I put my career on hold for family, is it too late to start now? | Agony Aunt

Our agony aunt, Fiona Caine, answers your questions.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 11:05 am
Fiona Caine advises a woman who wants to go back to university. Picture: iStock/PA.

Question: During the past 15 years, my husband’s career has gone from strength to strength.When we married, I was only 18 and had been about to start university, but I gave it all up for him. He’s been a wonderful husband and father – albeit a sometimes absent one.Lockdown has shown me that I really want to go back into further education. My husband’s new role as director of a company will mean international travelling and I’m expected to go with him. At 43, am I too old to go back to university?

Answer: A relationship where only one partner grows can easily become one-sided. You’ve given your husband unconditional support, so wanting to achieve something for yourself is something he should support. The most obvious option would be the Open University (open.ac.uk). Check the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council (odlqc.org.uk), which has a very helpful guide, ‘The Learners Guide to Choosing an Open and Distanced Learning Course’.

MY FRIEND IS CONCERNED ABOUT MY RELATIONSHIP WITH A MARRIED MAN

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Question: I am so upset and shocked with my best friend because of the things she’s said about the man in my life. I’ve been with my lover for three years now and I love him so much, even though we can’t be together because of his wife. She says she’s watched me make a fool of myself for the past four years and decided it was time to tell me the truth.I don’t know if she and I can get over this. I’ve always valued her friendship, but surely she can’t be right about this?

Answer: I don’t think she’s right to say you’re mad. But, however upsetting it is, I think you should listen to your friend’s concerns. You’ve been seeing this man for three years and he is no nearer to leaving his wife now than he was when you first met him. If his relationship had been on the rocks, lockdown would have made things between them much worse.

Plus, he has spent three years lying and deceiving his wife – how can you be sure he’s not been doing the same to you?