Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My husband of 31 years has disclosed a long-held fantasy that shocks me. He wants me to stand naked in the window as the traffic on our busy street goes by. I said, "No! Are you drunk?" He replied quietly, "There was a time when you would have done anything for me." I had to agree -- there was a time when we were both wild and free, but then we didn't have professional careers, weren't afraid of embarrassment and had no children to horrify.
I said, "What is this really about?" and he said, almost inaudibly: "I really don't know any more." Those are the words he said just before he had his first mid-life crisis, and a brief affair. Is this another one coming? He's 53. -- Feeling Tested, Angry & Confused, River Heights
Dear Tested: It sounds like he's asking: "How much do you love me?" and "Is there anything youthful or daring left in us?" and "Will you try to shame me if I ask for something impulsive and sexual?" You can respond to those questions in other ways than by exposing yourself in the living room window.
I take it you may be around 50, so here are some possible ideas: 1) You could write him a lusty love letter. 2) You can spring a fantasy on him that you are more than willing to fulfil. 3) You can surprise him with an adventure holiday which requires both of you to get in shape, take courses and challenge yourselves -- like a diving trip or climbing a mountain. 4) Dump the granny panties and comfy old underwear for great new lingerie for you and boxers for him. 5) Wear sexy oils as a scent or a massage oil.
You need a buying trip. Just take him for a weekend drive and pull up to the door of a sex shop. Take his hand and go in. Your love life together is far from over.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I couldn't help but be affected by the letter from Sure, Fort Richmond, and your advice. While I agree it isn't up to a casual neighbour to report to a betrayed spouse, I was left wondering what a good solution to marital infidelity would be when good friends and family members often refuse to "interfere."
When I was a child my father had several affairs that spanned the length of my parents' 20-year marriage. My brother and I tried to shed light on what we knew was happening, but weren't taken seriously. My mother only became aware of his infidelity when I was 16 and had moved from a small town to Winnipeg, due to my father's physical aggressiveness and verbal abuse towards me. His affairs were sickening and his depravity knew no bounds.
I discovered these affairs took place in all of our beds, and I also remember the screaming fits I would be the recipient of if I ever stayed home sick, as I would have interfered with one of his trysts. I also heard these sexual encounters from my room while my mother was working shift work. I always wonder if someone hadn't been too busy not interfering to provide my mother with the truth if I would have escaped years of depression, low self-esteem, suicide attempts and addiction that resulted in living in such a dysfunctional home. There is no easy answer, but often the hardest choices are the right choices. -- Decide for Yourself, Winnipeg
Dear Decide: If something is happening within your sphere -- friends, relatives, close neighbour, etc. -- my rule for myself is to tell. If, as in this case, a neighbour from "across the way" looks suspect one time for having an affair, don't interfere. Would your mother have listened if a neighbour reported suspicions? Would it have helped that the person who reported it was outside the family circle? Would the threat of public humiliation in a small town have helped your mother to face up? Maybe!
You say you and your brother tried to tell, but did your mother ignore a clear message or a hint? Clearly, she was in deep denial. If she's alive, ask her now. She owes you some answers.
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