Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

You need a relationship counsellor, quick

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm pregnant and my marriage is only one year old. When I told my husband we were expecting a child, he just looked at me coldly, and said, "I'm not telling you to get rid of it, but I hope this doesn't mean you're going to lean on me." Lean on him? He's in the arts, and money is always tight for him. I have a steady job that pays well and I always pay proportionately -- for the rent, utilities, food and transportation -- like, 75 per cent. I know exactly what he's saying -- he doesn't want less of my money coming in. Since he said that, I've been getting madder and madder. We never discussed the possibility of having children before we got married. I just assumed he would be delighted to have a child that was the combination of the two of us. I am not getting an abortion, but the way I feel -- this knot in my stomach, and the love trickling away every day -- I may be divorced before our baby is born. Please help. -- Pregnant and Worried Sick, Downtown

Dear Pregnant: Get ready to blow. This needs to be worked out ASAP and silence is making you miserable -- not good especially when you're pregnant. A relationship counsellor could do you a lot of good right now. You need the intervention of a third reasonable voice to help both of you get everything out. With a kind but firm referee in the room -- someone with experience in solving such problems -- you have a much better chance of saving this marriage. Your husband is going to have to accept the challenge of earning at least half of the money, and you may have to choose a lifestyle that's a compromise to your dream lifestyle with young children -- like going back to work sooner, or you husband being more of a Mr. Mom. There are ways to make this work.


Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm unhappy to the core of my being. My children have both turned out to be fools. One is a fool for love and the other is a fool for drugs. My husband and I have a good marriage and neither of us is addicted to anything but each other. How did we end up with kids like this? Our son always heads straight for the for skanky-looking dumb late teenage girls with no values or education or decent jobs and my daughter is into marijuana to the point where she's never holding onto a job for long -- sleeps in and misses work, too tired to go and pretends she's sick. You can tell she's stoned. Her brother says she tokes up the minute she gets up in the morning. Her room in the basement smells of weed, but I don't go in there. Both of them still live at home and I'm scared to push either of them out. My son is 25 and his sister is 27. Where did I go wrong? -- Angry Mom, East Kildonan


Dear Angry: You have a failure-to-launch problem, and you do bear some responsibility for not helping them out the door in a nice way. The time is right when they have a job and they have both had jobs over the years; you son has one now -- time to go. They're acting like overgrown teenagers, not like the adults they should be at this point. You son can't look at anyone his age as a girlfriend because he's still living in his old bedroom. Girls living at home will accept that, and they tend to be younger. If he had his own place, things would be different, so give him a three-month deadline. As for your daughter, you're enabling her to smoke dope unchallenged, so raise your standards at home and start focusing on the drug problem in your basement. Marijuana is a big problem for her; it is killing her ambition and her possibilities in life. Go down to her room and go through it. You may find other drugs there as well. She may need rehab. What she doesn't need is your ignoring her. Call the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba for specifics on where you can get help for her. And, stop labelling your kids as fools. People tend to live down to the labels parents give them.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 1, 2012 D4

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