Our agony aunt attempts to solve your problems
Q My boyfriend and I were due to take a long weekend break to Denmark. Unfortunately, I was ill and couldn’t go, but he went anyway.
I was shocked to learn from a friend that he didn’t go alone and took another woman with him.
He had said he would take a friend so as not to waste the ticket, but he didn’t tell me this friend was a woman!
When I confronted him he said she was just a friend and that nothing happened between them, but I still find it hard to believe him. Is there any chance of us staying together after this?
A If his relationship with this woman is so innocent, why didn’t he tell you before the holiday she was going? Like you, I can’t help but be suspicious, especially as you found out from someone else.
You and he are going to have to talk this through– and he must realise you need a full and honest explanation if your trust is to be restored. Without this, I feel there is little hope of your relationship surviving.
Q I’ve been living with my fiance for two years and we were happy at first but seem to have drifted apart. He goes out with his mates most nights and he’s big into sport so, for most of the weekend, he’s taking part in something or another.
We sometimes go out together on Saturday nights, but that’s only to the local pub where he compares notes with his mates about ‘the game’.
What he doesn’t know is that I have been going out with someone else – not seriously and only for a drink after work – but I enjoy being with him far more than I enjoy being in the pub with my fiance.
A While you have some justification for enjoying yourself with someone else, I think you’re missing the point.
The relationship with your fiance isn’t working any more and no amount of getting out on your own or cheating on him is ever going to change that. There seems little to keep you together and to base a marriage on such flimsy commitment is asking for trouble.
Q My son is 16 and seems to have a close relationship with another boy.
They are always touching each other and, although it’s not in an overtly sexual way, it worries me.
I’d be distraught if it turned out he was a homosexual, and I’m sure my husband would be too – we’re so looking forward to having a daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
My son has had girlfriends in the past, so might he be bisexual?
This probably makes me seem homophobic, but I’m truly not, it’s just not the life I want for my son.
A: While it’s quite right you should be concerned about your son, you’re worrying about things way beyond your control.
Your son’s sexuality will be what it is and there is nothing you can do about it.
It’s good that he has such a close friendship with someone where he feels comfortable expressing his emotions, as so many men struggle to do.
He may go on to develop a homosexual relationship, or he may not, but even if he doesn’t, it won’t necessarily mean a daughter-in-law.
He and this fantasy woman may not want, or may be unable, to have children; he may never find, or may never want, a permanent relationship.
As for grandchildren, he’s just as likely to give you these and remain single as he is from any other kind of relationship.
Worrying about this will only depress you and could damage your relationship with your son.
Whatever his sexuality, your anxieties could seem like interference and drive him away, and surely unknown grandchildren aren’t as important as the happiness of an existing child?
Q: After seven years of trying to have children, my husband and I have finally reconciled ourselves to the fact he is infertile.
It’s caused us a lot of strain and stress, but we’ve been able to work through these periods by being loving and supportive with each other.
However, while doing some laundry yesterday, I found a packet of condoms in the pocket of his jeans.
I am so confused and hurt by this that I just don’t know how to deal with it.
I don’t think I could bear it if I found out he’s been having an affair, but I don’t know what to do next.
A: I am not surprised you are hurt by this, but it might not be as serious as it at first seems.
Carrying condoms may be a bit of bravado on your husband’s part if tests have shown he is infertile. Also, if he was trying to be secretive about an affair, would he hide condoms in his jeans, knowing you do the laundry?
Please don’t jump to the conclusion he’s having a relationship with someone else until you have had a chance to talk to him.
And that’s something you need to do as soon as possible, because it will continue to gnaw away at your trust until you’ve resolved this.
Even if he is having an affair, it might be more to do with his insecurities about being infertile than about not loving you.
That will be more difficult for you to deal with, but hopefully there is a much simpler explanation than the one your imagination is currently providing.
:: If you have a problem you’d like Fiona’s advice with, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.