Problem Page Edition 29 2017

This week – whether you can get pregnant naturally at 45, sisters who scream at you and why guys tell you they don’t want a family and then start one with the very next girl who comes along.

Man and a woman in red swimwear perched on a rock overlooking a bright blue sea

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 are this week’s questions.

Q: Can I get pregnant at age 45?

A: I had my son at 45 and conceived naturally so yes it is perfectly possible.

A woman can conceive until she hits menopause, when she runs out of eggs and her periods stop.

There are risks associated with a later pregnancy and the chances of natural conception do reduce at that age. The chances of chromosomal abnormalities increase at this late age (e.g. Downs Syndrome) so you have to weigh up the risks with the benefits.

The main challenge, in my experience, is after the baby’s born – making sure you stay fit and healthy so that you live long enough to see your child grow up.

Q: I’m loyal to my boyfriend but he doesn’t trust me at all.  What can I do?

A: In a way this isn’t your issue -it’s your boyfriend’s. If someone is insecure, they need to learn to deal with their own anxiety, rather than expecting everyone else to treat them with kid gloves.

All you can do is reassure him of your loyalty and your feelings for him but don’t start curtailing your behaviour so that he effectively controls you.

For example, cutting contact with friends and family, wearing what he wants, always going where he wants to go – just so that he can ‘trust’ you.

If you are naturally flirty, you might want to tone your flirting down when you are with him, but I think he’s going to have to learn to trust you.

Q: Why am I so irresponsible about working on my relationship after my emotional affair?

I cheated on my girlfriend with many women (emotional affairs) over many years. She found out and we are now working through it. I want to be with her. Yet, every time I want to work on fixing it, I seem to procrastinate or am not able to cope or organise my thoughts to rebuild the relationship.

A: In other words, you don’t really want to be with her, you want to take the guilt away.

If you are procrastinating or not working to make things better, all you are doing is compounding the problem.

If you don’t think you can commit to the relationship then don’t break her heart again.

It doesn’t matter if the affairs were emotional or not she probably feels completely betrayed.

You might start by asking yourself where this need for constant attention from other women comes from.

It might be better to seek therapy on your own before you continue further with this relationship.

If she hadn’t found out would you actually have told her?

If the answer to that is no, then you definitely owe it to her to have a clean break and sort yourself out.

Q: Why would a guy tell you that he doesn’t want kids but goes and has kids with someone else?

A: Because he’s using the kids thing as an excuse and the real reason he left was because the relationship wasn’t right.

Sometimes it’s also a matter of timing – literally right woman, right place, right time.

It can be really unfair, can’t it.

But if you want kids of your own then he doesn’t sound an ideal father for them. Honesty is hugely important in a relationship and he certainly failed at that one.

Q: Every day my sister screams in my left ear and I am starting to lose my hearing. No one cares so I cannot get an ear checkup. What should I do?

Every time I ask her to stop she will yell in my ear again as “punishment”. I keep asking my parents to take me to get a checkup for my ear but neither of them care about it. It has been harder and harder for me to hear through up and I get ear pains. Even now she is screaming in my ear.

A: You don’t say how old your sister is but this is a form of bullying and I think you need, firstly, to be firmer with your parents and tell them you want it to stop.

Secondly I think you need to buy some earplugs (in the UK you can buy some in Boots called Muffles which are around £2.49) and when your sister is about put them in.

You don’t need to let her know you’ve done this.

You could also try a bit of reverse psychology. The next time she does it say something like “oh, give it a rest you’re so boring with this lame old scream thing. Haven’t you got something better to do with your life”?

She’s doing it because she’s getting a reaction from you. Is there something else going on between you or in your family that is causing her to be so unpleasant? It sounds as if she is jealous of you. Could you try making friends or somehow building bridges with her?

Try not to worry too much – I doubt she is damaging your hearing long term.

In the UK (sorry I don’t know where you are), you can get a hearing test at any opticians, often for free so again, depending on how old you are, this is something you could sort out without your parents or sister knowing.

If this continues is there another relative (aunt, uncle) you could confide in who could have a word with your parents on your behalf?

Earplugs are definitely the first stop.

Q: What does it mean when your ex tries to show you that his new lover is better than I ever was? I gave him my all.

We broke up because we can’t be together (long story). We still love each other. Now that each of us is moving on with someone else, he keeps on shoving pictures to my face and showing me conversations between him and his new girlfriend. Is he not over me? Is he jealous that I’m with someone else?

A: My question to you would be if you’ve broken up why are you having so much contact?

I’m assuming you are still in contact via Social Media in which case if it is truly over – and I’m not sure from your question whether it is – then just block / unfriend and move on.

He can only annoy you with pictures of his new girlfriend if he has somewhere to send them.

Change your phone number and get on with your new partner – who is probably very unimpressed with the trouble your ex is trying to stir up.

By the sound of it you need to choose whether this new partner is for you (if not, don’t mess with his feelings) or whether you are still hankering after your ex.

If it’s the latter, only you have the ability to sort out the situation (whatever the ‘long story’ is).

Q: My girlfriend is very kind, beautiful, faithful and loving. But I just don’t get any intense emotions or feelings when I’m with her. Is this normal?

We are in our early twenties. I am just wondering whether this is what love is like or am I with the wrong person despite the fact that she has a lot of great qualities?

A: The early thrill of romantic relationships rarely lasts and when it fades usually you’re left with a great friendship with sexual benefits, a partnership which supports both of you and allows you to grow and grow UP over the years.

It’s possible what you are experiencing is entirely normal but from the wording of your question I get the impression that, great though your girlfriend is, she’s not your long term love.

Just because people tick all the boxes on our ‘romance checklist’ doesn’t make them the right person for us – and actually perfection is often very unsexy.

Ask yourself if you would be just as happy without her and if the answer is yes then I think the relationship has run its course.

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. 

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