Subscribe to feed Viewing entries tagged dilemma

Family First

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 13 November 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

I have been seeing a man I met on the internet for the last six months.

Everything seems fine, except he really resents me wanting to spend any time with my daughters, aged 24 and 26. I made it clear to him from the very start that they were a huge part of my life.

Both of them have left home now and I try to see each of them at least once a week for a day or evening to catch up on what has been happening in their lives and because I do miss them since they moved out. We talk on the phone most days but somehow that is not the same as actually seeing them.

However, my boyfriend gets quite irritated if they ring when I am with him, and always tuts and shakes his head if I say I am going to visit one of them. And he never asks how they are, or suggests we visit together. He has no children of his own. He is now 54 years old and I think he wishes he had his own children, and perhaps resents my close relationship with mine.

What can I do, as I can see this becoming a big stumbling block in our relationship?

Patricia Marie says...

This man knew your children were part of the package at the outset, and can't pretend they don't exist just because he would rather have you to himself. He needs to accept how important they are to you, and not make you feel guilty for wanting to spend time with them, or indeed speaking with them on the telephone. You should never be put in a position where you feel you have to choose between your partner and your children.

Your boyfriend is clearly showing signs of jealousy. The trigger for this may well be that he is resentful as he has no children of his own, or alternatively there may be other factors contributing to his irrational behaviour. I suggest you open up to him about your concerns, as this may prompt him to share his feelings with you. Listen to what he has to say, but make it clear that his attitude towards your daughters is having an adverse effect on you, which if left unresolved could spoil your relationship, and may ultimately destroy it.

Instead of you visiting your daughters alone, invite them over to yours for dinner. Tell your partner it would mean so much to you if he could make an effort with them, even initially just for the one evening. Include him in the hospitality. Perhaps he could organise some games to help make him feel part of the family. You never know, if he allows himself to get to know your girls, he may actually enjoy their company, and even better, begin to bond with them.

How can I manage her when I feel so compassionate?

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 22 May 2014
Dear Patricia Marie

I have an ongoing problem with a colleague I am in management of. In 2012 she got arrested in the store for committing grievous bodily harm to her husband. I was very distressed at this, as she is only a small lady and believed her husband was being untrue. I went to the police station to see if I could do anything, and was told she was okay but being held overnight. She came back to work after she was let out, and all of my staff and myself felt very sorry for her.  About two months later she was rearrested for breaking her conditions of bail and visiting her husband when he was asleep, subsequently she spent Christmas in a prison cell.

I was very exasperated with her and could not see a way forward with her, then she phoned in sick, and said she had breast cancer, a doctor's note confirmed this.
12 months down the line after a double breast surgery she has returned to work.

I am glad she is well, but she is as disruptive as ever.  How can I manage her when I feel so compassionate towards her? I have done my utmost to accommodate her, but in the two week she has been back she has been late every day and I do not wish to be remonstrating with her all the time. Please could you give me your advice on how to handle the situation.

Patricia Marie says:

Firstly, your colleague is very fortunate to have such a caring, empathic manager as yourself. Your morals and work ethics, however, are being challenged around this person.

It seems to me that you have been so focused on supporting this member of staff that you have lost sight of the fact you have a professional duty to adhere to, including implementing boundaries within the work place, not only for your staff, but for yourself too.

Having conditions set at work can make one feel secure, and as this lady is all over the place, she may thank you for bringing some stability into her life.

Whilst you have displayed great warmth and kindness, it seems like you have been taken for granted, which you do not deserve. She is clearly not regarding your feelings and how her behaviour is affecting you, which is extremely unfair considering how tolerant and supportive you have been.

You need to sit down in the work place (rather than meet out of work, as she would associate this with you being a friend, not her manager) and have a proper talk with this lady. Do remind her that whilst she has been extremely brave in fighting cancer, and which is why you have displayed great patience, her recent poor professional behaviour cannot continue, and by you being honest with her, hopefully this should encourage her to act more responsibly in the future and also respect you as her manager.


Got a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

She doesn't want children

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 15 May 2014
Dear Patricia Marie

I utterly adore my fiancée but she is adamant that she does not want children. When we met three years ago I was OK about that, but I have since changed my mind.

