This week I'm talking about what to do when you can't agree about having children, what to do when the man you rejected for being a failure becomes a massive success and how to tell your girlfriend she has a moustache.
If you would like any advice, feel free to treat me as your agony aunt. Just message me or pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I promise to be gentle.
Here's this week's questions.
Q: Were you ever in love with someone who suddenly left with you without any explanation or closure and now hide their new relationship from you?
Is the person ashamed at all?
I feel like part of me has died inside and my health has faded so much in a year, I’m constantly torn between absolute hate and resentment for this person and the beautiful memories we shared. I’m not sure this would have went on so long had we not had a child together.
A: From your question it sounds as if your partner left you for someone else. Is that the case?
If so, the reason for their sudden departure is simply because they didn’t have the guts to tell you and couldn’t face the hurt they were about to inflict on you and your child.
Please don’t feel ashamed or that it was something you did wrong.
I know it is easy to bask in warm, fuzzy romantic memories but the harsh reality is that this person treated you incredibly badly.
I think you will heal and recover quicker if you acknowledge your anger and resentment and use that to make some changes.
Are you and your child adequately provided for? Do you know where your partner is - is he still in touch with his child?
I’m not sure if you are in the UK but here the CSA may help ensure he faces up to his responsibilities (although I am aware that this is not always a great success).
Do you have friends or family you can turn to for support and comfort?
You say that he hides his new relationship from you and I understand you want to see the woman who has taken him away but it won’t make you feel any better.
If anything she deserves your pity because if he did this to you, he could do it to her too.
Time to get strong again - reclaim your health and make sure you are provided for.
How is your child / children in all this?
They will not want to see their mum crumble (even though that is what you feel like doing).
They will want to see her take charge and ensure that their dad acts like a dad - even if he is a romantic waste of space.
A year is long enough to wallow. The pain will still be there but it’s time to get moving again.
Otherwise he will have won.
Q: How can I stop feeling awful about rejecting a guy (years ago) for not being successful enough when he's massively successful now?
I'm now doing awful, career-wise.
A: Since he’s doing so well, it’s obvious your rejection didn’t hold him back and I wonder if you would feel so bad if your own career wasn’t in the doldrums.
Are you sure you aren’t projecting your own frustrations on to a past scenario?
You either have to let this go or perhaps drop him a line saying how pleased you are to see his current success.
There is a risk, of course, that he won’t be particularly thrilled to hear from you if he took your rejection badly but who knows, perhaps you’ll meet up and he can give you some career advice.
He might even know of some job opportunities for you.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
But don’t go on feeling bad. Concentrate on making your future brighter.
Q: How do I tell my girlfriend she has a moustache?
A: With great tact and sensitivity - assuming you really need to mention it at all because she will be well aware of her facial hair.
I’m assuming she already had this facial hair when you met? If it is a recent development, she made need to see a doctor to rule out something like polycystic ovaries.
Please do everything you can to help her keep her self-esteem. You could gently ask her if she has ever thought about removing her facial hair or talked to a doctor about it.
If we are just talking the odd straggler though then that is perfectly normal and your discomfort has more to do with your attitude to female body hair than hers.
Have others commented on her facial hair? If not, then I suspect the problem is yours, not hers.
Q: What should I do? I have been with my partner around 10 years and we moved abroad. I was promised work and am broke. He has money but struggles to help me.
I was promised work here so I quit my old job and left my cat only to find that the job didn’t really exist. I can barely afford to go shopping (grocery) while he goes away to work for weeks. He gives me the equivalent of a part time job at minimum wage. If I leave the relationship I will have to start over with nothing
A: I am sorry to hear that you have been badly let down with your job.
I also wonder if you are staying with your partner simply for financial reasons.
Are there no part time jobs you could apply for? Waitressing, retail work, bar work?
It sounds as if you are sat around moping and just subsisting on the ‘pay’ your partner gives you.
A man is not a meal ticket you know.
It doesn’t matter if he’s away for weeks. That does not stop you taking a course, furthering your education, starting a business from home or seeking part time work.
It may not be the dream job you were hoping for but it’s better than waiting to be ‘rescued’.
You say you are abroad - have you had to learn a new language? If so, then there are books and nightclasses you could take.
You may meet some new friends which would lift your spirits.
Is there any reason why you couldn’t get another cat?
I would also suggest that before you make a drastic move to take up a job you make sure you have everything in writing - a signed employment contract.
Contractually, you may possibly have a claim against the firm who let you down but this should have been addressed when it became clear the job wasn’t there.
It’s time to make some big changes and living off your partner’s hand-outs isn’t making you happy.
I suspect your partner isn’t happy either at having to support you if you are making no effort to get another job and get your life back on track.
Why not write a list of everything you’d like to achieve this year and set a few goals for yourself.
You’ll feel a whole lot better once you are taking some positive action.
Q: Should you still get married if you disagree on having children?
A: It’s a very personal decision which only you can make.
What would be a mistake is to marry in the belief that the one who doesn’t want children will change their mind.
Very often people don’t.
Is it you or your partner who does not want children? Are there specific reasons?
For example are their objections to do with finances or religion?
Are there medical conditions which may be passed on through pregnancy?
You really need to understand the objections and their origin to be able to assess whether an agreement can be reached.
If having kids is a deal breaker for you and your partner is adamant that they do not want children, then, sad though it is, I would prioritise my own long term happiness and seek a partner to build a family with.
It is better to have the conversation before you fork out for a wedding though.
I’d also say that even if the other partner promises a ‘one day’ scenario when all their objections will be gone (they’ll be the right age, have money, etc), there is still no guarantee.
Having children is for many a fundamental part of a relationship and if it is for you too then I’m not sure this particular relationship is the right one.
How would you have responded to these questions? I'd love to know. You can find more advice on my problem page.
Disclaimer: All materials included in this post are intended for informational purposes only. This post/information is not intended to and should not be used to replace medical or psychiatric advice offered by physicians or other health care providers. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages arising therefrom.