Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Don't climb into the ring alone with your mother

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I just had lunch with my mother and I wanted to cram her sandwich right down her throat. That woman never shuts up. She was criticizing my job (not good enough) and my wife ("not interesting, but nice") and my car (not enough status). She is loud and opinionated and, if she were not my mother, I'd choose to ignore her for life. My wife, the social worker, is encouraging me to fight it out with her and get to a better place. Fighting with my mother has always been awful, as I feel stripped of my dignity by that sharp tongue. She starts reciting all of my faults, which she knows right down to my bedwetting as a young boy. Please help.

-- Wit's End, Windsor Park

Dear End: Tell Mom your relationship is in jeopardy. Be clear you've gotten to the point where you feel like avoiding her totally because she is so hurtful. Don't have lunch alone with her until you go through counselling. You need a referee -- a therapist -- and not one of your mother's suggestions. You find the counsellor and invite your mom to go with you "to try to make your relationship workable." Let her know about this any way you feel safe -- even email. Suggest the first session, with a date and time. If mom is a performer, she'll watch her mouth at the counsellor's office, but still make her points. She won't strip you bare, as that would make her look bad. Counsellors are used to pushy, critical types like your mother and will not be fooled.

Hello, Ms. Lonelyhearts: I'm a middle-aged woman. Your reader, Not so Mystified, who thinks women are looking for men who are "gentle, loving, compassionate, committed, generous hearted, empathetic and volunteer with the less fortunate" is fooling herself and everybody else. That's just what women tell everybody, and themselves. Here it is, folks: Women want Alpha Males. And that is how, correctly or incorrectly, the way Mystified Male (the guy who can't get Winnipeg women to talk to him) presents himself. When woman run into the endlessly "gentle and loving" type described above, they can't get it up for such a guy for long. They get bored and end up running off with someone who's at least got a bit of edge, instead of Mother Teresa in Pants.

-- Old Fashioned Missus, Winnipeg.

Dear Old-Fashioned: You have half a point. Most women prefer alpha males who are confident, proud and strong with cajones for a sex partner, especially when it comes to the dating game. And I'll give you this: the wimpy indecisive guys often end up on the sidelines and the daring guys (both bad and good) get first choice of the women. BUT these same women don't want to be pushed around, either. Women are competent at work and at home. Modern working women now want men who are strong, but can also be sensitive, and will help with housework and children. Surprisingly, in 2009, 40 years after women started fighting for liberation, they still want guys to do the phoning and chasing. And, most guys don't like to be hunted.

Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6 or email

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 9, 2009 D4

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