Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Encourage parents to get professional help to fix or end the marriage

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm 23 and just came home from a summer in Europe to find my family in pieces. My mom and dad had broken up, and my dad had already moved out. They didn't tell me while I was away, so as not to spoil my trip. I went to see my dad at this new apartment and we sat like strangers discussing his personal life. It was terrible. My mother is "bored" with him and has replaced him with a new man. Actually, she did that a year ago and Dad has lived with that, trying to stop being "boring" to win her back. Of course, that didn't work. I'm living with two friends in an apartment, and will go back to university in a few weeks. My dad has asked me to move in with him because he's lonely. I can't be his babysitter! I shouted at my mom for the first time as I'm so angry and disgusted with her. She and my dad both cried in front of me. What should I do? -- Angry and Upset, South End


Dear Angry: Don't move in with either of your parents. The story between is not finished, and the marriage may not be over. They need privacy to talk at whatever hour of the day or night. Obviously they were in love and got married because of mutual admiration at one time. You'd be helped by knowing how it unravelled, but not by knowing intimate details. To help yourself understand both sides, consider asking both parents where things started to go wrong, and what they both did to contribute to the breakup. Did your dad have an earlier affair? Work long hours away from you mom? Not want to go out? Do either of them have drinking or gambling problems? Comforting is best done by their friends, adult family members and counsellors. Encourage them to get professional help to work out the marriage or to end it more amicably. Counselling help would be good for you too, as you need a place to vent that anger, sadness and frustration.


Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm dying to know where Ms. Not-so-Lonely got her sources about the Leisure Guide or what classes she was taking (she was advising the young Mr. Lonely not to take classes in the Leisure Guide as she said everyone was so old). I'm in my 20s, and I've taken a hip-hop dancing course, and let me tell you, the girls were all in their 20s and single. It's all about the types of courses you take. Yes if you take a pottery course you're going to find nothing but 40-year-old women. If you take a carpentry course, you'll probably find nothing but men. But if you take something like zumba dancing, or hip-hop dancing, and belly dancing, there's where you'll find the young women. Trust me on this one. -- Not Lonely At All

Dear Not Lonely: Thanks for sending in your contrasting perspective. Because classes are on subjects that interest people of every age, and they are held at venues all over the city, it's impossible for people other than top organizers to know who attends what. Although this 20-something man will not likely feel comfortable in bellydancing, a hop-hop class could attract a mixed group and zumba gets the odd guy who can keep up with salsa-type dancing. Most guys will not stick with a class if they are the only guy, though women will hang in there if there's a room full of guys taking a male-dominated course like carpentry or photography.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 27, 2010 D3

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