DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I ran right into the "friend" who's dating my cheating ex -- "The Scum" -- at a restaurant. She seemed a little drunk and beetled right over to say a phoney hello. I felt her watching me, and then she followed me into the bathroom. When I got out of the stall, she was standing there with her feet apart and hands on her hips, looking for a fight. She said "You should have warned me he had herpes. Now I have it! You knew I was going out with him and you didn't tell me. I thought we were friends." I said to her, "Think again. Friends don't go after peoples exes, and besides, he cared enough about me to always use protection." Then I walked out while she stood there with her mouth open. I don't have any duty to tell people, do I?
-- She Hates Me Now, Norwood
Dear Hates: It's true you can't police the rest of his love life, and he's not going to wear an H on his forehead to warn people. In fact, if you were running around telling his new dating partners of his herpes problem, he'd be calling his lawyer. But, a phone call to your ex is definitely in order, as his conscience needs a kickstart. As for the friend, a better reply would have been, "It's his responsibility to tell people, and he didn't. No wonder you're upset." At that point the anger probably would have turned to tears because that's what she was really feeling -- shock, distress and his disrespect for her, amplified by the liquor. No doubt she downed another drink or two before she followed you. Realize she's in a dif ficult situation, which you escaped, and cut her some slack.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My wife is 14 years younger and just lost a lot of weight. She's 32 now, and was overweight when I married her. Now she's got the body of a 20-year-old and is feeling her power. I'm an average-looking older guy who never expected this social butterfly to emerge and start beating her wings. I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach I'm going to lose her! Guys are looking at her everywhere we go, and she's looking back! We went to The Forks together last night and it was like walking beside a supermodel. We have no kids together because I already have too many. Should I offer her the baby she wants so badly? I'm desperate to keep her.
-- Desperado in Love, St. James
Dear Desperado: Having a baby might settle her down for a little while, but now she's had a taste of looking beautiful, she's not going to want to go back to being frumpy, pregnant or not. Please think about that little baby's life before you make the offer. Things aren't stable between you and your wife right now. What if you got her pregnant and the marriage split up anyway? Would another man raise your child? Talk to her about what's going on, and try to get her to join you for some counselling. You may find out she still loves you only and wants to stay with you. Tell her the flaunting and flirting behaviour is hurting you and making you feel insecure. If you two can restablize, then you could offer the baby, as long as she's OK with working after maternity leave and for years to come. It's not fair she's deprived of a child because you have an abundance of them.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org