DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: University is my life and my passion. I have three degrees and I teach. I never want to leave these hallowed halls. My wife is not a professor and she wants to move to a warmer climate -- an island, no less -- and pursue a whole different lifestyle for both of us. "Like what, selling jewelry on the beach?" I asked. We fight about it all the time.
On the weekend, I said rashly, "And when the water levels rise in this world, your little island will be covered by the ocean and everyone will drown." She became so angry, she hurled a plate of scrambled eggs and toast at me, which flew over my head and hit the wall.
"You're trying to destroy my every dream!" she screamed. I yelled back at her: "And you want me to give up the very thing I love most in the world!" And then she said, "And that's not me, is it?" and then everything went quiet as death.
Now what? Our marriage is in shards on the floor and we are trying to step over them. I love her dearly. We have no children and I sense she could leave me any day: I feel it in my bones and I'm terrified. Please send help quickly. -- Professor of Almost Nothing, Winnipeg
Dear Professor: Quick! Get on the computer and research a compromise. There are universities everywhere in the world, including islands in the Caribbean, the Pacific, all along the Atlantic coasts. Hawaii is nothing but islands. Is there room for compromise with you? Could you not teach somewhere else? You have no children and you are free to move. This could be the adventure of a lifetime and encompass both your dreams and lifestyles.
Talk to your wife tonight and see if you can excite her about this possibility. Try to keep her under the same roof with you because once someone is out of the marital home it is much harder to get back together. Get some possibilities down in notes for her to see. Also make an appointment to see a relationship counsellor together or apart. Show your wife you will do anything to try to work this out so you both get what you want. Compromise is a beautiful concept when it means win/win, but not when it means no one gets what they really want.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have a lesbian friend whose young, insecure girlfriend cheated on her and now wants her back again. She is asking me whether to win her back or let her go and be free, hoping against hope she'll come back. This is really so sad. They were so much fun together for a couple of years and they also worked together and were amazing at that.
The young one cheated mostly because she was so immature and wanted to feel wild and free on a one-night stand or two. My friend wants her back, but not when she's restless like this. -- Don't Know What To Advise, Downtown
Dear Don't Know: The romantic answer would be to tell her to let this young love go and she'll come back in time to start over, realizing with her newfound maturity that she lost a good thing. (Cue the violins.) In real life, the young person usually flies off and keeps on flying. Why? If she goes back, she is the shameful one who broke her lover's heart and sullied everything, but if she keeps flying, she gets to start fresh with someone else (or a number of people).
She is craving adventure right now, which is part of being young for certain types. So tell your older friend something like this: "You are great. Let yourself be free now to find someone new who is closer to your own age and would never cheat because that's just the type of person she is."
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