Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My husband got enthusiastically into tenting this summer on weekends, and we took a 10-day camping trip in August to end the season. I hated camping, but hid it to make him happy.
Imagine how I felt when he came home yesterday with winter camping equipment! I thought my camping days were over until next summer. Ugh!
He caught me unawares, and I burst into tears. He said, "Baby, what’s the matter?" And I blubbered the truth, "I don’t want any more camping. I HATE IT!"
He gulped, and his face fell. He looked at me and the big boxes of equipment he was hauling in to show me and let them drop with a bang on the kitchen floor.
Then he said in a too-quiet voice: "You mean to tell me you faked it all this summer?" I said nothing except, "I did it for you because you love it!" Then he walked away and a minute later I heard him squealing out of the driveway! He came back drunk, many hours later.
Now he’s back, but barely talking to me, except to mutter "I just thought you were agreeable, not a liar. What else have you been faking?" I said nothing.
Quite honestly, I have dropped some friends of mine he doesn’t like and have been faking other things to please him — because he’s just not that great at getting me there.
But he’s got a great education, career and family. I’ll never find a better man, and I was just so thrilled he picked me. — Devastated Young Wife, Sage Creek
Dear Devastated: You have been the consummate people-pleaser with him and it seems the things you actually love about him are things that raise your status.
The problem is, now he doesn’t know whom he really picked as a wife, except that she’s exceptionally agreeable and fakes her reactions.
Once a person discovers they’re with a people-pleaser they don’t know where they’re at, and the smiling pleaser is often building up a lot of resentment by doing things they don’t want to do.
You’ve been too scared to spill uncomfortable truths and work thing out in very important areas, like other couples do. It’s actually lucky this winter-camping surprise caught you off guard — and you blurted the truth out.
Your husband may just want to go winter camping with his guy friends now, or he may take back all the equipment and cash out in anger. You can bet he won’t want to drag you out for a winter-camping weekend, no matter what you say to try to make up!
Keeping secrets from your mate really hurts them. Also, they may wonder if you are scared of them or if you faked a ton of admiration to make it look like you were the perfect match. Did you want to borrow on their popularity, prestige and financial situation?
You and your husband need to see a counsellor together, because you’re going to need a referee. Your husband is going to demand to know what all you lied about in your relationship, including what you honestly don’t like about his activities, his tastes, his personality and even your sex life. This mess is potentially explosive.
You need to answer his list of questions truthfully, even if it’s hard, and to have a list on hand of everything you honestly do love about him. Consider writing out both those lists ASAP, as you may be very upset and flustered in counselling.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: There was a long line for the lady’s washroom when we were out at a restaurant, so I jumped into a stall in the men’s room as it looked and sounded like the room was empty.
Then a guy in the next stall commented on my shoes. I was up in a flash and ran for the door, and I heard him laugh and say, "Why don’t you stay and wash your hands?"
I kept running and got back to the table with my mate and this guy came out looking around the dining room floor. He was looking to spot my fancy red shoes. A little later he came by our table and dropped me a big wink!
My husband said, "Who the heck was that?" I told him the story, and we both laughed so hard. As we were leaving after dinner, my hubby walked us both past the guy’s table and said, "Nice shoes, eh?"
I wouldn’t trade my funny husband for anything! — Lucky Lady, Westwood
Dear Lucky Lady: You truly have a good relationship. A funny mate is a real jewel. I’m glad for you!
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.