DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I cheated big time and now I'm paying the price. I regret it and feel horrible every single day. I was ready to let my boyfriend go, figuring he deserved better. The thing is, he wants to stay together, but I don't know how much longer I can live like this. I don't mind checking in all the time about where I am, and having him look at my phone every day and his having all my email passwords. I only do things he approves of, and see people he knows. I have zero contact with anyone related to my previous life. I have nothing to hide now, I've been completely honest the last six months. Every once in a while, when he gets mad at me, he'll tell me that the future of our relationship depends on his seeing my phone call records, text message transcripts, and my taking a polygraph. I understand he doesn't trust me, but I don't think I'd recover from that. I'd take the test and leave him, resenting him too much. I've been going to therapy to deal with my cheating ways, been completely open and honest. I love him very much, but I won't waste my time on the legal steps. -- Help Me Please, Winnipeg
Dear Help Me: We can't be with everyone we love in this world, and this love relationship is way past its best before date. It's time to go, take some time off to relax. Later, you can start fresh with someone else, and not lie about anything from the outset. Don't burden the new relationship by confessing all the bad stuff from this one and what you allowed this guy to do in terms or privacy invasion. This boyfriend is treating you like a prisoner and he's enjoying being the warden. You have let him get away with far too much. He doesn't trust you and he never will. He wants you to stay with him and live in a cage. Forget that! Hold your head up high and walk to freedom and an honest new life.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I read your column this morning and my heart broke for the young girl who called herself a victim of stuttering. I would hope there is help for her in a city this size even though most speech therapists don't have the specific training required to help stutterers. We were fortunate enough to be able to take our son to The Stuttering Institute in Edmonton. It is affiliated with the University of Alberta. It has long- and short-term clinics for all ages, and the therapists are fantastic. With a referral from our doctor, our insurance covered 80 per cent of the cost. We saw people who could barely speak at all to anyone become fully fluent. I hope this girl will persist, hopefully with her parents' help and encouragement, and can get the help she needs. -- A Mom, Winnipeg
Dear Mom: Thanks for caring enough to send along this helpful information. The woman who wrote seemed to be the positive type, so there's good hope she'll go after whatever help she can find. I will email your information to the person who wrote me and hope that seeing it here in the column helps others who have the same problem. The website for the Institute for Stuttering Treatment And Research (ISTAR) is http://www.istar.ualberta.ca/html/home.html
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Wpg., R2X 3B6, or email firstname.lastname@example.org