I’m 25 and my new hus­band is 50; it’s a sec­ond mar­riage for both of us. His fam­ily and friends are jeal­ous that he’s with a younger woman and dis­cuss his ex-girl­friends in front of me, try­ing to start a fight. My hus­band says they’re just teas­ing, but it

Cosmopolitan (India) - - YOU, YOU, YOU -

A.

Han­dle it the hard way: stay cool. Don’t give them the fight they want and they’ll stop want­ing it. If you fight, it will go on for­ever. Smile over grit­ted teeth when they talk about his exes and make jokes if you can; laugh­ter is a tonic. Don’t com­plain to and fight with your hus­band as any trou­ble be­tween you two will be taken as proof they’ve won. Mean­while, try to make an ally among them who is at least a bit sym­pa­thetic. It’s a test you can pass if you’re pa­tient.

Q. I have a best friend of four years. She was there for me in a bad time when no­body else was. Now she’s at col­lege miles away and I have a job with some really great peo­ple. When I ask if she wants to visit and come out with us, she never does. I feel like I’ve moved on but she hasn’t—what do I do? A.

Her life is mov­ing on too—only in a di­rec­tion dif­fer­ent to yours. Mean­while, the best you can do is to keep the door open. Stay in touch on­line and by post. Re­mem­ber her birth­day and spe­cial events. Let her feel that you’re there for her and she’s al­ways wel­come. Maybe, even­tu­ally, you two will drift apart for good. Or maybe you will meet each other again, many years from now, and find the friend­ship is still strong.

Q. A month ago, my boyfriend pro­posed. But now he balks when I bring up wed­ding plan­ning. Is he hav­ing sec­ond thoughts? A.

We don’t think so. In fact, we’re sure he’d like noth­ing more than to be­gin mar­ried life with you to­mor­row...if it meant he could skip plan­ning and go straight to the hon­ey­moon sex. We’d even bet he’s look­ing for­ward to the wed­ding. It’s just that de­cid­ing which flow­ers look best in cen­tre­pieces or pick­ing a colour scheme are not tasks most guys have any in­ter­est in deal­ing with. Your best bet to get him in­volved? First, stress how ex­cited you are to spend the rest of your life with him—it’ll boost his ego and make him more ea­ger for the ac­tual event. Then, play up the fun as­pects of plan­ning. Once he sees that it won’t all be a pain in the ass, he’ll be more will­ing to get started.

Jen and Courteney have re­mained BFFs through dis­tance, tur­moil, and ca­reer switches

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