-- Hurting Ms. B. , Brandon
Dear Hurting: It's excruciatingly painful when the man you adore binds you closely to staunch the bleeding caused by another woman -- and then rips you off like a used bandage when he gets her back. Obviously he doesn't love you. Maybe he was just trying to get himself a little lovin' on the side, because she was so far away. Or, he used tales of you to make her so jealous she wanted him on the first plane back to Hawaii. This drama is all about them, not you. To finish off this hurtful experience for yourself, you need to tell him off by phone or email. Don't let him get away with using you (again) by keeping silent. Repression hurts your guts, but expression frees them. Then start looking in new directions because the truth is this guy's always doing a hula dance that doesn't include you
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Hello, I just broke up with my baby's momma. I told her, "How can I live with someone I don't even love any more?" But she said to me, "You're dead to me now. I hope you die and you'll never see your kids again!" That really hurt. Were those words just said out of anger? I don't love her. I wasn't happy with her for a long time. She's violent and has no respect, so I can't be with her. I have three kids with her I love deeply and will support them and have them visit as much as I can. I don't drink and she does, but she's a good mom. I'm a good dad. but we're so different. I know I shouldn't have had kids with her, but I love my babies. What should I do? Fight for them? I know she won't give them up. I'm almost done school and going for my career. Should I wait until I have everything of my own to get my babies back?
-- Good Dad, Manitoba
Dear Good: You ex's ugly words had a threatening undertone. It's high time you saw a lawyer for several reasons. One of them is protection for you. Then there's the babies. You must not wait on addressing the custody issue while you finish studying, as that could be construed as abandonment. Since your ex is viciously angry, and not likely to go into counselling at this moment, deal through a lawyer. If you can't afford your own domestic lawyer, call Legal Aid Manitoba, toll free 1-800-261-2960. Men still don't get a fair shake in a lot of custody battles and need all the help they can get. A lot of people don't realize how deeply fathers mourn for babies and children lost through bitter divorces. Since you're both good parents, you must find a way to work out joint custody where you don't see each other ---- like a pick-up and drop off at different times at grandma's. Money and job security helps, so try to get a great job in your new field. Being able to afford a home or larger apartment will help you get overnight visitation. Providing adequate support to their mother helps your case too. Plus, once your partying ex simmers down, she'll soon see the advantage of getting "nights off" to go out and have fun while the kids are safe at dad's place.
If you have a problem, you can reach Miss Lonelyhearts at firstname.lastname@example.org, or c/o The Winnipeg Free Press at 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6 or the Free Press website at