True openness can help vanquish jealousy
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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My wife is the jealous type, and I’m about to start suffering for it, big time. Not long ago we moved back to my hometown, and I still have a two exes here. I ran in to my Grade 12 girlfriend in the grocery store this week, and she started gabbing away and welcoming me back to the community — in her phoney way.
My wife was one aisle over, listening to everything. When she came around the corner she said, “Get all caught up?” Then she shot a phoney smile at both of us and flounced off to the car without me.
That should have been enough, but she wasn’t finished. In the car she said: “You’re still attracted to her, aren’t you?” I just shook my head, and sighed. “I married you, not her!” I said.
How do I put a stop to this? That old girlfriend was horrible to me before we broke up, but why should I have to tell my wife that? She’s supposed to trust me.
—Not Guilty, southwestern Manitoba
Dear Not Guilty: Tell your wife how nasty this ex-girlfriend was to you before the breakup, and that you’ve never broken up with someone you still want back. That’s what left you free to marry her. Tell her there will be no more explaining when it comes to this topic, and that you expect her to trust in you, as you trust in her. If more jealousy arises, head to a marriage counsellor, with her or without her.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I spent six years at university and got my dream job. Trouble is, I hate it. How do i tell my parents after they put out all that money?
— Feeling Like a Jerk, St. Boniface
Dear Feeling: Rather than tell your parents it was all a waste, start looking for different work in a related field that you could actually enjoy. Enlist a career counsellor, as they’ve had to handle career-change challenges a lot lately due to job losses through the pandemic.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I totally agree that “Loving Mother” — the bereaved mom who still grieves her daughter’s death to the detriment of the rest of the family — needs help on a personal level. My husband and I lost one of our daughters to suicide when she was 16. We didn’t have the resources in a rural town at the time to deal with that, so we each dealt with her death in our own way.
A few times over the years, there have been incidents which triggered memories of the death, and I’d be plunged into depression because I wasn’t really dealing with those memories. Individual professional counselling helped the first time round, but the second time, I’d also lost my job and wasn’t really seeing any way forward. I was stuck.
A close relative and I finally sat down and made a chart of all the losses I’d experienced up to that point in my life. We followed the steps of my grieving through those losses. We talked about what processing I still wanted to do. Once I gave voice to those ideas and acted upon them, I felt like a butterfly coming out of its cocoon. Yes, I’ve had other bouts of depression, but they’ve resolved more easily, with more individual professional help.
— M.L., Winnipeg
Dear M.L.: Another thing to consider in a suicide situation: Some people feel guilty about trying to let go of their grief, because they feel they failed the person who took their own life. Unaware of what they’re doing, they keep grieving and punishing themselves. Meanwhile, the person who was in unbearable pain has freed themselves of it.
Please send your questions and comments to email@example.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.
Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.
Updated on Thursday, July 28, 2022 7:56 AM CDT: Fixes byline