matter how silly. After a while they will discover you're no fun to talk to when they're in a mood to trash someone.

Also, make a little break with family traditions in 2013. Go somewhere else for Thanksgiving (perhaps the States) and Christmas could be a new plan with just your immediate family here, or maybe even a trip to inexpensive Las Vegas. In any case, avoiding these bickering buzzards is your best plan for now. No need to tell them what you're up to -- just do it until they start to behave again.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 4, 2013 D5

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