She says she is not the maternal type. I am 34 and she is a year younger. We both have well-paid jobs, so financially it would not be a problem.

Now, when I see our friends with their young children, the thought of not having any makes me feel so sad.

I try to suppress these thoughts but they keep returning. How can I marry the woman I love and have her children?

Patricia Marie says...

The problem is that you have changed your mind but your fiancée hasn't.  At around 30, a woman's biological clock often kicks in as she becomes aware that after 35 her fertility levels can decrease. This doesn't seemed to have happened with your fiancée.

You need to tell her how much you want children. Don't try to pressure her, but discuss why she doesn't want them. She may bring up some interesting points that you may not have considered and could understand better after hearing what she has to say. If she remains adamant that she does not want to have children, you have a decision to make.

What is it is about fatherhood that appeals to you? Are there ways that you can accomplish that without having children of your own? For instance, do you have nieces and nephews you could enjoy spending time with? For many childless couples they can help fill an empty void, bringing the greatest of pleasure to their aunts and uncles.

If you give up your desire for children you could end up resenting your fiancée and regretting that decision deeply. Also, most importantly, do you value having babies more than you value your future with your fiancée? If the answer is yes, sadly, you have to ask yourself, would it be better to end the relationship, and in time find someone you love who does want children? Before making a life-changing decision, you may both benefit from contacting www.bacp.co.uk or www.relate.org.uk for some counselling.


Got a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

Trying to cope with SIDS

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 25 April 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

My niece's closest friend lost her baby of 10 months to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) last year.

My niece who was also a godmother to the baby, is now expecting her first child and although she is delighted, she is filled with anxiety about SIDS. I am extremely close to my niece as her parents both died when she was a teenager and she lived with me until she married two years ago.

This should be a happy time for her, but her fear around something happening to the baby is taking all the joy away.

What can I do to help her?

Patricia Marie says...

I am very sorry to her your niece is so anxious, but given the circumstances, this is fully understandable. SIDS is devastating, and as your niece was closely connected to her friend and baby, she too experienced a loss. At the time, she was possibly so focused on supporting her friend, that it may not have seemed appropriate to let herself acknowledge that loss, but now she is pregnant, its normal that some of her grief is showing up as anxiety about her own baby, which can also reinforce the tragic loss of her parents.

The key to surviving grief while your pregnant is to surround yourself with people who love, comfort and care for you, and this includes professional care, so do encourage your niece to speak with her midwife, who is there to help with any fears.

Am thinking if your niece has not had any counselling regarding the loss of her parents, bereavement counselling would be of great help to her. Cruse Bereavement is an excellent organisation dedicated to helping those struggling with loss. 0844 477 9400; helpline@cruse.org.uk. The Lullaby Trust can also help, 0808 802 6868; lullaby trust.org.uk. This charity does incredible work to support those who have been affected by the sudden death of a baby or toddler.

I strongly recommend your niece reads 'SIDS & Infant Death Survival Guide: Information & Comfort for the Grieving Family and the Friends Who Seek to Help Them', an outstanding book, beneficial to all affected by SIDS.




Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk 
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

Devastated by his affair

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 10 April 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

Three months ago I discovered my partner was having an affair - I was devastated. I adored him and thought he felt the same way. He even brought her to our house, though he denies this. I went to see her. She has a long-term partner, but he is completely clueless about the affair - maybe I should tell him. She cried, apologised and said that I was lovely and nothing like my partner had told her, and that he didn't deserve me.

He had been running me down to her and our friends. I don't know which way to turn: there is still love there, but it's not the same. I now check his his phone and e.mails- there is no trust left.

He gets annoyed with me and says I should be 'over it ' and it was a big mistake.

We are both in our 50s and left our long term marriages for each other. I can't face having to sell our house and start again. We are talking about getting married, but would it be marriage for the wrong reason?

Patricia Marie says...

If the person you love has an affair and falls in love with someone else, your world falls apart. Everything you thought you felt and shared with each other is thrown into question, even if they end the affair and say they still love and want to be with you. Alternatively, if they say their lover meant little to them and dismiss them as just a passing fancy, that can be equally devastating. They have put the relationship at risk for some meaningless pleasure. On top of this, he was running you down. It sounds as if he does not love you as much as you love him.

