Dear Janice, My father-in-law is one of the nastiest, vindictive people I have ever known, and as a result, he is disliked by many people. In fact, it would be easier to list the people who do like him!

I was horrified when my husband finally opened up about his abusive childhood years at the hands of his father, but despite this, he still visited his dad regularly.

I did too on occasion, but even then, he never had a kind word to say to me.

Somehow this seemed to be over my husband’s head, so I just put it down to the fact that he was used to his dad’s vile behaviour.

Now, the old man has weeks to live, and while I don’t wish him dead, I have no intention of attending his funeral, but I have a feeling my husband and son will expect me to be there.

I really don’t want to go, so what should I do?


Dear SMcD, People attend funerals to pay their respects to the dead, and you ‘quite righty’ don’t have any respect for this man, so I can see why you don’t want to go.

But I would grin and bear it and go for your husband and son’s sake.

I completely understand that in your eyes the death of this man is no real loss, but I imagine for your husband, and your son, it will be.

If he visited his dad all those years, despite his ill-treatment, then he would still feel a loss and would be grieving.

It’s only a few hours out of your life, and a time which you can never repeat, so go and support your family.

Keep in mind that you are attending for them, and not because of any loyalty or respect for this man. It’s the right thing to do and it makes you the better person.

Dear Janice, I have been dating a guy for nine months. I like him a lot, and we get on like a house on fire. Trouble is, I’m not really attracted to him.

He asked me to marry him, and I said I would need a bit of time to think about it.

He is very comfortable financially, whereas I am a single parent with a low income.

He loves my daughter and I do feel good when I am with him, but is that enough?

He adores us both and is always kind and caring.

I don’t want to say yes, and then change my mind and hurt him.

What should I do?


Dear Lindsay, In all that you have told me, you haven’t said one negative thing about this lovely guy except that you are not attracted to him.

However, attraction is a big part of any relationship.

You have to ask yourself, would you ditch this guy the minute someone you were attracted to comes into your life? This would surely be devastating all around.

However, as much as attraction is important, it doesn’t pay the bills and doesn’t put a roof over your head.

This guy has so much to offer financially and emotionally, and it sounds like you and your daughter need the security he could provide, so how would you feel if he disappeared from your life tomorrow? Would you care, or would you be heartbroken?

Move in with him, and experience life together 24/7 because this is the only way to find out if all three of you are compatible living together.

This guy deserves honesty and respect from you, therefore moving in together is a far better way of discovering if you are well-matched enough for him to put a ring on your finger.

I hope it works out.

Dear Janice, Just when I think we are all on track again, something else happens.

Last weekend my husband and I were looking after our grandchildren and when one of them deliberately threw something at the tv screen, my husband shouted at him and put him out in the hallway for half an hour to cool off.

He is eight and can be a real handful, so we thought this was the right thing to do.

Our daughter found out about this and went ballistic. In fact, she has barely made contact since then.

We don’t want to lose touch with the kids but are still not really sure what we did wrong.

Surely, we should be expected to chastise the kids if they misbehave?


Dear Joan, Absolutely you should. But the key to this is what’s acceptable, and what’s reasonable punishment in the eyes of your daughter and son-in-law.

By the sounds of it, you are all on a completely different page, which is not surprising as so much has changed over the years.

Invite them around for a coffee and find out what their house rules are and if they can show you how you should discipline your grandchildren in a way that is acceptable.

Kids play up all the time, but regardless of whose roof they are under, there still needs to be rules.

Remember, when you have this chat, it is important that the kids are not earwigging in the background because one sign of weakness between you all, and all bets are off.

I hope you can come to an agreement and move on.