Dear Janice, when my dear friend introduced me to her new chap, I was instantly drawn to him. He is handsome, well groomed, and an absolute gentleman.

I’ve been in their company numerous times now and always feel such a lightning spark between the two of us.  

I do feel somewhat guilty about my overwhelming feelings and do not want to upset my lovely friend as I know she has fallen for him also, but how can I ignore this magnetic pull we have?



Dear ST, one thinks one has been reading too many romantic novels.

How do you know that this so-called lightning spark and magnetic pull is reciprocated?

Perhaps this chap is simply being the gentleman you say he is and is being respectful towards you because of his partner (your lovely friend, in case you had forgotten!).

Do everyone a favour and keep your distance from this couple.

Meanwhile, put the romantic novels to one side and get out and find yourself a gentleman of your own.

That way, these burning embers you feel rising inside you can be stoked by a partner who is all yours. Trust me, this option means you won’t go making a complete fool of yourself, and although I don’t necessarily think you deserve it, you will keep your friendship alive without hurting anyone.


Dear Janice, my husband and I are in our early 60s and have been married for nearly 40 years. He has always smoked and drank a lot and although I didn’t like it, in those days a wife just accepted this behaviour.

But now, he is always so inebriated or recovering from a hangover that I can’t remember the last time we had sex.

We are borderline financially poor because his habits are draining any extra cash we have as it all goes on booze and cigarettes. He also has the ‘odd’ flutter on the horses.

He must be doing untold damage to his health, and I have talked to him when he is sober about how his actions are affecting his health, my mental health and our finances, but he just shrugs and walks away muttering ‘everyone does it’ and he can’t see a problem.  He won’t even try to cut down or seek any kind of help I’ve suggested.

He can be a loving man and for short periods our lives are reasonably happy, and we enjoy time with our family. This is the side people see. However, when he binge-drinks it’s like flicking a switch and he turns nasty, belittling and condescending towards me.

He is due to retire at the end of the year and I am dreading it. I’m scared to leave but can’t go on living like this. How can I get him to change?



Dear Susan, reading your extended email I can sense how lonely and unhappy you are.

Your husband has a face for everyone and sadly you get the worst one.

People who live with addicts often carry a burden of shame but your children should be made aware of how miserable your life is. Chat to them and be honest about the full extent of their father’s selfish and addictive lifestyle.

As your husband shows you so little respect this will increasingly damage your self-esteem unless you act. There are many things I would have suggested but you seem to have tried almost all of them and he is not even attempting to meet you halfway.

You are clutching on to the few good times you have, but when somebody is married to an addict, they have to ask themselves – I am miserable so why am I staying married to this person? 

Do you want to spend the rest of your life, or even attempt sex with a selfish, smelly, irresponsible, broke and impotent man?

Hopefully, you have many years left on this earth, so now is the time to pack a bag and leave. Perhaps you have friends or family you can live with until you sort yourself out. 

Contact your local authority and get advice from Leaving might be the shock he needs to help himself. Either way, it is your choice how you want to live your next chapter. I wish you luck.


Dear Janice, our friend has a friend who keeps inviting herself to everything we do. 

But we all agree she is a nightmare and does not fit in with the rest of us. We are planning another trip and none of us wants her there. But how do we stop her?



Dear Grace, simple. Tell your friend to keep her mouth shut and stop discussing your plans with this girl. And lie, if it comes to it. I’m not sure if you are being unjustly unkind towards this girl, but at the end of the day if everyone has decided they don’t want her in their company, then it’s not fair on her to join a hostile group of females who will no doubt be shooting unfriendly arrows at her at every opportunity. She’ll soon get the message and will find a pack of females who are her own kind.