DEAR FIONA: I can't stop arguing and I'm driving everyone away

Our agony aunt tries to solve your problems

Monday, 3rd October 2016, 4:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:18 pm

Q I’ve always been a bit quarrelsome, but over the past two years, it seems I row with everyone.

I can only stand being with family and friends for an hour or two before I want to kill them!

It’s amazing that I’ve got any friends at all, and I know I’ve driven some of them away.

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I think things are becoming difficult at work, too – I used to be seen as a strong person who could get through obstacles and get things done, but now I’m regarded as a troublemaker.

What is it with me that I have to spoil things?

ACould it be that you are ignoring or have buried something that is the root cause of your anger?

It could explain why your anger is triggered so easily.

Alternatively, perhaps through years of living up to your reputation for overcoming obstacles, you’ve lost the ability to recognise that some situations don’t respond well to this approach.

You need to learn the difference between being merely assertive and being aggressive, and I think an assertiveness training course might help you.

Not that you need to learn how to assert yourself – which is why most people go on such courses – but because you need to learn to be less aggressive.

You should be able to learn how to control your behaviour and apply your ability to get through obstacles to those situations where it is needed.

You can find lots of information online about this, or speak to your GP, who may be able to suggest a local counsellor who could help you.

Q I answered a lonely hearts ad from a man who lived locally. When he rang me, we got on really well and we agreed to meet.

We swapped addresses and I don’t know what possessed me, but I called at his home pretending to be trying to pick up a parcel.

He was really nice and we’re due to meet, but now I’m scared he’s going to recognise me!

I know it was a silly thing to do and I am worried I’ve ruined my chances of a relationship with him. Should I just own up when I see him?

A To swap addresses with someone you haven’t met was risky and, if this relationship doesn’t work and you try again, please always meet people in a public place.

Having said that, I don’t suppose you’ve done any harm by calling on him as you have -– your curiosity is normal, and if when you meet, he recognises you then yes, I think you should come clean.

I am sure he won’t be offended – in fact, he’s more likely to be flattered and, if you can laugh about it, it should help to get your relationship off to a good start.

If he doesn’t recognise you, perhaps don’t say anything until you’ve got to know one another a little better. You can then decide whether or not to tell him.

Q For the past two years, I have known my husband has been looking at pornographic magazines. He has no idea I know about them – he hides them in our eaves’ cupboard and I stumbled across them when clearing out old clothes.

I’ve tried to ignore them, telling myself that in all other respects he is a fine husband, but I am becoming more upset by them. We’ve been married for 25 years and for the past two, our sex life has been virtually non-existent.

A Porn often becomes a prop for men who are experiencing sexual difficulties, or who see themselves as inadequate.If your sex life has not been good and neither of you has tried to find out why, it’s possible that your husband may have felt he has no other source of comfort. It’s sad to think that, after such a long and, until recently, happy marriage there’s a danger of your relationship disintegrating because you can’t talk to each other.

It may seem difficult, but you need to tell your husband what’s upsetting you and why.