Marital miss would best suit both of you
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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My girlfriend held up her hand yesterday at the beach and said to me, “If there isn’t a ring on this finger by Christmas, I’ll be gone.” Now I feel like I want her gone already. That was a very pushy move!
We’ve both been married enough — her once, and me twice — and I never really want to get hitched again. It doesn’t seem to mean anything to me, but she wants another go at it. She tells me all her friends are married. Big deal! I’m not ready to shove my head in a noose again, but I do kind of love her. What should I say?
— Shaking My Head, Winnipeg
Dear Shaking: You might not want to mention the noose metaphor to her — it could get you a face full of sand! It’s time to get yourself free, and while you’re at it, liberate her as well. Neither of you sounds romantically inclined. She’s looking at a timeline and feeling too old to dilly-dally, and you’re feeling lukewarm at best. “I kind of love her” doesn’t rate a third trip to the altar for you.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My husband is a very practical (cheap!) man. I started out appreciating this about him when he became the breadwinner, and I left my career to raise our two children. These days he gives me a house allowance that is budgeted to the penny.
Every one of my birthdays of late has been a huge disappointment. I’ve told him it makes me sad when he buys me a gift like last year’s — a coffee maker for the house. I don’t even drink coffee, so it was really for him. I’ve left him notes on what I’d like for my birthday, but he ignores them. This year, after opening my gift of a garden sprinkler, I took off in the car, in tears. His response was to say I was acting like a spoiled brat being a bad role model for our children.
What, if anything, can I do to let him see that I matter as his partner, and that I deserve a special gift just for me on my birthday? Help me, please.
— His Housecleaner Wife, West Kildonan
Dear Housecleaner: Hubby is telling you in his clumsy way that he doesn’t think you deserve a personal gift when he has to pay everything for you, every day. He may be the king, but he’s not feeling like you’re the queen of his castle. You’re not bringing in a dime, and he’s resenting the household budget, as tight as it is.
Your husband may actually have thought it was a nice idea to have you stay home and raise the kids, and that he’d be the hero. But now, he’s resenting you. It’s time to start working again — at least part-time — and have your own account as well as pitching in. That’ll help you take back your power, and also ease some of the overall burden.
When he sees you’re no longer dependent on his money — and his place in your life is not guaranteed by your dependence — you may start seeing a shift in the way he treats you.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have the biggest crush on the new meat-cutter at my local grocery store. I’ve been ordering special cuts of meat just to talk with him. I even put makeup on and dress up to do the groceries. He is really sweet when he talks with me, and never, ever rushes me. But, that’s where it ends.
I found out he’s single from one of the female clerks. Now what can I do? I’m not terribly shy, so should I ask him out for lunch or something? What if he says no?
— Weighing the Odds, St. James
Dear Weighing: If he refuses for some reason, just shrug it off. He may have a girlfriend, or someone he has his eye on right now, and the female clerks don’t know. Just keep on being friendly and someday he may be available, and surprise you by asking you out! There’s no need to sulk or change stores if he doesn’t accept your invite. Just play it cool.
Please send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.
Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.