DEAR Janice, my wife wants me to take her out for driving lessons. She thinks that it would help her get a feel for driving before she pays for expensive lessons.

To a point I agree but to be honest she is not the kind of person who takes instructions easily, especially from me!

Last month I simply suggested that she was loading the dishwasher the wrong way and next minute she blew her top and didn’t speak to me for a week! 

So, you can see where I’m coming from. But how can I refuse? Tom.

Dear Tom, you don’t need a crystal ball to see how this could end. This is a powder keg waiting for the fuse to ignite, and you would be the match that lights it.

Tell her you’re a nervous passenger and you wouldn’t have the patience to teach her or anyone else for that matter and suggest one of her relatives or friends take her out.

If all else fails, stall her until Valentine’s Day, and along with a big bunch of red roses, surprise her with a block booking of professional lessons.

It might be expensive but I can assure you worth every penny!

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Dear Janice, my seven-year-old grandson doesn’t know that his “dad” is not his biological father.

His biological father disappeared off the face of the earth when he decided he couldn’t cope with family life, and if I’m honest, I was over the moon to see the back of him.

His “dad” has brought him up since he was two and they have a lovely bond, so the easiest thing would be to leave things as they are and not rock the boat.

But I don’t feel that’s the right thing to do.

However, when I bring this up with my daughter, she brushes me off and insists the time is not right and says she will tell him soon. But when will that be? 

I believe he has a right to know. Should I tell him? Anne.

Dear Anne, absolutely not. This is not your story to tell and I imagine your daughter would be extremely upset if you override her decision.

Your daughter has done her best to bring up her son in a secure family environment, despite her partner disappearing, and by all accounts she has succeeded in doing so up until now. This may be the reason she is reluctant to disrupt her happy family home.

That said, I wholeheartedly agree that your grandson has the right to know.

The danger of not telling him is that his friends or cousins could blurt this out, which is not the way he should find out.

Also, what if his biological dad decides to appear? Perhaps he has step-siblings too.

Go for a coffee with your daughter and explain your feelings and fears for your grandson. She will understand your intentions are for the best, but this is her job, not yours.

What’s important is that your grandson is part of a loving family, and this will keep him in good stead for anything he has to face in his future.

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Dear Janice, I am friendly with a man at work. I really do like him and think the feeling is mutual. We are in our early 60s and get on like a house on fire. We make each other laugh and there is definitely an attraction.

He has hinted on a number of occasions that we should go for a drink after work and I want to jump at the chance, but one thing is holding me back.

He has a wife who is in a care home because she has dementia. He visits regularly but tells me that for a long time now she doesn’t know who he is. 

I find it all incredibly sad. It doesn’t seem right for us to enjoy ourselves whilst he has a wife who is ill, but then again, he is lonely too. 

His children and grandchildren live miles away and only visit now and then, and I imagine they wouldn’t be too pleased if their dad started seeing another woman under the circumstances.

I am wary of taking the next step in case it all goes belly up. What should I do? Lynn.

Dear Lynn, this is a predicament right enough. I assume you trust this man and that all he is telling you is true. If so, then he does have a life to live despite his wife’s illness.

He and his children will need to come to a point where they acknowledge their loss. And this is a loss, because their loved one sadly is no longer the person she was, and never will be again.

In their own way they will be grieving for her, and how each person deals with this loss will be different.

She is still his wife and by all accounts he should be there to visit as often as he can.

The morals of this situation could be debated forever, so it really is best that before you agree to a date, he chats with his family and tells them of his intention to take you out. The reaction he receives may well take this dilemma out of your control. I hope it works out.

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