DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm so messed up by the bad news in the world now, especially since the Boston Marathon bombing. I don't want to go far from the house. Who knows when a bomb is going to explode? I think it's safer to just stay inside. My husband says staying inside is "a very dangerous path to go down" and that I must "smarten up." He says the danger doesn't apply to our life in Winnipeg, and we should go to work and go out to events and go to the lake and I should stop all this worrying about getting ambushed and killed. What do you think? -- Scared For Good Reason, Winnipeg
Dear Scared: A little bit of cautiousness is warranted in Winnipeg, like staying out of bad areas of town. But enjoying one's life at events and at the cottage makes sense. Staying home feeds into agoraphobia, the fear of not leaving the house, so it is wise to fight it. plus, these fears can be passed on to innocent young kids who reason, "If Mom thinks there's something to fear, there is." I find it healthy to adopt a fatalistic attitude to life and death as in the old saying, "When your number is up, it's up." Not knowing when that will be, you enjoy every day to the hilt and accept when the ride is over. Take care of your health, but enjoy. Be active, but you don't obsess over working out. Spend lots of time entertaining friends and neighbours and showing love to your family. Beyond that, you let whatever is going to happen happen, knowing every day of life so far was a gift. This attitude is a great stress reliever. See your physician for a referral to a psychiatrist (on medicare) or psychologist (you or your insurance pays) and work out your fears for everyone's sake.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm going crazy with pain. I caught my husband writing a passionate love letter to a woman on his computer. He left it open for a minute while he went out to the car. I read that sickening letter, and her love letter below. I got her email address. I know her! She used to work with my husband and I'd see her at Christmas parties. That night I emailed her, warning her to stay away from my husband or I'd come over and tell her husband about the affair in front of her entire family. She sent my letter to my husband to read. He confronted me crying, and said he'd been in love with her for five years, but she can't leave her husband until the little kids are older. I screamed "GET OUT RIGHT NOW!" To my shock, he packed, and left to his brother's house. I LOVE him and HATE him both! He was my everything; we have no kids. Now how do I even live? -- Devastated Wife, Winnipeg
Dear Devastated: First, you need a relationship counsellor to help you through this tough time, as family and friends wear out listening, and often are too emotionally tied in to help. Ask your husband to pay for this. You also need a course and support group like Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends (204-981-8643) which can take you from flat-out grieving to a feeling of freedom and a desire to carry on, and see what your new life can be. If you are down and frantic, Klinic offers a crisis line (204-786-8686) going 24/7, and free counselling six days out of seven -- 204-784-4067 for hours. If you are suicidal, you need to go to a hospital emergency room, where you can get help. Your physician should be informed of what has happened to be able to offer resources and medication if you need it. If you can't eat full meals, take meal replacements, drink smoothies, eat anything you can get down. Yoga can bring peace when feeling anxious. Also, hit the book stores for help with recovery after marriage breakup, as they can be enormously comforting and helpful. Best of luck to you in this painful time. I have been there. It does get better, I promise you.
Questions or comments? Please email email@example.com or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6