DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I was purging junk in the basement when I pried open an old suitcase and found love letters to my husband from another woman. I know the affair was 18 years ago by the dates, and at the end she is crying the blues bitterly because he has dumped her to be a "more loving husband" to me and the kids. Puh-lease.
I am so angry! I didn't know he had any affairs. He presented himself as squeaky clean all this time and never let me forget about the brief three week affair I had with my ex-boyfriend from high school. I note my husband's affair started about three months after mine came to light, so it was pure revenge. He felt he was entitled -- a freebie. When he felt he had punished me enough over my mistake, he dumped her with his "back to the future" family investment excuse.
I feel like phoning my ex-boyfriend, who would take me back for a romp or an affair in a minute. He said when we parted 18 years ago, "Right or wrong, I'll always be there for you any day, any time." I also feel like phoning that woman. I know who she is. She used to be a friend of mine! Should I? -- Played Like a Violin, St. Boniface
Dear Played: You're furious and want to lash out, but let's take a minute to look into the near future in my crystal ball. You phone this woman up and say something like, "I know about your affair with my husband 18 years ago. I just read your pathetic letters!" and she says, "What's your problem? You had an affair first." You can bet he told her to win her compliance. You were the nasty wife who betrayed him. Calling her and getting hit right back would just leave you sputtering, so why do it?
You're mad at your husband, so take it out on him. If you can't find the words to say, just hand him one of her love letters, and say, "Read this." Then tell him how angry you are that he punished you back then, had an affair himself and pretended to be squeaky clean ever after.
Some women would keep the letter discovery quiet and hold that information close to their chests as an ace to use at any time, but you're a hotter reactor, so you'll probably need to get it out fast. Write back about how that goes.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm a wealthy, older single woman with secret needs. I buy what I want and need when I'm out of the country. Recently, I've developed a medical condition that requires me to stop travelling and be closer to my doctor here.
I still have those unusual sexual needs. Out of desperation, I established a risky relationship with a younger man for money (to be honest). I like him well enough and am attracted to him, but that's it. I have family money, money from my own business and live in a very big home, so he knows I am wealthy.
Now he says he is "falling in love." In love with me or my money? If I get rid of him, I fear I won't be able to trust him to keep quiet about my needs. You have heard the term six degrees of separation. I think Winnipeg has less than that. He says he "fooled around and fell in love," like that old song says. It sounds hokey and insincere and I don't believe him. I just want out of this. Damage control? -- Too Close To Home, South End
Dear Too Close To Home: Bore him to death so there is no anger and he thinks he's losing interest in this relationship with you himself. Back out by degrees, to the point where spending time with you is so unsexy and mind-numbing he can hardly wait to leave. Space the meetings out more and more. Engage in conservative sexual experiences that are even boring to you (back rubs, foot rubs, yawn). Don't give gifts. Don't speak as much as usual. Let conversations lapse without apology. Send him home early, citing fatigue. If he backs off without being angry, it's the best thing.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I am a snowbird in love with a man from the United States. I thought this was it. I was planning to go visit him for a long stint in the summer, but now he's starting to hint my coming to stay wouldn't be convenient this summer because family is coming to visit at different times. This doesn't make sense because we slept in the same bed, he was so crazy for me when I was there and made a big fuss, calling me "my love" and making plans for us. What happened in two months? -- Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Winnipeg
Dear Out of Sight: It doesn't actually matter what happened. He may be a guy who only relates to whatever lady is near and willing, or he may have someone else stashed away in his hometown. The point is, he has cooled off and there's been no fight to cause it. That means his "love" wasn't really love, it was probably "like" and "desire." He's a cad for leading you on like that when you were down south. Don't beg. Cut him loose!
Please send questions or comments c/o email@example.com or to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, R2X 3B6