Q I married for money and am now paying the price.
My husband's business has gone bust, and I no longer drive a BMW, holiday in Marbella, shop in New York or eat in Michelin-starred restaurants. I rummage in second-hand clothes shops in the hope of finding a designer piece, holiday at home in the rain, and eat takeaways. I don't see the point of living without nice things and I am an unashamed gold digger. So should I hang in to see if the economy improves, or move on to another relationship?
A You are experiencing the backlash of marrying for money and not love. You bemoan the lack of luxuries in your life now, all of which you did nothing to earn yourself, while the whole country is struggling financially, with numerous families in dire situations. The takeaways that you dine on in place of top-class restaurants would be considered an expensive treat for many at the moment.
Have you made any effort to support your husband through his tough financial situation, or do you despise him for being unable to provide you with your beloved cars and holidays?
You need to look deep inside yourself at the person you have admitted to becoming. You will never find true happiness in yourself or anybody else if you continue to believe that life is only worth living for material goods. Friends will walk away and, I fear, you will become a very lonely woman.
Be honest with your husband about why you married him, and the person you really are. If the relationship cannot be fixed, I advise you to move on and spend some time reflecting on what's important in life.
Q I went shopping with my friends and noticed that they are all much thinner than me. They all went home with great clothes but I went home empty-handed and cried. I'm not a big size, but it's hard to find stuff in the cool shops we go to. I'm too embarrassed to go into the changing rooms with my friends. I've tried dieting but it's depressing when all my skinny friends are eating burgers and I'm stuck with salad. I'm 17.
A As you're still a teenager your body is under constant change. It's entirely normal for people to develop at different rates. Your body will finally stop growing and settle down but, especially as a woman, with fluctuating hormone levels at stages of your monthly cycle, your weight is going to be up and down.
I would strongly advise you not to worry about how much your friends weigh. Just try to focus on maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle and making sensible food choices. Rather than trying to diet, I would recommend you speak to your parents, a sibling or relative about booking a consultation with a nutritionist who will be able to advise you on what exactly you should be eating for your age and activity level. Placing your weight and diet worries in the hands of a qualified professional would undoubtedly ease your mind.
Q My best friend is putting pressure on me to book a holiday with her this summer. I love her dearly, but she wants us to share a room because it's cheaper. She is a party animal and regularly picks up men, so I can see myself being relegated to sleeping on the balcony. Any ideas on how I can tell her that her sex life is putting me off going on holidays with her?
A There's no way you should have to fork out for a holiday and then have to worry about whether she'll expect you to make yourself scarce when she wants to entertain a male companion!
My advice is to be completely upfront with her and tell her that you would love to go on holiday and it makes sense to share the cost of a room, but there needs to be some basic ground rules. Explain that you want to be assured of a comfortable sleep every night and that if she wants to bring men
home, then she will have to take responsibility and book a separate room for the night. I think that is completely reasonable and fair. As two women holidaying together you should look after each other and watch out for one another. I also feel that she’ll respect you for your honesty and your decision to stand up for yourself.
Q My boyfriend is a big baby. I can't say anything to him or he starts a fight. He's so over-sensitive that he storms off instead of talking like an adult. We are both 22 and we used to get on great. I'm not sure what's changed but it's really getting me down. My friends say I should dump him and teach him a lesson. Maybe he will grow up and start being nice to me again. Is this a good idea? I miss the way we were.
A As you tell me that your boyfriend was never this sensitive in the past, I think you should focus on getting to the bottom of what exactly is aggravating him. It would be best for you to be as calm and as understanding as possible. Dumping him and causing further anger and grief will serve neither of you well. There must be an underlying stress that will require gentle coaxing to bring to the surface.
Explain exactly what you’ve said to me; that you’ve been hurt by his attitude and that you’d really like to solve the problem as quickly as possible. Some patience and understanding will work wonders. Good luck.