DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My wife needs a facelift and I don’t know what to say to her; now she’s all riled up. She has done a lot of heavy tanning and her face has wrinkles like she shouldn’t have until she’s an old grandmother. I have the money to pay for one, but when I mentioned it this week, she said she’d rather "be natural, thank you very much, you jerk!" I’m telling you, I feel embarrassed when people ask if she is my mother. What can I do, past asking her nicely? I think she looks very tough now, like those women you see in California with the leather faces. She acts like she can get any guy that she wants and it seems she is not afraid of losing me. I have supported that woman for 10 years and she has never had to work — just lie around and tan. — Turned Off, Winnipeg
Dear Turned Off: What if your wife asked you to get a facelift because you were looking too old? Try to imagine how you would feel. Even if you were feeling good about yourself to that point, you’d start having doubts and begin feeling self-conscious around her. Do you think she’s feigning confidence she doesn’t have, or that she has a Plan B, as in another guy on the back burner?
There may be more to this than the facelift issue. Are you prepared to lose her? If not, you had better do some fast back-pedalling and never mention the plastic surgery idea again.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: When I lived in another province years ago, I was involved in a relationship with a married couple. The husband was in love with the woman, and I was smitten with her. If the husband went away on a two-week "business" trip, he would be fine with my moving in for that time "to look after her" while he was gone. I loved those times. It ended, oddly enough, when this man took off with another woman from his business trips, and his wife (my lover) said she didn’t want an "open lifestyle" anymore. I was OK with just being hers alone, but she was in deep mourning over him, and told me: "Every time I look at you I think of him; you were like two pieces in a puzzle and made up the one perfect man to me." She asked me to leave her alone with her pain, so I moved to Winnipeg, broken-hearted. I’m finally married to a straight woman and suddenly this woman from my past is calling me at work, asking me to come see her. I said no at first, but truthfully, it’s all I think about. What if I go there and don’t want to come back to my life in Winnipeg? — Sorely Tempted, Winnipeg
Dear Sorely: It’s not about you and your choices with this woman. The greater likelihood is she’s lonely right now, can’t find a replacement to her latest man, was thumbing through her old numbers and decided to give you a call.
She sees you as an ego booster, if nothing else, and has told you she’ll give you a second look. But think about this: She rejected you last time you were with her, and hasn’t been in touch since, so she wasn’t exactly missing you.
It’s likely she would have a passable weekend with you and send you packing. Then you come back to your wife here with a nasty little secret between you.
It’d be better for the marriage if you said you wouldn’t go, but we both know that’s not going to happen.