DEAR FIONA: I’m marrying my stepmum’s ex – how do I tell them?

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QUESTION: Two years ago, my dad married a woman who keeps a good relationship with her ex-husband.

He and I often used to meet when he visited my dad and his new wife (his ex) and, just over a year ago, we fell in love.

I’m not sure why we’re keeping things a secret from my dad and his wife , seeing as they both like him, but he is 16 years older than me.

After a year together, we’re fed up with keeping secrets and we want to get married, but we’re both worried how my dad will react.

He’ll have to be told eventually – I just wish there was some way to do it that will make me feel less guilty about deceiving him for a year.

FIONA SAYS: Once he has got over the initial shock and sees that you really are in love, I’m sure your dad will understand.

Even if he’s angry about the deception, it will be better than trying to keep your relationship a secret.

You’re putting yourself under greater pressure the longer this secret goes on and worrying about how your dad will react, but you should be prepared for your step-mum’s reaction too. She may feel less than enthusiastic about having an ex-husband for a son-in-law!

If the two of you want to be together, you have to be prepared for words to be said that might be difficult, but it will still be better to get things out in the open though.

QUESTION: I promised to stay in touch with former colleagues when I left my last job and I have.

One man, especially, has made more of an effort than all the others and we’ve become really good friends.

Last week, it suddenly hit me that I’ve fallen in love with him, but I’ve no idea how he feels about me.

There’s never been a hint of anything sexual between us, but now I’d really like to take our relationship one step further.

What terrifies me though is the first step – what if I drive him away if he doesn’t feel the same way? Should I say something?

FIONA SAYS: There’s no easy answer; you’ve known this man for a long time and, unless you’ve missed it, he’s never given indication of wanting more from your relationship.

The only way to resolve things would seem to be that you take the risk and tell him how you feel.

You don’t have to blurt it out, but you could tell him your feelings for him have grown stronger and you wonder how he feels about you.

If he isn’t interested, you’ll have made it easier for him to let you down gently.

If he is, then you’ll have made it a great deal easier for him to tell you how he feels.