DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: OK, so I have a lot of accidents and bash in fenders and drop stuff and end up with half my food in my lap. So what? I'm a klutz but I'm a nice klutz. I want my partner to quit ribbing me about it as it makes me even worse. Now I feel so self-conscious I can't eat spaghetti with him or other dropsy foods. He teases me about everything. I am his main source of jokes and amusement. Last night I shouted at him, "If you think I'm such a screwed-up man, why do you live with me?" and he said "Because I love you, stupid." -- HELP! Wolseley
Dear HELP: That's not love. For some people a smarmy "I love you" is the ticket into a relationship where they can behave as badly as they want. But, love is not a state or condition; it's an ongoing string of behaviours. Someone who truly loves you, shows it with respect and kindness and good humour, not to mention praise and special treatment and honouring birthdays and other events. You're better off with another relationship, or being on your own for a time than to be with someone abusive like your mocking partner. Being on your own can be freeing, healing and fun.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Over this past weekend my fiancé and I were on holidays. We were drinking, and he tells me I said I wanted other men. I don't remember! I have secretly wished he was "bigger" and felt that other men would be more arousing, so in all likelihood, I did say this. We have a beautiful smart baby together, who is living with his grandparents while we raise my eight-year-old son (his bio dad is in jail for maybe three more years). My fiancé has become my closest friend, but sometimes the things I've shared with him, he tries to hurt me with. He has criticized my mom for not noticing that my son is kind of a brat (disobeys). My son has said he doesn't want me to marry this man. I've told my fiancé that he and my son don't really have a relationship (my partner works nights and sleeps days). All in all, my fiancé wants my son to try his best at hockey, homework, practising guitar, and cleaning up after himself. So I'm often in a mind struggle about staying in this relationship. I'm in my late 30s and worry it won't get any better than this. I feel like an awful person sometimes. -- Bad Feelings, Wpg.
Dear Bad Feelings: This man is your "friend" but critical of your boy. He just wants more discipline, without the love that accompanies it. He's not there for your child emotionally, or physically. He's sleeping when the child's awake and putting him down to others and you. Kids sniff people out, and know what they are, and your son doesn't want you to marry this guy. That should count for a lot. And face it, you're not so hot on this fellow sexually. He's a friend, but not measuring up as a love mate. Worst of all, he tries to undermine your actions and confidence. So why are you staying? Do you think you're all washed up in your 30s, that you could never get a different, better man? That's just plain wrong. Your son and you both deserve special loving people under your roof and a happy home full of life and laughter. This isn't what you have. Don't waste any more time with this near-miss guy. It'd be good to find a great person to love before your boy's bio-dad gets out of jail. Don't waste any more time.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org