Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: It's taken me a few days to process the story with the headline "Fear of Seeing Nurse Making her Sick" from the woman who has a loved one in the hospital on the same ward where the wife of her ex-lover works as a nurse. It's ironic, as I'm that nurse, and that's how I feel right now. I have clarity as much as it hurts -- now I definitely know my husband had an affair and who my husband's ex-lover is.
To her: thank you for writing to Miss Lonelyhearts. By doing that, I finally have the truth I needed, even though the lies I have heard for many months brought me more comfort. That doesn't mean it didn't hurt to see you. I am hurting, and probably will for a long time, even though I'm pretending not to be. I'm not sure what hurts me more, though: seeing you and being reminded of what you and my husband did to me; not knowing how long the affair went on for, although I suspect it was a fairly long time; or knowing how weak I have been. I wasn't brave enough to walk away from my husband when I wasn't happy and still am not able to, even knowing that he doesn't love me enough to tell me the truth. He says he loves me, but deep down how will I ever be able to believe him? His cheating didn't destroy the trust I have in him, his lying did, though.
I am professional and will always provide the proper attention to the patients I care for. I will not rat you out in front of your loved ones, but it doesn't mean you don't deserve it. I am a better person than that. It's too bad you didn't think through what pain your actions would cause to others. -- Painfully Standing Tall, But Scared to Leave, Winnipeg
Dear Standing Tall: It is good to hear you say you are too professional as a nurse to provide less attention to the person in your care who is the loved one of the hospital visitor who was once "the other woman" in your marriage. I'm not surprised by your answer, but am very glad to see it.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My boyfriend and I have dated for over two years. We are in our mid-50s, both divorced years ago, and have left the past behind us. My boyfriend is planning to retire in the next year or two. We are serious and he considers me his partner. He talks like we are going to be together forever, but doesn't talk about melding finances. I have expressed my views, months ago, and he agrees. We'll be fair to each other and our own grown kids. We don't live together. I wouldn't until everything is organized.
I have done all the talking. He hasn't put forth any ideas or done the plans. I can't really plan my future until I understand his. How do I approach this? I am beginning to think he likes things the way they are. -- Getting Worried, Winnipeg
Dear Worried: Does he have a lot more money than you do? Did he spend his whole life accumulating his savings and now here you are, ready to divide his money and yours? See a lawyer and an accountant of your own and find out different ways it could work. This is a common scenario in modern times, especially with one or both people having considerable money. Your man may require a prenuptial agreement to sort out the finances, but be afraid of asking you to agree to one. If you come to him with this idea, and know what you want and don't want, he may be relieved. Then he will see his lawyer and accountant and you can work something out. But be smart about this. In your haste to get to the altar with this man, make sure you don't sign anything your lawyer and accountant haven't agreed is fair.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have made a bit of a pet out of wild bird that comes to my outdoor balcony by feeding him on a tray clipped to the balcony railing. My husband says he's afraid to go out there because this bird keeps arriving to feed. He says I should quit feeding him now it's spring, but it isn't spring! It is freezing cold and there are no leaves on the trees. What do you think? -- Soft-Hearted Bird Lover, Winnipeg
Dear Soft-Hearted: How about a compromise? Taper off for two weeks, so the bird gets used to looking elsewhere. Hopefully he or she will give up in disgust at how little you can provide and spend more time hunting for food independently. This will require you to give up your own dependence on the bird as a pet. How about getting a real pet bird or two, little ones that twitter instead of squawking, as long as your apartment super is OK with it?
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