DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: June and July have turned out to be terrible, suspicious months for me at the lake. My husband used to come up every weekend. Now it's every second weekend and last Friday he phoned and cancelled at the last minute when we had big romantic plans for making love on a private beach! He said he had to work all weekend and had to go out of town. I couldn't rouse him on his cellphone. I am at the lake all summer because I have a family lake history and a lot of lifelong friends at this lake. I'm relaxing and not working, hoping to get pregnant, but it hasn't happened in six months. I guess I should mention my young husband cheated on me once before we were married, so I am thinking the worst. My girlfriend came out here last weekend and she was evasive about her husband -- his best friend -- seeing him in town. She said: "I don't know how often they see each other and I don't ask." Don't ask? I am crying a lot. Should I go home? -- Scared Witless, Lake of the Woods
Dear Scared: Pack and go home when he least expects you, and go after the truth. Arrive at midnight, and if he's not home then, look for a paper trail all over the house. Check his drawers and pockets for bills and credit card receipts for evening restaurant visits for two, hotels, flowers and liquor. Visit the neighbours the next day and see if they are squirming when you ask if they've seen him much -- and what he's been doing. Call up that girlfriend and push for the truth. Put your own clothes back in the closet, abandon that baby plan, and go hard after something you need more -- a job. Right now you need the independence and the money to help support your lifestyle, and perhaps the money for a good domestic lawyer. What you don't need is to have a baby with a man who shows this little interest in you and may be cheating on you. To be frank, he may be sick of a wife who goes to the lake and has a good time all summer with her friends while he stays in town and works -- like daddy supporting a teenage princess. By being away all summer starting in June, you also write off his sex life at home five days a week. That's not a great idea for a youngish couple looking to keep their love alive and blooming.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have a girlfriend who likes to take her clothes off and show off her body to people. I am kind of conservative and nerdy. We went to the beach last weekend and she wore a bikini with a tiny top and then pretended it came off and got lost in the water and made a big production about somebody bringing her a towel to hide her as she walked out. I strode into the water and took matters into my own hands. Sure enough, she had crammed the bikini top into her bottoms and was just putting on a big show. I had nothing to say to her on the way home. I do love this woman, but what does this mean for our future? She wants everybody to see what she's got. -- Worried About The Stripping Thing, Downtown
Dear Worried: The need to shock and titillate could be just an immature silliness, or something that's deeper and lasts. If you decide you may want to marry this woman, ask for some relationship counselling beforehand where you can both confront your complaints about each other. If she is just a girlfriend along the way, that you happen to "love" (we don't often marry the first person we love these days) then you don't need to stress too much. She will embarrass and annoy you one too many times, and you will be gone. Ask her why she does it. Once she has to confront the reason for her exhibitionism, then it might lose its appeal. Maybe all she wants is regular confirmation from you that you think she looks beyond beautiful in the buff.
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