Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband, as a mate, father of my child and a beloved part of my extended family. Unfortunately, my old love came back to our hometown last week. I saw him come in the grocery store — and instantly teared up, right there. I ducked behind a display, wiped my tears, and headed to the meat counter at the back to hide.
He spotted me and came straight over like he was drawn by a magnet. He looked deeply into my eyes and said slowly, "So... we... meet... again." I couldn’t speak. He kept staring and staring, and then he told me that I broke his heart. He touched my cheek, then left the store without buying anything.
I had a lump in my throat as big as a golf ball as I paid for my groceries and left with my child. I made it home, put my baby to bed and cried my heart out while he was sleeping.
I still love that wild man, even though I put him behind me to do the practical thing. Now what will I do if he is back in town to stay?
How can I love my husband and react so emotionally to this ex-boyfriend? My husband is a good man and a standup guy who never disobeys the rules. My ex had an aura of danger and would come to my apartment on weekends at all hours of the night and we would have wild sex. He would stay through the next day and we would have so much fun. He was a wild and crazy guy with an insane sense of humour, always dropping in like a superhero bad boy.
I left him and this town because I wanted to get educated and be somebody. That was my dream and my family had no money for university. When I had enough money saved, I left for Winnipeg to go live in residence at the university. My boyfriend was bitter and told me it felt like I was leaving to get rid of him and gave me a hard kiss goodbye.
I went off to follow my dream and came back to town for a career at a hospital. I didn’t call him, and he didn’t call me. I hear he went to Vancouver, where he did God knows what these past six years. Please tell me what to do.
— Deeply Upset, Manitoba
Dear Upset: Before you panic, find out through your small-town grapevine if your first love is home to stay or if he’s already gone again.
"You broke my heart" sounded like a final statement, not an opener, especially with your child sitting there in the cart. And he certainly wasn’t offering platonic friendship. He was clearly feeling the same hot mess as you were feeling!
Smart people don’t put themselves in position for more of that feeling, and he’s a proud man. He spoke to you once from his heart because it was something he needed to say. As a daring, passionate man, he swooped in and got it said. You didn’t even give him the courtesy of a reply.
Some people never quite get over their first love, but it’s OK if they’re far away. Seeing each other again is upsetting.
This doesn’t mean you don’t love your husband. Just don’t make the mistake of sharing this incident and your feelings with your hubby. It’s not his burden to bear. Remember, you took off on your hometown love and never looked back, so you didn’t love him that much, though he still turns you on.
Please send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg 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.