DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I came home a night early from a boring convention, sneaked into the house to surprise my husband in bed and caught him in flagrante delicto as they say in his legal circles, in the blazing act. I stood there transfixed for a minute watching them as he had never put out that kind of energy for me. I guess it helped that she was dressed in patent leather and boots and wearing a mask. I finally started screaming and shouting and the action came to a sudden halt. She swept past me -- all 6-3 of her -- before I realized she was actually a he. My husband pulled up the covers and bleated out things like, "Let's be reasonable about this," and, "I didn't expect you home until tomorrow."
I was already firing things at him off the dresser, yelling "Get out! Get out!" He drove to his mother's in his bathrobe and I immediately called my brother and his friend. With two trucks and my girlfriends, we moved all his stuff and dumped it in his mother's driveway. Then I had the locks changed.
Now all I do is cry. We were still newlyweds, of a sort. I am in shock. Please help me! I am in complete hell and everybody knows. I haven't been to work and I can't afford to lose my job, especially not now. -- So Humiliated, Winnipeg
Dear Humiliated: You need a relationship counsellor and/or a psychologist fast in order to get you through this trauma. It's a double shock because you were not at all prepared for a breakup, or for the scene that met your eyes. Chances are your husband had this fetish happening in his life well before he met you, and after the early romance and wedding excitement died down, he missed satisfying it. He didn't tell you for fear you would leave, but then you went out of town for a few days and he thought he had an opportunity for a tryst.
It's better you found out now than after you had a family. This was a starter marriage and it will be dispensed with without pulling a family of kids apart. It sounds like both of you have good jobs and possibly a high income, so lawyers are absolutely necessary on both sides, especially since your ex is one himself. Don't let anyone talk you out of your own legal representation. Then go for a fair, not punitive, deal so this divorce will be over instead of dragging on.
As for the embarrassment of everyone knowing, look at it this way: Your friends will not be shy to ask for your help when they run into one of life's difficult messes. Gossip dies down fast as people are generally really more interested in their own set of problems. Don't hide yourself away. Get back to work and a semblance of normalcy during the day.
If you want to go out for coffee or a movie with a friend, say, "You already know what happened. I just need distraction so let's go out and talk about other things, for the most part, as it'll be easiest on both of us." You can save most of your painful venting for the counsellor who is trained to listen and help you work through it to a positive direction.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I was interested in the letter from Hate His Gas because this was an issue with me, also. It took many years of investigation into several non-typical symptoms before I was properly diagnosed. I was embarrassed to mention the smelly problem with my doctor and didn't think it was related to my other issues.
Gas, bloating, cramps, bad breath and numerous other symptoms may be the result of celiac disease, gluten intolerance or allergies. A simple blood test will help determine if celiac disease may be the culprit (that was my diagnosis). This is the first step and worthwhile checking. -- A Flower Now, Winnipeg
Dear Flower: Thanks for taking the time to write in on this touchy subject. Strange-smelling gas is an important symptom to report to doctors and may lead to several different diagnoses. What patients don't realize is a symptom like this is not new. The doctor will not be disgusted or embarrassed and it is very important to report unusual evil-smelling gas, along with all your other symptoms, in order to get the whole picture.
Please send your questions or comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6