Saturday, August 19, 2017
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Aunty Anne

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Dear Aunty Anne,  

To cut a long story short, my partner of 26 years [with whom I have 3 great kids, twin boys at 19 years and 10 year old boy], sleeps all day. He gets up between 3pm and 9pm and smokes cannabis and then goes back to bed. He has a terrible temper and if something is said wrong or goes wrong, he will smash anything in his way. He is always miserable and says it’s because he is depressed but refuses to see a doctor. I want to leave him but I’m not sure what he will do if he is depressed. I couldn’t live with myself if he did anything stupid and the kids would blame me. Can you help me please? 

Anonymous female, Manchester 

Dear Anonymous female, 

It saddens me to hear about your situation however I do think you are correct in saying that your husband is depressed. One of the hardest things is being strong when someone you love is going through something so severe, but it is unfair that you have to deal with the repercussions in this way.  I think it would be advisable if you speak to a medical professional in private and tell them about your husband’s situation, and what is happening, as this is something that you cannot help him with.  I have learned that the first step to healing is admitting that there is a problem to fix. Your husband has reached this first point that is a good sign. He just needs the medical support.  In this situation unfortunately there is very little that you can do unless he gets medical help.  Best of luck 

Dear Aunty Anne,  

I know u may hear this all the time from teenage girls, but this bully is driving me crazy. At times she’s lovely and acts like a really great friend, but then it switches and she makes remarks and disapproving faces when she doesn’t agree. If I do anything, she has a go at me and interrogates me, making me feel under pressure. She’s an only child and used to being the centre of attention but her two-faces has been going on since we were 16, which is now 3 years ago now. I’ve known her all my life, but how can I stop her making my life so hard? I’ve tried talking about it and making new friends which does work, but how can I get the lovely girl instead of the spoilt jealous one? Please help 

Anonymous female, Sheffield 

Dear Anonymous female,

It is sad to hear that you have to deal with this situation. I can understand the frustration, it isn’t easy dealing with people you assume are your friends but then they can also act like bullies. My honest advice to you would be to let these people go from your life. The effort of dealing with their moods isn’t worth it. I would speak to her, let her know how you are feeling and if she continues then I would let her go. We don’t need toxic people in our lives. Good luck. 

Dear Aunty Anne,  

Last month, I bumped into my ex-girlfriend. We sadly split 6 months ago because a lot of people began to interfere with our private lives when our relationship was meant to be very discreet. We got back together as we both thought we could give things another try. Only on the condition that we did not tell anybody and keep it a top secret. However, last month she rang me and told me there was a problem as somebody had found out. She is accusing me when I haven’t told a single soul. Now she is refusing to answer my calls and is calling me a liar. She doesn’t even reply to my texts and says things are over. I don’t want this to happen and I refuse to move on without her by my side! Can you help me please? 

Anonymous male, Leeds 

Dear Anonymous male, 

You need to be able to speak to her and explain to her that you are not involved in what has happened. It is a difficult situation but she needs to be able to trust you enough to know that you would not jeopardise your relationship. Prove to her that you wouldn’t do this. However, if she still refuses then at least you have done everything you can do, and the rest is up to her. I wish you the best of luck.

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Dear Aunty,

I am 29 with three kids, two of whom have special needs and are a handful. The other is a baby. I have been with their dad for 7 years. In this time he has slept with numerous women and been living constantly with the mother of his older children. I can see most of the time that he doesn’t love me but after all this time I am finding it hard to break free and move on, thinking that if I do, I may lose my chance of love. In reality I know nobody else will want me. My mum died alone from breast cancer and I am terrified the same thing will happen to me, so I cling onto a relationship that I know I have already wasted too much time on. Please answer this and tell me what to do. I so want to move on but I don’t seem to be able to end it once and for all. Thank you

Anonymous female, Batley

Dear anonymous female,

I am sorry to hear about your situation, but no one should be made to suffer through a marriage in which they are made second to everything else. I think that you should firstly speak to your husband, tell him you know what he had been doing and tell him how you are feeling. Of course it is hard to let go, you’ve been with this man for 7 years, but if he is not treating you as you should be treated then what is there left?

I wish you the best of luck. Stay strong.

Dear Aunty,

My family and friends have recently discovered that I am bulimic. My mum took me to see my doctor, who has referred me to a counsellor. My mum wants to be present at these sessions as she feels my bulimia is her fault, but I don’t feel comfortable talking about it with her, let alone in front of her. I don’t want her to know the reasons why I do it. I have pushed myself away from my friends and have no one to talk to, and due to my extreme mood changes I have attempted suicide several times. I don’t have the worst life, but I just don’t know how to sort things out. Help me please?

Anonymous female, Leeds

Dear anonymous female,

Dealing with an eating disorder on your own is a very difficult thing, so it is good that you are getting help for this. I think it would be best if you sit your mum down and explain to her that this isn’t her fault and that you would feel better talking to the counsellor on your own I’m sure she will understand. If you have to, you can explain to the counsellor that you would prefer to speak to them alone. It is good that you are getting help for this, and I really hope that these sessions help you.

