DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I’m almost ready to leave my alcoholic wife, but she’s not ready to leave me and my money. Last night she arrived home drunk and dishevelled, and I told her it’s time to split up. She screamed that if I left, she would tell family and friends I beat her, and have them all against me. What a horrid lie that would be.
She started crying and added she’d be "driven into working full-time" and the girls would not have a mother at home. That’s a laugh! My wife drinks and gambles, works half-days, rarely cooks and is not an interested mother — loves her VLTs.
Today, when she was at work, I got a few suitcases out of the basement. Unfortunately, she came home early and caught me, and said: "Are you planning on going somewhere?" I said I was just cleaning the basement to make more room for my work bench. She said, "You better not be going anywhere, pal!"
I’ll go crazy if I don’t leave! I make enough money to pay a generous support for her and the girls, but I wonder how our two teenage girls will do, if I leave. If I try to keep the girls with me, my wife will scream bloody murder in court because she wants to keep our big house — and probably live there with a new guy. I know her.
— One Foot Out The Door, West Winnipeg
Dear One Foot: If you don’t want your daughters to lose momentum in launching their young lives, postpone leaving for two years. And do consider using some of your money on last-ditch marriage counselling, where the counsellor will no doubt try to get your wife into a program for the drinking and gambling. That’d be good for the girls who need peace and parental support.
Starting this fall, take charge of helping the girls plan their college and career paths. If they want to stay with one of you, the girls are old enough to decide where they will live.
With the complications of COVID-19, these two years would not be great for a man launching himself as a new single anyway.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My husband I both have sex lives, but not with each other. I have sex buddies, following my husband’s lead (he has had several other women in nine years). Neither one of us has ever gotten a sexually-transmitted infection, but I do worry about COVID-19.
The other night, when he came out of the shower and I knew he was off to see his latest partner, I handed him two masks and said, "Please be careful." He blushed, then got himself together and said, "Same to you, my dear wife!"
We do love each other, but we have little lust left for each other. How do we get through this unscathed?
— Nervous, Southdale
Dear Nervous: Finding a sex partner you can stick with for a time is the best situation, but it’s not easy to "casually date" for as long as it takes to find an attractive, interesting, trustworthy partner. In your situation, unless you have some stand-bys, you’re taking the same chances as single people who want affection and a sex life. They are limiting their partners and using as much protection as possible. Kissing, of course, is a big problem in COVID times. Good luck!
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m so mad I could spit! My elderly father is an old gentleman who maintains his beautiful old home now my mom has died. I do my dad’s books and he has a cleaner who gets groceries for him. Those bills have doubled since he hired her. I just see his cheques that pay her for the amounts she tells him.
Besides that, there are no more groceries in this house than months ago when the food bills were around $500 a month. Now the fridge is always half-empty and he’s repaid her for shopping trips to the tune of $850-$1,000 a month. So, I think she’s doing her grocery shopping at the same time, on the same bill. She doesn’t submit the receipts — she just gets him to write cheques for the amount she quotes.
Finally, I managed to be at dad’s house when I knew she’d be there and demanded the grocery receipts. She got embarrassed and huffy, and said, "Are you accusing me of being dishonest?" I said, "My dad can’t eat the dollar amount of groceries you have him writing cheques for." How do I get rid of her?
— Upset Daughter, St. James
Dear Upset: You may have scared her straight if you insisted she submit all grocery receipts to you, and she has agreed. Your dad may not want her gone if she’s one of his few daily contacts and has become a friend. Talk to your father about it before you get rid of her, as the last thing you want to do is leave him lonely. If she does go, promise to help him find someone even better.
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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.