You only discovered his infidelity three months ago, so its quite unreasonable to think you should 'just get over it'. Trust can sometimes be rebuilt, although never easy to regain completely.

He needs to talk about why he had the affair, and show you that he really loves you and sorry for what he's done. If he has a history of affairs, the risks are high and it may be better to end the relationship. If you do decide to marry, it should be because you really want to be with him and he feels the same way, not because you can't face selling up and starting again.



Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk 
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

My Daughter Is Causing Me Worry

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 28 March 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

My 17 year old daughter and I have always been close. Recently, her father offered to pay for her gym membership so she could lose weight - and I agreed it was a good idea. Now she's so upset she wants nothing to do with us. She has changed so much in the last few months since her close friend died in a car accident, which she refuses to talk about, has stopped socialising, and spends most of the time in her bedroom eating sweets.

She seems to gain pleasure from giving me as much stress as possible and is causing such an atmosphere in what has always a happy household. The main issue is, that five years ago, I put £10,000 in premium bonds in her name, which will become hers when she's 18. Not only is she being difficult, but I think she'd spend the money, instead of using it for university as I intended. I'm happy to give it to her when she's older and wiser, but am I breaking both a legal and emotional law by withholding it from her?

Patricia Marie says,

If the bonds are in her name, you would be acting illegally if you spent the money yourself and you are being unethical if you promised them to her when she turned 18. I feel the more important issue here is the problem between you, your husband and your daughter. If you love someone, you do so unconditionally, not only if they are slim or fit or otherwise.

It sounds as if she found her father's offer a sign of criticism and rejection, especially at a time when she is grieving for the loss of her friend. Your daughter is clearly overwhelmed with emotion, hence the comfort eating, and in much need of some tender loving care. What you should have done is asked her if she had any concerns about herself and if there was anything you could do to help.

You need to separate the issue of the money from the issue of her hurt and embarrassment. Tell her that, as promised, on her 18th birthday she will get the money, however, remind her it was intended as a support for university and that you would be happy if it was used in that way. Also, tell her your sorry if you said the wrong thing and that your wanting to get your relationship back on track.


Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk 
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

Should I pay for my daughter's surgery?

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Monday, 24 March 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

My 18 year old daughter has begged me to pay for her to have her breasts enlarged for her birthday. She says her tiny chest makes her so self-conscious, she's constantly miserable. She won't wear anything revealing and can't bear to go out with her friends because she thinks she's ugly.

I am absolutely against this kind of surgery, but am I just being selfish. This situation is causing me great misery. Would appreciate some advice.

Patricia Marie says...

You are approaching this dilemma from a mother's perspective, in your eyes your daughter is still very much your little girl, you are wanting to take control of the situation and protect your daughter from making what you believe to be a wrong decision. However, you are not her, and you are not living with her body.

Try to listen empathically to your daughter's point of view. Whilst you may not agree with what she has to say, you may gain a better understanding of why she is feeling the need to embark on cosmetic surgery. Breast augmentation is a very delicate matter for teens, as physically their bodies may not be fully developed, and emotionally they are more vulnerable to peer pressure.

A good question to ask is why are larger breasts so important to her, and does she think enhancing her figure in this way will change her life for the better. It sounds to me as if she may suffering from low self-esteem and feel it would be helpful if she were to explore this with a counsellor before making a decision. Hopefully this will enable her to gain confidence which she will learn can only come from within, not by enlarging her breasts.

The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy have a directory where you can find a qualified registered therapist in your area. www.bacp.co.uk

Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk 
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

My mother is an alcoholic and it's affecting us all

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 14 March 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

My mother is an alcoholic and it's affecting us all. I now live quite a distance away so only visit a couple of times a month. Mother is supposed to be caring for my dad as he is disabled. He has a carer but not at weekends now someone from social services has to come weekends as she forgets to give him his medication and cook for him.