Dear Aunty,

I’ve been in love with my friend for four years now. If you think that’s bad, there’s more to come: I’m gay and he’s straight! He was aware of the situation years ago and was really understanding and he only asked that I wouldn’t tell anyone else of my feelings. Our friendship has grown since we met over 8 years ago and so have my feelings. I am now at a point where I feel miserable and depressed every time he gets a new girlfriend or sees others friends and not me. But then when I’m with him, below the surface level happiness I still have this dull heartache which cripples me when we part. For years I’ve beaten myself up about the feelings because of just how pathetic I must look to my friends that know about my feelings and because I’m scared I might lose him as a friend somehow and be left heart-broken, and mostly because I know how ridiculous it is that I think or wish he might feel the same. I am sick of feeling sad and lonely when I think about him but don’t want to lose my feelings in case miraculously he might feel the same! How do I make the feelings stop? Please help me, Anne, because I’m at breaking point. Or am I beyond help? Many thanks

Anonymous male, Bradford

Dear Anonymous male,

You are certainly not beyond help. Firstly it is amazing that you have such a great friendship with him. I can imagine how difficult it is to have feelings for your friend, and quite simply, as hard as it is, you can’t make the feelings go away. That’s the thing about feelings they have a funny way of clinging on. However, I will tell you this, you will find someone that you can love just as much if not more. Enjoy your friendship with this man. Clearly he values you as a huge part of his life. I know how difficult it is, but just keep going. Something good will come.

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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

Beti, 

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!

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sadwoman

Hello Aunty Jee!

I need a little advice about when I should think about having children with my boyfriend. We’ve been together for over 3 years, lived together for over 2 and are planning to stay together for the long run. The only reason I’m thinking about kids now is that I’m 23, but my boyfriend is 32. I feel like I have quite a few years left before I’d feel like an old mum, but I don’t want them to have a super old dad, either. I’d like us to be in our 30’s at the oldest when our kids are born. We both have our degrees and are working pretty good jobs, but are also interested in going back to school to get our MAs. What is a good compromise age for us to have a baby? Thank you for your advice in advance!

Anonymous female, Leeds

Beti, if you are ready for children now and you and your boyfriend have both decided that you want children it would be my best advice to follow your own instincts. No one, not even me, can tell you what the right age for you to have children is because it is completely subjective. If you are ready, then you should start preparing! However, if you do not feel ready just yet, give it a year or two to fully come to terms with and understand what having children will mean. It is a massive responsibility and you need to make sure that you are ready for that. Although I cannot advise you when best to have children, taking into consideration what you have said I would suggest it may be best if you start trying within the next two years.

Good luck!

 

Dear Aunty Jee,

I am a 40 year old married man from India. I had an arranged marriage which is the norm in India. A few years ago I was abroad for 3 years where I met this single Indian woman who was working in the same organization as me. We became good friends, interacted by emails, chatted over cups of coffee etc. She was unaware of my marital status and indirectly asked/proposed me about my marriage plans. When I disclosed, she was surprised and kind of blushed. Anyway, our friendship continued and we discovered we share a brilliant chemistry and respect and trust for one another. Slowly my feelings of friendship turned into a respectful love for her. I met her once before relocating to India and parted with a goodbye hug. I kept in touch with her by emails regularly.

As luck would have it, I was allocated the same office again for a short term (6 months) and I would be going alone this time. Needless to mention, I would be meeting her again. She is also looking forward to my visit. Though I love her deeply, I know I cannot become her life partner. But I want to express my feelings to her and tell her I love her from my heart. But I also apprehend what could be the consequences of this, I mean how she might react to this? Meaning she might get kind of angry, confused, or decide to put an end to our friendship? I want to be as polite and decent to her as I have been with her till now. But I want to tell her I love her. I am in a dilemma. Thank you!

Anonymous male, India

This is a very difficult situation betah, but you must understand that by confessing your feelings to this other woman, you will be severely hurting your wife. I understand that you have deep feelings for this woman and you can’t help your feelings. But you can help your actions. I would advise against confessing your feelings to this other woman as you do not know where it may lead. If she does not share the same feelings with you then you may lose her as a friend. However, if she does share the same feelings, where will that lead? There is another person in this situation and that is your wife who will be hurt if she learns of this. I can’t force you to do anything, but please think very carefully about the potential of what could happen.

Good luck

 

Dear Aunty Jee,

I would like your advice please. I am a British born Pakistani girl and currently at University. I have been fortunate to have a very good upbringing by my parents and share a very good rapport with them. When I started going to University, as always, I wore western clothes such as jeans, long skirts etc. and it was never a problem with my parents. Over the past year I have noticed more changes with my parents as they have become more religious. Last month my mother purchased a hijab for me to wear but I do not want to wear it. It has caused commotion and it has come to a point where my father is no longer talking to me. I dress appropriately and do not see why I am being forced to wear the hijab. What is the best advice you can give me?

Anonymous female, Bradford

I am really sorry to hear about your situation Beti, but firstly I must stress that it is wrong for anyone to force you to wear something you do not want to wear. If I was you, I would try to sit down with my mother and father and talk to them about why they are pushing this decision. When you talk with them though please go in with a positive frame of mind, and try to keep it from becoming an argument, because you don’t want that, of course. Try to explain to them that you have always listened to them, but this is something that you are not comfortable with. I really do hope that they come around and that you and your father are back on speaking terms soon.

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At times, we all need to talk about certain issues and problems that are affecting us. Whether we feel we have an embarrassing medical condition, trying to overcome an addiction or a relationship with our partner that is causing family commotion, Aunty Ji is here to advise you. Whether or not you take my advice on board, I will advise you as to the best of my knowledge and life experience. All letters sent in will remain totally anonymous and I will try to answer as many as I can. Aunty Jee is here for you!

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