DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I was involved in a seven-month affair with a wonderful man. I wasn't his first affair (third or fourth, actually) but he told me I'd be his last. Unlike his previous affairs, ours was both physical and emotional. We spent a lot of time together -- even a weekend at his house together. We entered the affair for different reasons: I was waiting to be able to make changes to leave my marriage; he was unhappy in his marriage sexually, and trying to find answers. Because of our relationship, his problems at home became clearer. As a result, he stated that he needed to go back and work on things at home, so we agreed to part ways after a few last experiences together, both sexual and non-sexual. We grieved our relationship together, and had an amazing end, peacefully parting ways. I need to figure myself out, in light of my separation. I still love him and would welcome him back. I want to be like Rose on the Titanic and let him know that I'll never let go, and I will live my life the way I should have long ago making my own decisions. How do I grieve and let go? -- Shattered into a Million Pieces
Dear Shattered: Grieve by getting rid of the Rose-coloured glasses. Let me help by shining a bright light on the real situation: This guy sounds like an amateur film romance director, and you were the actress of the season. He's isn't likely to dump his wife and come back. Look at his pattern. He strays from his wife, has romances and returns to the fold. He doesn't repeat his romantic experiences -- he had three or four affairs ahead of you. Why? Because, like many serial cheaters, he manages to maintain the stability of a home and family, and the fun and excitement of new cloak-and-dagger romances. Note: Sneaking into his marital bed was extremely disrespectful to the woman who holds the position of "wife" in his world. Why would you participate in that? Talk about setting a low standard of behaviour for yourself. And the irony? Even though he did it himself, he'll disrespect you for it. If you became his wife (big yawn), he would soon tire of you and follow his pattern of finding outside excitement. Then he'd bring them home to your bed if you dared to go away on a trip.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: After six years a man who had mysteriously disappeared from my life has reappeared and wants to start back where things left off. I was so hurt by his abandonment six years ago, it took me two years to recover. I had no idea where he went, except he sent me one letter telling me he was all right, and to go back to my life and not think about him. For the last year he says he's been working up north making money, but the five years before that were a mystery to me until last weekend, when he finally told me he was in jail! He said it was best I didn't know the details and worry, but that it was not for a sexual assault of any kind. He said he'd never stoop to that. He really wants to start seeing me again in a relationship. He's still handsome, but I'm reluctant, although I have no one else. We have only had sex once so far, and it was out of this world. -- Falling Again? Winnipeg
Dear Falling Again: Reunion sex is said to be second only to makeup sex, but it addles the brain even worse. This man is deeply dishonest -- and very secretive. You didn't know he was in trouble with the law when you were seeing him -- had no idea of his criminal activities -- and then didn't know where he had gone for five years. Why is he back now? This isn't a case of your great love returning from the wars. This is a case of a convict who gave you the slip, and now appears hoping all will be forgiven. Why? Because he has a need for a woman in his life just now and you'd be a good candidate if he could charm you. It's dismaying to see you're on the fence because you don't have anyone else right now, and you've already slept with the guy. Review the pain this guy put you through, find out everything about him you can through a private detective agency, and make an informed decision -- hopefully punting him for good.