The family have done so much to try to help her. My brother took her to the doctors who did liver tests and said she would die soon if she did not stop drinking. She refused to go back to Alcoholics Anonymous after two sessions. She says she is seeking help, but it's all lies. She has antidepressants but doesn't take them. She hides alcohol all over the house. If we throw it away she buys more. Bills are not getting paid. The grandchildren don't want to visit her as she is always intoxicated.

I am getting married soon and would love her to be at the wedding, but I know she will be drunk. My sister has advised me not to go out of my way to help, as she tried and it made her ill. How can I get my mother to stop drinking?

Patricia Marie says...

You ask the same question many family members of an alcohol dependent want the answer to, sadly, the reply is never simple. Alcoholism is a family disease - if one person is drinking to excess, everyone around them is affected. Alcoholics are often in denial, blaming circumstances or people around them for their addiction. They are unable to see how badly their destructive and hurtful behaviour affects those who love and want to help them.

Alcoholics Anonymous recommends 'detachment with love' - As your sister discovered, if you don't allow yourself to stand back a little it can affect your health. You have to accept you cant stop your mum from drinking, only she can choose to do this. If alcoholics are not ready for help, efforts by family and friends trying to force them to admit to the problem, usually causes more resentment, and its only when the consequences of their drinking becomes painful enough will they reach out for help.

Do remind your mother how much you love her, but you cannot help her if she is not willing to help herself, as it is destroying your life, and concerned that unless she gets professional help soon, she will cause lasting grief to all her family.

Whether she chooses to get help or not, do contact: The National Association for Children of Alcoholics, 0800 358 3456 (nacoa.org.uk) An excellent organisation offering tremendous support for people in your situation.


Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk 
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

I attract the wrong type of man

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 14 February 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

I feel that I am almost giving up on the gentleman species. I am thirty going on fifty! The type of men that I seem to meet are not worthy of me and appear to have no future prospects, I have even lowered my standards due to the lack of response. I seem to attract the useless, uncaring, selfish, non-committal man. About me, my friends tell me I'm very attractive, interesting and reliable. I hold a good position at work where I am valued and appreciated... Why can't this extend to my personal life...??!! Please help me.

Patricia Marie says...

You say most of the men you meet are not living up to your expectations, and considering giving up trying to find a partner. Yet, you believe by accepting less out of life, there is more chance of success. Lowering standards displays low self-esteem, which is why you are attracting the unfavourable type not worthy of you. These negative beliefs can arise from bad experiences, or not being valued or understood. In order to love someone, you must be able to love and respect yourself.

Seeing you for who you really are allows your colleagues to show unconditional respect and acceptance, which gives you confidence within your work environment. This can be extended to your personal life if you learn to see yourself in a positive light. Check out the Mind Website (www.mind.org.uk) where you will find useful tips on increasing self-esteem.

To improve your chances of finding a suitable partner, I would also suggest joining a reputable dating site, as well as embarking on some new hobbies or interests, all of which will enhance your social life, and will help gain your confidence and self-worth.

This Valentines day, do remember, whilst you may be without a partner, there are plenty of Valentines days in a lifetime, and many possible people with whom you could eventually fall in love with. Don't make the day about loneliness, make it about love, and even if you are single, perhaps treat yourself to a gift you would like to receive and very much deserve.


Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

Constant criticism

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 07 February 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

My partner says he loves me, but he never stops criticising me. Whether it's my opinion on matters to do with our family, or even the political party I support, he thinks I'm always wrong.

Just recently he told me my plans on improving my status at work were not worth considering and not to bother trying to progress further. Only yesterday he called me an idiot and said I talk rubbish. He is making me feel worthless and I am at the point where I could walk away from this increasingly difficult relationship. I would be grateful for some help.

Patricia Marie says...

Your partner's intolerance suggests to me that he's a very insecure person. Having your own ideas and opinions angers him, because this represents a challenge and a threat. Your wanting to progress at work is showing that your not dependent on him to succeed in your own right, which is taking the control away from him.

Many couples have different points of view, but respect each others right to do so. This man is making you feel worthless because you are allowing him to. His offensive behaviour towards you is disrespectful, and the name calling abusive, yet, you say he loves you.

