DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My common-law husband of 23 years had an affair two summers ago. I kicked him out immediately. In February, I allowed him back home to work things out. He promised me he would never see this woman again. She's had plenty of affairs and has broken up more than one marriage. She has quite the reputation for preying on married men. Gut instincts are telling me he's seeing her again, and those instincts are how I caught him in the first place. This past Saturday, he told me he was going to a stag for a co-worker's brother and needed me to get his dress pants ready to go. The story kept changing, First he was getting picked up at home, then he was getting dropped off -- supposed to go at 6:30 p.m, but took off in a rush at 4:30 p.m. I knew something was up. At 11:30 p.m. I called his co-worker on his cell and was going to ask to speak to my husband to see if he needed a designated driver to get home. Well, he answered thinking it was my husband, and asked him why he hasn't shown up yet! My husband showed up at home at 4 a.m. I asked him how the stag was and he said, "Great!" He had that look on his face I have come to know well -- the lying-because-he's-cheating look. I found out today the woman he had an affair with had her work Xmas party on Saturday, and that is why he needed to dress up. He insists he was at the stag, but I found out first-hand he wasn't. I love this man dearly, but I cannot tolerate his extramarital affair. What can I do? -- Still Love Him, Winnipeg
Dear Still Love Him: It sounds like you want to stay with him, but this is twice now and he has created, all on his own, an open relationship with you. If you want to stay and want equality, you need to work out a situation where you can step out and see someone else too, if you want to. Does that appeal to you? If it doesn't, your other two choices are to stay and suffer, or leave and suffer -- at least for a time, since you say you still "love him dearly." What exactly do you love about him? This man is a liar and a cheater and only sorry when he gets caught. In fact, he thought he'd learned how to hide better -- until this stag/Christmas party ruse. Doesn't the fact he had you get his clothes ready to go out with her drive you crazy? What does it take to make you mad? Counselling is definitely in order -- more for you than for him. He is who he is!
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I found a box of stuff hidden in the basement I didn't recognize so I took a look. It was wrapped in Christmas paper -- a present from my husband and yes, I snooped. The outfit, if you could call it that, was made of PVC. You know, that kind of patent leathery material. It was a Catwoman suit. I don't want any Catwoman suit. He would know that about me. So who is it for? Is it for him as fetish wear when I'm not around, and wrapped to look like Christmas gift so I wouldn't look? Or is it to give to some other woman who would wear it for him? Then why would he leave it in the basement? It is brand new -- never been worn, came from online, I think. I covered it up again, and now it's like an elephant sitting down there under a blanket. I think about it all the time. What should I do? -- Going Out of My Mind, Winnipeg
Dear Going: Take the box upstairs, put it on the kitchen table and just say, "What is this all about?' You don't have to fill in the awkward silence. Just wait. Don't interrupt. Watch his face the whole time. If he's not talking after five minutes, play "Guess" with him -- "Is it this? Is it that? Is this Catwoman costume meant for me? For you? Or someone else?" and watch carefully. When there's an involuntary jerking of some part of his body, you will usually know you have hit on the answer. You may want to go online and read the some of the many lists of ways you can tell when a person is lying such as opening their eyes too wide to try to look innocent, scratching their noses because the nose becomes itchy in stressful situations. You need to know what's going on and he is the only one who can tell you.
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