DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I've been dating this guy for about three years and been best friends with a girl for 10. One day my boyfriend made a mistake and took some pills. He blacked out and we got into a physical fight. The police were called and he's in jail now.
I went straight to my girlfriend's house after that all happened, and she said not to be with him. At that moment I felt like I never wanted to talk to him again. But his sister got hold of me through Facebook and passed on a message from him that he was very sorry and wanted to talk, so she three-wayed me when he called. He was crying and said sorry and that he wasn't going to do pills any more, so I said we could work things out because I found out I was pregnant two weeks after that happened.
Since then I've been talking to him every day and he's been saying sorry. My friend found out I was talking to him. She said if I get back with him, she doesn't want to be friends with me. But she has a boyfriend who physically and mentally hurts her. She told me if I'm pregnant I need to get an abortion, but I don't know how to tell her I'm keeping it. I want to eventually get back together with my boyfriend and keep my best friend. I care and I love her lots. I really need your advice. -- Confused Girl, Winnipeg
Dear Confused: "Sorry" may sound sweet coming from someone you loved and with whom you're having a baby. But be very careful. This man needs anger management, with or without the drug problem.
Here's another problem: You say, "He made a mistake and took some pills." But he now tells you he's "not going to do pills ANY MORE." That probably means the pills that led to the assault were not a mistake at the time. It was a serious assault; he went to jail. Look, there are some people who stop taking drugs and still have that violence within them, given an excuse.
This man is in jail and lonely, and you're the only person he knows who has loved him in recent years. You are the default woman, the only one he knows to go back to. If you're going to take him back, don't do it unless he's had treatment and succeeded at it. But how will you know that?
As for your female buddy of 10 years, you can't blame her for the way she feels and you may lose her, though it's interesting she's in an abusive relationship herself.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is in response to the lake-safety issue in your column lately. Another idea for helping to keep kids safe at the lake is ensuring that all kids MUST wear a life-jacket if they're going anywhere near the water. If this is enforced as a rule -- along with ensuring that an adult is watching them at all times -- it makes everyone more comfortable (mindful parents, visiting aunties, neighbours, etc.).
In addition to the adults, the kids might need reminding and even praise for putting on their life-jackets. And make sure (a sober) adult is watching them if they're going to play in the water. This must be a team effort, or you can't keep going out to the lake. Just because "nobody in our family has had X happen" doesn't mean that you let your kids play with fire, smoke cigarettes and dive into the lake unsupervised. It's just not worth the risk. -- Team Player, Winnipeg
Dear Team Player: Life-jackets are a great idea for young kids, coupled with careful watching.
Asking anyone who's not a close family member to watch the kids around water is also taking a risk. They don't have the strong heart connection and natural 100 per cent vigilance around the water that people who love them usually have.
Parents are the best babysitters by the water and in the water. "I only looked away for a minute," is often the heartbreaking cry of people who lose a child in drowning situations.
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 R2X 3B6.