DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My mother has just announced she and her live-in partner are going to get married. This is terrible news! She isn’t in love with him. She sneak-calls Dad every day. She pretends he’s “just a friend” but I know she goes to see him, secretly.
Dad can’t take another day of living with her though, he says, because she’s a drinker and a gambler. She’s never loud and out of control, but she’s pretty stewed most of the time.
I think she still wants Dad’s attention, and to have him come back and beg her to be with him. I talked to him last night about her upcoming marriage. He says he’s glad to get her off his back!
Her new boyfriend has buckets of money. She pretends to have quit gambling, but still finds ways to do it. I’m 21 and have a good job. I was ready to leave the nest, but stayed for Mom’s stability when Dad left, and I often have to pay the whole rent. What should I do now? Mom is a hopeless, but lovable goof.
— Looking After Mom, Westwood
Dear Looking After Mom: You shouldn’t be carrying this burden of mothering your mother. Her new man is already living in, and has lots of money — and should be splitting financially things with your mother by now.
In fact, it’s high time you moved out and let this happen. Can you bring yourself to do that and let the “adults” handle their own mess? If not, it’s time you spoke with a counsellor for as long as it takes to make the break and have your own grown-up life.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m a student living in a house rented to two different tenants. My university courses require a lot of studying. The owner’s son and his girlfriend just moved in downstairs — and they’re always either working out with clanging weights, having sex, or practising music. There’s banging and clanging, weird noises, and amplified guitars.
Why can’t they just read or something? I can’t complain to the guy’s mother who dotes on him. What can I do to dampen the sound?
— Future MD, Corydon area
Dear Future MD: A wall-to-wall rug and under-pad is good sound insulation for the floor — and also hang some rugs on the wall, as musicians do, to create a studio. The good news is rug ends are cheap, especially if you don’t care what colours they are. Check out the soundproofcentral.com website and read about solutions that cut out almost 100 per cent of unwanted sound.
Solve your problem cheaply and get back to studying in peace. We need more doctors. Good luck creating your sound cocoon!
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I had to smile when I read the letter from Urban Cowboy. (He said his wife has turned into an “animal” during COVID, getting him into all kinds of freaky scenes. He wants predictable old missionary-style sex back. I told him to agree to alternating. —Miss L.)
Our friend has not learned that making love is like making wine; you need patience and acquired skills. Ladies are not “instant on.” They need time to focus and adjust. The games are a form of foreplay to set the stage.
Men also overlook the importance of the cuddle later; they are ready for a second round quite quickly, if they maintain focus.
Our Brandon friend is lazy and selfish. He can do some reading and research, or risk losing the lady trying to educate him.
— J.F., Winnipeg
Dear J.F.: To be fair, it can get a bit draining to be part of a stage play every night that someone else is directing. But, I do agree he could lose his wife’s desire by continuing to be lazy and selfish.
People everywhere are trying to come up with solutions to the long-term doldrums of the pandemic. His wife is giving it her best effort, but they need a second diversion. Perhaps Urban Cowboy could lead the way with experimental winter barbecuing, and special drinks to match, before they hit the hay together missionary style.
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.