A young woman who thought she had everything mapped out perfectly is suddenly on her own – and the jealousy is unbearable. Mariella Frostrup says it’s hard but it’s time to look to the future
The dilemma A year ago, my partner of 12 years (fiancé of five) told me he wanted to end our relationship. We had bought a house in my dream town and just sent out wedding invitations. I found myself, aged 26, living with my parents – the beautiful future I had planned stripped away. I discovered he was seeing a woman from work. It became obvious he left me for her. I’ve had counselling and continued working, even tried dating, but I’m desperately unhappy. My future is insecure, all my peers are getting married and starting families, and I feel I will never find love again or have the family I wanted by my 30s. I’ve cut contact with lots of friends as I’m so humiliated and jealous their lives are on track. I have often thought of suicide. Meanwhile, she has replaced me in all aspects of his life: staying in the house where I stripped wallpaper until my hands bled, having dinners in the little romantic local pub. I live in fear of her getting pregnant, or them getting engaged. I think if I hear that news it will kill me. We did everything together from when we were 14 years old and life feels empty without him. I’ve thought of moving abroad to escape, but I know the pain would follow me. read more
I often wondered why my partner insisted I go in the shower before her, and now I know. Is she insatiable?
I have been in a relationship for nine months. I thought the sex was good for us both, but when we finish she tells me to shower. I wondered why, and now I know – she masturbates. She has done it multiple times; I think she is insatiable. What should I do? read more
In her final column, written before she died last week, the writer remembers meeting three boys on the French Riviera. Who could have guessed they would take her joke seriously?
From running as Miss Ruislip to the perils of old age: the best of Michele Hanson
Heartbroken, weepy, 18 and desolate after being dumped by my first serious boyfriend, I went to stay with a girlfriend in Cannes. Lucky me to be able to buzz off to the French Riviera. My friend’s family ran a small B&B, in which I stayed. Every day, I walked to the beach, alone, while my friend was working and often passed and chatted to three amusing British boys, who were giving out leaflets. But they were in trouble. They had put their possessions into left luggage and couldn’t afford to get them out, even with their leafleting wages. They couldn’t go home, the price was rising, their luggage was trapped and they were stumped. And hungry. read more
And by friends, I don’t mean women he is hoping to one day wear down to date or sleep with
When you first meet someone and fall in love, your number one focus is to screen them for signs of sociopathy so you don’t wake up one day and find them knitting your hair. read more
Rather than blame your genitalia for everything that’s gone wrong, says Annalisa Barbieri, try to work out where the real problem lies
Back in my youth, my love life was a string of rejections, based on lack of confidence in my physical attributes (6ft 4in, reasonably attractive, bright, humorous, caring, but with dangly bits a hamster would be worried about). It was ego-bruising, getting laughed at. I’d avoid beach holidays, changing rooms and even ran away from uni to avoid the humiliation. read more
If your partner is upset, do you listen to them or try to cheer them up? Rebecca McGuire-Snieckus on strengthening relationships
Choose which of the following statements applies to you: a) or b) read more
Take a deep breath, step away and avoid bust-ups with your kids, says Mariella Frostrup. Failing that, seek professional help
The dilemma I have two lovely little girls aged six and three and a wonderful husband who helps a lot with childcare. I work full time and my husband works four days a week, so we’re busy, but I do have some paid help. I worry that we both have very short fuses, and our girls are exposed to a level of anger that isn’t appropriate. I want them to grow up in a calm and loving household, but we both blow up. I calm down immediately, but am full of remorse for shouting at or smacking our older girl. The younger one isn’t often naughty. My husband uses phrases like “shut up” or “go away”, which I would never say to a child. I’ve spoken to him about it and he does try, but our elder child can be very provocative. We both grew up in homes with strict parents, where we were smacked. We now struggle with the fact that our eldest is deliberately naughty and defiant. She is terribly jealous whenever the younger one gets any attention. How can we keep the atmosphere calm? We were never angry like this before we had children. read more
My constant casual encounters are beginning to make me feel guilty, but not enough for me to stop. So including her could be the solution
I have been going dogging in various car parks across the UK for more than eight years, and have never told my wife. We have a healthy sex life, but I feel I can’t talk to her about my sexual activity away from her. Recently, I’ve been considering suggesting dogging to her to gauge her response, but don’t want to alienate her. She’s in no way prudish but she’s not an exhibitionist. My constant casual encounters with men and women are beginning to make me feel guilty, but not enough to make me stop. So including her could be the solution. read more
In 1918 some women got the vote – but in 2018 gender equality has not been reached. Five writers share their views on whether parity will be achieved in 2118
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If handsome guys lean to the right, how do you explain Trump and our leading Conservatives?
The secret is out. A US study, published in the Journal of Public Economics, says that more attractive people tend to politically identify as Conservative/Republican and that it’s precisely because they are so gorgeous that they have such a hard time believing that less fortunate people may need state help. read more