DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My husband goes off to work, and I go down the hall. I tell myself I'm having an "affair lite" with the man who lives down and across from me. He's on disability. We met in the laundry room. He had tears in his eyes. He said they were caused by physical pain, as it hurt so much to take the laundry out and carry it, he almost couldn't do it. I offered to carry it for him and give him a back massage that would help. I used to do therapeutic massage.
We went to his suite. Well, one thing led to another and we ended up massaging each other. He has improved much more slowly than most people I've treated, so I've been getting suspicious. Our friendship has grown closer over the weeks, though. He's a lonely guy. The trouble is neither one of us works and my husband has been supporting me. He says I'm supposed to be looking for a job. I can't find work because I don't want to do massage anymore. It's boring to work with strangers' bodies all morning and afternoon. Then yesterday the man from down the hall said he was falling in love with me. Now I have an emotional mess on my hands. Please help. -- Not In Love, Winnipeg
Dear Not In Love: You are quite the cool customer with your husband paying all the bills, your refusing to work at your career and your "affair lite" for sexual and friendship needs. Now you've created trouble near your own door. Expect him to come knocking. Be very careful. Things are likely to blow up if you cut this man off coldly. He knows you are alone all day. He's also given to crying when he wants something, so he's emotional and manipulative, just like you are. You're going to have to tell him your husband is suspicious and now insists you get a job or you're out on the street. Tell him you're going to be job hunting during the day -- and do that. That means saying a boo-hoo sad goodbye to him at the door. I have every confidence you can fake that convincingly.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I read your response to So Disgusted and wished there was more awareness of the Overeaters Anonymous program. Overeaters Anonymous is a 12-step program for compulsive overeaters, food addicts, bulimics and anorexics. If the writer complained his wife was drunk every night, you may have mentioned Al-Anon and AA. OA is for food addicts what AA is for alcoholics. See www.oa.org -- Anonymous Member, Winnipeg
Dear Anonymous: You think the man who wants his wife to lose 50 of the 70 pounds she's gained since they married could successfully pack her off to OA meetings without a whit of couples counselling? Not likely. I suggested they get help for their relationship because there's a 70-pound problem between them and this husband is a big part of it. His wife weighed 135 when they got married five years ago. Something happened after that. Overeaters Anonymous can work well if you take yourself there, the same as Alcoholics Anonymous or any other group support program, but not if you're threatened or pushed.
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