DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I just came back from another meltdown in the bathroom. My heart is in pieces! My boss, with whom I've been having a passionate affair for 15 months, has taken a job in another city. It's to get away from me, though he is the love of my life. I have not been able to leave my husband for him. He is beyond agitated and transferring west in two months so I have 56 days of ripping myself away from him until he finally leaves. He's everything I have never had in my husband, who is still sponging off me. Don't tell me to leave him because he's been with me for 26 years and is the father of my children, 22 and 25, who live with us. My husband is partially handicapped with back trouble and doesn't ever work. My mother says his only handicap is "bone laziness." Should I keep going to see my lover -- my last eight Thursdays of heaven and hell, or cut it off now? -- Torn in Pieces, Winnipeg
Dear Torn: You and I both know you're going to meet your lover, no matter what anybody says, because this is the biggest living drama of your life and there are only eight performances left. A better question might be why you have embraced this lifestyle, where you have an affair of the heart, but can never be with the man you say you really love. This lover seems to have been willing to be with you, but you say no. Your "children" are adults who should be out of the house, and spouses with back trouble can often do part-time work or go on assistance. You are supporting three adults, and pushing away love. Why? This is strange behaviour from a drama queen. It's time to get counselling. Is supporting family what you need to do to feel important and grounded? Do you have a fear of love when it comes around? Or, do you just like playing the martyr role. Think about it.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts; This is in reply to the letter from Broken. I have been in her situation, and it took a long time for me to leave. I finally got a mature high school diploma. I was able to work at home and in the school, as I had four young children. She could get a job and attend school at the same time. She should also see a lawyer through Manitoba Legal Aid (for free) about alimony. Everything she's done in her life counts for life experience and can go on a resumé. Leaving her mentally abusive husband would be the beginning of a whole new life. -- Been There, Done That, Winnipeg
Dear Been there: Thanks for taking the time to write in a concrete, helpful letter which could will help many others besides Broken.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts; I couldn't help but write about your article on the Broken Woman. I would like to talk to her as I am also a Catholic, been married and divorced five times myself over the last 30 years. She can divorce him at any time even if he is a "good Catholic" and there is nothing he can do about it. She is also entitled to half, financially. First she needs to divorce the man, get support, get herself settled and then worry about working. There are still a lot of good years for her to find someone to love. -- Tell Her to Contact Me, Winnipeg
Dear Tell Her: We don't pass on phone numbers for security reasons, but thanks for your willingness to help. Just for interest's sake, what money do you suggest she live on until she has support? Her abusive husband is not the generous type.