DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: For five years now, my live-in boyfriend, 29, has gone away every summer to work for big money. This leaves me with a lot of free time and I make good use of it. He never got any complaints from me after the first summer when I found out from his friend he wasn't being faithful and his attitude was, "What she doesn't know, won't hurt her." Ha! I adopted my own adage: "What's good for the goose is good for the gander." Since then, I attend all the festivals, from jazz fest to the end of Folklorama. I meet interesting guys and have an amazing time until he gets home. In mid-August I have a blood test and I insist he does the same before I will make love to him. I call it our annual checkup. And that's what I want to share with other people whose partners take off for the whole summer working or on off-continent travels. Keep the home fires burning for yourself and enjoy the holiday. I do! -- My Hot Advice, Winnipeg
Dear Hot Advice: Clearly this arrangement works for you. But do you really think your boyfriend doesn't know you take the summer off and see other guys? I suppose if you did make this all honest and open, he might stray further emotionally and so might you. Doing it this way, you can still be as affectionate on paper as you are in person. It seems to work for the two of you, so my old adage for you is, "To each his own." Good luck with the fall testing this year.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I've been crying all night at the cabin. My new live-in man said he was driving home and packing up, leaving me because of my kids, and he carried out the threat. The close-quarters cabin experience finished him off. He says the kids are spoiled and clingy and he can't stand them. On that last day, he hit my little boy across the back in the boat and told my girl she was "a big suck" and to "shut up." So why am I crying? Because he truly loved me and nobody has ever loved me, not even my husband, who married me for my money. My kids are normal, curious, loving, and only wanted my guy's love and attention. He only had love for me. The kids were unwanted and he shooed them away like dogs. Yet I can't forget those beautiful nights, making love, and the way he would tell me he loved me. Please help. -- Broken-Hearted Single Mom
Dear Single Mom: This cold, cruel man has to be gone for good. How you managed to compartmentalize the way he treated you and the nasty way he treated your kids is hard to understand. Children of divorce have suffered enough reduction in the quality of their family life. They are already shuffled between two parents, and they should not have to feel rejected by a new adult male figure in the family. It is your job to guard them from that from the outset, but it had to come to his being violent and choosing to leave on his own for this relationship to end. What would it say to your kids about YOU as a mother if you took this man back? Dry your eyes and be glad for your children's sake. You can find another guy to give you great sex and affection. But you can't afford to bring another man into their lives who isn't loving to them. Single parents owe their children at least that.