DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I recently witnessed one of my son’s friends hitting on my young wife, and it’s really affecting me. I came into the kitchen where she was preparing dinner, and he was openly flirting with her. He was asking her, "What’s a young woman like you doing with…" when my wife spotted me standing there behind him, and shut him down.
This guy in his 20s, an athlete with a pumped-up body and a full head of hair. My wife is a beautiful woman in her 30s — not the biological mother of my son. (My high-school girlfriend had him long ago.)
I told my son’s buddy to watch his mouth, and he just laughed! I can’t stop thinking about it and worrying. Why? I could see my wife was enjoying it at some level.
I never thought jealousy would be a thing in my life, but here I am worried and obsessing about a guy in his 20s making a play for my wife.
She said his old line was flattering, but noted that she didn’t take it seriously. She said, "It’s you I love, my darling!"
My rational self continues to tell me I’m not worried, but my irrational self screams the opposite. I’m a bald guy in my 40s with a paunch. How can I quiet down these fears I have? My dreams at night are getting anxious.
— Bad Dreams, North End
Dear Bad Dreams: Bottom line? You feel insecure about how you look to your younger wife. That’s something you can actually control. How about working out and losing some of your paunch, and going walking with your wife. Just getting more active could could boost your self-esteem.
You could also change up your look at bit by buying yourself some new clothes and get a flattering haircut, or even shaving your head — whatever makes you feel sexier. These steps, plus the fact this woman already loves you, will make you feel renewed confidence.
As for that hotshot dinner guest, he won’t be back. You don’t make a play for the host’s wife, get caught and get a second invitation. For good measure, tell your son not to bring him over anymore, and explain why.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have the most caring partner. She’s everything I ever dreamed of in a spouse. The one flaw she has is this: she will never verbally say she’s sorry when she’s wrong. This bugs me to no end!
I’ve tried to speak with her about this problem, but she won’t have it. Her response is, "I’ve made your favourite dinner… that’s enough." Well, it’s not enough.
She won’t change, and it’s really getting to me. Do you think that when she does something nice to make up with me, instead of saying I’m sorry, that it’s enough?
— Needing the Apology, Wolseley
Dear Needing Apology: Somewhere your wife learned this was the safer way to respond. Talk to her about her reasons for feeling that way.
You may find out this was how people said they were sorry in her parents’ marriage. If her parents were people who’d get right back into the flames of the argument when a person apologized, then a special dinner or a gift was safer ground.
But you need a heartfelt sorry in words, to bandage a wound and heal. Assure her that will be the end of it — there’ll be no more upsetting discussion if she has the courage to apologize to you.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m sick of my husband using women as a scapegoat for bad drivers. It may sound silly and overblown, but he does it constantly. He isn’t generally misogynistic, but seems totally comfortable guessing, if something bad happens on the road, that a "crazy woman" is at the wheel.
I’m sick and tired of this. We’ve only been married a year, and I don’t want to be a nag, but I don’t want to listen to this all the time. Am I blowing it out of proportion?
— Absolutely Had Enough! The Maples
Dear Had Enough: Tell your husband, when you’re not driving in the car: "I’ve had enough of your ‘crazy women’ comments." Then quote comparison statistics on male and female drivers — speeding, accidents, fatalities — all very easy to find online. Print some out for proof. He needs to face the facts.
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.
Each year, the Free Press publishes more than 1,000 letters to Miss Lonelyhearts and her responses to the life and relationship questions that come her way.