DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I am livid! My husband just said he'd buy me a new car "when pigs fly." He has been making tons of money the last three years since he started a lucrative offshoot of his already successful business. He just bought himself a shiny new Mercedes and I am still driving a broken-down old Volvo. We have young kids and I am a stay-at-home mother, who makes his workaholic life possible. (He just loves it.) He gives me a monthly allowance of $2,000 to pay for household expenses. Woo-hoo, it's a big expensive house to run. As a mother, I make $24,000 a year and subtract those expenses and he makes ten times that after taxes. Yes, he pays for the house and cars, but why is he driving the status-mobile and I have to go around in a clunky old Volvo? I told him I wanted a new Volvo and a small convertible for me. That would be fair at his new level of wealth. He said "No way!" this morning as he took the keys and went off to work in his Mercedes, with a golf match at this fancy new golf club teed up after work. -- Slave Woman with Wealthy Man
Dear Woman: Comparisons are odious, but they work where status is concerned if the man is still insecure about his new level of wealth and acceptance by his "peers." Drive the clunker Volvo to the golf course and park there for a bit. Take note of what the women drive in and out. Since he's getting off on being nouveau riche, point out what different women are driving home from that parking lot. Then learn to bargain as he would in business. You don't need two new cars because that comes off as unreasonable and reason is king in arguments with businessmen like yours. Go for the newest, kid-safe car with a sun roof for you for now -- one you have already researched. That's what you're most likely to see in the golf course parking lot driven by women with kids. P.S. Do take up golf, with lessons, so you're good. It's part of the new social life and a smart stay-at-home wife doesn't stay at home all the time
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I threw a vase at my partner and she ducked. It smashed into the front picture window and broke into a million pieces, cracking the window.. She and I both started bawling our eyes out, and ended up lying on the rug talking and working out what was wrong with us. Then we made love and made up, kind of. We're a same sex couple who really love each over. . . The trouble is I'm hiding something. I used to be violent and that's why my first partner left me long ago. I got counselling and was non-violent with my second long-term partner but then she never got me mad, either. She was very easygoing. My new partner is fiery and I love her the best of all the three, but she's mouthy and gets to me the same way the first one did. Am I doomed to need women who are agreeable to the point of boring? I really want to be a good partner for the love in my life but I can feel those old feelings coming back. -- Scared About Me, Wolseley
Dear Scared: Let the glass breaking be a symbol of your relationship shattering. Get thee to a counsellor. You have had a dramatic warning. You've found yourself another fiery woman and you will not keep her if your behaviour repeats itself. You're a fiery person with experience using your hands in fights, from way back. Ask around to find the best psychologist you can, first investigating work to see if your workplace has group insurance to help. You can tell work you need to learn to relax and control stress; don't tell them about the violence. That's not a good thing to put on your work record. Then attack the problem yourself by hitting the big box stores, sitting down and reading the first chapters of books that could help you, and taking home the best one. Before you do anything today, read an excellent article on domestic violence between same sex partners (about the complicating factors) by Linda Peterman and Charlotte Dixon at http://www.vawnet.org/AssoFiles_VAWnet/ImplicationsforCounseling.pdf. Also, call the Rainbow Resource Centre for gay and lesbian-friendly counsellor suggestions.
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