I'd like you to consider what your perception of love is, and to ask yourself, do you deserve to be treated in this way. When two people choose to share their lives together, there must be an understanding of accepting behaviour. You say you are at the point of walking away, have you made your partner aware of how his behaviour is jeopardising your relationship.

If you feel this relationship is worth saving, and only you will know this, my suggestion is for you to both attend Relate (relate.org.uk) and have some sessions with a counsellor, or I fear this abusive relationship could become increasingly worse.


Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows



Dating after a divorce

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 31 January 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

I am a 55-year-old divorced lady, and after 20 years of marriage am now ready to start looking to meet a gentleman, but I am worried about joining a dating website. Although I am wanting to, I am scared that the date could be a disaster and am concerned at the type of man that I may attract, and on meeting him he may be different from how he appears online.

However, If I sit back and do nothing I may never meet a partner to share the rest of my life with. I am just looking for some guidance and direction regarding this dilemma I have.

Patricia Marie says...

Your concerns with regards to joining a dating agency are completely understandable after the familiarity of being married to the same man for many years. However, life is about taking risks and you are the only one who can promote change and make things happen. I am thinking your urgency to meet a man whom you are wanting to share the rest of your life with is causing much anxiety, and putting you under intense pressure for something that may not happen and you could be setting yourself up for disappointment.

Can you allow yourself to embrace this new chapter in your life by focussing on having some fun and good times with like-minded people. When selecting potential dates, ensure you get to know as much as you can about each other before meeting, this will help eliminate time wasters. If you do experience some unsuccessful dates, use this as a positive discovery in knowing what you do want in someone, and your confidence will soon grow. I would also recommend if you have any interests or hobbies, join a club where they may be incorporated, which will increase your chances of finding your Mr Right. It may take time to meet someone you are attracted to and want to spend more time with, but if you can trust that the journey is as important as the destination, you will enjoy and value the experience more.


Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows



Too demanding

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 17 January 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

I am lucky enough to have just moved into our dream home, it's everything we could have imagined and wished for. However, my feelings have changed dramatically I have just paid the first large mortgage payment. This has really stretched my budget, I am working around the clock to try and meet these demands unfortunately, this is not the only problem. My wife loves the new home and enjoys spending a lot of time at the gym getting very fit and showing off our new beautiful home to all our friends. She has become very demanding in the bedroom and I am worried that I cannot constantly satisfy her both financially and sexually as I am constantly tired.

Patricia Marie says...

The excitement of moving into your dream home has now been replaced with the reality of having to work hard to pay for it. Your need to please your wife is clearly putting you under intense pressure, and if your not careful your constant wanting to make her happy by working every hour, which you say is exhausting you, could turn to resentment. You don't mention if your wife works, but have given the impression she has much spare time, therefore, wondering if there is any way she could help contribute to the finances and eliminate some of your stress.

Instead of suppressing your feelings, you need to be opening up to your wife, telling her how you feel and hopefully she will be understanding, helpful and supportive. Remember, you are a partnership and she may be upset, even feel rejected that you have been isolating her from your worries. A successful marriage is not just about having good times but dealing with the difficulties life brings and bonding from such experiences. You say she has become demanding in the bedroom, this may be about her trying to get some attention from you, other than the obvious. If you and your wife can work together on how things can change to make life easier, your stress and anxiety will ease, your libido should return, then hopefully you can both get to enjoy your relationship in your well deserved home.


Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

A rather sensitive topic

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 09 January 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

I have a rather sensitive topic I'd like your advice on, if you're able to oblige. I recently got out of a 4.5 year relationship because my ex told me he would want an abortion if I were to ever become pregnant. Not that he would force one on me of course, but that would be what he would prefer. This crushed me, not because I'm against abortion (because I'm not, it's a personal choice in my opinion but an emotional one I couldn't go through with).

My ex and I split up because of that, and I've been with someone new for the past three months. The new gentleman in my life also told me he'd prefer an abortion. While the new boyfriend reassures me that his feelings aren't personal against me, that he simply isn't mature enough to entertain the thought of wanting a child, he knows that while he wants children one day, he'd want an abortion right now. I have no intention of ever becoming pregnant before marriage, however I do want some reassurance that no matter what happens, the man I love would be there for me.

