DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My bank account is empty because my boyfriend is always after me for money. He says it's for food and rent but I think it's for alcohol because he's mooching off his brother. We broke up two weeks ago and he's been phoning and begging me day and night. Today he sent me a poem. He even went out and got a part-time job to try to get me back. I don't know what to do because I love him and I know he loves me more than life, except maybe not as much as the booze bottle. I don't know what to do at this point. I'm lonely and no one else loves me, that's for sure. He has been my everything, though he is far from perfect and I'm getting depressed by him and dragged down. Sometimes it feel like he's drowning and taking me down with him. -- So Alone, West End
Dear Alone: Let's look at your part of the problem first. Your life is empty because you have focused your life and all your resources on your alcoholic boyfriend. That's a one-way street. Everything comes out of your wallet and your heart and flows to him. He may give you a little gratitude for your giving -- and flowery begging when he's lost you, but that doesn't compensate. You need to build up a group of friends that you consciously choose because they add to your life -- instead of taking away your money, time, emotional and mental energy. When a person is wound up tightly with an addict they become co-dependent. That means for you that your whole life is focused on the person creating the trouble -- in a way you're addicted to helping with their problems so you never have to take a look at your own life and where you're headed. Detaching from that situation is your challenge and it's very important to start working on rebuilding your empty life at the same time so you don't give in to loneliness and run back. Start tonight. Make a list of worthwhile friends you may have left behind when you went off with this fellow into the abyss, and also list parts of your family who are good, of all ages. Co-workers you haven't had time for because you were over-involved with this boyfriend may also want to spend more time with you, now you're not with him. To change your attitudes and beliefs, try Al-Anon at 943-6051 -- the group for loved ones of people who are addicted to drinking. For meeting times and more information access website www.mb.al-anon.alateen.org
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm crazy in love with my car and won't let anybody drive it but me. It's brand new; I've had it for less than a year. My boyfriend begs me to drive it and I say, "No way!" Last week he stopped joking about this, and said very quietly. 'I'd have thought you loved me enough to trust me to drive your car. If it were the other way around, I'd have let you drive my new car right from the start." I reminded him of the stack of tickets and the fender benders he's had since I've known him and he looked away and said, "Still. I'd have let you." There was something ominous in his tone and he has been cold to me since. Should I let him drive it? By the way, he's 28 and I'm 30. -- Love My Car, Island Lakes
Dear Car: Most women would have handed him the keys the first day, because it's fun to share new things with someone you love. To be fair, they probably would have said something like, "And if you crunch this new fender, I'll have to have you killed." All joking aside, today is the day you weigh your love for an expensive possession against the love of your partner. He feels you've voted for the car, and against him, since day one. The ominous tone means he's at the end of his patience and he's closing the door on his love for you. You heard the key go into the lock. If you love him, let him go driving, before you hear the click.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org