DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I love my husband a lot, but now I also love his cousin who came to live with us for a few months. I only realized I was falling in love with him about three weeks ago. I almost lost it, and slipped into his bed in the basement bedroom one night. He is perfect, hot-looking and has lots of muscles from working out. He has been so helpful around the house, affectionate with the kids and happy to do anything. When this shocking love-and-desire feeling started to surface, I told him abruptly, "It's time to move out." He said, "Why?" I said, "I can only let you guess why," and tears ran down my face. He said, "Oh, I see. OK, I'll be gone by tonight, but I love you, too." My heart started banging in my chest.
He made a phone call and started packing right then while I cried silently through the whole process. I even helped him out to his car, crying. My little sons kept saying, "Why are you crying, Mommy? Where is uncle going?" He drove off to stay with his best buddy. I have not seen him since. I told my husband he left because he needed his own place. I am completely heartsick without him. What should I do? -- Going Nuts, Winnipeg
Dear Going Nuts: The "almost relationship" with the cousin was new and exciting. It felt wonderful to be around someone who hadn't heard all your jokes and complaints and who thought you were great. Can you love two people at once? It does actually happen on occasion, but you can only stay with one in a regular marriage with kids.
When you are busy with life issues and raising children and dealing with the drudgery, it's easy to lose the romantic feelings for a time -- or forever. Since you have built a life with your husband and family, that is where you need to rebuild the fun, laughter and sexual desire you used to have.
Luckily, you say you still have a lot of love for your husband. That means you can work on fixing this as long as you stay away from the attractive cousin -- that means no talking or emailing, either. He needs to be a fading memory from now on. You were wise to ask that cousin to leave. Now stay wise, and leave him alone. You may want to see a counsellor for help in doing that.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I hate my relatives and now I'm stuck going to the big dinner because my new wife loves "being with our big family." She's from Quebec and loves family stuff. I don't. My mother always gets drunk and sentimental and pulls out my naked baby pictures and stuff. My dad also gets sentimental and calls his relatives in Quebec. My cousins play Risk and fight the whole time, drinking way too much whisky. Last year we went, and my wife loved the craziness. Christmas with the two of us would be death for her. How do I make both of us happy? Drop her off? Come early and leave right after dinner? Get drunker than everybody else and pass out? Please answer ASAP. -- Hate Christmas Dinner, Winnipeg
Dear Hate: Suck it up, buttercup. Your gregarious wife is away from her Quebecois family who enjoy a big noisy Christmas. Don't ruin this for her by grumbling or going home early. Go to the party, and after the turkey, station yourself away from the Risk players and chat with all the oldies. Look at your wife with her eyes shining and consider that your continued presence is your best gift to her. So what if it's not sedate and really crazy? It's one night of the year. Eat enough turkey and you'll feel happy and mellowed out by the tryptophan.
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