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It's the dog or him

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 21 February 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

After the heartbreak of many failed attempts at IVF, my husband and I are having to come to terms with being unable to have children. However, in December we made a decision to get a dog and have fallen in love with him. George, our Bichon Frise, has enhanced our lives in a way I had never thought possible. The problem is, I never want to leave him, he is my life, I adore him and cannot trust anyone to look after, him which is causing problems between me and my husband. I do not want to socialise anymore, prefering to be with George. We had previously booked a holiday for July this year, I have told my husband to cancel it. He is furious and has now said its him or the dog. What do I do?

Patricia Marie says...

It is vital you and your husband establish some boundaries and limitations. Yes, do enjoy your dog, he is helping to fill a void in your life, however, he is not leader of the pack. You and your husband have a relationship to safeguard and nurture, which you cannot allow your dog to dominate. You have both come through a painful time together, and it would be unfair to let your dog come between the bond you clearly share with your husband, and would like you to consider his point of view.

Your dog has become a substitute child, and you are not allowing him to be what he is, a delightful pet, and for all your sakes needs to be treated like one, so you and your husband can get to enjoy him without further resentment. You both deserve the forthcoming holiday, and there are many reliable dog sitters about, who you could share your anxieties with, and perhaps come up with a plan to make the separation easier to cope with.

The emotional pain of failed IVF treatment can cause much anxiety, and feel you could benefit from some counselling, which would help you come to terms with the fear of loss and separation. 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

A rather sensitive topic

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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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

His children are against us

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 01 November 2013
Dear Patricia Marie,

I am so delighted to have discovered that The Lady offer an agony aunt to help their followers. Could you please give me some help?

Recently I have been dating a man who is widowed with two children aged 31 and 35. We are getting on really well and are planning to travel the world together but his children are so against our relationship they have asked my friend to choose between me or them.

I am so distraught - I have a chance of personal happiness and I am fearful that it is all going to be destroyed by his selfish unthinking children.

Do you think I should just walk away and make life easier for him or should I pursue my chance of happiness and just consider my future?

Patricia Marie says...

You say you have only just met a widower, yet feel your chance of happiness is dependant on you travelling the world with him? You would be left distraught if this wasn't to happen?

There seems much pressure and expectancy not only on yourself, but on this gentleman to be responsible for your happiness.

You describe his children as selfish and unthinking. After the loss of their mother, their father is clearly very dear to them and yet in a short space of time you wanting to embark on a world trip with him must only intensify their loss and grief.

I'm wondering if you could consider things from their perspective. A meeting with these children, where you can all speak openly and discuss everyone's feelings may help.

Don't expect them to embrace you immediately, but if you are able to come to an understanding, this will be a good starting point for you all. I urge you to consider where your fear of his children destroying your happiness is coming from and would recommend embarking on some counselling sessions to explore this issue at a greater depth and enable you to hopefully find the happiness you are searching for and so deserve.

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

Email: patriciamarie@tenharleystreet.co.uk
Telephone number: 020 7467 8389


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