Dear Janice, since starting a new job my husband of 15 years’ behaviour has changed dramatically.

He dresses in designer gear and drenches himself in aftershave and is permanently on a diet.

It’s not just the superficial changes that concern me, he also seems distant and uncommunicative.

I can’t remember the last time we laughed together or went out for a meal, and sex just doesn’t happen anymore as he’s always exhausted.

My mum says it’s all down to the pressures of his new career, but my gut instinct tells me he has met someone at work.

How do I address this without seeming paranoid? Julie.

Dear Julie, relationship anxiety often follows what our gut instinct is telling us, and when something doesn’t feel right, usually it isn’t.

That said, you must give your husband the benefit of the doubt until it becomes crystal clear that all is not as it should be.

Plan a date night and gauge how he interacts with you. Chat about his job and ask about his colleagues, then suggest it would be nice to meet them after work for a few drinks.

This would be normal chat for any couple, so if he becomes defensive and withdrawn there is a problem.

Discreetly question his close family and friends about his reaction to his new job and how they think he is coping.

I sincerely hope this is all down to the pressures of work, but if not, then you need to brace yourself as you may have many more issues to deal with than your instinct first suggests.


Dear Janice, I have been chatting online to an old school friend for a month now and it may seem ridiculous as we haven’t seen each other for 30 years, but I think I love him.

I can’t stop thinking about him and my day is spent waiting on our nightly chat when my husband is on nightshift.

We know it’s wrong and feel awful, but we are equally unhappy in our marriages and agree that this connection is what’s keeping us sane.

We live a distance from each other and have agreed when the time is right, we will meet up.

I do love my husband, but not in this passionate and exciting way.

I’m torn and don’t know what to do. Sandra.

Dear Sandra, do you think life with your school buddy will be as appealing when you’re both dealing with the aftermath of acrimonious break-ups?  

I very much doubt it, and I guarantee you will wish you were back in the comfort of your loving family life.

This online relationship (if you can call it that) is nothing more than escapism. But what are you escaping from? A husband you love.

Online relationships are nothing more than fantasy, so focus on what’s real instead of deluding yourself that this

old school friend is going to bring to your life the euphoria you foolishly think you are missing.