DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I read about the man-eating-barracuda problem a wife called "Sad" was having in your column. I also had a barracuda for a neighbour and she started going after the men on our bay one at a time. Working on her front garden wearing a tiny bikini started it all. She had a lot of other moves, her own swimming pool, appliances that always need fixing and a full bar that was always open. That went on until a couple of women from our bay paid her a visit as a group. Her house was up for sale within a month. -- Flushing the Barracuda, Winnipeg
Dear Flushing: House up for sale? That must have been some visit. While I don't recommend torches on the lawn and lynch mobs, it is wise for people to confront their tempted partners rather than turning a blind eye and hoping the barracuda will go away. Even saying something to your spouse like, "I know you very well and I notice you are showing interest in so-and-so. Please stop it now. Let's work on our relationship if there's a problem. I love you too much to lose you." Aware, assertive and loving -- that's the combo.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I agree with your response that Sad needs to act and get the barracuda neighbour off her husband's trail for sure. This gal is openly trying to get some action, and the husband seems to be weakening, or at least enjoying the attention. The priority for Sad should be to do things in reverse order and put it to her husband first, in no uncertain terms, that she won't tolerate the activity any longer and he better step up and support her or she will be having it out with the neighbour and it will get ugly. If this works an icky confrontation may be avoidable. -- Barracuda Fight Options, Winnipeg
Dear Options: Either way this wife handles a woman who's after her husband -- confronting her husband or the neighbourhood man-eater -- she has to raise a big fuss. She has to shine a big light on what's happening under the water. Barracudas operate well in the dark.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: What would you gain by talking to the other woman when an affair is going on? She is not going to tell you anything anyway. When an affair is going on there's constant texting or phone calls. He talks about the other woman, but says they are just friends. Then there's the working late, other people who also suspect an affair, too, a new exercise program, adjusted positions of your seat in the car, going away or doing activities without you, and the list goes on. Although the other woman is a consenting adult, she is not the problem, so don't blame her. Your marriage is the problem, but you probably know that already.
Beyond the cheating, which is bad enough, the worst part is your husband has been lying to you. If he's been lying to you about the affair, what else has he been lying to you about and for how long? Does he mean it when he says I love you? This might be your time to leave. Take it from someone who has been through the same thing. Maybe not on purpose, but your husband is slowly stealing your self-worth and it is hard to get that back. That is no way for you to live. -- Save Your Dignity, Winnipeg
Dear Dignity: If a spouse feels their relationship is worth fighting for, sometimes they can get help and figure out what was going wrong and it will be fixable -- sometimes not -- but at least it's worth trying. A chilling number of men and women secretly wish they had fixed the relationship with their first marriage partner. When everything cools down, and anger subsides, it can be surprising the deep feelings that one or both people of the original marriage discover are still there.
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.