Dear Janice, I have been married for 28 years and have a reasonably happy marriage, I feel ashamed to admit it, but I really don’t fancy my wife anymore. I look at her and can’t see anything attractive about her. She tries to initiate sex every so often but I make excuses and turn my back on her, or let her nod off before I even attempt to go to bed, then I’m up and out of it before her the next day.

It’s not something we talk about because I can’t think of anything she could say or do to make me feel differently.

Apart from this, she has always been a good wife and mum, we have a great social circle and nice holidays together so I don’t want to leave her, but I feel guilty rejecting her all the same. What should I do? Joe.

Dear Joe, you must have fancied your wife at some point otherwise you wouldn’t have married her. So what went wrong? Has she changed so dramatically that you don’t recognise any of the things you were attracted to in the first place?

That said, the brain chemicals that signal we are head over heels in love tend to fade after a few years, and if you haven’t managed to build anything to replace them, one or both of you may start to resent your situation.

Couples can become too familiar with each other and slowly the spark dies. Mutual attraction requires each individual to have their own personality and life. If you know what is about to come out of each other’s mouth before it is said then the thrill, challenge and mystery evaporates in front of your eyes.

Sex aside, you still seem to be happy in this relationship so think carefully before you make the wrong decision and part company.

As much as it’s important to spend quality time together, try being more emotionally and intellectually separate and less dependent on each other and a few sparks might just reignite!

Dear Janice, I worry all the time about my mum dying. My dad passed away when I was young and for years it was just the two of us. I am in my mid-30s, married, but I just cannot contemplate life without her.

When we are not shopping or having lunch together, we text and phone all the time.

I know it is inevitable that she will die, but I dread the day it happens. FM.

Dear FM, the inevitability of death is something we all have to face, and sadly some people experience this from an early age (as you did with your dad), and never get to experience a warm and loving relationship like you have with your mum. Losing your dad so young will have bearings on how you dread the loss of your mum.

In my early 20s a psychic told me my dad would be dead within four years. Well, I was so upset and wished four years would pass to prove her wrong. My dad lived till he was 86 years old. So, all my worrying and stress was for nothing, and chances are you will have many years left with your mum regardless of how much you do or do not worry. Focus on your mum living and the things you still have to do together.

Let go of a situation which is outwith your control.

Talk to your mum openly about how she feels about death as she may be concerned about how you will cope without her.

Hopefully you will have many years of fun together and when the time comes you will have wonderful memories to regale and cherish.

Dear Janice, six months ago I met a lovely guy and we get on great. We are in our 40s and have children from our previous marriages who thankfully get along brilliantly too. So all in all, I can’t complain and feel lucky to have met him. However, one thing that constantly annoys me is the tattoo of his ex-wife’s name on his upper arm.

I cringe every time I see it. But it’s worse now the weather has improved and his arm is exposed for everyone else to see too!

I am fed up meeting people who naturally assume I am “Michelle”.

I have asked him to remove it and he flatly says no. How can he not see how embarrassing it is for me? Laura.

Dear Laura, if he is adamant it is staying then you will just have to accept it.

I assume you have suggested he gets it tattooed over?

We all have things from our past and previous relationships which are reminders (your children are a perfect example), but it’s how we view them in our present that matters. You have listed many positives in your relationship, so don’t spoil the good you both have by focussing on this one thing.

Next time someone calls you Michelle just turn it around and laugh it off.

A tattoo like this is not what many would want to see, but it’s not like he’s still wearing his wedding ring or has pictures of her everywhere.

Keep in mind she is his ex-wife and YOU are the one he happily spends his time with.

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