DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I was at home with my two little kids from my wonderful second husband when the doorbell rang. There's a side window and something told me to check. I looked out and it was my scary ex-husband on the doorstep with a bouquet of flowers. I double-latched the door and backed away so he couldn't see me. The kids were sleeping. I phoned my husband quickly and he came racing home from work, but my ex was gone. That horrible man had a nasty temper and used to beat me up for no reason; he almost broke my head in two. Thank God I had no babies with him or he would have beaten them, too.
My new husband wants to go over there and "take care of him" by laying on a beating. I don't want my new husband to go to jail. What can we do? My ex had flowers in his hand. A judge is not going to think he would do me harm. -- Scared Stiff, Winnipeg
Dear Scared Stiff: Judges are not stupid. They know an abuser with flowers in his hand is still an abuser. You need this man kept away from your house and you don't need your husband to be the one enforcing this. If he beats up your former husband, then he could end up in court for assault.
Call legal authorities, such as a lawyer or the police, and go for a court order to keep him far away. If you shine the light on this guy trying to make moves on your doorstep, and reveal what he has done to you previously, he will know the eyes of the police are now on him. If he approaches your house again, you call 911 and the police will come and take him to jail. If he stalks you in other ways, such as texts, phone calls and flower deliveries, call the police each and every time.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I slapped my 15-year-old daughter hard and she slapped me back harder. I threatened to call Child and Family Services to at least give her a scare, but she said she'd report me for child abuse.
Get this: my husband is siding with the little hussy. He won't give her heck or ground her and she refuses to be grounded by me. She said, "What are you going to do -- slap me again and get slapped back harder?" I have always slapped her face if she got cheeky with me and it worked. She'd be polite and quiet for weeks. What now? This morning we got into it again over her slutty clothes she wears to school and she said she would consider calling CFS herself if I "can't get the anger problem under control."
My husband overheard this fight, grabbed me and said to my face that he would leave and take her with him except he's afraid to leave me alone with the other kids. I am so insulted. Help me! -- Not a Monster, Winnipeg
Dear Not A Monster: Emergency counselling for your whole family is needed for this problem. Some counselling services do offer this, and will even come out to your house. You, your husband, 15-year-old daughter and any other children in the family need help with this now. This is crisis time for everybody, especially you. Your family could split apart and your husband could end up with all the kids because you're the violent one. Now you've met your match, and you apparently taught her well. Anger/violence management is also available for you at most counselling services and with psychologists and psychiatrists.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My husband and I recently got married and my best friend says people are getting turned off because we are "excessively kissypoo." It's not me, it's him. He's the guy who dragged his feet because of his parents' coldness in their marriage and subsequent divorce, and he didn't want to get married. Now it seems he's bought into the whole "romance forever" thing 150 per cent.
I told him what is being said about us among our friends, and he just laughed. I wasn't laughing because it's beginning to wear on me. How can I reach out for him anymore when he's always in my face, kissing me every time I try to get a sentence out? -- Irritated Bride, River Heights
Dear Irritated: Don't insult him, but do ask him gently: "What's going on for you? Are you a little bit nervous about this marriage flame going out?" He may be feeling he has to keep piling wood on the fire to avoid his parents' fate.
After the excitement of the wedding, things can seem eerily quiet, so plan more events, like a short trip to Vegas and maybe renting a cabin for two weeks in July, and show him life can stay warm, happy and exciting, especially as a double-income-no-kids couple, without kissing every single minute.
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