Dear Janice, we booked a holiday to Tenerife with our friends and their children.

    The problem is, their daughter and ours have fallen out big time. My daughter says she despises her and will not be in her company, and I understand the feeling is mutual.

We haven’t been abroad for a few years as money was tight, so you can imagine how excited we all are to be heading to the sunshine.

But now there is a huge cloud hanging over it.

What can we do? Sharon.

Dear Sharon, firstly, whatever it takes, get both parents and both daughters into the same room for a chat before you all head off together.

Spell out in no uncertain terms that this holiday is not going to be spoiled by either of the feuding pair, and that they need to decide now to accept their differences and promise to make an effort to get along for everyone’s sake.

Tell them that when they return home, they can keep their distance from each other as much as they like.

If they won’t budge, explain that they are not welcome if there is a chance of either of them spoiling everyone’s fun, and that perhaps one or both of them should stay at home with a relative.

I somehow think that they will go and that their attitude towards each other may change for the better. I really hope so for everyone’s sake.


Dear Janice, I have finally found a lovely, decent guy who is in his 40s.

The only problem is that he is a doting dad. His children are both in their teens, and he is obsessed with them.

I know a parent should be, but he takes it to another level as his life literally revolves around them.

They stay with him every second weekend, and have a set night mid-week too, but out with that, if one of them wants to stay over, he is delighted to have them.

As a result, some weeks I barely see him.

I have met them, and they are lovely, but he says if they are staying over then I can’t, and in fact he prefers me not to even be there when they are.

I feel like I get the scraps of him and that he keeps me in the background for something to do when his kids are at their mums.

How can I sort this? His answer is that the kids were here before me, and I have to accept it. Julie.

Dear Julie, I admire a man who sticks by his children following a break-up. Many don’t.

Obviously, he loves their company and is aware that in a few short years he will see less of them, or worse, if they decide to move away.

Explain how you feel and state that if he can put aside regular time for his children, then he should be doing the same for you.

If he is not interested in changing, then you either ride the storm until they move on (which could be years), or you end this one-sided relationship and find yourself a partner who can, at least on occasion, make you a priority. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, do you?


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