The Dominion Post

I cheated on my boyfriend – he forgave me, but now I’m confused

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from the fridge 5 minutes before using so that the pastry softens enough to roll.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface then cut out circles to line 6 x 10cm-diameter tart tins. Cover the pastry with foil or baking paper and add baking weights or raw rice to weigh it down.

Place in the oven and bake blind for 15 minutes until well cooked. Remove the foil or paper and weights and continue baking the pastry until well browned and crisp. Set aside to cool then remove the pastry cases from the tins and reserve.

Put the mussels and wine in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and continue to boil, removing each mussel to a bowl as it opens. Strain and reserve the cooking liquid. You will have about 150ml.

Cool the mussels then remove and discard the brown tongue and white root from each. Reserve the mussels.

Heat the oil in a frying pan then add the onion, garlic and capers. Fry gently, without browning, for 10 minutes or until soft.

Meanwhile, reheat the pastry cases in a hot oven.

Add the mussel liquid and stock to the frying pan and bring to the boil. Stir in the cornflour mixture so that the sauce thickens then add the fish and watercress. Mix well then simmer for 3 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Stir in the oysters and mussels and simmer for 1 minute, then taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Fill each warmed pastry case with some of the seafood mixture and serve immediatel­y. * Karengo is a type of seaweed, usually sold as dried flakes. Look for it in specialty food stores.

DEAR Clingy: You are insecure and clingy because you are making the assumption that you are not worthy of being loved. In essence, you do not feel deserving of love, fidelity and commitment from your boyfriend. As a result, you are assuming your boyfriend is going to fall out of love with you, and eventually dump you for another woman.

So no wonder you are clingy, possessive and insecure. And it certainly doesn’t help that you are five years into a relationsh­ip, and the chemistry that defined your early relationsh­ip has waned a bit, like it does for everyone. You also may be assuming that because you cheated, so could he – which is making you jealous and threatened by his friendship­s and dealings with other women.

Here’s what you could do in order to give yourself an opportunit­y to live more in peace – and for your relationsh­ip to become more stable and secure. First, you are needing way more reassuranc­e than you are getting. So ask your boyfriend to reassure you every day, by saying something like: ‘‘What I like about you is…’’ ‘‘What I love about you is . . .’’ ‘‘I respect that you . . .’’ ‘‘Some of your best qualities are . . .’’ ‘‘What I like so much about our relationsh­ip is . . .’’

You (and he) could add other things that would help you to feel reassured, but be sure to tell him what you like, love and respect about him as well – because he may also need reassuranc­e that you’re not going to step out on him again. You might find being held or cuddled to be reassuring as well.

Now comes the hard part: you’re going to have to improve your feelings of selfworth, and the feelings that you aren’t worthy of love and fidelity.

Find a psychother­apist that specialise­s in self-esteem, and buy some books (and work the exercises) on how people improve self-esteem. Without that, you will forever fear your boyfriend is going to dump you for another woman, and you will be more likely to push him away by clinging too hard.

One other thing. You are focused on him, who he’s with and what he’s doing too much, and not enough on yourself.

Find interests, hobbies, classes, hikes or other activities that will occupy your time when you are alone.

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