Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Family bed has to go if you want more kids

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My three kids and I sleep in one queen-sized bed and my husband sleeps in the guest bedroom's double bed, spread out with the dog. I confess we had agreed, at my insistence, we'd have a "cosy" family bed where everybody could sleep, but, that means I'm crowded in with two kids who thrash around and their two cats. It's crowded and sweaty and I hate it.

My husband asked me recently when we planned to have the next kid. He wants a big family: five or six children. I laughed in his face and said, "When there's room enough for both of us to be in the same bed together alone for half an hour." He laughed because he couldn't care less about romantic sex. Sex is sex to my macho man, and he says, "It's all good, baby!"

I'm sick and tired of having quickies in the shower. I don't know the last time we "made love" lying down like other couples, unless it was a holiday weekend when my parents kept the kids. By the way, the kids sleep fine in their own beds at grandma's house. This family bed idea is a fiasco, although everybody else likes it. Help! -- Sleepless and Sexless, Winnipeg

Dear Sleepless and Sexless: There's nothing wrong with telling your husband, "This family bed thing isn't working for me anymore, and you and I need to be alone in bed more often, Buster! It's your only chance for a big family, should I ever get rested up." If he's a practical man, he'll go for that.

Then blame it all on grandma. Start by saying over breakfast, "Grandma told me you kids are so grown up now you have slept in your own beds all night at her place, so that's what we're going to do now at our house. I'm so proud of you." If there aren't any kids beds in the house, get modern bunk beds that are often a big deal for kids.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My wife is a hypochondriac and a faker. She stays home at the least provocation -- she has to blow her nose in the morning, her throat feels a bit sore, she ate too much the night before, etc. If there's any disease going around, she quickly looks up the symptoms and thinks "it might be coming on."

I had a hunch she was acting, and sneaked home last week. I caught the same woman who was so sick with flu she couldn't get up, doing zumba in front of the TV. I came in and could see she had just had a bubble bath and had gone to the store to get new magazines, which were all over the living room floor.

I am 35, on my second marriage, and too old for this crap. I go to work faithfully every day, and pay two-thirds of the mortgage and bills. Meanwhile, she's cruising to get fired. What should I do? I'm not her parent. -- Totally Disgusted, West End

Dear Disgusted: There's a fine line between calling someone out on bad behaviour and acting like a parent. So, over dinner, calmly ask your wife what she intends to do for work once she gets caught playing hookey. Wait for an answer. Then say to her, more like a roommate: "I go to work everyday and I pay more than my share of the bills. How do you think I feel about what you're pulling? Faking it when you say you're sick to me and to your work is causing me to lose respect for you." Then let her chew on that idea for awhile. Believe me, it will be very hard for her to pull off any more of this irresponsible nonsense now that she's been outed.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 9, 2014 D5

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