DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I love golfing, but my husband hates it. I go golfing four to five times a week after work and on weekends. Last year I refused a month's rental at the lake because I wanted to go with my friends to my favourite courses in Winnipeg in the great weather. We had some terrible fights, almost broke up, and it's a good thing winter came early. My husband says I'm addicted. Do I love golfing more than him? No, but I love it more than spending time with him because he's boring. He says he's OK with my golfing twice a week, but summer weekends should be for the family -- going places and doing things. It's not like he has any ideas of his own, and our kids are too old to do things with us anyway, although they would like a month at the lake, which my husband wants to rent so badly. -- Golf Nut, Winnipeg
Dear Golf Nut: There's a whole lot more going on than golf addiction. For you, the excessive golfing is a handy exit from your "boring" husband and your teenagers. You're even ready to deny your teenage kids, who won't be with your much longer, family time at a lake in the hot summer -- for the second time. What's the real story? Your husband doesn't golf with you, so who are your buddies? You don't mention women. Are you a part of mixed group that parties together? Is there a guy you particularly like -- married or single -- who's at your favourite golf course in the city? If you just loved golf itself you could enjoy hitting other courses near the lake where you rent the cabin. Why doesn't your husband golf with you? You sound sick of him, and I think marriage counselling is what's really needed. Write back with answers to these questions.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: You asked older male readers to share their recipes for marital longevity. I am a 75-year-old man and my wife and I recently celebrated our 51st anniversary. I still adore my spouse. I agree you must marry someone whom you greatly admire but there are a few other principles: 1) Bite your tongue. Don't react instantly. 2) Don't strive to win every argument. 3) Keep in mind a version of JFK's advice -- ask not what your spouse can do for you, ask what you can do for your spouse. Since we married, my wife has attended university, and has graduated with honours. I have supported her very inch of the way. -- The Happily Married Oldster
Dear Oldster: Marrying the right person in the first place is a not a guarantee, but it helps enormously. Too often people marry for personality, looks and sex appeal, but forget to look at character -- the way people behave when no one is looking. So the couple seems great together at the wedding, but the honeymoon period soon wears off. How can you stack the deck in favour of a long-lasting happy marriage? A kind, honest, loving, faithful trusting person with a good work ethic is going to be a good bet, if they are also attractive, fun and warmly physical. Yes, it's a lot to look for, but it's worth the search, in terms of happiness ever after.
Questions or comments? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6