Dear Janice, we have been married for three years now and my husband’s DIY skills have gotten steadily worse. It annoys me that he used to brag about all the DIY jobs he had done for his previous girlfriend, therefore I assumed he knew what he was doing.

But no. So far, he has hung squinty pictures with huge holes on the wall, left dangerous screws sticking out of the door handle, and there’s more paint on our windows than on the walls!

Our new decking is nothing short of a death trap, and now he is excitedly waiting on his shed arriving which he plans to build himself. I don’t want to dampen his enthusiasm, but our property is depreciating every time he gets his tool bag out. Jen.

Dear Jen, did you ever see any evidence of your husband’s handywork prior to moving in together? I think not. He may well have done lots of DIY jobs, but I bet they were every bit as shoddy and dangerous as they are now.

Your poor hubby reminds me of the hapless Frank Spencer, full of enthusiasm, but useless.

Check out your local DIY stores to see if they have restarted DIY/home improvement classes and sign him up.

Ahead of his beloved shed arriving you have two choices. Make his tool bag mysteriously disappear, or call favours on a brother or friend to come and assist him before his new shed ends up a crooked and hazardous eyesore. In hindsight Jen, perhaps you should have secured a DIY prenuptial agreement!

Dear Janice, over the last few months I’ve noticed myself drift away from a tight group of friends I’ve had since I was at school more than a decade ago.

Two years ago, at the beginning of lockdown, I moved in with my partner.

I go back and visit my parents frequently and each time I do I always give my friends plenty of notice so we can arrange plans, but sometimes no-one even replies to my messages in the group chat.

We used to socialise a lot before the pandemic and I know that they arrange things and don’t bother to invite me which is quite hurtful. I’m only a train journey away – not in a foreign country!

Do you think there is anything worth salvaging with this friendship group or should I just move on? H.

Dear H, it’s always hurtful when you feel you are the one being left out. But that may not necessarily be the case.

Are you sure everyone else in the group is included too? Do they all manage to catch up except you?

I reckon there will be one person in the group you are closer to than the rest. If so, call them for a chat and test the water.

Say that you miss everyone and that you’ve tried to reach out, but no-one seems interested, and see what she says. I think after all this time together it is worth one last attempt to try and sort it.

Or why don’t you take the bull by the horns and organise something giving them alternative dates.

When I organise for my friends it’s a nightmare trying to get a night planned as everyone is so busy, and inevitably someone misses out. If all else fails and no-one responds positively then let it go as you’ll only be setting yourself up for more upset and disappointment each time.

Find a new group of friends who you can have fun with and who want to make the effort to be in your company. Good luck.

Dear Janice, sadly my son and his long-term partner have split up.

It was his decision as he says he felt their relationship had run its course and it was time to move on with his life. He insists there is no-one else involved and I believe him. However, his partner (who I consider my daughter-in-law) didn’t want their relationship to end. They have a beautiful three-year-old son whom I adore and look after often.

I now dread that the day will come when she moves away and I don’t see either of them again. Let’s face it. Why would she stay?

I want the best for all concerned, but how can I make this situation better than the dreadful outcome I can foresee? EM.

Dear EM, you are worrying about situations which may well never happen. Why would she stay? Well I would ask, why would she not stay? She has you in her life who is someone she can rely on and trust to take care of her son.

That is a massive bonus when you are a single parent.

It’s fairly unusual for parents to split out of apathy alone which is why I’m not convinced your son hasn’t met someone else, but time will tell. For now, continue to support your “daughter-in-law” as much as you can and keep child-minding your grandson.

If the worst does happen and she moves away, I would be truly surprised if given your close relationship, she decided to withdraw your time with your grandson.

Take each day as it comes and put tomorrow’s worries to the back of your mind until they do actually happen.

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