Help and ad­vice

Colum­nist and trained coun­sel­lor Fiona Caine ad­vises a woman be­ing tempted to have an af­fair and an­other whose re­tired hus­band seems de­pressed

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Vox Pop -

COSTA NEWS, De­cem­ber 7-13, 2018 By Fiona Caine PA I love my hus­band but am so at­tracted to a man at work I am hap­pily mar­ried and have been for 22 years. I love my hus­band and cer­tainly don't want to leave him, he's a good man and he and our chil­dren don't de­serve that, so why am I even think­ing about hav­ing an af­fair?

A man started work­ing at my com­pany three months ago and I am re­ally at­tracted to him; so much so that when he talks to me, which is of­ten, I find it hard to con­cen­trate on any­thing.

"He must know how I feel be­cause he in­vited me out for a drink at lunchtime last week. I went along think­ing it was a gen­eral of­fice get-to­gether but, when I got there, I re­alise that we were alone. At that point, I should have made an ex­cuse and gone back to the of­fice, but I didn't. I stayed, and we had a bit too much to drink.

He was good com­pany and we laughed a lot and, af­ter lunch as we got up to leave, he kissed me on the cheek and asked if I'd like to go out for din­ner with him soon.

Here, again, I should have said no and told him that I am al­ready mar­ried, but I didn't. Now I am in a com­plete state what do I do? I re­ally do still love my hus­band and we have a great mar­riage, so why am I be­hav­ing like this?

S. H.

Fiona says: Could it be that your mar­riage needs a re­boot?

I sus­pect you are find­ing all this at­ten­tion rather ex­cit­ing and new. And what's not to like about hav­ing fun with some­one who is charm­ing and whose sole fo­cus for a while seems to be you?

The only prob­lem is, you're mar­ried and al­ready love an­other man. But, when was the last time you felt this ex­cited about your mar­riage or your hus­band? Is it pos­si­ble that, af­ter 22 years to­gether, the de­mands of fam­ily life and work has meant things have be­come a lit­tle dull or rou­tine-bound? Might you also have started to take each other for granted?

If you think this is the case and you gen­uinely want to stay hap­pily mar­ried, you are go­ing to have to put some dis­tance be­tween you and this new man. You're also go­ing to need to work hard at put­ting some of the spark back into the re­la­tion­ship with your hus­band.

To avoid be­com­ing stale, all re­la­tion­ships need care, at­ten­tion and an oc­ca­sional re­boot, so con­sider put­ting a lit­tle ro­mance and ex­cite­ment back into yours.

You could start by dat­ing your hus­band again - re-ex­plore things you prob­a­bly did more of when you first got to­gether, and I don't just mean sex, though this is im­por­tant.

Make time to go out to din­ner, see a play, go danc­ing or spend a ro­man­tic week­end away - and if you can make some dates a spon­ta­neous sur­prise for each other, so much the bet­ter. Then look for ways to sim­ply talk to each other more turn­ing off the TV oc­ca­sion­ally will help.

I know it can be very com­pan­ion­able to sit and watch a good pro­gramme with a love­done but, un­less you are care­ful, this can be­come a dull rou­tine in which very lit­tle gets said.

Fi­nally, try to give each other com­pli­ments more of­ten and, if you love each other, say so oc­ca­sion­ally.

Some of this might seem a lit­tle ob­vi­ous but you'd be sur­prised how of­ten peo­ple ne­glect this sim­ple re­la­tion­ship main­te­nance. In time, this new man's charms should seem a lot less ap­peal­ing.

If you find your­self still strug­gling to keep him at arm­slength though, I sug­gest you share you con­cerns with a coun­sel­lor. You may need a bit more help to rekin­dle things with your hus­band and make you re­alise what you stand to lose - which is where coun­selling can help." My re­tired hus­band has

be­come so low My hus­band has been re­tired for just over a year and I am re­ally wor­ried about him. When he first stopped work­ing, he had such big plans; he was go­ing to write a book, com­pletely re­land­scape the gar­den and study for a de­gree.

In fair­ness, he started all these projects but over time has grad­u­ally dropped each one and for the past four months, he has re­ally let things slide.

He no longer walks every day, some­thing he has done for as long as I have known him. I have also dis­cov­ered that he is not wash­ing reg­u­larly and of­ten wears the same clothes for days on end.

