August 8, 2020

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Boozy dads can't keep shirking summer duties

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: We have lake problems with two families trying to live together. My mom and dad had two kids, and we are all in our early 30s. We all have kids and a shared cabin.

The kids are not the problem. We have a drinking problem with the fathers who think the lake means any restraints on drinking are off, and they can drink beer all day and into the evening.

By default, the mothers have 100 per cent of the responsibility for making sure all the kids are safe around the water and everyone is out of the lake and sleeping in their beds at night.

To me, that is the time parents could safely start drinking. But, oh no! Our husbands seem to think there’s no restriction. It’s like having these big galoots as extra children in the family.

I’m at the point I want to pack up and go home early, but the kids would be heartbroken. My sister’s husband gives her no help at all! And I can’t get it through her husband’s thick skull that he is not on 100 per cent vacation time at the lake.

I’m thinking I’m going to need to go home to get a vacation from the so-called vacation. The kids will hate both me and my husband if we cut the holiday short.

— Feeling Used and Angry, Cottage Country

Dear Used: It’s too late this year to pack up your kids and take them home and break their hearts, but next year should be different. That means a shorter holiday, and perhaps a camper trailer (to rent or buy) and a road trip where you hit a couple of holiday lakes and you and hubby split all the work.

No more brother-in-law drinking teams. One thing you women can’t do is go home and leave the guys with the kids and all the work, because it’s way too dangerous to have drinking adults in charge near a lake. So you’re stuck this year.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: You know how music travels across water? Well, there’s a man across my lake who plays his guitar on the end of his pier at night — quiet love songs — and I can hear him.

Sometimes I think he’s playing for me — a single woman (I think I’m pretty attractive) with a new cabin. I can work remotely, and I do this summer, so I’m here an awful lot.

My mysterious dream man only comes on weekends and sometimes he stops his canoe to talk to me when I’m building something out on the deck in my bikini. Should I take the big step and invite him in? I confess I’m hot for him.

— Attracted By Love Songs, Manitoba

Dear Attracted: Why not have him come up on the deck for a drink and a bite? Maybe you’ll end up taking a bite out of each other. Possibly you’ll end up friends or lovers. What do you have to lose, except your loneliness?

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have used this summer to see a good shrink — a long time coming. My wife doesn’t know. I see the doc twice a week, then join my wife at the lake for three-day weekends.

I’m beginning to face the fact I don’t want to stay with this demanding, controlling, loudmouth wife of mine, though I dearly love my children.

My wife and I stopped having sex over a year ago, because I can’t get enough desire together for playtime with her. She has turned into a total boss. Should I tell her now how I feel?

— So Sick of Her! Winnipeg & Lake of the Woods

Dear Sick of Her: You have gotten way ahead of your wife and made marriage breakup decisions without any input from her. She deserves time to speak with your psychologist or psychiatrist, with and without you. Tough it out at the lake, and when you and your wife get home, do the fair thing and see the counsellor together for a few sessions, at least.

When the whole story is out, you may very well tell her you want to leave her and she might be glad, or she may surprise you and fight to keep you, and be willing to make significant changes. She deserves to be included in the discussion. Maybe she loves you, and maybe she thinks you’re deadwood.

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

Miss Lonelyhearts

Miss Lonelyhearts
Advice Columnist

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.

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