Dear Aunty Jee,
My wife and I have been married for three years and it all started so well, but now it is turning very sour. Whenever we talk, whatever we say, even about domestic matters, if the conversation does not go in my wife’s favour, she goes to her room and stays there sulking for days, sometimes for a week, only coming out during the night to visit the loo and to eat. Simple questions such as “Shall we clean out the cupboard under the stairs” – if our views do not coincide, off she goes. She simply will not communicate. I have tried to suggest that we go for counselling but this sets her off again. We are in our latter life and it makes me depressed to think that my final years will be spent like this. I feel an anger rising in me and fear that soon I might lose my temper and lash out.
I have tried to be nice when she is like this to no effect – now I am trying to be intolerant and angry, but neither seems to work. What can I do?
Anonymous male, 64, Wakefield
Dear Anonymous Male,
You have tried being nice and you have tried getting angry and neither of these have worked. That is because you are investing too much time and effort into your wife’s sulking. If she is treating you this way then you need to act as if it doesn’t bother you, otherwise she will continue.
Try acting indifferent. When she starts sulking, just ignore her. If you have done nothing wrong then you shouldn’t be made to feel as if you have done something wrong. It is unfair and cruel to you.
On the other hand you could try to explain to her how you are feeling in a calm and friendly way. Try to express your concerns to her in a way that she will understand that what she is doing is hurting you.
Your situation is a sensitive one, it isn’t easy at all I imagine. But just try what I have said and I hope that it works out for you.
Best of luck
Dear Aunty Jee,
I have recently found out that my dad cheated on my mum when I was younger. They don’t know that I know and they seem happy together. But only recently when I found out that my dad has cheated again… but this time with my sister in law! I really love my dad to bits but don’t really get on well with my mum. I just do not know whether to tell her about him cheating on her because I am scared of them splitting up. On the other hand, I do not want to upset my dad because he has never done anything wrong to me and I care about him a lot. I am also scared that my mum will flip and won’t believe me if I tell her. I need help as I am worrying about it and making myself ill. Do you have any suggestions?
Anonymous female, 22, Dewsbury
Beti, your situation breaks my heart.
It cannot be easy to know that your father has been having an affair.
I would suggest that you speak to your father and tell him that you know what has been happening. It is his place to speak to your mother about this.
This is difficult for me to give advice on as the situation is so very sensitive, but I would say that you start by speaking with your father.
Tell him that you know what he has been doing and how it is effecting you. Tread with caution as the situation is delicate, but this is one of the only things you can do at this moment.
Beyond this, it is up to your father and mother.
I wish you the best of luck beti.
Dear Aunty Jee,
This is such a tricky one. My friend Sara is a nice girl but despite being clean in every other way and always changing her clothes on a daily basis, her breath smells awful. I offer her mints and sweets as an indirect statement but she doesn’t understand. I mean, her breath is really, really bad and makes my eyes water when I smell it. It stinks in a big way. Sometimes she sits next to me and it wafts in my direction or she wants to give me a quick hug as she leaves me or a kiss on the cheek and I hate to tell her why I pull away. Nobody else has said anything to me about it but she needs to know, so please advise me on how can I tell her?
Anonymous female, 20, Leeds
If the situation has got this bad it may be that she has a dental problem and needs to speak to a dentist.
Speak to her alone, without anyone else there so she doesn’t feel embarrassed or attacked. Try not to be judgemental when you speak to her. Be understanding and speak to her as a friend that is concerned.
Best of luck!