DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I can't let go of a woman I love. The problem is she's my wife and she cheated on me; I think about five times. I know of three for sure. I forgave her, but the trust was not there any more. She decided to leave me and head to the west coast to be with relatives and start over. We had a nice going away night together and left on good terms. We're in the process of getting a divorce now and that's hurting me like crazy, because I love her and I always will. But, when there is no trust, can it ever come back? I have never cheated on her, nor would I have ever considered doing that. I thought if we are having that many problems we should get help or end it. That's what we did, but the hurt is there and always there. What can be done to get rid of it? -- Hurting Like Crazy, Winnipeg.
Dear Hurting: The clever cheater always says a tender, memorable good-bye (preferably in bed) as insurance in case there's future need for a place to live and be loved again. Your ex-wife wants that last memory of her to be warm and sweet, and to tie you to her, at the gut. Sometimes, especially for men, replacement is the best answer -- though it may be unwise in the early stages of breakup. You need to find a woman who is a bit like your ex in the ways you love, but someone who's not the cheating type. You need to learn that a woman can be a real sweetheart and not cause you pain and insecurity at the same time. You don't cheat, and deserve a woman who loves that and is the same way as part of her character. Your ex's habits are ingrained at this point; she doesn't have a taboo against cheating, and she can't buy one now.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I can't stand the look of my old man and the kids don't like him either anymore. He used to be fun, but now he's always on the couch with a beer and cigarette and, although he's able-bodied, he doesn't go out to work. He says, "If a guy's got no education, all he can get is get labour jobs and it's winter time." I don't have a good education and work two jobs to support him and my kids. He claims "babysitting is worth a lot." I don't want him in my house or my bed, so he sleeps on the couch. I can't stand the look of the wart on my couch, but don't know how to kick him out into the cold either. -- Turned Right Off, North End
Dear Turned Off: When you stop being friends and are physically repulsed by a man, plus supporting him while he lies on the couch drinking beer -- what do you have? Extra cost to the family. The money you spend to feed another adult, keep him in beer and smokes, pay bills to put roof over his head is one thing. On top of that is the cost to the children's characters. They see a man in their daily life who is allowed to be a leech and a woman who puts up with it. If you don't want another generation of this for your children, you need to put this man out of your life, get a happy single-parent home happening, and spend your money on your life with the kids. And, don't rush to find yourself a new man. You need some counselling. It's important you find out why you ended up with this type of man and how you can change your beliefs about life, luck and yourself before you pair up with a new person. Without help, chances are good you'll choose the cleaned-up version of the first guy, who will slowly slide into the leech role.