Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

You and hubby need to have heart-to-heart talk

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My husband of several months has been playing this disturbing Adele song called Rolling in the Deep over and over again, and I'm afraid he's going to leave me soon. Lately he is cold and withdrawn, and in the chorus line, he sings out loud, "We could have had it all, but you played it, you played it . . ." This hits me right in the guilt. Two months before the wedding, I panicked about getting married, and had a brief one-night stand with one of his groomsmen, and I didn't confess. I never planned for him to know because it would have hurt him so much. But now, I really think he knows, and it's killing our love. What should I do? What if he doesn't know and I blab? Should I confess? -- Miserable Newlywed, Winnipeg

Dear Miserable: The dirty secret and the silence are not helping. The chasm between you is widening with every day. Your new husband may know what you did, or have heard rumours. But, he doesn't know how you feel about it and about him, and why you went ahead with the marriage. Or, and this is a long shot, he may have found out and cheated in a revenge move already. Whatever it is, both of you need a heart-to-heart talk like you need your next breath. You may want total privacy at first and an appointment with a marriage counsellor set up for that day or the next to see if you can fight through the issues -- or not. But today, you have to sit down with yourself and figure out all the reasons why it happened, not just the panic which so many brides and grooms feel without going out and cheating.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I've been in love with a man for over two years. He loves me, too. The problem is we've always been long distance, at opposite ends of the country. He works 80 hours a week and is mildly depressed from life issues and stress burnout. Despite my pie-in-the-sky romantic optimism, I can be a practical person, and I see solutions for all these problems. Except one. He feels that, as the guy, he should be fixing things and finding solutions, pay my flights and be the protector and provider. And, when we're together, he's both of those things and more. But he's so busy/burnt-out/stressed that he's not able to be solution-focused enough to be together more or have a long-term plan. So how do I help him make plans, without nagging or taking over? My head is saying walk away because if he can't focus he clearly doesn't love me enough, but he's trying. And my heart aches at the thought of leaving him. -- Confused City Girl, Outside Winnipeg

Dear Confused: Imagine an in-town relationship with a man who works 80 hours a week and wants to be in control of everything at the same time. That's the flip side of protection -- control. It may be why you instinctively stay on your side of the country, without bailing on this going-nowhere relationship. At this point, the only relationship he cans sustain is writing emails, and paying the bills for you to come to his home turf. Another major issue? Once you're together -- if it happens -- you can expect to be lonely most of the time. The only time left over is sleep time and that means he'd come home, chat for half an hour, have sex if he's not too tired, fall asleep and hours later, go right back to work. That's no life for his partner. Now let's turn the spotlight back on you. Why are you able to put up with a long-distance relationship with a workaholic for two years? What are your issues with closeness? What about sex, companionship, fun, even talking? As for changing him, good luck. Workaholics love their work, and love to complain about it. How would you like him to insist you become a workaholic? Bizarre idea, isn't it? Figure out why that is, and then put on your walking shoes.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 5, 2012 C4

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