Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Consider ex's remarks, prepare to lose No. 2

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm a "sad sack," according to the guy who just broke up with me. OK, I'm not a girl who jumps up and down and acts all happy over nothing, and I guess I don't smile very much. But, when I do, I mean it. I'm not like those other girls who go around using fake voices and laughing at any excuse. He wondered why I smiled when he broke up with me, and said it was "bizarre." What did he want me to do -- cry in front of him? I was stunned. I was also seeing the irony in it. I have another boyfriend -- an older guy he doesn't know about, and now I am free to see him. He's also a serious guy and quite intellectual. Unfortunately, he has another girlfriend. I called him and told him I was free, and he said, "Uh, yeah. That's really great," in a flat voice, but he didn't say he was breaking up with her. I don't get it. -- Confused Sad Sack, Fort Garry

Dear Confused: Your back-up boyfriend was OK with his position with you because he liked his primary girlfriend more. Now you are in a position where you might demand all his attention and cause trouble for him. Be prepared: he may bail. Admit this much to yourself: He wasn't the first answer to your love life before; he was second. That means you should be shopping for a new guy. It's actually time you bailed on the hidden guy in your life. But before you head out into the world, consider doing some overdue personal work. Let's talk about the "sad sack" accusation. Is it a prevalent mood or just a facial expression? You may not be depressed in the conventional sense but you may be flat-lining, which means you're never really happy or really unhappy, just kind of glum. A psychologist could help you work with that situation. Sometimes the greatest gifts people give us when they leave us are some plain home truths about ourselves. It's OK to be relatively serious, but to experience life as a sad sack is too far down the continuum. Take his comment, and do something about it. You deserve to experience happiness more of the time.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My boss is cheating on his wife and he just found out I know about it. I didn't go looking. I stumbled on him and his office affair doing up their clothes last week on the staff room couch. They didn't know I was working late until they heard my footsteps. He mumbled, "I trust you won't mention this to anyone." I didn't say anything, but I'm worried what this might do to my career. He must be worried that I know and might tell. I don't intend to blackmail him or anything, but I'd like to know my job is still secure. Should I initiate a talk with him? -- Feeling Nervous, St. James

Dear Nervous: What could you say in such a talk? "Your secret is safe with me" comes to mind, but it compromises you to go into your boss's office and say that. If he mentions it to you first, you could say, "What a person does in their personal life is up to them." But getting into detail would be way too tacky and dangerous to your career. Best advice? Don't say anything and don't gossip around the office about it. When it all dies down in your boss's mind and his world hasn't come to an end, he will be grateful to you for your discretion. You may not want to work with a cheater like this, or it may not bother you. What it tells you is this man's capable of disloyalty, sneakiness and major deception.

lovecoach@hotmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 2, 2012 C4

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