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Quit drinking; it's the only way

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: This weekend my fiancée and I went out to the bar and got into an argument. I left early; she didn't come home at all because she was afraid of another conflict. I said, "Fine, I'm leaving." She didn't care. I'm mad at myself for those things I say under the influence. I left town for 24 hours to have a chat with a family member. When I came home, she wasn't wearing her engagement ring, and she said she hates me. "A drunk man's words are a sober man's thoughts" is a line she hit me with. Because of these things I say, she has no trust in me. I'm sick to my stomach she'll eventually leave me, as she said this is my last chance. I'm being quiet although I'm very verbal and she's quiet. She won't go to couples counselling. I'm here 100 per cent, while I feel her heart's not in it anymore. -- Worried Man, Winnipeg, MB.

Dear Worried: You aren't being direct with me so I'm guessing you are cursing/accusing her when you're drunk. You want to hang onto her? Stop the drinking that unleashes the harsh language and insecurities. Calling a person a demeaning name is like a verbal lash. And why was she scared to come home? Do you get violent too? Your only hope is to prove you won't be drunk again -- that is, to get help to quit drinking totally. Even then, she may not be able to get past the memories you've given her already.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My daughter, who I always dressed in feminine clothes, is 18 now and has celebrated by cutting her hair like a boy's. She only has guy's clothes now. I notice her makeup is gone. too. When I asked her about all this, she said, "Face it, Mom. I'm not the daughter you always wanted." The irony of that statement is I always wanted a boy but she didn't know that. Now we have a situation where I think she's trying to decide what exactly she does want. What am I supposed to do when she's living here? Take the abuse? Nothing I can do is right. -- Open-Minded Mom, Winnipeg

Dear Open: You are the safe place she can take out her fury and her confusion with her life and the world in general. She knows you will love her, even if she rails at you. You do have the right to say how much you will take, though. Explain you love her soul, who she is on the inside, and it's her choice what she wants to be -- on the outside and also sexually. She's still the same person to you. She may think that's a bunch of blather, and tell you so, but at least she's heard it. However, the next time she says anything abusive to you, that's when you tell her she doesn't get to abuse you verbally as part of the changes she's going through. You can't and won't take it. Taking it is not proof of love.

 

Send problems to lovecoach@hotmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 28, 2012 G5

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