Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m sick to death of my cousin. We live in a small town and he moved in next door to me. He’s a mooch and I’m a sucker — I can’t say no.
When he sees or smells me barbecuing, he comes right over and ask, "What’s for dinner?" He just assumes he can join in and feast because he’s family.
I don’t know how to handle him. Please help! — Disgusted To See That Mooch Coming, Silver Heights
Dear Disgusted: Next time he comes over, you say, "OK, cousin, this is the last time. Next time, it’s a whole new deal. You’ll bring enough meat and veggies for the two of us — and I’ll cook!"
After this, he likely won’t be over for a while, but since he’s a true mooch he’ll surely come back at some point, hoping you’ve missed him and you’ve forgotten the deal. In that case, say brightly: "Nice to see you, cuz! What did you bring for the two of us to eat? Maybe you could show me how you like yours done."
There’s a slim chance he’ll have a little grocery bag with meat and veggies in his hand, but more likely, it’ll be, "Uh, well, I’m kinda busy tonight." Then he’ll be gone, and for a much longer spell, because he knows you’re sticking to the original deal.
Providing for anyone — even himself — is not the professional mooch’s style.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’ve been dating a married man for over six years now. We’ve made plans for the future together, but every time something seems to happen on his end and he doesn’t leave his wife.
My friends know I’m dating him, but I’ve been keeping this big secret from my family, who I’m normally very close to, especially my brother.
My two kids have met him, as he sneaks away and spends time at my house. However, we rarely spend time in public places unless it’s far from the city, on one of his business trips. And before COVID we used to go to movies in the daytime.
As you can guess, that means we never get to spend any meaningful holidays together, as he’s still spending them with his wife and kids.
I feel I deserve more. How do I tell him I’m sick of being his booty call? After six-plus years of waiting, I think I deserve a whole relationship.
Should I tell his wife about this and expose the affair? — Sick of the Secret, Winnipeg
Dear Sick: Ask yourself why you have not wanted a free man and a full relationship for six years. This long-term affair with a man who isn’t budging and is full of excuses to stay with his wife makes your world workable, somehow. Otherwise, you’d have been long gone.
There’s something advantageous in this affair. But what is it?
Could it be you hated being married to your first husband? Or that you simply don’t like the marriage institution, to the point you never want to be involved with it again?
If you call your lover’s wife and blow up that man’s family — before you’re really and truly finished with him — it’ll get you nothing but bad results. You’ll cause his wife and kids pain and embarrassment, and the guy won’t want you. He won’t be able to stand you!
Now that you’ve had enough of his part-time treatment, it’s really time to say goodbye and look elsewhere for a single boyfriend.
Maybe you can find a guy who isn’t married, loves to date you, treats you like a queen, and is proud to be seen with you and meet your family.
Perhaps neither one of you will even want a 24-7 marriage situation. It could be good for you — but you’ll never find it while hanging onto a married guy.
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.