Dear Janice, my brother used to be the life and soul of the party until he got married.

Now we rarely see him. We invite them for dinner but there is always a lame excuse.

My husband invites him to boys’ nights, but it’s just more excuses.

At a family wedding recently, he never left her side, so we didn’t get the chance to chat to him on his own. He looks so unhappy and I am worried, but don’t know what I can do to connect with him. Michelle.

Dear Michelle, there is no point in speaking to your sister-in-law as she’ll only find better ways to mask the situation.

Your brother needs to identify control and abuse in his relationship, and until he does, there is little you can do except remind him you are always there.

Text him often. That way if he can’t chat, he should still be able to reply.

Suggest you meet during his lunch break, or email him at work. Or just turn up.

Do whatever it takes, because it’s crucial to keep contact with him in case the day comes and he needs to reach out for help.

I hope it works out.

Dear Janice, I live in the city whereas my friends live miles out, so whenever they are heading my way for a night out, they crash at mine.

I do love seeing them and enjoy the catch up, but recently it feels like I am running a hotel, without the payment!

Obviously I would never ask for money, but I do have to change the bedding, clean thoroughly etc, before and after they visit, and it’s all quite exhausting.

I buy in wine and snacks for their arrival, and make dinner for them, then there’s food for breakfast too!

All-in-all, especially with the cost of living going through the roof, I spend a small fortune.

I now feel resentful whenever someone wants to stay.

I hate feeling this way as they are my friends, but how can I refuse? Shona.

Dear Shona, if you were running a hotel then you would charge a reasonable amount, but as this is your home and your friends, it makes a monetary transaction a little cloudier.

That said, everything you provide costs money – your money!

You have a few options.

Pre-book locally and eat out for dinner and breakfast, which may make them realise that paying for your hospitality is a far better option.

Or, buy in a takeaway and split the cost.

Or, ahead of the next visit, message and ask what they want provided and split the bill between you.

Or simply state: “I’m really busy with work so won’t have time to plan dinner, but if you’re OK fending for yourself, you are welcome to my spare room. I’ll leave a spare key so that you can come and go as you please.”

That way you are under no obligation to buy or cook anything.

Good friends should be more than happy with any of these choices. In fact, for free accommodation, they should be supplying the wine and buying you dinner.

Dear Janice, I am struggling.

When we first got married, my husband adored me. He complimented me, sang my praises and generally made me feel as though I was the most important person in the whole world, and life was great.

Four years down the line he snipes at me for nothing, constantly berates me, and makes nasty comments about how I look.

I can just about cope when we are at home, but recently at a dinner party he called me an idiot and made lots of condescending comments in front of everyone. I could tell they were embarrassed.

I feel like I’m walking on eggshells for fear of upsetting him.

My parents are elderly, so I don’t want to trouble them with my problems, but I am miserable and don’t know what to do. Jess.

Dear Jess, regardless of where you are, your husband has no right to speak to you in this way.

It’s time to stop bottling this up. You need to speak about this as its unlikely he is about to revert back to his old self anytime soon.

Your friends will have noticed these changes too, so speak to his closest friend and ask if he can throw any light on your husband’s behaviour. Perhaps he is stressed at work, has financial worries, who knows, but at this stage I would give him the benefit of the doubt that his appalling behaviour is down to troubles you are not aware of.

Your parents may be elderly, but you are still their child so turn to them for help. As a mum and dad, I’m sure they will be aware of your unhappiness, and talking to them may come as a relief for everyone.

Note down every nasty comment, then sit down with your husband, present him with the list and show him exactly what you are putting up with. Suggest you both attend counselling. Contact If he won’t go, you go and talk it through.

Jess, people don’t just change for no reason, and as much as you might be nervous finding out what that reason is, until you do so, you cannot begin to improve your unhappy relationship.