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Set clear roles in your marriage

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My husband wants me to go church with him, now we're married and I "belong to him." Where did he get that quaint idea? Personally, I don't want to go to his church or mine, or any other. This push to get me to church started with a church wedding (at his church) and our immediate efforts to get pregnant and have a baby together, and his incessant talk about christening. He said he doesn't want any baby of his to be a "heathen." He never insisted on my going to church with him before we got married but now he says he's the head of our family. It's like he channelled his dead father. Sunday mornings have become a battle which I win, and then he drives off to his church alone and comes home with his lips clamped shut until suppertime when he eats his favourite dinner -- roast turkey and stuffing every week -- and he's happy with a full belly. Please help. -- Not His Possession, Steinbach


Dear Not His: Hold up on the baby-making just now. Newlyweds need a year or two to work out issues like his before they bring a baby chick into the nest. It's strange you and your husband didn't discuss this beforehand, and this is all coming out after the wedding. Since that's your reality, consider some relationship counselling at this early juncture. And while you're at it, discuss how many babies each of you wants, careers, finances and better methods of communication than calling the unborn baby names. You might also bring up the shared power model you want for your marriage -- who decides what. A good counsellor will teach you ways of negotiating this and other issues to help you throughout the whole marriage.


Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have a bad habit of scratching lately. My wife recently told me she finds it disgusting and it looks like I have fleas, or worse. Yesterday, she went so far as to mock me, imitating me when I was scratching in my nether regions and inner thighs where she knows I am having trouble with a stubborn case of jock itch. I guess this would be the time to tell you I don't remember the last time we had sex. I am so frustrated! I can't help it when I have to scratch, or where I have to scratch. I got the best stuff at the drug store I could find. I know things aren't going well between us and I'm getting pretty worried. Please help. -- Unhappy Runner, Osborne Village

Dear Unhappy: Naturally you're hurt and angry but think about this question: Would you want to go to bed with a woman who scratches her nether regions all the time? Wouldn't it make you wonder what all was going on? Whatever is making you scratch incessantly has to be gone to win back her confidence and attraction. So don't self-medicate anymore, as you have a serious problem going on. Get yourself to a doctor, pronto, where you will talk candidly and show your affected areas. You'll need proper medication for your skin rash and advice on underwear and clothing that breathes and wicks away moisture. A running store will have clothing that's right for you and you can wear summer shorts around the house (not tightie-whities, as you're trying to re-attract your wife, not repel her). Once your skin is healthy and happy again, your wife won't be afraid to get intimate with you.


Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Wpg, R2X 3B6 or email

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 28, 2011 D6

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