Your problems answered

Your problems answered

My grandson seems to be afraid of his father

Our daughter’s ex-partner has access to his two-year-old son two weekends out of three, from Saturday morning until Tuesday evening. This was agreed, via a court order, after eight months of no contact, and started four months ago. Things were OK until two months ago, when she took him to the handover and he became hysterical and clung to her. Then the other day, when he was due to meet his dad, he cried ‘No going to Daddy.’ I think that there is no smoke without fire. His father has a new girlfriend, who also has a child. I don’t want to go against the law, but can my daughter refuse access this week?

Sometimes children can become very distressed at the handover, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that there is anything wrong with the other parent’s care. In young children who can’t fully express themselves, it is more to do with leaving one parent and adjusting to being with the other. Is there any reason to suppose that your daughter’s ex is not a good father? Is the new girlfriend nice and are they being careful enough about how the two children are together? If your daughter thinks her child is in danger she should consult a family lawyer (visit about stopping contact or arranging for her son to see his father at a Child Contact Centre (visit But it sounds as if your grandson is finding the separation too long, so your daughter needs to talk to her solicitor about it being shorter. It could start with being just a day, slowly extending to the present arrangement. Hopefully she and her ex can do what is best for their child.

Should I end the affair with my boss?

I know it’s a cliché, but I am having an affair with my boss. We have sex in his office, but he never sees me outside work, or texts or e-mails. At first I just used him for sex, but now I think I am falling in love with him. My lover makes me feel great, unlike my husband who is constantly putting me down. My boss says he loves me, but he won’t leave his wife and children and his luxurious lifestyle. I have tried to give him up, but he is incredibly persuasive and good-looking, and I always weaken. Should I finish with him? 

It might have started off with you using him, but there is no doubt that he is using you now – and perhaps always was. Have you thought that your relationship
with him is akin to you being a prostitute, apart from the fact that he doesn’t have to pay for sex? No intimate dinners, no romantic weekends away and definitely no future. He lays down the rules and you comply. Would it not be better to try to sort out – or end – your marriage? And the same applies to him.

They expect me to pay for everything

After the death of my beloved older sister from cancer, her two adult children asked me to arrange her funeral. Her son, who is in his 50s, is workshy, living on benefits and, until now, handouts from his mum. Any money he gets goes straight into his pocket or on drugs. Over the years I have helped my sister and her children, to my own financial detriment. Neither of them has contributed anything towards their mother’s funeral and it is difficult for me as I am on a low wage. My niece lives in an expensive house, but it seems that she too just expects me to pay for everything.

Your sister’s lazy, workshy son is happy to draw benefits and to have been bailed out by his mum, so it’s not surprising that now she has gone he thinks that someone else can pick up the bills. Sadly it seems that his sister shares this attitude. They should have paid for their mother’s funeral, and you could have made a small contribution if you wanted to. You could tell them this and send them the outstanding bills. Your niece can obviously afford to pay and your nephew could contribute to some funeral expenses, too, if he can afford to buy drugs. His mother brought him up with love and has helped him out in many ways (probably too much). Isn’t it time he did something for her?

Should I settle for Mr Third-Rate?

I am 42, my partner is 49, and we have lived together for 15 years. To the outside world it looks like a good relationship, but he won’t commit to marriage or children. We have lots in common but he doesn’t show me any affection, and sex is only at my instigation, although I don’t think he is having an affair. He is an intelligent man but his lack of openness and inability to engage in conversation has led to anger and resentment on both sides. At the first sign of a problem he is off to the spare room like a teenager. However, I feel that if I leave him, at my age my chances of love and happiness are slim.  

Ask yourself why you have stayed with this man for so long. You wanted marriage and children, but he has trampled all over your dreams. He is emotionally closed and unable to handle conflict, and his lack of interest in making love is humiliating. What is he doing for sex if he’s not having an affair? This has dented your self-esteem so much that no wonder you think that there is little chance of finding love. There is every chance, but probably not with this man.


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