Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers her perspective on family dramas, emotional issues and dysfunctional relationships.
QUESTION: I’m engaged to be married next year but, for some reason, I can’t stop fancying the instructor at my gym.
I love my fiancé and I do fancy him, but I fancy this other man too – how is that possible?
We are saving up for the deposit on a flat and I can’t wait until we’re married as I really want to be with my fiancé, but whenever I go to the gym, this guy makes a point of chatting to me.
I know he’s married and that he’s like this with lots of other women, but I can’t stop thinking about him – even when I am with my fiancé.
Why can’t I simply forget him and get on with my life?
FIONA SAYS: You can’t forget someone if you’re seeing him on a regular basis, so why don’t you go to another gym or pick a time when he’s not there?
You know this man is married and you know, if you’re honest, that this is nothing more than a crush that has no future, so perhaps you should consider putting some distance between you.
I suspect you’re feeling a little flattered by his attention – even if he is a flirt who chats to all the women.
Could it be you don’t get much attention from your fiancé? It may be that, like a lot of young couples who are saving hard to start their lives together, the two of you have forgotten to pay as much attention to one another as you did in the beginning.
Talk to your fiancé if this is the case and make sure you schedule regular date nights when you both make the effort to look good for one another.
It’s also worth remembering that being in a relationship won’t stop you finding other men attractive. The difference is, you can acknowledge they’re attractive and move on because you value what you’ve got more.
If you respect your fiancé you won’t want to risk the relationship you have by acting on any attraction you feel for another man.
When you marry you make a public commitment to another person. One of those commitments is to be faithful – being engaged is a first stage in the process, so now it’s up to you if you want to act on this attraction or remain faithful to your fiancé.
You say you are very much in love in with your fiancé and looking forward to getting married, but please be absolutely sure this is what you want.
Breaking off an engagement is painful, but it’s considerably less painful than divorce, so you still have time to change your mind.
QUESTION: I am 20 years old, 6ft 2in tall, weigh 15st and have a problem with my feet.
I’ve got such high arches they show above the side of my shoes and my ankles seem to be becoming weaker.
Are my feet deformed? Do you know of anything over the counter I can get to help, as I hate going to the doctor?
FIONA SAYS: Anyone who sold you anything for your feet without a proper examination would be doing you a serious disservice.
No-one can possibly advise you on whether or not your feet are deformed by letter, and certainly not without proper medical knowledge – which I don’t have.
It’s very important that you do see a doctor who can advise you on the best course of treatment.
I would imagine that’s more likely to involve physiotherapy to strengthen your ankles rather than any medication.
I would certainly avoid trying any over-the-counter products until you have been examined; you could end up making your problems worse than they are already.
QUESTION: I live 15 minutes away from my daughter, but since her father died, she never visits me, even though I’m widowed and live alone.
I’ve got the chance to move closer to her but, when I told her, she said not to bother as she’d be moving soon anyway.
She never treats me like her mum anymore and now I’m in two minds whether to move at all. If I pull out of the exchange now, though, I’ll be letting the other tenant down.
I’m very depressed and don’t know what to do.
FIONA SAYS: It’s never easy for a parent when a grown-up child decides to lead a separate life. It reminds us that life moves on and that someone who once depended upon us is now independent.
Sadly, if a parent tries too hard and pushes for a relationship, it can often force a son or daughter further away – as you’ve found to your cost.
Clearly, for the moment at least, you cannot rely on your daughter for companionship, so I feel you should find other ways to combat your loneliness.
Friends of your own age would certainly help, as would starting a new hobby or joining a club of some sort.
Pop into your local library where you can often find information about what’s available.
In time, once your daughter sees that you are not solely dependent on her for social contact, you may find she is prepared to start seeing you again.
As for the move, decide what is best for you; if you like the new place better than the old one – if it’s easier and more convenient – then go for it.
If the only reason for the move was to be closer to your daughter, call it off. The other person may be disappointed, but they will recover and probably find something else.
Write to Fiona Caine c/o Elise Brewerton, 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.