DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: At 54, I should know better, but I don't. I'm having an affair with a well-known woman in this city and I think my wife knows, but doesn't say a word. I was a little nervous, but primarily OK with this situation until just recently when it seems my wife's acting strangely amused and indifferent. She stopped asking me where I was going, and started going out at the same time herself. Why the sudden change in attitude? No more quizzing me at the door, no more sulking. I don't know if she's quietly setting things up for a divorce and a big settlement, or if she has an affair happening herself. Without tipping my hand, I'd like to know which situation it is, so I can protect myself financially. I am above following my wife with a detective, as I still love her. What do you suggest? Not saying I'll do it... I'd just like to get your opinion. -- Her Husband
Dear Husband: Drop you own affair and start courting your wife again without mentioning the chance of her having a dalliance. You're not the husband anymore. You're just the guy who lives with this lady and cheats on her with a high-profile person she is sure to have heard about in this town. Six degrees of separation in Winnipeg is a joke; it's two if we're lucky. If you still love this woman and suspect she's having an affair, then the time has certainly come when you can no longer have two women and get away with it. Meanwhile, if you're serious about changing your stripes, get yourself into counselling and talk about what it would take to make you a great husband and how this marriage could become valuable to you again. If your wife doesn't have a serious man, you two might have a chance. As for the chance she's prepping for a big divorce settlement, see your own lawyer and find out if you are properly protected without hiding equity, which is illegal, not to mention immoral, and would make her hate you. That would not be good for you or any kids you might have together.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I just screamed at a store clerk, a gas jockey and a guy who snuck in and took my parking spot at Costco -- all in one day. I got out of my car and called him every name in the book. My 10-year-old daughter cried in the car after she heard how I screamed at the guy who took my spot. She told her dad later, "Mom is a bully, Daddy. You should have seen what she did today." Then she proceeded to tell him. My husband now thinks I'm losing it, too. I don't know why I am going off like fireworks all the time. I'm not a crazy woman, but I have no patience for fools. I have been screaming at my husband too, for no good reason. Sometimes I feel like crying and I pull over to the side of the road and weep. Sometimes I get nosebleeds, but put it down to the dryness. I have a big career, three children, two dogs and no help from anybody. Please help me. -- Melting Down, Island Lakes
Dear Melting: Sometimes your body/mind whispers to you, then it yells at you, then it forces you to lie down. Lie down now, before you fall down. You have reached burnout in different areas of your life and need to take a stress leave, if you can, or get lots of outside help. You definitively shouldn't be driving yourself or your kids around until you get calmed down. See your doctor and insist on a full physical. Have your blood pressure checked immediately in case it's dangerously high -- major stress and nosebleeds are two red flags. Tell your doctor you feel like weeping a lot. Lay it all out. Things you don't need to do: shop for groceries and shlep them. They can be ordered and delivered. Laundry can be done in 90 minutes at a laundromat. Tell people on your voicemail when you will be returning calls -- twice a day. Don't jump every time you hear a ring unless it's the children on a special ring. Dog walking can be split up amongst the family. Pay the kids allowance according to how much they do and post a list of jobs, with amount of payment. Apologize to your whole family and tell them you need to take it easy, that you've gotten into a dangerous burnout point. If the lack of light is bringing you down, you should check out Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) lights.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6 or email email@example.com