Sneaky but so-so affair signals malaise
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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: What’s the matter with me? I have a life that others can only dream of — a privileged one. My successful husband would do anything to make me happy.
Yet, I’m having an affair with a younger guy I met at the bar on a girls’ night out. He’s intelligent and funny, but “under-employed.” He lives in a small apartment and drives an old pick-up truck. I just don’t understand why I’m having an affair with this man, but I can’t seem to quit him!
I do love my husband and appreciate the life he’s provided for me. I don’t have to work, and we don’t have any children. I don’t want kids, and he has two already, from a previous marriage. So, there’s usually just me and my quiet, old doggie at home, day after day. All I do is work out in our home gym, lie in the sun by the pool and cook dinner — if and when my husband makes it home.
I’ve tried numerous times to end my affair, but I’ve always gone back to my secret lover. It’s not for the sex, which is only fair-to-middling, but more for a few hours of his warm company.
Please help me figure out why I’m risking everything I have for this hidden affair. What is wrong in my head?
— Drifting, Tuxedo
Dear Drifting: The only real challenge left in your life is managing this cloak-and-dagger affair. You’re bored with your lonely, non-working lifestyle — and you don’t seem cut out to be a lady of leisure.
Although you don’t want to leave your husband, you definitely can’t stay with him without having your own fulfilling life. The present situation is bad for your emotional health. It’s time for a change.
You need a working life that stimulates your imagination, harnesses your energy and surrounds you with people. With no children to hold you back and financial help from your husband, you could go to college or university and pursue any career you wanted. That’d be exciting and provide you with like-minded friends.
If studying isn’t your thing, you might be interested in starting your own business or shop. Your pet could come with you from home and be the sweet “shop dog.”
Even with a fuller life, you may find your husband is too often absent for your happiness. Do you know for sure why he comes home so little? Gather your courage and check that out.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I almost ran into a pole when I caught a glimpse of my first love walking through Osborne Village. No one could miss the curly black hair and the super-tall body.
I’m in my 30s now, and almost married to a different guy, but I may not be quite over my first love. What does this mean? What should I do about it?
I hear he quit drinking five or six years ago. That was the big issue that divided us.
— Suddenly All Messed Up, Osborne Village
Dear Messed Up: You need to explore your dramatic reaction so you don’t have mixed feelings going into your upcoming marriage.
Some people might say, “Leave well enough alone.” But, other people have said in this column over the years, they knew before they married there was “someone else” deep in their heart they should have checked out beforehand. And there was a definite “sign.”
Call a mutual friend and get contact info for this former love, whose sudden appearance upset you so much. See if he will meet and talk to you in person. Check out your feelings — and his, if possible. You need to find out for sure if your new choice of a mate is actually the right choice.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have an extra-sensitive nose — my Dad used to call me “Sniffer.” I can sniff out anything.
I do all the laundry, now that I’ve moved out, and I’ve noticed my live-in boyfriend’s shirts smell suspicious lately — of stinky cigar smoke!
I happen to know where my guy would be smoking cigars on the sly. Before COVID, he used to play poker, smoking big fat cigars and drinking beer — acting the big shot with his old buddies.
During COVID I got him to stop smoking everything, as there were no more poker games. That’s changed recently.
Miss L., he omitted telling me he’s back smoking those smelly cigars. Grrrr!
He loves them. My question? Do I have the right to police his cigar smoking as we’re living together?
— Wise to Cigar Stink, Downtown
Dear Wise: Why change the nature of your relationship? You’ll be setting yourself up as “Mom” or “the Warden,” over a cigar smoked on poker night.
That’s a dangerous thing to do in a romantic relationship. How much harm is the cigar going to do to his health or yours?
As for doing the laundry, it’d be fair to ask your man to do his own now. And without getting too judgy in tone, just mention casually you don’t like the smell of his cigars. If he protests the smells come from all the other guys’ cigars, don’t call him a liar — just give him a mysterious smile and an eye roll!
Send your questions and comments to email@example.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Wpg., MB, R2X 3B6.
Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.