DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My partner sleeps on his back and snores like a freight train. I taped a ping pong ball on his back to keep him from rolling over but he has learned how to sleep on that, too. He refuses to go to a sleep clinic and to have the test for sleep apnea, so I'm afraid I will wake up one morning and he will be dead beside me from not breathing. What can I do? -- Scared He Will Be Stiff, North End
Dear Scared: You may have to be sneaky to save your partner's life. Ask him to accompany you to the family doctor on a complaint you are having. Then when you get him in the office, change the topic to the way he seems to stop breathing when he's snoring, and see if the doctor has a more persuasive way with him. Since your man's attitude to you is "What does she know?" let the doctor lay out the life-or-death situation he is in.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I've been married to my wife, who is a stay-at-home mom, for 10 years. She's a wonderful mother, and I love her very much. She says she loves me, and she's content, but when it comes to bedroom activity, it's non-existent. She used to be an outgoing and sexually active person. During the first year of marriage, we'd be intimate two or three times a week. Soon after, she didn't appear excited about sex. For three years, we've been intimate maybe once every two months. She's acknowledged there may be an issue, but doesn't get help. I understand intimacy is only part of the relationship equation, yet it's important. I don't want to pressure her, and want to support her should there be something wrong, but frankly, she seems quite happy. I can pressure her for sex and she'd probably accommodate me, but then it's "work" for her. At this point I've tried it all -- flowers, dinners out, cuddling, offers to go to counselling. -- More Frustrated by the Minute, Winnipeg
Dear Frustrated: Rock this marriage boat! Since she doesn't want to go to counselling, surprise her by going yourself -- leave her the time and address of the appointment. She needs to know that your current situation is not your definition of a long-term marriage. Out of curiosity and a desire to make sure her side is properly represented, she may show up at the very first session and you may be surprised at what comes out. She'll have complaints to match yours. She's a family oriented woman, and the idea of that unit being endangered will shock her into finally communicating. As it is, she's coasting along with the kids and a platonic pal who pays the bills for her lifestyle. A great book for both of you is Sex Recharge, a Rejuvenation Plan for Couples and Singles, by Ian Kerner. This program promises rejuvenation results in as little as 30 days if you are both willing to try. P.S. If you suspect she's sexually content because she's having an affair, discreetly hire a private detective to check it out.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I read the letter about the mom who was at a loss with her 13-year-old boy who has Asperger's, is addicted to online gaming and won't attend school. In life, we play the hand we are dealt. Her duty is to help her child. If circumstances were different and she was the difficult child, would she want her parents to help her or dump her? We went through some trying years with our Asperger's daughter and things have got better. Every case is different. Speaking with other parents helps set up networks and exchange ideas. She should also contact Community Living Winnipeg, 204-786-1414, and Continuity Care, 204-779-1679. -- Been There, Needed the Help.
Dear Been There: Thanks for caring enough to write in and share your help and contacts with this woman.