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Tell the gossips you'll take them on

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/7/2014 (907 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I have left my 12-year relationship with my ex-partner -- smartest move I made. I've taken the kids and had made sure I put everything in my name and bought everything with my own hard-earned money. Basically, I just showed him to the door. He's no great loss to me or the children. He was an abuser, alcoholic, cheater, lazy bum and a thief (sold everything to support his habit). It's been a year and the children and I are happy.

My ex is in another relationship, and likely has been since before our breakup happened. He and his girlfriend are always in my face at my workplace and at restaurants and other public places, showing affection like teenagers would, even in front of our children. It doesn't bother me, but my young kids find it an insult. I try my best to reassure them and to ignore it. But this has become everyone's topic for gossip. I hear it everywhere I go; my children hear from their friends' parents.

I try so hard to ignore it. I don't want anyone's pity and I'm just relieved he's no longer my problem anymore. I forgot to mention this new woman in my ex's life is the same woman who broke up my sister's marriage of 17 years. Doubly embarrassing for my family. How can I say something to those who talk behind my back to get them to quit gossiping, something that's polite without sounding jealous? I just want to get on with my life. -- Loss For Words

Dear Loss: It sounds like you live in a small town. That means you have the advantage of knowing the people who can be counted on to repeat confidences and get the word around. Tell a few of the major gossips you have had it, and are not going to take the gossip silently anymore. Declare to them that you will verbally take on anyone who's talking about you, on the spot, or by visiting their home or workplace. Then phone up your ex and tell him the kids feel ashamed and embarrassed by the way he's all over his new woman in public.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Well, well. I see the double-standard train is loaded and running at high speed. (This is in response to the male bikini issue written by Frustrated Wife). So, it's OK for a wife to take pictures of her overweight husband in a Speedo and tell him he shouldn't wear them? I wonder what the advice would be if the roles were switched. Never mind -- the men know the answer already. Imagine a husband telling his former-model wife that she shouldn't wear bikinis anymore because she was overweight.

Women around the world have already been up in arms about this topic and have told us that if the woman is confident enough to wear it, she should be able to without criticism and we should love her just the way she is. Congrats, ladies, you wanted equality. You got it. You're now just as arrogant and superficial as the men out there. In truth, I think he should be wearing a different suit, but the double standard annoyed me. Ha, ha. -- Derail the Double Standard Train, Winnipeg

Dear Derail: This woman has tried everything else, but her man is too thick-skinned to take the hint. What would you suggest? A wet men's racing bikini reveals so many details of a man's sexual apparatus, especially if he's hirsute and/or aroused, that it can scare men, women and children off the beach. Her kids are begging her to do something to get through to him, because they are embarrassed. What would you tell her to say?

Please send your questions or comments c/o lovecoach@hotmail.com or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, R2X 3B6.

Read more by Miss Lonelyhearts.

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