WEATHER ALERT

Sniff out alternate setting for wife’s rescue mission

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My wife keeps trying to bring home suffering animals, and I’m starting to feel like the bad guy. I was happy with just our one old dog, but then my wife brought home an ailing stray cat in a scary situation — so pitiful. We nursed it back to health, and decided to keep it, as we fell in love with it.

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Opinion

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My wife keeps trying to bring home suffering animals, and I’m starting to feel like the bad guy. I was happy with just our one old dog, but then my wife brought home an ailing stray cat in a scary situation — so pitiful. We nursed it back to health, and decided to keep it, as we fell in love with it.

I didn’t make a big fuss about that, so my wife brought home another cat — and this time we had a fight. My wife cried, and the cat ended up staying. I wasn’t happy.

Now here’s the kicker: This week she tried to bring an injured bird in from outside. I drew the line, and she had to take that bird elsewhere for help.

I hate living in an expanding zoo! I feel like my wife doesn’t respect me, as I most often don’t have a chance for input. I don’t want another dependent life form in our home. I mean it!

— Her “Mean” Husband, St. James

Dear Mean Husband: Your wife might need to start doing volunteer work at a real animal rescue shelter. She loves rescue work and has become hooked on the good feelings that go with it. This is not your passion, and the home you share cannot be her default rescue mission.

Rather than fight with your partner, acknowledge her new interest — by researching a list of rescue organizations where she could volunteer. If the volunteering works for her, you might end up being her hero for having the idea.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My 10-year-old is getting teased at school for not having TikTok. I feel the app will cause more harm than good. Unfortunately, not having it is also causing my kid harm from the ridicule.

It seems like there’s no winning. TikTok videos are all over YouTube anyway. I’m at a loss: I want to protect my child, but no matter what I do, it seems to cause harm. Help!

— Bad Dad? Bridgwater

Dear Bad Dad?: TikTok hosts short-form videos — just a couple of minutes, and they’re made by regular people of all ages. The mini-vids often highlight pranks, dances or entertainment. Most are fun, but some are sexually explicit, and not good for kids to see.

Suggest to your child that you can watch TikTok together. Then you’re in charge, and buzz right past the mini-vids that should not be seen. Your child can be “in the know” with the other kids, but not ambushed by a sexual video some creep wants to pass on. And you two can spend some fun time together, with teaching moments.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’ve been reading in your column about spoiled daughters in their 20s. My step-daughter takes the cake. My husband is totally blinded by her. His wife passed away when his little girl was in junior high and he ’“raised her himself” — with babysitters, house cleaners and girlfriends who did not last.

I understand he’s protective of her, but she’s 24 already, doesn’t work, smokes marijuana in her basement suite (she’s got the whole rec room) and hangs out with a bad crew. We’ve tried to speak with her about getting back into a course of some type, maybe a part-time job — anything to try and motivate her. All she says to me is, “You’re not my mother, so stop trying to be one!”

When I’ve spoken to my husband about the downward trajectory his daughter is on, he gets super-defensive. Then he throws in that she “lost her mother at a young age.” We all know that! Our last conversation didn’t end well. I told him his daughter, who is always out at our pool drinking with her friends, is abusing his kindness and generosity, and he’s enabling her!

I started raising my voice and saying I was on the brink of throwing in the towel and moving on. She’d just come in the house and overheard us. She shouted out, “I’ll help her pack!” and her father actually laughed like he admired her cockiness. I couldn’t believe it. What should I do now? I can’t take this anymore.

— Upset Stepmother, Charleswood

Dear Stepmother: Your husband knows his daughter is rude and disrespectful, and gets a kick out of it. He can feel he’s the one you two are competing for, so he’s feeling that power. Your husband laughed as he has more in common with his daughter than you realize.

Time to start looking for your own place. Having both of you under the same roof has made him take you for granted. This man needs to feel the panic and find out if he actually loves you, and is ready to make a choice that favours you. That means finally getting his daughter out.

You may not want him back once you’re out and free of that family. But if you do, insist on couples counselling beforehand. You’d also need counselling with the daughter — all three of you together, working out the family dynamics.

Please send your questions and comments to lovecoach@hotmail.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.

Maureen Scurfield

Maureen Scurfield
Advice columnist

Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.

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