herald

Saturday 19 January 2019

Dear Rosanna: 'My partner uses internet porn'

Dear Rosanna, I am disgusted to discover my boyfriend watches porn on his laptop, and even more upset that the girls are cheap and the storylines are nasty.

My best friend says it is nothing to worry about and that all men do it. But I am afraid he might try to get me to act out some of the storylines, and this makes me feel sick. What should I do? He is nice in every other way.

Rosanna says:

I would be inclined to agree with your friend. Looking at porn is pretty normal for most guys. It satisfies basic human desires, fantasies and a carnal curiosity present in all of us. We are sexual beings. What's important, however, is that he recognises the line between fantasy and real life. What happens on his computer screen is generally acting, it should never represent real women's bodies and their sexual practices.

Confess that you know what he's been up to. He will most likely be embarrassed initially, but I believe it's important for you both to be able to speak openly about it. It will help to relieve some of the disgust you feel. You must lay the boundaries and reach mutual agreement on your expectations in the bedroom.

Dear Rosanna, How can I get my parents to understand I am not anorexic? I started a healthy diet in the run up to Christmas and, I am proud to say, I have lost more than two stone. My friends think I look fab and as thin as Posh Spice and Keira Knightley. Now my parents have made a doctor’s appointment for me and are making me go because I am 14, which is so embarrassing and annoying. Why can’t they just get that being thin is in?

Rosanna says:

Since your body is still developing, I understand your parents’ concern for your health. While you may be confident that you're following a healthy eating and exercise plan, it is always better to seek a doctor’s advice, as you may be placing your health under undue strain. Think of your health as your most valuable asset, and another person's concern should not make you feel embarrassed.

Being healthy, fit and strong should be your focus, not being as thin as possible. What I advise is to visit the doctor, make your parents happy and gain some valuable information on the most suitable eating plan for a person of your age.

Dear Rosanna, I have run up debts of €10,000 on two credit cards and have no way of paying them off. The constant pressure I feel from this debt is interfering with every aspect of my life, not least my upcoming wedding.

Now my fiancé is talking about how we can get some wedding items on credit. We are both on average salaries, how can I break this bad news to him?

Rosanna says:

I'm really sorry to hear that you have found yourself in this situation, though you're not alone in your money worries. You must be proactive and devise the best strategy for dealing with your debts.

This must begin with being completely honest with your partner. To enter a marriage with such a huge secret would be dishonest and put a strain on the marriage in its early stages. By confessing your problem, you will relieve a big emotional burden and create a clearer pathway to work yourself out of this problem.

I suggest you just pick a suitable day and a private place where you can tell him everything. Don't be tempted to hide certain aspects or exaggerate others for dramatic effect. Just be 100pc truthful and hopefully things will work out.

Dear Rosanna, This may sound like an odd problem, but my teenage daughter is the only one of her friends in her year in school who doesn’t wear a brace, because her teeth are grand. She thinks they could do with some straightening, or at least some whitening. Mostly I think she just wants to be able to join in the moaning about having to wear a brace. I don’t see why I should fork out money for this, but she has me demented. Is wearing a brace really such a rite of passage for teen girls today?

Rosanna says:

This sounds bizarre because, when I was in school, there were plenty of brace-wearers, but it was more or less viewed as an unfortunate yet necessary path to a perfect smile. Braces were certainly never coveted. I was also one of the lucky few who escaped needing them. But times have seemingly changed. In the teenage years, it's important to feel a part of the group, to be included. While I agree with whitening your teeth if it's undertaken by a qualified practitioner, you would be wasting your money by getting her unnecessary braces.

My advice is to make an appointment with your dentist, who will be able to explain to her exactly what she needs and doesn't need when it comes to the perfect smile. He will also be able to outline the many disadvantages of wearing braces and how lucky she is to have good teeth. Hearing it from a professional will, hopefully, satisfy her curiosity and boost her confidence.

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