Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My son is the victim of a 42-year-old cougar. She takes him on business trips with her and pays for everything. They just came back from two weeks in Portugal. She works in the U.S. a lot but when she's in town, she invites him over for lavish dinners. And then he pays with his body, I'm sure. He doesn't know she's using him. My son is barely 25. I called her a "child molester" and he said, "I will have to ask you to shut up, Mother, as you're getting hysterical. She's a beautiful woman and no one has ever treated me as well as she does, certainly not women my age." I had her pointed out by a friend at a charity event the other day and she's beautiful, all right -- Botoxed to the hilt. He says I should meet her and I'd change my mind and I said, "Over my dead body!" and he said, "That is the last you ever speak of her to me." I haven't seen or heard from him in two weeks and I'm distraught. He's my only child and he's gone from my life. He must be living at her place because he's never at his apartment and he doesn't answer his phone. Help us! -- Battling The Cougar, Winnipeg
Dear Battling: How many 25-year-olds do you know are actually married to 42 year old women? The odds are against a lasting love, so relax and don't make enemies with your son. He will likely tire of this cougar situation because her friends will look down their noses at him and their two sets of friends won't meld. So relax. He's 25, not 15, and you have no business battling his woman friend. All you're succeeding in doing is pushing your only child out of your life. You don't play an authority role, even if you think you do. He lives outside your home, and if you're not careful he'll get mad enough to prove his great love for this woman by moving in with her -- if she'll have him. You can be a friend and adviser... when asked. That's it! You're both adults and he's been of age for seven years. Should you meet her? You could do that and at least see what she's like. You might not like her, but you might see she's not a monster and she's good to him.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I just came in from sitting in the car screaming and banging on the wheel. One of the neighbours saw me and came over to ask what was wrong. My whole world is ruined! I found out my husband is having an affair with a kinky woman. He sent flowers to the both of us from the same florist and I found out by screaming at the young girl on the desk. I must have gotten the card for HER and she got the card from me. I know exactly who this tramp is. She's got a weird first name and she's got dyed black hair, tattoos everywhere, leather clothes, big lace-up boots. I've known her since Red River and she's as weird as they make them. I feel so scared. I need to go out and be tested for every disease. I've got to tell you something. My husband has been begging for sexual things I won't even mention, and I have told him I am NOT a kinky woman. I am screaming mostly because my life -- my family life -- is done. I want to go over and wring her neck and his. Now what do I do? -- Broken in 10 Million Pieces, Winnipeg
Dear Broken: Your first instinct was right -- scream in the car where the kids can't hear it, but maybe out of sight of the neighbours after this. From this point on, it's all about damage control for your kids and for you. Avoid traumatizing your kids with the painful arguments and nasty accusations. Do everything you can not to give them a poisoned image of their father who represents "all men" to them -- it's bad for little boys and also bad for little girls. Instead, find yourself a relationship counsellor on an emergency basis (some are on-call seven days and evenings a week). Since you tend to be a screamer, ask the counsellors you phone if they're alright with loud venting and pillow beating. A counsellor who's OK with your style might ask you to come over after the last client is gone. Then the tears will come and you may sob and cry. But, what you have to know about emotion is not to be afraid of it, because it will wear itself out. If your husband wants to repair the marriage and go for counselling -- and you want to keep him -- don't tell friends and family the details. You may still love him, but they will hate him and wonder what's wrong with your head after all the things you said. You also need to see a domestic lawyer you don't share with your husband ASAP, whether you know if you're splitting with him or not.
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