DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I went travelling without my husband of many years. I was stressed to the max and he encouraged me to go. I went with a single girlfriend. We went out for dinner with some people and a lovely married businessman offered us a tour of the city and the beaches the next day. At the last moment, my girlfriend faked a headache and backed out. I was secretly glad. He and I had a more-than-lovely time laughing, talking and looking into each other's eyes. When he brought me back to the hotel, he kissed me full on the mouth and said, "You don't know how much I wish I were not married at this moment."
I floated to my hotel room. I hadn't been kissed like that in years. Now I'm not happy with my husband, though he's perfectly serviceable in and out of bed. How can I stop obsessing? -- Going Crazy Months Later, Winnipeg
Dear Going Crazy: Here's a bucket of cold water over your head. When is the last time you treated your husband the way you treated this guy? Maybe he's dreaming of another woman at work who treats him like he's something special right here and now. If he ever kissed her, he'd kiss her the way he kissed you when you started going out and fell in love. The married guy on your trip is a lesson on how you and your husband should be treating each other, and it doesn't matter who starts first, or why. You got the message -- so it's up to you to start changing things. Act as if you just discovered him, as if he's really something. Praise him. Do it for one month, see what happens, then write us back.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is in response to your column about the woman who saw her very-ex-husband moving in close by. She should remember how much time has passed. That man who was a bozo 25 years earlier may have been house-trained -- or he may be an even worse insufferable bastard. He is certainly a total stranger at this point and so is she, so her best first line might be, "Do I know you? You look familiar," or something similar and neutral. In any case, she is under no obligation to say anything more than "hi" when she sees them on the street. She would do well to keep the old marriage a secret. His new wife may come begging for all the dirty details that very quickly gets completely out of hand. I was put in this position and believe me it is a LOT worse than having to see the ex-scumbag put the trash to the curb every now and then. -- Been There, Done That
Dear Been There: Your suggestion to be casual and not engage with this couple in any meaningful way past a returned greeting is a good one, but the "Who are you?" line won't wash. Exes will recognize each other soon enough. If the exes in question end up passing each other outside, it's better to just be purposely boring and awkward in saying hello. That way the new wife doesn't need to worry and there's no problem.
Please send your questions or comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6