Dear Rosanna: My husband is avoiding me and spends hours at the gym. Is he having an affair?
MY husband and I have been married for 15 years and have two kids. I've had a growing sense of unease for the last eight months that all is not right between us.
Like a lot of people he is very stressed out with work - I suppose no one really thinks that their job is safe these days so long hours and extra work loads are the norm. But now I think there's something more sinister going on - if it was just work then he would seem less shifty when I ask him if he's going to be late home.
He also joined a gym and he has started going to it after work as well as at weekends. I guess what really concerns me is that we never make love any more. I have tried to initiate things a few times in recent months but he keeps coming up with excuses so I stopped trying - it's just too hurtful to be rejected all the time. I'm ashamed to say that I have checked his phone a few times to see if there were any tell tale messages from other women but I could see nothing.
Still, I think that it all adds up to an affair. We used to be great pals and even with the kids we always made a point of having a chat and catching up at the end of every day but he just avoids me these days and seems to dread any kind of alone time.
I asked him two weekends ago what was bugging him but he stormed out for hours - when he came home that night he said he had been at the gym. How can I make him talk to me - and what will I do if he is having an affair? I gave up work when we had children so I feel really dependent on the status quo.
YOU'RE in a really tough situation, as you've done nothing wrong yet he seems to be pushing you away.
Although his behaviour does seem strange, you can't exactly accuse him of anything unless you have concrete proof, as false accusations will cause far bigger problems.
If I was in your situation, I would continue to take the time to communicate with him gently and get him to open up a bit more. Arrange a date night at a favourite restaurant, or even a weekend away together without the kids, to try to build up that bond again and force him to communicate with you. I would also suggest you go to the gym with him, or join a regular class there.
Explain that it would be a nice thing to do as a couple, and a healthy hobby to take up. Keep an eye on his movements, although I don't believe checking his messages and emails is the answer.
You might want to think about seeing a marriage counsellor down the line if it continues, but for now keep on gently trying to get through to him.
MY best friend from primary school went to a different secondary school to me and we stayed in touch for a good while but I made lots of new pals and by second year had kind of started avoiding her.
My new friends have turned out to be very fair weather and I really miss my best friend. She lives near me and I see her from time to time but I think she feels like I abandoned her - and to be honest that's what I did do.
Do you think it's possible to explain all of this to her and see if she wants to hang out together again? I feel like I messed up and took her for granted but maybe I deserve to have no mates because of how I just ditched her.
YOU clearly made a mistake by choosing your new friends over the person who you had known for much longer, but making mistakes is part of life.
Look at the ways that you can rectify it and reach out to your old friend in a sincere and genuine way.
If I were you, I would ask her to meet up with you. Explain that life got busy and you drifted apart, and new people came into your life, but you really want to build up the friendship again to what you once had.
Be really honest and tell her how much you miss her. Swallow any pride and admit to making a mistake, but that you would love to be given a second chance. Hopefully, she will feel the same way.
I LEFT school early because I always wanted to be a hairdresser. I subsequently trained as a make-up artist and now want to combine those skills and start up my own business. With this in mind I signed up for a night course in business and it's all starting to make sense to me.
I can see a time where I will have my own salon and a team of people working with me. I have also just found out that I am pregnant and while I am thrilled about this my boyfriend is using it as a way to make me rethink my plans.
We've been together for years and he's not very ambitious but I really want to be my own boss. He says that now I'm expecting I need to let go of my 'notions' and give up the business course.
He should be supporting me and encouraging me - not using our baby as a way to make me think smaller about life.
Even worse, he has also convinced my mum and his mum that I should be focusing on putting the baby first and not taking on too much. How do I get him to hear what I am saying?
I REALLY admire your strength and determination to educate yourself and ultimately build your own business. It's definitely true that having a baby will change your life and may put plans on hold, though it's fully possible to bring up a child and be out in the working world too.
But the support and understanding of your family and partner is, of course, crucial. Explain to them that you're passionate about the business course and your future plans, because having a career as well as being a mother is important to you.
Once they see that you're serious and committed, then they will be far more inclined to trust your judgement and support you in your endeavours.