Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

You've got a major decision to make

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm very lonely in my relationship. My husband has never been into parenting our kids, eight months and four. He's not young, he's 32, but says he wasn't ready for a family. I stay at home now. I worked part time after the first baby for a few years, but he'd phone me at work asking when I was coming home because the baby was upset! My partner went to one out of 20 prenatal classes, did not do night wakings or feedings and didn't change a diaper until the baby was six months. My expectations of him have dropped to nil. I compensate for his lack of parenting, because he's always on computer or phone, and our sex life sucks. I'm just sad -- for myself and for my kids -- because of our absentee dad. I don't think I can make someone want to be a "father". I just want to make sure my kids have the best life possible with the best role models as possible. What do I do? He seems unhappy -- maybe with himself or the pressure on him to support the family financially -- we have a house car, pool and other things. -- Lonely, Winnipeg

Dear Lonely: You've covered up for this guy for a long time because you like the lifestyle he provides for your family. Your choice is to stay for that stability, or leave and try to find a new happiness, a new love and a better life all round. Going to a counsellor brings up the question of staying or going, and you don't sound ready for opening up that can, with a baby of less than a year in your arms. Until you make a decision to confront the situation, find a babysitter who's fun and caring, and break her into the family routine. Then start back to work part-time, as you need to socialize with adults and enjoy warm friends. That doesn't mean you should have an affair, but you need to elevate the fun quotient in your life, and accept your reality. Your husband can be your family's provider, and you can be his part-time companion, going out more socially. Laugh with him again, and you may want to have more sex with him. When both kids are in school, and you can work full time, you will likely have a decision to make.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts; Maybe you should have reminded these parents that if they had raised their spoiled, mouthy son to have actual respect for females, he wouldn't be treating his girlfriends like convenient booty calls? I cannot believe a son who would be raised to respect his mother would boldly and nonchalantly refer to his girlfriend as a "friend with benefits". He's no "prince," just a spoiled, entitled boy. No, don't "help" him move out. Kick him out on his lazy butt and see how mouthy he can be when nobody is handing him everything. -- No Fan of Entitled Brats.

Dear No Fan: I'm a great fan of kids moving out when they're past high school and past being controllable. After this son was discovered taking booty call visits through the basement window, the next thing through that window should have been his suitcases. Not that you have to be mean about it (you can offer first month's rent and his bedroom furniture) but it is definitely time to set up his own bachelor pad or live with some buddies. They will also have girlfriends over to play something more interesting than rummy. Parents and kids don't want to hear about each other's sex lives, and that's the way it should be. This guy acted like it was OK to lip off Mom and carry on with his wild and crazy sex life, even after she protested.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 22, 2011 D4

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