DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My live-in's drinking and gambling problems cause fights and other problems. Every time he gets paid on the weekend, he doesn't come home from work for days. I will see him on Sunday because he works Monday during the day. For that whole week, he has no money. I help him out a lot, but it's turning into a routine. When I stand my ground and say no, he gets mad and yells and sometimes threatens me, insulting me so badly I cry myself to sleep. It hurts so much. I have paid the rent, utilities and food for a couple months. I clean and do laundry and I also have a full-time job. I love him and I want things to get better but it looks like it's not. I want to detach myself from him but it won't be easy. I'm at the end of my rope. -- Can't Take It Anymore
Dear Can't: Now that he's beating you up with vicious, threatening words, the beatings are on the way. You need counselling help and support to finally exit from this situation where you're enabling a double addict, and becoming an abused woman in the process. By giving this guy money and paying for his food and board, you make his addictions possible. Al-Anon meetings, for the loved ones of addicts, could help you sort that out. Just because you love someone doesn't mean you should be with them. You need to sublet if that's what's necessary, and get your own place, with security. An addict is less likely to come bothering you if you're not in the same place where he lived before he got kicked out -- and he still thinks he has some "rights" there. Start your own recovery today by amending the word "love" in your mind to the phrase "used to love." You have lost respect and trust, so what you're left with is not love. You should know that many counsellors work evenings and weekends.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I just picked up a magazine and saw a friend of mine looking at me from a picture. Actually it's an old boyfriend with whom I had a very hot relationship. I never got over him and now I know how I could get hold of him at his work and give him a checkup call to see if he's married. We only broke up because he always looked at other women -- just looked them up and down, but it really bothered me. -- Second Chance? St. Bonfiace
Dear Second: If two people break up over something and stay apart for good instead of fixing the problem and getting right back together, it wasn't meant to be. You must have hit a period of boredom or found a lack of romantic opportunity lately. That's when people start flipping through the old black book looking for a rerun possibility. Instead of embarrassing yourself with a stilted call that starts with "you'll never guess who this is," start fresh. Get yourself into healthy, happy, well-decorated shape and start going out a lot to look for a new sweetheart who doesn't have a rubber-necking problem. Best of luck!
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6
or email firstname.lastname@example.org