I am not ready to have a family right now, nor am I planning to. But I find it incredibly difficult at my age (28) to consider that a man who is truly emotionally mature and responsible and in love can also not even entertain the fact of not wanting an abortion. I truly believe that I could never handle the emotional reprucutions of an abortion, and cannot quite come to terms with the fact that the men I seem to fall in love with don't see a pregnancy as something they would have an emotional connection with.

My question to you is, should I stay with my current boyfriend and just trust that he doesn't mean this personally, or leave him and seek out a man who is on the same page as me in regards to this sensitive topic? What would you do in my situation?

Thank you so much for the courtesy of your reply.

Patricia Marie says...

You are making decisions on assumptions, and by doing so not only are you putting intense pressure on yourself, but are then unable to fully enjoy your relationship. If you were to get pregnant, the fear of your partner wanting you to have an abortion and abandoning you is so overwhelming you are almost wanting to risk ending it for something that may never happen. I'm wondering if these insecurities are connected to deeply buried feelings, igniting past fears of loss and separation.

Even if you were to meet someone who initially gave you assurances, the reality is people and situations change and we can leave ourselves open to disappointment if things can't always be as we had initially hoped. You are wanting guarantees, something life cannot give us, no matter what the circumstances. Not sure the men you say you fall in love with aren't able to connect emotionally to a pregnancy, I suspect it's more likely they are neither ready nor wanting to be fathers just yet.

I do feel counselling will help your fears and anxiety, enabling you to deal with things in a more positive way, so you can hopefully enjoy your relationship in the here and now and be in a better place to deal with whatever the future brings.

The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy have a directory where you can find a therapist in your area www.bacp.co.uk



Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

I think Christmas is going to break us up

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 13 December 2013
Dear Patricia Marie,

I have been with my partner for 6 years and Christmas is a major problem in our relationship. Over the years it has got increasingly worse as he will not be flexible on Christmas arrangements.

He is totally dominated by his family and submits to pressure of spending all the time with them. I am included but this is not my point surely a relationship should be a split decision? And even when I try and talk about the issue, he flies off the handle and we don't get anywhere.

I know this seems ridiculous but I think it's going to break us up. I love him and want us to be together but I just don't know what else to do.

Patricia Marie says...

I am not sure Christmas is the main reason you are at breaking point, rather it's highlighting the negative areas within your relationship thats contributing to the way your feeling.

Firstly, if your boyfriend is unwilling to compromise, you need to be focusing on your wishes for the festive season. If you're wanting to be with your boyfriend that's fine, but does it have to be completely on his terms? Perhaps if you were able to take some control, you may then begin to feel your Christmas is not being dominated by him.

It would be interesting to find out why he is so accepting of his parents demands? Is he using them as an excuse to do as he pleases? Your partner's dismissal of how you are feeling, and the childish behaviour he displays when he doesn't get his own way will only continue if you allow it to, and more importantly, if this problem is not addressed, it could become destructive within your relationship in the future.

If you are unable to talk to your boyfriend without him behaving irrationally, write him a letter, this way he can digest things and think before he responds. If you believe this relationship is worth saving, you need to work at it together, not alone.



Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.




In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

I am beginning to dread Christmas

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Monday, 09 December 2013
Dear Patricia Marie,

My daughter has recently split from her boyfriend, we were the family he never had and I miss him terribly. For the past five years he has spent Christmas with us, however this year my daughter has invited her new boyfriend who not any of us are keen on and insists I am not to invite her ex. I am so upset as I know he will have nowhere to go, wont receive any presents and feel disowned by us. Plus the new boyfriend has a huge family and isant even keen on coming to ours. I am now beginning to dread christmas. Would very much appreciate your advice.


Patricia Marie says...

Am wondering if you could try to see things from your daughters perspective. For whatever reason, she split from her ex-boyfriend because things didn't work out. Would you rather she be unhappy in a relationship because it suits you for her to be with someone you approve of? Your daughter has to make her own choices, and even if we don't always agree, it is our role as parents to support our childrens decisions rather than risk jeopardising the relationship.

