Dear Janice, recently I bumped into a former colleague whom I worked with some years back, so we went for a coffee to catch up on old times.

When we worked together, we were extremely attracted to each other but did nothing except flirt and go for the occasional drink. As he was married and I had a partner it was just harmless fun.

Following our chat, he text me to say how much he enjoyed seeing me again and that he might have a job for me. (I told him how miserable I am in my current one.) I was excited and assumed we would meet for another coffee to discuss this job, but he wants me to join him on a business trip to Manchester. He says it will be strictly business.

I really do need a new job, but wonder if a trip away is the right thing to do because although I am now single, he is still married. Susan.

Dear Susan, there is no job. He is dangling the proverbial carrot, and like a donkey you are falling for it.

This guy knows you are attracted to him and has seized this opportunity to get into your Bridget Jones’s knickers. End of.

Why couldn’t he meet for a coffee again to discuss this potential position? (Excuse the pun).

Do you think his sufferable wife has any clue that he is planning to take you on a business trip to discuss a job opportunity? No. Not a chance.

Message him and say thank you for the chance to join him in Manchester but that you think it’s unwise and could he simply email you the job offer. When you receive no job offer, block all contact with this adulterous chappie and sign up to one of the many reputable recruitment agencies like, where you can access “real” jobs.

Dear Janice, I left my husband of 26 years as we had grown apart. He resents me for breaking up our marriage, but I needed to start a new life and do all the exciting things I felt I was missing out on. He has always been a good dad and husband and can’t understand why I have done this.

I do still love him, but only in a brotherly sort of way. I have no passion for him and felt that he deserved to be with someone he is more suited to.

Six months down the line I am lonely, skint, and wondering if I have done the right thing.

Despite everything, I am sure my husband would take me back.

I am concerned though, that if we did get back together and it didn’t work out then all the hurt and misery of breaking up would be repeated.

It seems I am going to be unhappy whatever choice I make.

What should I do? Rose.

Dear Rose, sounds to me that you are assuming the choices and decisions going forward are all yours to make.

I know this sounds harsh, but perhaps your estranged husband has decided his life is better without you. You cannot assume his marital door will be open and welcoming for you as it might well slam shut in your face.

Wanting back into a marriage of convenience because you are skint and lonely is not the answer. Let’s be honest, if you were financially comfortable and had a fun-filled diary, would you want your old life back? I seriously think not, so don’t put him through the heartache twice.

Start your new life. Put plans in place to meet new people. Find ways of boosting your income because I reckon you would be back with you hubby less than a week and your single-life feet would soon start itching again.

Dear Janice, my son and his wife surprised me on Mother’s Day with a puppy.

In hindsight I had been going on and on about a friend’s new puppy and how gorgeous it was and how it keeps her fit by walking it every day.

As I live alone, they thought it would be good company for me.

However, the truth is this new addition is hindering my social life! I work full-time so have to pay for a dog-walker too.

I appreciate how generous a gift this was, but all-in-all, I just can’t cope with this wee dog.

What can I do or say without offending them? Jean.

Dear Jean, caring for a dog 24/7 can be difficult for a family, but it’s even more so when the responsibility is all yours.

If you say nothing, as time goes by you will be even more stressed than you are now, resentful, and out of pocket.

It makes sense to be open and honest with your family about how you feel. Maybe there is a way around this. Perhaps they could dog sit now and then. Perhaps you could sign up to and share your lovely pet with dog lovers. If not, as they no doubt paid a small fortune for your gift, give them the opportunity to sell this wee dog to an owner who has the time and finances to take care of it.

In future, if they’re looking for gift ideas, a budgie or a goldfish might be a better option!

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