DEAR FIONA: My boyfriend refuses to tell his mum about me

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It seems she has no interest in doing so and has been this way with all his previous girlfriends.

He has lived at home all his life, other than when he first met me while we were both working abroad for three years. I’m sure she is trying to stop us from getting married as the date has already been postponed.

When I ask him if he’s told his mother about the new wedding date, he just mutters he will when it’s the right time. It’s as if he either can’t or won’t face her, and I’m beginning to think it’s not going to happen.

Do I have to wait for her to die?

A For a woman in her 70s, she could live a very long time and you’d have to consider if you’re willing to wait that long!

Assuming you’re not, I think it’s time the two of you met. You can show her that you understand her feelings, that you genuinely love her son and that you are not taking him too far away.

You will also be able to discover if she really is the reason behind your fiancé’s delays because it may be it’s his problem, not his mother’s, and that he has his own reasons for delaying things.

Q My daughter is 26 with two lovely children, but after a deeply upsetting divorce last year, she’s become a recluse.

I would have thought that after nearly 18 months, she would be over things, but she just sits indoors every evening, even though I’ve told her I can babysit any time.

She’s a very pretty woman and I feel she should be out meeting people, but she seems to think nobody will want her because she has two children.

I have tried to explain there are plenty of men out there who would be delighted to take on a ready-made family, but she gets cross if she thinks I’m pushing too hard.

AWhat your daughter needs is your love and support.

She has obviously taken the divorce very badly and I suspect she’s lost confidence.

She may also be depressed, so trying to push her into socialising or into a relationship when she is clearly not yet ready to do so could make her feel more vulnerable.

I know you want what is best for her, but right now this does not include meeting other people.

Q I left my ex-partner six months ago, after his drinking, womanising and abuse nearly drove me to a nervous breakdown.

Now I live with our three-year-old son in a small place and it’s a struggle. Meanwhile, he’s moved in with a woman who has three children and spoils them all rotten.

They are planning a big wedding and he’s buying a big house for them all to live in. All this while his own son has to live with me in a grotty flat without any of the treats he’s lavishing on her kids while I have to fight him for every penny. Why are men so cruel?

A I agree his behaviour seems cruel, but that doesn’t mean all men are the same.

While everything may appear rosy for this other woman, do try not to feel envious of their life.

The chances are he hasn’t changed and, sooner or later his drinking, womanising and abuse will resurface.

I might be wrong, but perhaps a happy, stable relationship will turn him into a better man, in which case he might recognise the responsibility he owes to his own son.

You need to concentrate on making a new life for you and your son and there’s every chance things will come good again.

Advice by Fiona Caine