Dear Rosanna: How to dump a needy boyfriend
On flirting with a partner's older brother, Grandparents' rights, cheap ways to have fun and trying to save a marriage
Dear Rosanna, How do I get rid of my boyfriend? I’ve tried breaking up with him and it hasn’t worked. He got upset and I felt sorry for him and I said we’d try again. I really like him but I don’t think we should be together.
Now the problem is that I fancy his brother and I think he likes me, too. I’m 17 and his brother is 19 and has just broken up with his girlfriend.
We’ve always been flirty around each other but he’s started taking it a step further by asking me out for a drink. I really don’t know what to do as it’ll devastate my boyfriend if it goes any further.
If you really like your boyfriend then why do you feel that you shouldn't be together? I'm not surprised that he got upset if you couldn't come up with a reason to break up with him.
As for his brother, I would advise you to resist temptation and ignore his disrespectful advances. Can you imagine how devastated your boyfriend would be if you broke up with him and got together with his brother? It would probably destroy his self-confidence and trust in people.
Also, the family problems it would cause would probably mean that your fling with his brother would be short-lived and you would be forced to break all contact with both of them.
You need to be honest with yourself and your boyfriend and broach the subject in a measured way, but without relenting if he gets upset. Good luck and please try not to rush into anything without thinking it through properly.
Dear Rosanna, My daughter got pregnant when she was in her early 20s as the result of a one-night stand. She left the baby with my husband and me for the first five years of the child’s life — sometimes going months without seeing him. Now she’s suddenly decided that she wants the child back in her life and is planning to move to London.
My husband and I don’t think that’s for the best for our grandson or our daughter. We love our grandson dearly and don’t want to lose him. But she won’t listen to us and we don’t relish the thoughts of taking her to court to make sure our grandson stays in the country.
It's a shame that your daughter showed little interest in her son in his early years, certainly a direct consequence of her young age and his accidental arrival. But, on the positive side, it offered you plenty of time with your grandson and it is understandable that you're reluctant to let him go to London.
It sounds to me that your daughter, with maturity and hindsight, has realised that she needs to be a constant presence in her son's life. You haven't explained why she has made the decision to move to London. It's a great city, but not the most ideal environment for a young child, in my opinion.
It is vital that she listens to the opinions of you and your husband as you have far more experience, as well as having acted as primary guardians of the child for most of his life. In terms of basic respect, it's the least that she can do.
If it's impossible to sit her down to talk, then I advise you put down everything you need to say in an email or in a letter. She might find it easier to absorb it all in her own time.
You may be powerless to stop her bringing her son to London if you want to avoid taking the legal route, but at least you'll know that you have tried to do what is best for your grandson and daughter. But it is ultimately her decision.
Dear Rosanna, My boyfriend has become very tight with money in the past couple of months. He doesn’t seem to want to do anything at all these days. I’ve suggested that we go out and meet friends or go out for dinner but he says we don’t have the money.
We’ve been together for 18 months and although I love him, he is starting to test my patience. I’ve tried talking to him about it but he says that I’m being selfish, trying to spend our money. I don’t think I am.
It sounds to me that your boyfriend is taking extreme measures in saving money. I can completely empathise with your dwindling patience for his refusal to do anything fun. I advise you to get together with a few friends and come up with a list of enjoyable things to do, which cost little or no money.
Look out for great meal-deals and other low-cost leisure activities. You need to get a bit of spark back into your relationship and a Sunday afternoon picnic and walk through the countryside, for example, is a good, inexpensive way to spend time together and do something different.
Explain to him that wanting to enjoy your time together as a couple, away from the routine of everyday life, is important and not at all selfish. Lots of encouragement will be needed, but if he respects you, then he should pay attention to your opinion. Good luck.
Dear Rosanna, I’m an Indian guy married to an Indian girl. We met on the internet and after six months we decided to get married. She moved to Ireland and we were in heaven.
After one year of marriage we had a baby boy. I was busy with work in my office and I couldn’t give her as much time as she needed. From then all the problems started. I love her very much and try to give her the best I can all the time, but we row over small things.
Now she is away from me with the child and I am helping her financially in every way. But whenever we talk we have a row, then we don’t talk for a week and I have to say sorry or apologise just to start again. I love my child very much. I don’t understand what to do sometimes or where it all went wrong. Please help.
I understand how difficult it must be for both you and your wife, with you trying to support your family and her looking after the baby on her own. You met each other, made the decision to marry and had a child relatively quickly and, while it was wonderful for a while, the pressure of such fast life changes began to show and arguments emerged. Now that there is a child involved you must concentrate on what is best for your baby boy. It would be ideal for him to grow up without parental tension and with both a steady mother and father figure in his life.
I would urge you both to sit down and try to sort out your difficulties. Your rows are probably over minor issues, but with ensuing power struggles and growing resentments, they are blown out of proportion.
You need to go into detail to determine what issues are sparking your rows and work to iron them out. Try to remember the wonderful, positive points of your relationship when it was at its best and how to regain some of those feelings for each other.
Seek marriage counselling or find a local support group. There are always people out there to help. Your marriage is worth saving for the sake of your baby. I wish you the very best of luck.