DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My wife and I are married over 40 years and right now, our relationship is great. About 4 1/2 years into our marriage she had an affair with a co-worker of mine. She admitted to the affair but has never been openly truthful about it. She never said she regretted it so I assume she doesn't.
A while back, I found a hand-written list, ranking three men. I'm No. 3, a former friend of mine is No. 2, and an unknown but unusual name is No. 1. She admits it's her handwriting, but claims she doesn't know why she wrote the list or who No. 1 is. This is such a blatant and obvious lie, she insults my intelligence. I can only assume she's rating sexual performance.
I can forgive the affairs (they happened a long time ago), but have a real problem with the lies and find it hard to trust her. At our club, she always seems to be working alongside the same other member -- a known womanizer. I try to tell myself that it's my imagination working overtime, but again comes the missing trust factor. Another affair would be the end, and this frightens me, as I don't want our marriage to end. Suggestions? -- Anonymous, Manitoba
Dear Anonymous: Being a straight arrow hasn't worked so far. So ask her, in a general sense if she'd ever be interested in an open marriage where both people can have different sexual partners on the side. She'll be shocked, because she has always been the one to stray, and never had any anxiety to suffer through, like you have.
She will no doubt ask you, suspiciously, "Why do you ask?" Then, tell her outright you have noticed her interest in this other guy at the club. Also tell her you don't want to end the marriage, but another affair would definitely do it. She will ask you if you have your eye on another woman. Tell her truthfully, "No, but there are some attractive women around. Are you planning to see this guy at the club?" She will probably back off him immediately, now it's out in the open.
There's also the small chance she might say she likes the open-marriage idea -- and call your bluff. So, you have to know what you really want ahead of time. Does honesty mean that much to you? Would you prefer to look the other way again? Or have you really had enough of her cheating?
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I stole something from my sister and put it back later. She told my parents after it was returned, even though she says she knew it was me all along.
I got even with her last weekend. I flirted with her boyfriend in my bikini and kissed him. He's three years older than I am. I admit he had no choice. We were up at the lake and I leaned over and kissed him when we were out floating in the fishing boat together. Oh, he definitely kissed me back! Now I feel guilty again, but can't give the kiss back. What should I do? -- Younger Sister, Transcona
Dear Younger Sister: Telling your sister about the kiss you stole (and her boyfriend's response) will wound her deeply... so, hang on until you get back to school in two weeks. See a guidance counsellor ASAP and try to figure out together why you need to steal things from your older sister. Do you want to be her? Take her down a peg? See her hurt and upset?
The source of all the trouble you have caused is the bad feelings that drive the need to take what is hers. Getting the feelings out with the counsellor, and working through them, may get you stopped for good.
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