Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I had a long-term, hidden affair, up to last week. Then I made the mistake of borrowing my wife’s car to visit my girlfriend. My car had ice all over it, and I was too lazy to clean it off. Besides, I was late for our regular Saturday afternoon get-together.
My wife naturally took my car when she needed to go out for a few things — and decided to go for a little drive. She went right by my girlfriend’s house and recognized her own unusual car in the driveway. (It’s a woman from my work, and my wife’s been at her place for a staff party or two.) My wife left a note under a wiper, reading, "Disappointed to find you here."
Things have gone from bad to worse since, and I’m bunking on the sofa in the basement. My wife doesn’t even want me sleeping on the same floor as her. I thought I could go stay at my girlfriend’s house, but she now admits she doesn’t want me as her live-in. "I need my own space," she told me.
Nobody wants me now. I feel kind of lost. What should I do?
— Unwanted, Winnipeg
Dear Unwanted: Your letter would make perfect sense if you had no other choices — but you do, though they may be uncomfortable at first.
You still have a job, if you don’t quit over having to look at your girlfriend, who doesn’t want you in her life all that much. You can split up with your wife, if neither of you wants counselling at this point, and get your own place. It would be interesting to know how long your wife knew you had been cheating and turned a blind eye.
She was clever in lending you her unusual car so it was easy to spot in the suspected driveway... or maybe you were so enamoured you subconsciously wanted to get caught and force the issue.
And consider this possibility: your wife may have her own guy on the side these days, and you haven’t suspected it. Perhaps she felt it was time, and she was ready to catch you so she could throw you out.
It’s really time for you to become a bachelor. Then your girlfriend may want you back for bedroom duty, since you won’t be encroaching on "her space." Or you can ignore her and look for a new lady, and see how that feels. First, you should get some counselling to get your head on straight. On the practical side, waste no time seeing a lawyer and accountant your wife doesn’t use as well.
Your biggest problem is work, unless your girlfriend wants to keep up the "dating" on Saturdays. But your wife may be mad enough to make a big hue and cry with your boss. Hanky-panky at work is not against the law, but some employers don’t like staff mixing business with sexual pleasure.
Let’s face facts. It’s likely some, if not all, of the people in the office know about your long-term affair, as they can see the glances and feel the electricity. But you haven’t gotten into trouble so far, so maybe nobody cares. However, you may have been passed up for promotions and didn’t realize it.
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.