Ask Rosanna: My boyfriend's gambling problem is worrying me. Should I leave him?
Rosanna Davison shares her advice in her latest agony aunt column.
Q. My boyfriend spends a lot of time at the bookies and I’m not sure how I feel about this. We’ve been dating for six months and we are very much in love – but I’ve never been around gambling and I just worry about what I might be signing up for.
He always has money to bring us out and he says he doesn’t have a problem – but gambling just doesn’t seem like something that ends well for a long-term bet, so should I split?
A. I can fully understand and appreciate your concern, because gambling really doesn’t have the best reputation. But if he has it all under control, as he seems to, and he enjoys doing it as a hobby, then it’s not time to get too concerned.
I certainly wouldn’t suggest you break up with him, especially because you’re so much in love. But if I were you, I would keep an eye on the time he spends at the bookies. If he starts to become more and more hooked on gambling, then do air your concerns with him.
Encourage him to think about taking up a different hobby, and even a healthy one that you could both enjoy together, like a fitness class.
Try not to worry too much at the moment as it may just be a phase that he’s going through.
Q. My wife gives money to our children – who are in secondary school – to buy lunch, but they have all gained a lot of weight in the last couple of years and I keep asking her to make the lunches at home so that we know what they are eating.
She refuses, in spite of the fact that she doesn’t work. I get that she is busy running the home and doing the day-to-day necessities with the kids, but surely she should want to make their lunches and keep them healthy?
This has become a total battleground with her taking some kind of feminist stance – it’s a health issue for me.
A. With the childhood obesity epidemic causing huge health problems for young children and teenagers in this country, I completely agree with your attitude towards your own children’s health.
They’re also at a crucial age, in which they need to learn about what food options are healthier than others.
If they’re allowed to make their own decisions about what to eat for lunch each day, then it’s inevitable that they’ll be drawn towards the junk-food options and sugary fizzy drinks. Their significant weight gain is proof of this.
You must have another discussion about this with your wife, but I would also suggest that you bring your children to your GP, who will be able to advise on the correct weight that your kids should be for their age and height.
An expert’s advice should give your wife the motivation to make some changes to your children’s eating habits, and it’s a matter of preparation and building in the time to make their lunches each day. It will be absolutely worth it for their health and self-confidence in the long-term.
Q. I’ve lost three stone in the last year and want to change my look – I’ve always been a chubby girl and have opted for baggy clothes in the past. I don’t want to suddenly wear short skirts or tight clothing, but I do think I would like to experiment with some more elegant, fitted items.
I’ve no idea where to start but feel certain that I need someone with a good eye and who will give me their honest opinions – I’m not sure family and friends are totally on board with the new-look me and may not give really good advice.
A. Congratulations on losing so much weight! No doubt you feel much better, have a lot more energy and you probably feel much more confident in your appearance too. It’s natural for you to want to change up your look, and you have to learn how to dress your new body.
It’s also natural to feel a little bit intimidated, especially because there’s so much choice out there for women and trends really do come and go quickly. But rather than asking somebody you know to help out, I think that you’d probably get more helpful and practical advice from an expert in fashion.
If it’s feasible for you, I would advise that you enlist the help of a personal shopper or stylist to talk you through the best shapes for your size and height now. Plenty of the big high-street brands, as well as the department stores, offer a personal shopping service.
Even if it was just for a couple of hours, it would really help you to focus on what suits you best now and what you feel most comfortable in.