DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm 17 and my girlfriend is 16. We are in love as far as I can tell. She says she wants to be with me and me only. I pick her up in my parents' car and we go out to do sporty things, to movies and to make out.
We have one problem. She doesn't like school, never studies and gets lousy marks. I am going to be a doctor, perhaps a surgeon. She thinks studying is a waste of time and I need to study a lot. This is Grade 12 for me, and I also need to study hard over the next seven or so years in university.
I worry about her goal, which seems to be to try to keep me from studying by bringing up sexy things and getting me to go out with her to make out. I often give in, but I feel worried and my marks have been going down. How do I keep her and keep my marks up, too?
-- Guilty, North Winnipeg
Dear North: Think of the school year as a race and you are coming around the last bend. From here until June it's the final stretch in high school. You can't afford to slow down; instead, you need to speed up. Ask yourself if this is going to be your last girlfriend. If you know the answer is no, or even not likely, then don't lose anything important because of her. If she is constantly texting you to tempt you, put the phone in another room when you study. If she's trying to sabotage you, that's not love, it's selfishness.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My wife is crazy about her/our new dog. He nestles between us when we go to bed. The sweet words she once saved for me are now lavished on him. He is her baby, her "Sweetums," my old name. Now she calls me daddy. Yech.
We were only married a year ago, but now we can't have great uninhibited, noisy sex any more because we have to wait until Sweetums is full of food and deeply asleep in another room so we can sneak-shut the door, otherwise, he rushes the bedroom door barking, growling and yapping. You can't let him in during sex. We learned this after he jumped on us while we were making love and he bit my leg. It was a nasty bite and bled a lot. I know this sounds silly and petty, but I hate what has happened to my life at only 27.
I don't just think this, I know I come second best, and she laughs nervously when I say it. She knows it's true. He sleeps between us every night and I hate it. We can't even spoon any more, as she likes to lie on one side and cling to my back and he can't spoon behind her, so of course he's up the middle with his hairy little body. I am over on my side now with a foot of space between me and the dog. I'd like to get rid of the dog because I hate him now, but don't dare mention it. Please help.
-- Trouble in Paradise, St. Boniface
Dear Trouble in Paradise: It's interesting your wife doesn't care how you feel or about missing the great sex. She has gone from lover to full-time dog mother. Or, maybe there isn't that much of a change? She may have mothered you with all baby-talk names before the dog came along. That's often a warning sign in terms of adult love relationships: excessive babying. What do you think your life will be like once you have real children and the dog? Insist on relationship counselling. Your wife needs to understand why she's doing this, and you need to understand it's not the dog's fault. Your wife is treating the animal like a substitute baby. Why does she baby animals and why did she baby her husband previous to that? What will she be like further down the road? Will you ever have a real sex life again? These are important questions that need to be answered now before you have kids. If she won't go for counselling with you, then go alone.
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