DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: Two years have passed since my husband left the kids and me. At the time, I literally thought I was going to die. I'm writing to tell people how it feels 730 days since I wanted to end it. Pretty good. Not wonderful, but we're surviving. I thought he was the love of my life. He married me when I was an innocent 24 during his mid-life crisis at 41. We had two children who are now in their teens. I'm nearing 40 now myself. While we were still married, he started an affair with a woman around his age. He finally begged to be "set free" to be with his "true love." He was also married once in his 20s. This new woman will be wife No. 3! His boring old friends in their 60s love her; they never liked me. I recently met a nice man in his 40s myself and, wonder of wonders, the kids like him. I feel my self-confidence returning. I have only one question I obsess about: Do you think there will be a wife No. 4? -- Always Wondering, Winnipeg
Dear Sometimes: People often follow patterns. Your husband may have a pattern of marital dissatisfaction with anybody, a dislike of being stuck with one woman "forever" and a curiosity about new women and what they can offer sexually or emotionally. If that's the case, there may well be a wife No. 4. one day, but now he's that much older, the chance of his moving on is less. But does this stuff really matter? It's time to stop obsessing and invest in your new romance.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts This is in response to the letter you received from A Cry for Help, the lady who witnessed an elderly lady being emotionally abused by her son. There is a Seniors Abuse Line in Winnipeg, a 24/7 toll-free number at 1-888-896-7183, and a government website: gov.mb.ca/shas -- Wanting To Help, Winnipeg
Dear Wanting: Consider your message passed on, and thanks for caring and writing in, as many people will take that information and use it, if necessary. Police also encourage people to call 911 if they are witnessing elder abuse. Anyone can file an incident to investigate now, not just the person being abused. In previous times only the abused person could file, and they were often too afraid to do so.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My husband drinks two pots of coffee a day. To say he's energetic would be an understatement. But once the day is over, he takes a sleeping pill, apologizes for no sex again, and zonks out. I have pointed out to him what two pots a day can do to his body and what a lack of sex is doing to our love life, but he doesn't seem to care. He's an addict. That coffee is more important to him than his health or his wife's happiness. No one recognizes caffeine as a serious addiction. He doesn't take it seriously when I cry. Should I leave him? -- Loves His Coffee, Not Me, Winnipeg
Dear Coffee: Caffeine is a serious addiction with many serious consequences that need to be brought to his attention. Copy the most simple listing of consequences from a website -- one he can't brush aside -- and present it to him over breakfast coffee. Then tell him the most serious one affecting you is the pill he takes to knock himself out before he's expected in bed to make love to you. There's a lot more going on here than a caffeine problem. It's time for marriage counselling. Tell him you're not willing to live as platonic roommates with him and your marriage is in crisis. Then make the first appointment for help, even if it's only you who goes.