You’ll have to ask her the tough questions
DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I found something in my wife’s jeans pocket when I was doing some wash for our family. It was a note, and it looked like an old one. It had heavy handwriting — looks like a guy’s script and read, “Always remember I love you.” Do you think it belongs to one of our teenagers, or is from a guy to her? Why would she be carrying it? I don’t want to bring it up, if it’s nothing. I love her so much, but this is driving me crazy. I can’t keep silent forever. I have confiscated the note and now it’s burning a hole in my pocket.— Upset Husband, Winnipeg
Dear Upset: If the note belonged to one of your teenagers, your wife probably would have mentioned it. So just lay that little love note down in front of your wife, and wait for an explanation. Or, if you can trust yourself to speak, say, “I found this in your jeans pocket. Is there another man?” Then search her face like you’re reading a map. This is not the time to start crying or to look away, and miss her expression. You’re looking for the visuals and sound of truth. Further questions, if she admits to an affair, should be: “Is this ongoing or is it in the past?” And, “Was it when you were with me, or before?” Then you need to ask, “Are you in touch in any way — phone, letters, computer, at work?” Ask the alternatives slowly. There is often an involuntary jerking motion when you hit the truth, unless the person is an accomplished liar. And finally, ask this: “Why are you carrying the note? Are you still in love?” Anything you’re imagining now could be true, or false. So face the truth. If you’re hoping an affair will blow over if you say nothing, you may be right. But, you will go through misery until it tires out. Or, it may already be over, with lingering feelings. That’s what it sounds like to these ears, and it sounds like she may have ended it herself. The reason she had an affair, if she did, might have to do with you, or solely with her, or it may have been someone who came along at work and bowled her over, or someone from the past who came back.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m in love with one of my teachers and am sentenced to spending 10 months under the same roof with him again. I’m a brainiac and I have to take his class to get where I want to go in my career. He doesn’t know about my feelings, I don’t think. He’s not young as you might suspect — not in his 20s — but he’s everything I want in a man. I have this one year to go before I graduate and go to university. Last year was torture. This fall will be worse with his dark tan, and those eyes, and he’s so smart and nice, not a jerk like guys my age. How do you get over a crush that’s so bad it ruins you for guys your own age? — Crazy About Him, Winnipeg
Dear Crazy: The best way to impress a teacher is to excel in his class. This may be the only constructive way you can handle the extra energy you feel in his presence. Crushes on teachers most often happen in Grade 11 and 12, but some are even earlier. No matter when it happens — even lose to graduation — no good can come of mentioning it to the object of your love, or to your school friends who will let it get around. That’s just too juicy to keep quiet. What you can take from this experience is a template of the kind of man you want one day. Become aware of what it is about him that you respect and admire. Then look for that kind of guy in an age group slightly older. Since you are a brainiac, you might take a friend and do some studying on a university campus this year, and have a little look around. If older guys attract you, these will be older but in their late teens and ’20s for the most part, and some are quite grown up.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My boyfriend and I play this sick game of stealing from each other to see if we can get away with it. We always give the stuff back within a few days but lately I think he is using this game as an excuse to go through my stuff. I couldn’t care less about going through his things, but he recently went all through my drawers where I keep private things. Am I over-reacting? — Severely Irritated, Brandon
Dear Irritated: No, you’re not overreacting. You’re just feeling a boundary, and acting on it, which is a good thing. If he insists on keeping up this silly game, question him on his motives. He may be insecure and like to snoop to see what’s up in your life, or he may even like trying on your clothes. Announce to him: “OK, the stealing game has gotten old and a bit irritating. I want my privacy back. So, no more going through my closets and drawers and I will respect your private spaces, too.” If he seriously balks, it’s time to move on. This is not a healthy game.