DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I feel like the last straw has been broken. My boyfriend of many years and I have been having lots of problems the last two years. Yesterday I wanted to cook a nice meal, set the table and have a nice Sunday night dinner. While he snored on the couch, I cooked and baked for over three hours. I opened a new bottle of wine and once everything was ready I told him to come to dinner where I served him his plate. He responded by having a glass of pop, criticizing the meat, shovelling down the food and walking away. He did clear a few dishes from the table. When he was ready for dessert I served it up for him and, again, he just shovelled it down. There was not one word of thanks, not one word of gratitude. When I asked him if he liked the dessert he responded he did not.
I do 90 per cent of the cleaning and 95 per cent of the cooking. I am not the best cook, but I try. This was such a slap in the face. It's not like I was looking for a thank you, but just something -- some indication he noticed that I made an extra effort. I am so sick of being disrespected and treated like a house servant! The next day I told him I was upset and his response was, "What do you want, a parade?" and got angry I brought it up. This is his typical response. Am I crazy here? -- Fed Up, in St. Vital
Dear Fed Up: About 19 out of 20 women would not stay with a man like this, living the lonely life of the martyr even though you don't seem to have kids. Why stay when being free and independent -- able to travel, have fun, build a career, make friends and date new people -- is 1,000 per cent better than the drudgery you are sharing with this guy. Only a martyr would make a big dinner for this lump on the couch. So get yourself a plan and get out. You will be a lot happier the minute you stop playing that self-defeating old-fashioned role. Why are you dragging your feet? Do you think you can change him?
This is so important for all women to understand: Women are always looking to themselves to see where they went wrong when their guy is doing them wrong. They mistakenly think the problem rests within themselves, they have control to fix it, and make things better in the relationship when the problem is actually within the guy and his personality.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Please pass this on to the single mom whose boyfriend is mocking her love of Halloween and her kids. Her friends tell her it's hard to meet men at age 37. This may be true, but my mother is proof a person can find love no matter what the age. My mother and stepfather married when she was 45 and he was 50. Although my stepfather's personality and temperament were much quieter and shyer than our loud family, we appreciated his care of my mother and his gentle manner.
My stepfather never promised our mother he would love us like we were his own; instead, he treated us with respect and kindness, enabling us to grow up and learn to treat him well. My stepfather has become very ill. But, even though their time together was not as long as they had hoped, my mother and stepfather had a beautiful relationship and it has served me well as a model of what a mature marriage can be. -- Happy for My Mom, Winnipeg
Dear Happy for Mom: Consider your message passed on. I like the way your stepdad entered your mom's family -- not demanding her children love him, but giving his respect and kindness to you. That says a lot about him and the advantage of maturity on both sides when entering a new marriage.
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