DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My wife of three years had a strange dream and was moaning as well — not in a painful way, but in an urgent kind of way. Then she called out this guy’s name, and soon after "shuddered" in her sleep.
I knew what was happening — an erotic dream. I didn’t wake her up, because I sure as heck didn’t want her to think she was still with him in her dream.
This guy was in her life, years before me. He was her boyfriend in Grade 11 and 12 and her fiancé in college, the year after high school. They got engaged, but she called it off over his boozing.
I was glad to get a chance to step in! We’re happily married and live on a farm two towns over from where he lives. He’s still a drunk, and I hear he bashes his wife around. My wife is aware of this. So why would she be having sex dreams over this jerk? More to the point, why isn’t she dreaming about me?
— Hurting in Silence, southern Manitoba
Dear Hurting: We can’t control our dreams, which are sometimes defined as the residue of the day’s activities acted upon by our unrestrained feelings. Perhaps someone told a story about this guy in her presence recently or maybe she ran into him somewhere.
Not to worry! She won’t be loving him now. But, there was a time of innocence for them way back, and the dream may have recalled that time, when he was very young man — before he became the person she no longer loved and ended up rejecting.
Turn this around. If your wife heard you moaning in your sleep over an old girlfriend from way back — someone you’d rejected — would that dream be an old historical desire or a current one?
You’re upset, so consider telling your wife she had an erotic dream about her ex and just see what she has to say. Her reply might be something like: "That jerk? I don’t remember the dream. I’m glad I married you! You have nothing to worry about, my love."
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My boyfriend’s always perfectly dressed — to change a tire or take a load to the dump. I can’t get him to dress nicely. Not that he ever did, or so I hear from his sister.
He’s actually very attractive — strong body, tall, good shape, full head of dark hair and handsome features. He just dresses like a slob. He used to play a lot of sports and wore sweats and other comfy outfits for years, so he tells me.
Now we’re both in our early 30s, and he’s still Mr. Grey Sweats. He doesn’t own one suit, no dress slacks, nor even a good-looking dress shirt. I work in the business world. I want to be able to bring him different places, some of them fancier.
The last time we were out, he wore a clean, black 10-year-old sweater and grey sweat pants. How do I nudge him in the right direction? He has his own successful business in the blue-collar world, and has the money to spruce up.
— In Love with a Bad Dresser, Transcona
Dear In Love: Just like you don’t know much about his business, he doesn’t pretend to know anything about shopping for nice clothes. Help him!
Make a secret trip to check out a number of men’s stores. Then take your man to the best ones in your vehicle, on a short, orchestrated tour with no wasted time — and help him get him kitted out.
Be sure to hit a shoe store, too. You can’t wear runners with everything, although he will probably argue for the expensive running shoes instead of dress shoes. Copy down the sizes of everything for him so you can give him (and yourself, really) gifts in the future.
Don’t make the mistake of going into stores with no previous scouting. This man is not into shopping as sport, so remember that, if you ever want him to go on a buying trip again. Good luck with Prince Charming! He might really like the way he looks in nice clothes, especially if there’s no big hassle involved.
Please send your questions and comments to email@example.com 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.