He sleeps un­til mid-morn­ing nearly every day yet is al­ways tired and, if I say any­thing, he gets an­gry. I want to help him but just don't know what to do.

P. W.

Fiona says: Re­tire­ment can some­times trig­ger de­pres­sion

Peo­ple of­ten re­tire with great ex­pec­ta­tions and there's noth­ing wrong with this, but if the re­al­ity of re­tire­ment doesn't live up to these ex­pec­ta­tions, peo­ple can eas­ily be­come dis­il­lu­sioned. This might ex­plain your hus­band's be­hav­iour, but I won­der if he might also be de­pressed.

Not wash­ing reg­u­larly, sleep­ing lots and not car­ing about his ap­pear­ance would cer­tainly sup­port this, so I think you should en­cour­age him to see his doc­tor.

In the mean­time, try not to crit­i­cise or judge what he's do­ing, as this will prob­a­bly only make him more de­fen­sive. In­stead, try to of­fer love, sup­port and pa­tience.

If his doc­tor does di­ag­nose de­pres­sion, then treat­ments are avail­able that will grad­u­ally bring him around. Ei­ther way, en­cour­age your hus­band to look for new chal­lenges.

If he can find a job, start a new hobby or sport, vol­un­teer with a char­ity or per­haps even start a busi­ness, I am sure he will soon lift him­self out of this rut he is in. My son has been steal­ing from school – be­cause of me! My eight-year-old son has just been banned from school for a week. The head­teacher said that he had been caught steal­ing things from a girl's bag and that this was not the first in­stance.

When she told me this, I was too stunned to talk about it and sim­ply stormed home with my son. When I got home, I lost my tem­per, ac­cused him of be­ing a thief and de­manded to know why he'd done it.

I was floored again when he said that he didn't think it was wrong, be­cause I did it all the time by bring­ing home sta­tionery and stuff from the of­fice where I work. I tried to ex­plain that this was not the same, but he couldn't un­der­stand the dif­fer­ence - and the more I tried to ex­plain, the more I re­alised that he was right.

Now I am wor­ried that I've turned my son into a thief, and don't know what I can do to put things right.

Anon

Fiona says: You might have to come clean here

Chil­dren are adept at ex­pos­ing the dou­ble stan­dards of adults and I'm afraid your son has caught you lit­er­ally red­handed in this one.

I pass no judge­ment here, but you can't ex­pect a child to be­have one way and then do the op­po­site your­self. And if you want him to change his be­hav­iour, you will have to ac­cept that steal­ing is steal­ing and set him a bet­ter ex­am­ple.

I sug­gest you come clean and ad­mit that he's made you re­alise that what you were do­ing was wrong, so now you're go­ing to stop do­ing it. This should help him to bet­ter un­der­stand the im­pact of what he's done and will hope­fully stop it hap­pen­ing again.

It prob­a­bly won't be easy for you to ad­mit to your son that you're in the wrong, but it's also no bad thing for him to learn that adults can be fal­li­ble too.

Fi­nally, your son is likely to be quite dis­tressed by this sus­pen­sion and may also have a dif­fi­cult time of it when he re­turns to school. So please, try to get past the likely em­bar­rass­ment, and find a way to work with his teacher and head­teacher to help him through this. I’ve met a great man – So why

am I hav­ing doubts? It took me a long time to get over the split with my last boyfriend be­cause I was so up­set. I loved him and re­ally wanted to set­tle down and have a fam­ily, but he just wasn't ready.

I have now met some­one else who, in so many ways, is just what I want. He's 24 too, kind, gen­er­ous, re­li­able and he loves me. He's also keen that we should get a place to­gether and has even hinted at mar­riage a cou­ple of times.

He's ex­actly right for me - so why do I still have doubts?

H. S. Do you ac­tu­ally

Fiona says: love him?

Prob­a­bly be­cause at no point in your long email do you say that you love him.

Some part of you prob­a­bly re­alises that this is no ba­sis for a long-term, lov­ing re­la­tion­ship. You seem keen to want to set­tle down but, if you don't love this man, it's im­por­tant that you don't let this over­ride com­mon sense.

So please, think care­fully be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion that you might re­gret. At 24 you still have plenty of time to find Mr Right, if that is what you want.

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