I predict even if you invited her ex, he would decline, as to be in the presence of your home could ignite painful feelings for him, which you may not have considered. You are not responsible for him, and maintaining an attachment could be delaying him from finding his own future happiness. For now, perhaps you could meet up before or after Christmas on neutral territory with a small gift, this way you won't feel your completely disowning him, but gently distancing yourself.

I have a feeling the other family members are mirroring your feelings and believe once you let go of the past, you will embrace the future and look forward to new beginnings. You may allow yourself to get to know your daughters new boyfriend, and whats more, you may even get to like him!


Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.



In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

My ex boyfriend won't leave me alone

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 29 November 2013
Dear Patricia Marie,

I went out with my boyfriend for one year and it didn't really work so I told him face-to-face that I was sorry but I didn't want to continue with our relationship. He was absolutely devastated and went to see a counsellor to help him move on.. however he still insisted on remaining friends with me and coming over once a week to 'help me do any diy jobs that needed doing'.

I am very aware that this is not right but when I tell him this he says 'you cant begrudge me helping you out and doing things for you - that's what friends are for...

It is now one year since we split up and I have met someone else. When I told my ex that I was going out for a date with another man he broke down and said 'I can't believe you would do this to me'.

What can I do? I know he is manipulating me but he makes things so difficult and I feel so mean. I am 42 years of age and divorced - my ex is 45 years of age and has been divorced twice.

I just can't seem to get rid of him.


Patricia Marie says...

Your need to sever your relationship with your ex has become far more intense as it now suits you to have him out of the way.

I would like you to consider that you have to accept a certain amount of responsibility for allowing this situation to get to this inevitable stage.

You say he insisted on still being friends, helping you with jobs. Your acceptance of this sent confusing signals, in his mind you were still allowing him to be part of your life.

Even for the one instigating, endings can be hard and take time to come to terms with, which is why so many couples choose to stay in even the most destructive relationships, rather than deal with change.

Perhaps although you wanted to have closure with your ex, by seeing him weekly it wasn't so final for you.

You are allowing him to manipulate you because you are not making it clear to him this arrangement cannot continue. You say you feel mean, yet are being unfair to him by preventing him from moving forward, something which he is unable to see clearly for himself at this moment.

You can eliminate your guilt by being strong for him, letting him go will allow him to make a new life, whilst you can then be free to enjoy yours.



Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.



In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows
Telephone number: 020 7467 8389

Should I leave my husband?

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 15 November 2013
Dear Patricia Marie,

I have been married to a lovely man (who I have known for over 15 years) for over 3 years, and together for 6 years before that, although I was away at university for 3 years, during which time he stayed loyal vowing to wait for me to complete my studies, which he did.

The year after I returned from uni we bought a house together. Life was wonderful. We both had good jobs, and financially we were comfortable. We got married, had lovely holidays, and a great social life.

Recently I had to take on more hours at work, including night shifts, which meant we didn't see much of each other. I employed a male member of staff to ease my workload, and shortly after he shocked me by dumping his girlfriend and stating he had feelings for me.

I was spending a lot of time with him, more so than my husband, and my feelings for him have grown stronger, and we have shared kisses, and recently spent the night together when I said I was at work. His ex-girlfriend has started phoning our house, leaving messages asking when I'm going to tell my husband what's going on.

I've fallen in love with my work colleague, but not sure he's worth leaving my husband for, even though my life with him has become dull and boring. What should I do?

Patricia Marie says...

Your marriage was good when you were financially secure, enjoying holidays and having a good social life. You are now working long unsociable hours, spending less time with your husband, maintaining life with him is dull and boring.

A successful marriage is not just about sharing the good times, but dealing with the difficulties life brings and bonding from such experiences.

Rather than deal with the problems in your relationship, it was easier for you to fall into the arms of another man who could offer you some escapism.

You say you love this man. I would like you to consider your perception of love. Is it someone who gives you the excitement you crave, or the one who shows loyalty and commitment your husband displays, who you describe as being a "lovely man" and not sure the other man is worth leaving him for.

I believe you may have found your own answer. If you feel you do want a chance to save your marriage, it would be really helpful to spend some quality time with your husband, work on the relationship together and decide how you can make things better between you.



Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows
Telephone number: 020 7467 8389

I think my boyfriend is having an affair

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 08 November 2013
Hello Patricia Marie,

I was thrilled to see The Lady now has an Agony Aunt, and wondered whether you would be able to help me...

My boyfriend of 3 years seems very different lately and I feel he may be having an affair. I absolutely adore him and don't know how I would cope if I found this to be true.

He frequently comes home late and is unavailable on his phone. He is far more appearance conscious lately, buying himself new clothes and wearing aftershave.

Also our sex life has dwindled so that I feel I am pushing him to make love to me and he keeps saying he is too tired. What should I do?

Patricia Marie says...

From the contents of your letter, I take it you haven't approached your boyfriend with regards to your suspicions or challenged the change in his behaviour. If this is the case, he may be under the impression you are accepting of this and have no idea of your concerns.

Have you avoided confronting him, because you may not want to hear what he has to say? Or is it that if he confesses to you there is someone else, the situation then becomes real?

Until you talk to him about how your feeling, be honest and open up to him, you won't be able to move forward with this.

Listen to what he has to say, it may be that he is not being disloyal at all.

You seem to have drifted apart, taken each other for granted, which is typical of many relationships when there is no communication. When this happens, couples don't recognise each other anymore.

You say you adore him, so whatever the outcome, wherever it has gone wrong, if you both feel this relationship is worth saving, you can start to work together towards a more positive future.

If you feel you may need some professional help, ask him to go with you to Relate (relate.org.uk) for few sessions with a counsellor, am sure this would prove helpful.

Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows
Telephone number: 020 7467 8389

Half Term

Posted by Slummy single mummy
Slummy single mummy
Slummy single mummy has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Monday, 11 February 2013
“You do know it’s half term next week don’t you?” Boyfriend asked me last week, not at all helpfully.

“Yes,” I replied, “I do.”

“It’s just that you don’t seem very prepared. I don’t think you’ve thought about exactly how much work you have to do with Belle around,” he says.

Jeez, can’t a girl just be in denial in peace?

He was right of course. I wasn’t very prepared. I didn’t want to think about it, didn’t want to have the ‘Noooo, I hate holiday club!’ battle, and so now here we are, the week stretching ahead of us, and the only glint of an oasis on the bleak horizon is a two and a half hour sewing class on Thursday morning.

That’s OK though, I’ll have a good two and a half hours there to get some work done. Less of course the time it takes me to drive her there and pick her up again.

*screams quietly inside head*

As well as the actual work/childcare dilemma, there is also the question of how my patience is going to cope. By Sunday afternoon it was already threadbare, and I had to have a little glass of raspberry liqueur while I cooked dinner. The week is not looking bright.

I need to buy in supplies to see us through.

Perhaps I’ll send Belle down to Blockbusters to buy up all their liquidation stock and a few kilos of popcorn.

And maybe a little bottle or two of some sort of fruit based liqueur…



Forgot your password?
Click to read our digital edition
Place-Classified-advert-336
TLR-advert-May2014-336

Boarders Dormitory Master-Mistress
We are looking to appoint a Dormitory Mistress/Master for 5 nights per week, weekday evenings and nights only, term time. (35 weeks). [...]

APPLY NOW


Housekeeper to Headmaster
We have an opportunity for an experienced live-out housekeeper. You will provide a cleaning and hospitality service for the Headmaster and his guests and help to ensure the household runs efficiently. [...]

APPLY NOW


Full Time Housekeeper, Nanny
We are looking for a full time, live-out housekeeper/nanny. We are a relaxed young couple living in a large country house, and will have one newborn baby. [...]

APPLY NOW


Experienced Carer, Companion, Housekeeper needed
Our elderly mother needs a live in carer/companion on a part time basis. Must be warm hearted, calm & compassionate, with a good sense of humour. [...]

APPLY NOW


Cook, Housekeeper wanted
Good cooking skills required to cater for light meals for the Principal and a small staff, as well as occasional lunch/dinner parties. [...]

APPLY NOW



MORE JOBS LIKE THESE
Lady-directory-button-NEW

Horoscopes

What the stars have in store for you this week.2017

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter