Our agony aunt, Fiona Caine, attempts to solve readers’ problems...
Q: A few months ago, I came back from a dream cruise. I’d taken a long time to save for it and it was everything I hoped for – including a ship-board romance!
He was a charming, attractive single man and we spent most of our days and nights together, and I must say that sex was high on the agenda.
I did feel a bit used because he pretty much let me pay for everything when we went ashore, but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to spoil the holiday.
When we parted, I knew it was just a holiday romance but it seems he doesn’t. He hasn’t stopped calling me and telling me he loves me, but the last thing I want is another relationship.
My daughter says I should just tell him to get lost and thinks he’s after me for my money – not that I have much. What do I do?
A: Telling him to get lost seems a little harsh and there are many ways to say ‘no’ that are less hurtful.
Perhaps your daughter is right, or perhaps he wanted more than a casual romance.
If he’s not for you and you don’t wish to see him again, explain that, although you enjoyed his company on holiday, you do not want a relationship to grow from this affair.
You may need to be firm, but that shouldn’t stop you from being gentle too. If he doesn’t know your address, don’t tell him now, in case he becomes more persistent.
Q: Three months ago, I discovered my husband was having an affair. He has said he’s sorry and that he wants to stay with me, but I still feel so hurt. Some days I just can’t stop crying.
My husband can’t understand why I feel so upset because, as far as he’s concerned, the matter is closed.
He says he’s proved he still loves me by staying with me, and can’t see why I should still be upset. How can he be so unfeeling?
A: If he thinks a hurt like this can be forgiven with a simple apology, he’s either very naive or stupid.
You’ve been badly hurt and unless he recognises and acknowledges this, there is little chance for an improvement in your relationship.
Trust needs to be put back into your marriage and, to do this, you both need to talk, and he needs to hear what you have to say.
I suspect he is not the kind of man who likes talking about his feelings, but if your marriage is to stand a chance, he is going to have to.
It will take time and you both need to recognise this is like you’re starting again, not trying to get back to where you were.
You will almost certainly need outside help, so contact Relate (relate.org.uk) to help you start this process.
Q: As a young adult, I never rebelled and my teenage years were generally quiet and happy. Recently I’ve been feeling frustrated and my counsellor says I was suppressing my normal feelings, which is why I feel like I do now.
My 16-year-old son seems to be going down the same path; he’s quiet and seems happy to let things wash over him.
I’ve suggested he should be a little wild occasionally, but he says he doesn’t need to. He has lots of friends and gets on with people of all ages, including me and his dad. He still says he loves us both regularly.
Should I be encouraging him to break out and understand that it is healthy to rebel?
A: I’m surprised your counsellor says your unhappiness is because you didn’t rebel during your teenage years. Although many youngsters experience it, there’s no edict I know that says adolescence must be a time for rebellion.
If your son is happy and has a good circle of friends, stop worrying about him and concentrate on the root of your own issues. Be thankful you have a well-adjusted son who loves you.