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Love hurts, even if you don't believe in it

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Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: The love of my life says "I do not believe in love." He wants to me to sign a contract that amounts to marriage, without even saying he loves me or getting down on one knee to ask me to marry him. I refused his ice-cold offer July 1 and sent him away. I know he probably loves me deep down, but his parents' marriage was so abusive, and he heard so many awful things said and done in the name of "love" that he abhors the concept.

He proposed this loveless union and his roommate says he is going through hell and sleepwalks through his beloved work like a zombie. His roommate's girlfriend tells me he calls out my name in his sleep. I can't chase him anymore. I want love, marriage, babies and the whole thing. Please help. -- In Love With a Broken Man, Winnipeg

Dear In Love: This is a man who thinks he's not in love and has no heart, yet he is brokenhearted. You can rest assured he loves you, but he can't recognize the emotion and dares not name it. In abusive relationships such as that of his parents, the fights often end in "you made me hit you because I love you," or, "take me back after I've cheated because I only love you, not the others." The love word can be so misused.

Your man needs professional help with this issue as much as he needs his next breath. The pain could finally drive him to it, so recommend it. A psychologist could help him and he can make his own appointments, without a referral from a physician. Send that info back through your pipeline -- his roommate's girlfriend -- and also drop it that you'd take him back if he got this problem fixed. His workplace, which has no doubt noticed his zombie-like behaviour, may have a group insurance plan that will help and would be relived to see him take advantage so he'd be more productive again.

 

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I came home from my summer excursion to the Caribbean feeling so sad. I had a two-week romance with a beach boy there who is 22 years my junior. He was everything my husband is not, and especially where it counts. I look at my husband in bed now and it's just a "why bother" feeling.

I'm not dumb. I know my relationship was "just another tourist" thing where I bought his dinners and he provided some well-rehearsed lines and romancing. But at least there was the vigour of youth, some passion, moonlight strolls, sweet words, valiant attempts to communicate with each other. My husband is such a lump. My marriage is now too boring for words. The kids have gone and life is empty. Now what? -- Mid Life Crisis Arrived, Winnipeg

Dear Arrived: That trip took care of two weeks of your life, but what about the other 50 this year? Either you rekindle the love life with your husband, or you move on before you have an obvious affair back here in Canada.

Should you tell your husband? That's up to you. But what's imperative is you start sorting this out.

If things could go back to the way they were in the first years you married this fellow, would you want to stay with him and rekindle the relationship? Or, are you just marking time before you leave? Go alone for counselling and talk his out. Once you answer that basic question, addressing the ways YOU have also changed, you may have a project with counselling for both of you ahead, or else it's time to free yourself completely for the next stage of your life.

 

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I like my new wife's big body. She probably weighs 200 pounds and she is almost six feet tall. I married her because of her endless inner beauty, her funny personality, but also because I like the strong, Amazon-style physicality.

Some crazy-ass thing in her psyche makes her think she should look like a model. I have told her I'm not into skinny models and love her body the way it is. She doesn't believe me and hides in the closet to get undressed. What can I do about that? -- Want to See Her in the Light

Dear Want to See Her: You remind me of someone in my family, who as a little boy, said "Mommy, I want a wife I can look in the eyes." Of course he's also the guy who said he would recognize the love of his life because she'd be a wearing "a party hat with frogs on it." Perhaps, we can't go too much by him, but I do get your point. You want a woman who is your equal in every way, including stature. Her strong, lovely body is a turn-on to you, as much as her fun personality.

Struggle to tell her this on a card, when she's not looking at you, feeling like she has to come up with something to say immediately. Let her take this important information in, and think about it privately for a bit. She may want to step into the light in the near future, or she may need this sentiment expressed more than once before she can digest it. Don't give up until there's a breakthrough. Fancy speakers call that an epiphany. Let me know if she has one.

lovecoach@hotmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 9, 2014 G4

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