Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My husband often works in cities three to four hours away by air. He used to be a very bad boy before we fell in love and I married him. I suspect something’s gone awry between us in the past year.
Just for interest’s sake, I suggested I could leave work and join him as a surprise when he’s away. He was extremely annoyed and said his work time is "private time." Strange words. He says he goes out with clients and is consumed with work and doesn’t need his wife following him around.
I sense he’s fooling around like he used to when he worked out of town. Why is he never consumed with work at home? I don’t think I believe what he says. Should I drop in on him from the sky and find out what he’s up to at nights when he’s away, who he’s having his dinners with, or worse? Or should I try to find out another way?
— Suspicious Mind, South Winnipeg
Dear Suspicious: If you’re going to be spying from a hotel across the street for a few days and following him everywhere in disguise, your chances are very poor at not getting caught, and by your husband. You need to hire a professional investigator your guy wouldn’t recognize if he saw him or her nearby.
If you drop out of the sky to surprise him "for fun," calling up from the hotel lobby to say, "Hello, darling!," he’ll just cancel any dates or cruising he has planned that week. A better plan is to hire a private investigator.
So, here’s a thought. How about asking your husband point-blank: "Something feels different between us. Are you seeing other women again?" He may sigh and say, "Yes, I’m tired of being married and only having one woman." That could save you money spent having him chased around and it may comes to the same result, with the accompanying heartbreak.
Why did you marry a guy who had a pattern of running around, anyway? Did you think the superior romance you had at first would never settle down? Unfortunately, it usually does and people’s old patterns can re-emerge.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I was shocked at a party with a group of my female friends to learn how much stuff they do in the car when they’re supposed to be concentrating on their driving.
One friend sorts her purse in little piles on the passenger seat. Another says she paints her nails at lights and stop signs. The gardener in our group says she counts different kinds of trees in residential neighbourhoods (what about kids running across those streets?). Plus, they’re all busy and eat whole meals on the go in their vehicles.
How is this legal? It’s not party time. It’s driving time, and they’re risking passengers’ lives, plus their own and other drivers. Distracted-driving laws may cover some or all of this, but none of these women have been noticed or pulled over and have been driving distracted for years.
Suddenly, I felt angry and started getting into it with them. They argued back. I finally jumped up and left these women who were drinking and most were also planning to drive home. I hailed a cab. Am I overreacting, as one girlfriend told me in one of the indignant voice mails?
— Extremely Upset With My Friends, Fort Garry
Dear Extremely Upset: Did you scream, yell and call names? No. Then having an upset reaction and arguing is not overreacting, nor is leaving their presence in a huff. They might actually think abut the conversation and talk about why you left.
If no one voices any disapproval of their distracted-driving behaviours, they aren’t likely to change. You did, and might save a life someday. You don’t have to back down on your stance, but have people over for dinner one night soon to show you’re not dumping old friends, though you deeply disagree on this issue.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My new boyfriend is a sloppy eater — he eats and talks at the same time, so you can see the food tonsil-hopping. He cuts his meat like a caveman and swallows big chunks whole.
We have only had five or six dates. He’s a husky, football-playing type and he’s always hungry, and wants to go out to eat. Should I tell him he eats like a P-I-G, because he does?
— Civilized, River Heights
Dear Civilized: Only tell him if you really like him in many other ways — and are willing to have a necessary fight in order for you to continue in the relationship. He probably won’t appreciate the criticism (shades of Mama telling him to close his mouth when he eats). But, you may do him a lifelong favour if you tell him.
It may win him a different girlfriend one day, when he’s a more civilized eater. He isn’t going to like being told he eats like a pig by a new lover. Would you?
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