DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I just found out my boyfriend of eight years has been cruising dating sites and making arrangements to go see women in other provinces and the U.S. I’m pretty sure he’s already met up with some, since he’s been working out of town for the last couple of years. Our relationship has not been the best for a long time. He has been accusing me of cheating and always been suspicious since Day 1. That should have been my first clue, right? I never cheated on him, nor have I ever done any of the crazy things he ever accused me of. I never deserved this! He has done bad things to me in the past — stolen from me, lied to me.
My problem is, I’m SO HURT after being with him for so long and putting up with this abuse. He took advantage of me and used me and would have continued. Most of all it hurts he kept me on the side until he found someone better! I’m so devastated I just wish I could bury myself in a hole and not feel or think anymore. I feel so broken. How do I make it stop? — Broken to Bits, Winnipeg
Dear Broken: Get really mad, and take back your power. There’s a lot more energy available to you from anger than from beating yourself over the head. Some cheaters are smart enough to accuse their innocent mates of cheating because it puts them off kilter. The naive accused wastes a lot of time and emotion trying to prove they’re not fooling around. Meanwhile, the cheater goes his merry way, having a grand old time while his mate is fretting away at home. Yes, you have been bamboozled. But, don’t waste another eight months kicking yourself and feeling sorry for yourself. That’s exactly what he’d want. Get counselling to firm up your backbone so you will never repeat this with another guy. You had all the clues when he stole and lied to you — cheating would be natural to him. Yes, you have every reason to moan and groan, but grinding yourself down over this is not going to help you stand up and stop being a doormat. That is the goal now.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My girlfriend is cold as ice to my two children and doesn’t even speak to them directly. She never hits them or hurts them, but she treats them like they don’t exist. She treats me like gold, but she will say, "Tell your children it’s time to go to bed now" or "Tell your son not to get my rug dirty with his shoes." She has her own two boys and she’s warm and affectionate with them in front of my children. I treat her kids like my own! What should I do? — Getting Fed Up, East Kildonan
Dear Getting: Why would you just be getting fed up? Why didn’t her behaviour towards your children repulse you right from the start? As a mother, I can tell you that anybody who hurts or disrespects my children would become unattractive immediately. But, you still love this woman and sleep with her when she treats your children like nothing! They lost their original two-parent family and now they have to visit you with the ice queen present? It’s clear what you should do: dump her and find a better woman who is warm and kind to your kids. Why you’ve failed to do that is the question you need to ask yourself. At least see your children on your own, without her around. They won’t miss her and they will get 100 per cent of their dad when they see him.