DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My young husband is a “social drinker.” He’s a shy guy, truth be told, but loves to have fun. He didn’t drink at all for two years being at home during COVID. But now, he’s right back out there — going to all his favourite haunts and drinking his face off! I won’t go out drinking like that.
He’s coming home with liquor on his breath, five nights out of seven. He’s been back playing poker and gambling. I own the family car and pay for the gas, and won’t let him use it when he goes out. But, he gets rides home with friends who are loaded by the end of the night.
I totally love this idiot. How can I stop his foolish drinking before he gets hurt?
— Worried Sick About Him, Fort Rouge
Dear Worried Sick: He might appreciate it if you started joining him for small dinners out, live music, movies or other entertainment that is starting up again. That would involve a lot less hard drinking, and fun for both of you.
On nights when you do stay at home and he goes out, offer to pick him up sometimes and also gift him with some pre-paid rides home.
The larger problem — his shyness and over-drinking — requires serious discussions with an addictions counsellor. You might go at this sideways by getting involved with Al-Anon (al-anon.org), for people (usually friends and family) who are affected by another person’s drinking.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m in a tricky situation. It’s been hard to meet women in the past two years because of COVID. You can imagine how excited I was to meet this fiery red-haired woman. I asked her to go for lunch Immediately, not knowing her last name. We were part-way through the salad when I said, “By the way, I still don’t what your last name is!”
She said, “I know yours and believe me, you don’t want to know my family name.” I stopped eating and said “What do you mean?”
She said, “You might walk right out of here!” I looked at her face and said, “I think you better tell me right now.”
It turns out she’s the cousin of my ex-wife (also a beautiful redhead) and she knew who I was all along! I couldn’t remember her. She wasn’t at my wedding, but she knew who I was, as I’d given her my business card as soon as we met.
I said, “Why didn’t you tell me right off the top?” and she said, “I was curious to see what you were really like. I’d heard the stories!”
That did it. Suddenly I just wanted to leave. But, being a polite Canadian, I drove her home. She said she was “pleasantly surprised by how nice I was.” I felt like an exhibit at the zoo, with a warning sign on it.
The thing is, she keeps calling me. She’s stubborn and she’s a hunt-em-down type, just like my ex-wife. What should I do?
— Hounded, Weston
Dear Hounded: People can be competitive in families. It’s possible this cousin was intrigued by the stories about you — for better or worse — and wanted to find out for herself and maybe let your ex-wife “accidentally” find out.
Instead of ignoring her calls, you could talk to her and tell her she reminds you of the personality of your persistent ex-wife, so it’s not a go. Or, you could block her on your phone and online apps without saying anything. She’s being a pest, and she knows it.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I deep-clean vehicles as a side gig. Sometimes I find stuff I shouldn’t and I don’t know what to do with it. I just put it back where I found it, and say nothing. Why do people leave evidence around of stuff they shouldn’t be doing and of people they shouldn’t be doing it with?
— Shaking My Head, Winnipeg
Dear Shaking: The sensible part of the brain is often not working in concert with the passionate side. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about these people if they aren’t close to you. Consider refusing jobs involving close friends you suspect of having “alternative agendas” to their known love relationships.
What you don’t know, you don’t have to try to forget.
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.