DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I was happily married to my second choice, until this week when my "dream man" came back into my life after 22 years. He's my high school sweetheart. I never really got over him. I even married a guy who looks a lot like him. He didn't want to get married right out of high school and we'd had a pregnancy scare, which threatened his ambitions and career plans. He ran far away. We lived in a small town, and he went off to university out of province. I ran into him at reunions with his wife, who looked a lot like me. Whenever I saw him, it would take me a month to get over it again.
This week I ran into him in Winnipeg, divorced and working here now. He confessed he's never gotten over me either. I am a complete mess! I still feel the same way about him as I ever did -- like I would fly into enemy territory to get him out, like I would die for him. My husband is a good man and doesn't deserve this, but this could be my one big chance at my true love. He really wants to see me again. I want to go, I will go, but it is wrong. What should I do? -- Going Crazy, River Heights
Dear Going Crazy: Since you say you will see him again, use this as your chance to find out who he is, now he's not a boy. At least interview him on this meeting before doing anything rash. Do not meet him in a hotel lobby; choose a place with food and drink and daylight. He may not be the superstar you think he is. Ask him about his ex-wife, children, work, and find out if he has addictions. Why did his marriage fail? That will be very revealing. Why did he turn his back on you so totally? That is very important.
As for your husband, he may benefit by getting a wife back who isn't dreaming about another guy or you may decide to leave him and go with your high school sweetheart. In that case he will be deeply hurt, but he may one day be free to find someone for whom he is the first choice and not a pretty good stand-in.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: As a man of 32 with a couple of kids and a wife who has a high-paying job, I have tried to be a happy Mr. Mom. I found it lonely after awhile and started hanging out with a few stay-at-home moms. That's all it has ever been -- just hanging out. Then one of them developed a big crush on me and started stopping over here for coffees. Last summer she even rented a cabin near the spot where my wife and I have one, and visiting my wife and I with her kids. Her jackass of a husband doesn't pay attention to her, or anything that goes on, beyond his sports on TV, but I'm not in love with her and have never slept with her. Unfortunately, she has recently intimated to mutual friends that there was something going on, and now my wife is very suspicious. This could blow our family apart. Help, please! -- West End
Dear Help: Stop seeing this troublemaker with the crush altogether, not even as a friend. Squeal to a stop. That will help curb the gossip. Be sure to tell this woman who is saying you have a special connection that you have heard the gossip. Let her know it's not true for you, that you love your wife dearly, and lay it on thick. Tell her you can't have her anywhere around you.
Things have shifted more than a little, so be proactive. It would be a smart move to start back working outside the home at least part-time. This weekday Mr. Mom thing is not working out for you anymore. Your loneliness and availability make you a sitting duck in the neighbourhood, and your whole family can't afford that situation.
Please send your questions or comments c/o email@example.com or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6