DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I woke up beside my new husband of less than a year realizing I was not in love with him. I do not want to spend the rest of my life with him and I really don't want to have babies with him. By the time the wedding happened I was already getting fed up with him, but he was very good looking and loved me, and the wedding festivities were like a tidal wave and carried us along to the wedding last summer. I wish I could make this cold feeling go away, but I have gotten to known this "man" intimately. He drinks way more than I ever guessed, and has a mean racist streak in him he only dared to show after he'd "caught" me (his words). And he's grown totally selfish in bed -- the proverbial three-minute wonder. When I complain, he laughs and says, "We're married now." I realize it's less than a year and people will be shouting "marriage counselling" but I just don't want him anymore. -- Runaway Bride, Winnipeg
Dear Runaway: There are several very different reasons for marriage counselling, and one is a heads up. You are signalling there are significant problems in the marriage for you, without picking nasty fights or sneaking out with the furniture. No matter how you feel about this man, you did love him enough to accept his offer of marriage, and you should try to be as fair and kind as possible with this breakup. It is especially traumatic to be left in the first year. If you're lucky, you may find out through counselling that he's also unhappy and disillusioned with you. If he refuses counselling, then you must just tell him straight out that the marriage is not working for you and you want out now, before there are any children. It'd be kindest to have an exit plan that still leaves him with a roof over his head, if he wants it.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: What do you call your mother-in-law when she calls you "Darling" and winks at you behind her daughter's back? She calls me a lot of pet names and finds excuses to run her hand across my back when I'm sitting. Help. Not her Sweetie Pie -- West End
Dear Not Her Sweetie: You call her a traitor. So, catch her alone and say assertively, "My name is not "Darling" or "Sweetie Pie" or any of these things you have been calling me. Just use my name." If you are forceful enough about this, she will stop touching you as well. If not, tell her she has one chance. If she continues to touch you, then you will tell her daughter and enlist her help in getting it stopped. That should do it.
Questions or comments? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg R2X 3B6.