Dear Janice, on the run-up to Christmas I went through my husband’s pockets before putting his jeans in the washing and found a receipt for a ladies gold watch.

I didn’t want to spoil my surprise, so I hid the receipt.

However, on Christmas Day I got some lovely gifts – but no watch!

I am praying that he is keeping it up his sleeve for a New Years’ gift, but I’m now dreading New Year in case the watch doesn’t appear.

What if he has bought it for someone else? He had an affair many years ago and although it is long in the past, I do sometimes get suspicious.

I can barely look at him at the moment, and dread my fears coming true.

How long do I leave it before I say anything? JB.

Dear JB, let’s not jump the gun until New Year has passed.  If by then there is no sign of the watch, then by all means, you have the right to question him about it.

I assume you have ruled out every other possibility. It was a gift for his mum, sister etc. If so, then he has bought it for someone, and that someone is possibly not you.

He could have changed his mind and returned it, even without a receipt, so I would ask for proof of that.

There could be a simple explanation, but ignoring the mystery doesn’t mean it will go away and will more likely deepen your resentment towards your husband. So sort it before things get out of hand, and I hope you get the answer you want. 

Dear Janice, last week you gave a reader good advice when she said she was leaving her partner after Christmas. I have decided to leave my wife and children after New year.  We haven’t been getting on for a long time now, and apart from shared duties with the kids, we do very little together.  I can’t remember the last time we had sex. It seems like a new start all round is the best way to move forward. Do you agree? DB.

Dear DB, the Monday after January 1st has been dubbed ‘Divorce Day’ due to the spike in people filing for divorce because this time seems right to start over.

However, if you’re hoping I will give you the green light to leave your wife and children, then the answer is no, I won’t.  Marriage needs to be worked at, and I get the impression you two have simply drifted apart. 

The reader last week was in a completely different situation to yours. You don’t say you don’t love your wife, but sometimes one person puts less effort into a relationship, then so does the other …. and soon it becomes a game of tit for tat apathy which leads you to where you are.

You owe it to your children to give your marriage and family life every effort. Perhaps when you begin to show your wife you love and care for her, she will do the same in return.

Broken marriages can lead to broken children. It's surely worth the effort on both your parts for this reason alone.

READ MORE: Agony aunt Ask Janice: How do I tell my partner I’m leaving after Xmas?

Dear Janice, I’ve been with my boyfriend for eight months now and everything is great. Except for one thing.

He has always stayed over at my house, but recently he invited me to his for dinner, and I was gobsmacked when I saw round his home.

His house is a shrine to his ex-wife. Every room has pictures of her, or them as a couple, and he has mementos of their marriage everywhere.

I tried to get this into perspective, but as time goes by, I am getting more annoyed and frustrated at the situation.

After nine years of marriage, she up and left two years ago but he still lives in their marital home.

I could understand a houseful of memories if they were an elderly couple who had a long life together, but not this.

I brought it up in conversation, but he shrugged it off and said it was his home and he liked it the way it was.  

He wants me to see in the Bells at his, but I don’t want to start our New Year surrounded by his ex!  How can I sort this without a fallout? Elaine.

Dear Elaine, if ever there is a time for new beginnings it’s New Year. Out with the old, and in with the new as they say.

However, unfortunately, it seems he hasn’t let go of the ‘old’ (his ex), which is the real problem.

How can he move on with you if he is still emotionally involved with someone else?

Elaine, he could remove every image and material memory of her from his house, but what goes on in his head is another matter.

Take a step back until you are sure he is ready to move on. Stop all intimate relations and set boundaries until you know where you stand in this relationship.

I’m not saying cut him out of your life, but until he knows where his heart lies and he is ready to move on, you need to focus on yourself.

He will either continue to wallow with his ex in his past or choose you as his future.


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