Our agony aunt, Fiona Caine, attempts to solve readers’ problems
QUESTION: My husband has had several affairs in the 22 years we’ve been married, but over the last eight years he’s been faithful and I thought things were okay.
He had promised he would never again hurt me like this, so I was bitterly upset as well as surprised when he announced last week that he has been seeing someone else.
He says she is special and that he can’t give her up, but that he doesn’t want to leave me. What’s more, she’s asked him to stay away from her while she has counselling to try and save her own marriage.
Should I fight to save mine? I’m in two minds, as he’s let me down again.
FIONA SAYS... If you’re prepared to forgive your husband for this latest affair, you should be fighting, but if this is the last straw, maybe you should be calling time on it.
You say he’s had several affairs and promised not to hurt you again – but he has.
How many more times can you take being hurt like this?
Given his reluctance to leave you, and his girlfriend’s request that he stay away, I’d say you have every chance of winning if you want to.
Not only do you need to recognise that this probably won’t be your husband’s last infidelity, but you also need to balance what you get out of this relationship with what it’s costing you – then make your decision.
QUESTION: My boyfriend and I live together and agreed we’d be sharing the cost of our flat, but I am always the one who pays the bills.
He’s not working and the money he has comes from his parents as he won’t register as unemployed.
He wants to be a filmmaker and spends most of his time practising with his camera and editing pictures on his computer. If he’s not doing that, he’s lounging in front of the TV which, he says, is ‘research’.
We never go out and he is forever asking me to lend him money, but I resent being used like this and think he should pay his way.
FIONA SAYS... I agree with you that he needs to pay his way and his parents are not doing him any favours. Have you told him how you feel?
If he’s used to being given money by his parents, he may think your supporting him is normal and not have a clue how much you resent it.
As long as he thinks he can get by with handouts and loans, he probably sees no reason to change.
If you’re willing to support his ambitions, make sure he’s working at it, otherwise don’t lend him any money if it makes you feel bad, or if you think it won’t be repaid.
QUESTION: My boyfriend and I have been together for four years and he’s a nice guy. I do get upset with him when he puts me down in front of his friends, but I’ve always thought we would eventually get married.
Now I’ve met someone through work who is kind, considerate and loving, and although we’ve only known one another for a couple of months, he’s asked me to leave my boyfriend to be with him. I think I have already grown to love him, but how do I tell my boyfriend?
As he can be aggressive and jealous, I know he’ll be angry.
FIONA SAYS...You say he’s a nice guy, but he doesn’t sound that nice to me!
It’s hard for anyone to accept rejection and not be upset, but a jealous, aggressive person could react badly to being rejected.
If you’re afraid he might hurt you, move out and tell him afterwards, otherwise tell him in a public place with lots of people around.
Tell him calmly and firmly that you think it would be best if you did not see him any more. If he asks why, explain that you simply do not love him and this is no basis for a relationship.
Whether this new man is right for you or not, it may be best to not mention him to your boyfriend if he really is jealous.
Write to Fiona Caine c/o Danny Randon, 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour, Portsmouth PO6 3EN or firstname.lastname@example.org. Fiona regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence, nor pass letters on to other readers.