DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I've been in a relationship for 18 months. It was good in the honeymoon stage and then I had to coach him through a gambling addiction which has transcended into a car addiction, or hobby as he calls it. There have been many fights and breakups. In the end I can't seem to shake him loose. I'm attracted, but continually heartbroken. He is dependable, punctual, organized and potentially a good provider, but I can't help but think he has some sort of adult ADD. We will have made arrangements to get together in the afternoon after he spends all morning doing car stuff, later to get a call from him saying that he is still busy with car stuff, and he'll touch base with me later that night. With our schedules, we won't have any time to see each other for four days. He will tell me to go to the gym, hang out with my friends or spend time with my cat. He never comes to see me at my parents' but bought me a cheap car so "I don't have to come pick you up." He says he wants a future with me, but is this what a relationship is supposed to be like? -- Sincerely Sad, Winnipeg
Dear Sad: No, this is not the kind of relationship that leads to a lasting marriage. It's a convenience for him -- sex when he wants it, with a woman he likes. But, he's mostly rude and inattentive and he doesn't crave you. He has an addictive personality and he craves his addiction of the moment. You're a "given," in his mind, and you come second to everything else. You can wait for him to be ready to see you, drive yourself over, and get most of your week's affection from your cat? What does it take to make you blazing mad? This "relationship" is all about him -- not the way a relationship should be, and you should not marry this guy. You deserve what other women get in a normal relationship -- love and attention and No. 1 position, most of the time, in her man's life.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm sick in my heart because my ex-husband has gotten in contact with my present husband and is telling him things about how I cheated. OK, I admit it. I was young and I wanted to find out what it was like to be with other men. I got married at 17 because I was pregnant. What did I know about life? I was a beautiful girl and I started going out with my single girlfriends and I met guys and I experimented and I got caught. My husband left me and moved to Ontario. I brought my daughter up myself. Many years later I have a new husband, and who shows up to ruin my life? My horrible ex. What should I do? I didn't see the need to tell my new husband all this past stuff, so it was all news to him. He is very angry and upset, and I am worried sick he will leave me. Please help me. -- Ex Spoiled My Reputation, Winnipeg
Dear Reputation: There's nothing you can do to make your ex take back this information, since it's true. But, you can avoid making things worse by not being overly apologetic. No doubt your second husband has had other women. You can say, "I'm sorry I was so immature and that I cheated on my husband. I am older and wiser and would never do that now, as an adult. Consider the source -- a man who wants to wreck my life and yours, too." I'm guessing your new husband may have things he'd like to tell you about his past -- to get even. You might listen to a little of it, to even the playing field somewhat, but it's not necessary to encourage him. This was something you did to someone else, when you were young and foolish, not to him. Ask him why he gave your ex an audience instead of the cold shoulder. His response should be interesting.
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