herald

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Dear Rosanna: I want my secret lover to commit

ON RISKING A RELATIONSHIP FOR A THRILL, a TROUBLESOME GRANNy, HOLIDAY CASH WOES AND JEALOUS FRIENDS

Q I'm cheating on my boyfriend of four years with a guy from work. It began with a secret snog in the pub where we go drinking on a Friday, and now I go back to his apartment after work on Thursdays and tell my boyfriend I'm late-night shopping. The sex is amazing, and he totally gets the pressure I'm under in work. But he's said he isn't interested in having a relationship with me. How can I change his mind? My boyfriend is a lot of fun, so it's not the end of the world if I'm stuck with him. But I love my secret lover.

AThe situation you have got yourself into concerns me deeply, as somebody is going to get seriously hurt if you allow this crazy double life to continue. You have been with your boyfriend for four years, so obviously there's something special in it, so I really don't understand why you would jeopardise it all for a fling that is based on sex and won't go any further. It may be a thrill, but you will eventually get caught out and cause irreparable damage. You risk losing both men. It's simply not worth it.

I strongly advise that you forget this idea of trying to change the other guy's mind about beginning a relationship with you, as he's already made it clear that he's not interested. And why on earth would he want to date somebody who's already proven to be a cheat and a liar? You should really cut all ties with him and focus on rebuilding your relationship, if you can't face being honest with your boyfriend and telling him the truth. I doubt he would take it very well. Take these steps and do the honest and correct thing before it's too late.

QMy granny has come to live with us after having surgery. I was very close to her when I was little, but at 15 I find myself busy with my friends. It's just as well, as she's a handful. She never stops giving out to my mum, telling her she never made use of her degree, and that she has wasted her life at home. She tells her she's bloated, and that her hair is a mess, and her friends are loud. My mum just takes it, and my dad says I'm to keep out of it as we need to keep the peace at home. You should see my mum, she is gorgeous and lovely and great fun. I could kill my granny.

AIt's wonderful that you have such ample opportunity to spend time with your granny, as so many people don't have that luxury. However, I'm sorry to hear that she's making life around the house more difficult for everyone else than it should be. It's possible that she has lost sight of the generosity offered to her by your parents welcoming her into the home, and is taking you all for granted. She has been able to observe family life close-up, and as a matriarchal figure, she seems to have taken it upon herself to point out all of the supposed flaws in your mum. You obviously adore your mum, but I advise you not to deal with the problem yourself. Speak to your dad and agree that you both want to have a peaceful home, but you must encourage your mum to start standing up for herself.

QMy family has planned a holiday abroad (there are four of us 'kids' all in our 30s plus the folks) and, as much as I would love to go, I genuinely cannot afford it. My reluctance to 'jump on board' is being frowned upon as I am the only one who is unmarried and with no children. I am not trying to cause any hassle -- I simply have huge problems meeting my mortgage and bills but I get shouted down when I try and explain this to them -- mainly because I have no children.

AIt seems that you're being unfairly treated, and those around you are presuming that, since you don't have children, you're using the lack of money excuse to get out of accompanying them on holiday.

Grab a quiet moment with whoever the main holiday planner is and simply say that you're already struggling to pay bills, and a holiday on top of all the other pressures is simply not viable. You may be able to work out a way of borrowing a bit of money and paying it back over a longer period of time, or your family may even offer to chip in and help you out. Stay strong, stick to your principles, and don't allow anybody to bully you into handing over your hard-earned cash.

QI recently got into a healthy regime having previously been a couch potato. I was eating the wrong foods and simply not exercising, plus I was massively overweight. I am now walking, thinking of joining a running club and taking aerobic classes that are affordable in my local community centre, and I feel great. I have trimmed down, toned up and am getting a lot of compliments in work. The problem is that my close circle of friends do not encourage this -- I have known them since primary school and they seemed to prefer me when I was larger. I don't understand this.

ACongratulations on changing your life. It sounds as if your school friends are jealous of your newfound health and confidence and they now view you as somewhat of a threat. Your new look highlights everything that they dislike about themselves, and makes them feel under pressure to follow suit.

You must remember that you have done nothing at all wrong and this is a matter of them battling their own insecurities. Try not to pay any attention to what is happening and hopefully it will pass once they adapt to the new you.

If it continues, it would be worth speaking to them about it before the tension builds further. Mention that you feel as though they're treating you differently, but you are happier than ever, and it's important that they support you.

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