Ask Majella: Majella O'Donnell solves your problems
I'm a widow who's found new love but my kids can't accept it
Advice on what to do when your children can't come to terms with your new relationship and what to do when one partner loses interest in socialising.
As a widowed women of 63, I have finally come to terms with the fact that life has to move on and that I must begin to enjoy myself again. This has come very slowly for me, and only after counselling and meeting new people. My three children have encouraged me to do this and have been very supportive the entire time - that is until now. I met a lovely man some time ago at a social club and we've been enjoying each other's company more and more. I was actually very surprised at how much we have in common and how he has made me feel happy again. I realised I hadn't truly been happy for a very long time as I spent much of husband's final years caring for him and have been grieving since he passed. I'm now spending quite a bit of time out and about with this man and it's certainly a romantic relationship, but my children have become resentful about the situation. My son is incredibly rude to my new companion, and my daughters are treating me as if I've gone mad and need to be looked after. Everyone is sticking their nose in and I'm increasingly frustrated by it! Should I put a halt on my new romance or insist that my children accept it?
You should absolutely NOT put a halt to your new romance! I think that you are a credit to yourself for seeking counselling and for accepting that life has to go on. You are a young woman with a lot of living ahead of you. You only have one life and you have been the best partner you could have been looking after your ailing husband until he passed away. It is now your time to feel alive again. You have no regrets as you did the very best you could to the very end.
Your children need to understand that you still have a productive life to lead. Why would you just accept being alone for the rest of your life if you can be happy being with someone else? You have found that happiness and I think you are truly blessed to find love twice in your life. Go out there and enjoy yourself.
Your children need to learn to respect you as an individual that has a lot to offer for many years to come. You need to explain to them that this is what you want and that you hope they will respect your wishes. Tell them that you cannot accept them being rude to your new friend and that the way you feel about him does not diminish, in any way, how much love you had for their father. This is what you want and need now, and if they can't accept it then that is a shame, but it will not change the way you feel.
In time, hopefully they will realise that this man makes you happy and is good to you and that is what is important. I'm sure in time they will come to accept him so enjoy your new-found happiness as you deserve every moment of it!
My party girl partner has gone quiet on me
When I met my girlfriend a few years ago she was the life and soul of the party - in fact, we met at a mutual friend's party and she was the most bubbly and vibrant person going.
I always had a hard time keeping up with her on nights out, but now I'm finding that I'm the one hassling her to go out. I get the feeling she's gotten comfortable in the relationship and now we hardly do any socialising with our friends.
I usually go out with my mates for lads' nights but I kind of feel bad leaving her at home on the couch. When I suggest we go out together, she always makes excuses about wanting to watch a certain TV programme or being too tired. But if I'm going out with my own mates and I suggest she goes out with her girlfriends, all I get is an earful and usually she gets in a huff with me.
I miss going out with her and having a laugh, and I'm getting sick of seeing all my mates out with their girlfriends. How I can tell her she should come out more in a nice way?
Aaron, 28, via email
I think that you should say to her what you have said to me. Tell her, in a nice way, that you miss going out with her and that you miss her being there when all your mates are out with their girlfriends. This way it comes across as if you really want to be with her, which is a nice thing.
Never make it sound as if you are blaming or accusing as that's when the arguments start. She may be getting into a rut, so perhaps you could suggest doing something new together. If going to the pub is your usual activity, she may be just getting tired of doing the same thing every week.
Talk to her and ask her what she would like to do. If she doesn't want to do anything with you, tell her that you are afraid that the relationship will lose its spark as you don't have the laughs with her that you used to and you miss that.
Ask her if everything is okay between you because she seems to be less outgoing than she was when you met her and you're not sure if that is down to you or not. That way, she is far more likely to want to please you and to make an effort.
Hopefully, she just needs a little encouragement to be that life and soul of the party again.