DEAR Janice, I have lived with my partner since lockdown, and we have got on brilliantly.

Any arguments have all been around the same subject, his ex-wife. They are still very friendly, which is acceptable as they have grown-up kids, but despite being separated for years, the minute she needs something he drops everything and is at her beck and call 24/7. The kids don’t even stay at home so it’s all about her.

Flat tyre, burst pipe, the list is endless, and I actually think she makes stuff up just to get him there. He says he feels sorry for her being on her own, but I am sick of it. How can I get him to pull away from her demands? Kim.

Dear Kim, it does sound like she is treating him not just as the fourth emergency service, but every service! No wonder you are rattled.

You don’t say why they split up, so there may be an element of guilt on his part, and I have no doubt if she had a partner the situation would be very different, but as she doesn’t, and may not for a very long time, you need to offer alternative solutions, which may come across as jealously on your part, so tread carefully.

You mentioned your partner is well connected with trade workmen, so suggest that for her benefit (in case he is ever unobtainable), he puts together a list of reliable workmen and friends she can turn to in the first instance to assist her when any of her ‘emergencies’ occur. This should cut out the middleman (your partner) and get her the help she needs. And point out that, God forbid, should anything ever happen to him she would need to stand on her own two feet so better she gets on with it now.

Dear Janice, my new girlfriend freaked out when I asked her about her past sexual partners. She says it’s none of my business. By her reaction I think she is obviously hiding something. Should I ask again? John.

Dear John, Ask again? I’m not sure if you’re jealous, brazen, or just daft.

Your girlfriend has made it clear that this subject is taboo. If you had reason to suspect she was on Britain’s most wanted list, then I would understand your need to delve into her past, but her sexual partners are private and personal to her. She may actually have had a very subdued or non-existent sex life and there is nothing to tell, or she may have had more partners than an Easter bunny, either way, accept her for who she is now and leave it at that.

Dear Janice, since lockdown practically everything I have bought has been online.

As a result, I decided to pay a fee for Amazon Prime so that I got free delivery, which in the long run would save me money. However, months back my son twigged on to this and began asking me to buy items for him to save him the delivery charges. I thought this would be no problem but as it turns out, I order and pay for his items, and he never pays me back! At the end of the day, I’m now out of pocket. I don’t want to fall out with him. Any ideas, as he’s not taking me up on any of my hints to pay? Carole.

Dear Carole, so much for trying to save yourself a few pennies. This has backfired big time.

Next time he asks you to order and pay for something, (and he will because it’s free!), say no problem and give him two choices. Bank transfer the money now please or offer to add up what he spends at the end of each month, text him the total and your bank details for payment. He now has choices, not hints, end of story. My guess is he’ll pay up one way or another. However, if not, then tell a white lie. Say that as shops will be reopening soon, you are no longer paying an annual fee for a service you won’t be using very much and let him revert to doing his own online shopping. (with charges).

Dear Janice, my mother assumes she is coming with my husband and I on holiday again this year in our caravan.

Trouble is, at every opportunity she interferes in everything we do. She nags my poor husband constantly which causes endless rows between us. He has now declared that if she goes, he is staying at home. We all need a break but now I’m not looking forward to it. Nicola.

Dear Nicola, the idea of a holiday is what’s keeping many people going at the moment, so it’s a real shame you have this cloud hanging over you.

Your mum must be needing a break too, but I have little faith in her suddenly being able to keep her mouth zipped. Explain to her that you need time away alone together as lockdown has put a strain on you both, and that next time she is welcome to come. Perhaps you could organise for her to go on a few weekend coach trips with people her own age or ask relatives to arrange some days out with her (a day maybe enough for them) and go and enjoy your well-deserved break.

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