Melania’s back. But where has she been? | Hannah Jane Parkinson

07. June 2018 Love and Sex 0
The US’s first lady went missing for 24 days as the rumour mill ground away. Let’s take a look at some possible scenarios She’s back. Like the Backstreet Boys. Or Lazarus. But if Lazarus had had treatment for a “benign kidney infection”. We talk of course of first lady Melania, who hadn’t been seen for a full 24 days before an appearance on Monday night. (Which was closed to the press. So not really an appearance.) read more

My relationship with my daughter is now as bad as with my ex | Dear Mariella

07. June 2018 Love and Sex 0
The father of a teenager struggles to keep things civil with her – just as he used to with her mother. Mariella Frostrup says the couple’s ‘emotional hangover’ is hurting everyone The dilemma I don’t know what to do with my teenage daughter (she’s turning 18 this month). I left her mum five years ago, and moved into a flat close by. Since then she has not sent me a text or a card or anything on my birthday or at Christmas, never invited me to a birthday party or thanked me for gifts and money. Looking back through all the messages she has sent me, every single one has been either an angry tirade or a request for a lift. If I do everything she wants and give her a lift every time she wants it, she is at least indifferent, if not, she gets really angry. She has an older brother and it was difficult with him for a few years too, but we’ve been getting on better recently, and we’ve even gone to the pub a couple of times (at his suggestion). But I have seen zero progress with my daughter. She uses the same phrases as her mother when pointing out all my character flaws and I can’t help feeling that as she gets older, she is becoming more and more like her mother, which is bad news for our future relationship. I feel that I can do the right things every time and when I trip up once I undo all the good things immediately. read more

My sexless marriage is draining the love it once had

07. June 2018 Love and Sex 0
We’ve only been married for nine years, but my husband has always refused to initiate sex. Now I’ve overcome breast cancer and this isn’t how I want to live I’m 38 and have been married for nine years. We are no longer having sex, for at least the past 12 to 18 months – not even the slightest touch. He has always refused to even mention our sex life and made it clear I was not to come on to him; we could only have sex when and where he initiated it. I had breast cancer in 2016 and although I am fully recovered he has no interest at all. This is not how I want to live; in a sexless marriage that’s draining the love it once had. I didn’t fight cancer for this. read more

I do, again: ‘There is nothing as deadly serious as a second marriage’

07. May 2018 Love and Sex 0
Dress from a charity shop, no cake and a midweek ceremony – but don’t think my second wedding is a joke We arrived, my betrothed and I, at the register office to give notification of our marriage. It was the last possible moment we could have done it, because my divorce took so long to come through and his was so long ago that he’d lost the piece of paper. It was also the emergency walk-in morning, so everyone else needed an urgent death certificate, or was a too-old baby who’d missed the registration deadline. Tensions were high and everyone seemed on the point of tears, because they were bereaved, or they were seven weeks old. read more

Life gets better after 50: why age tends to work in favour of happiness

07. May 2018 Love and Sex 0
Jonathan Rauch, author of The Happiness Curve, was relieved to find an explanation for his gloom – academics say adulthood happiness is U-shaped When Jonathan Rauch fell into the doldrums in his 40s, he had no idea why. Life was good: he had a successful career, a solid relationship, good health and sound finances. Then he learnt about the happiness curve and it all became clear. read more

All by myself: the joys of being single

07. May 2018 Love and Sex 0
Christina Patterson used to be ashamed about being single, but after hearing others’ stories, that feeling has gone For most of my adult life, I have been ashamed of being single. At weddings, I have felt my smile crack. I once walked out of a friend’s book launch when he gave a speech about finding the love of his life. I felt sick with envy, physically sick. But when I got home, what I felt most of all was shame. I didn’t understand why my friends had managed to succeed in an area where I had so spectacularly failed. read more

Is it weird to say sorry to my ex three years on? | Dear Mariella

07. May 2018 Love and Sex 0
Do it! Says Mariella. Keep it simple, keep it brief, write it from the heart The dilemma Three years ago, I split up with my girlfriend of seven years. I felt very unhappy and put it down to the relationship. She was devastated and wanted to resolve things. But by that stage I’d made my mind up. I’ve lived a quiet, celibate life since, which has given me time to reflect. It struck me that I’d been very selfish – after an initial romantic period where I pulled all manner of stunts to impress her, my effort as a boyfriend tapered down to the bare minimum. Secondly, I realised they had been the best days of my life. We went on amazing adventures which we probably wouldn’t have done otherwise, and had very different skills sets, which complemented each other. After we split up, I made little effort to maintain our friendship, maybe because I felt guilty. Now I’m ashamed of how I treated her and can’t forgive myself. I want to write and apologise, but it sounds weird and inappropriate. It’s hard to write without it sounding like a rapprochement, which it isn’t. Is writing such a letter an appropriate thing to do? read more