DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My wife walks with four or five other women every weekday. Little did I know they were walking over to the neighbourhood bar and drinking while they flirt with unemployed married guys who hang out there.
I saw her car parked outside the bar when I was coming home early from work a week ago. I walked in and asked the young hotel clerk if there were a bunch of women "walkers" in the bar. He said there had been -- they come in every day -- but now there was only one.
I walked in and there was my wife with a table of six people or so, having a whale of a time batting her eyes at a younger man and laughing at his jokes. I watched for a few minutes. She saw me. I turned and walked to the car. We have been fighting ever since about this "betrayal," which she says doesn't amount to anything but friendships and flirting. She says those two F-words don't count.
-- Not Buying It, Winnipeg
Dear Not Buying: She'd hate it if you and a group of guys stopped at the bar to flirt with other women five days a week. She'd be furious if the group was melting down to just one woman and you two stayed on afterwards. Had you not arrived to see them, would they have gone out to his car for some non-serious making out, or even gone to his place? You have every right to be upset. This is not the kind of loving and considerate behaviour you expect from a mate.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I am writing this from the Women's Correctional Centre in Headingley. I am here because I fell in love with the wrong man. For the last 11 years I've been involved with a man who's been in and out of prison. During this time, I have been the sole breadwinner, supporting him financially in jail and once he returned home. I had been doing this by earning money illegally selling drugs for him, and now I am sitting here for the next three years.
For 11 years I treated him like a king and was the most perfect girlfriend any man could ask for. During the couple of months I've been incarcerated, Prince Charming went from being madly in love with me to forging the bill of sale on my van, selling the entire contents of my house and draining my bank account of a measly $1,400. Then he decided to stop speaking to me by texting a brief message to my best friend: "Tell her to leave me alone." He didn't have the cajones to tell me himself.
I'm writing you so other women realize no man can be trusted, and that maybe the next girl who is asked to do something illegal for her man will think twice about what she has to lose. In my case, it was a lot more than my freedom.
--Shocked and Disappointed, Headingley
Dear Shocked: You put this man above yourself and your safety. How about working a straight job when you get out? You no longer have a man to support, which is good. (Watch that he doesn't come around once you and your selling power get out of jail.) You need counselling, or even self-help books, to figure out why you were attracted to this type of man.
You can spot a user if you become aware of the signs. A user shows you one side of the coin, but there's a flip side and certain phrases they use are clues to that. Typical compliments would be: "A man could never leave a woman like you," or, "You are the most beautiful and sexy woman in the universe. We'll be together forever." These extravagant compliments are used to keep you bamboozled.
Remember the teaching fable The Fox and the Crow? To get the cheese in the crow's beak sitting on a branch high above him, the fox sang her praises and she began to crow and the cheese dropped right into his mouth. Snap!
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, MB, R2X 3B6