Ask Rosanna: Should I try and get my husband back?
Q. I'm in my early 50s and separated from my husband of 28 years in January. It was my decision, we didn't rush in to it and he was devastated when I told him last year that I didn't think we should stay together now that the children were grown up.
We waited until after Christmas to tell the kids and then everything moved really quickly. He found an apartment and we decided to sell the family home. We told family and friends and I went on a girls' holiday with my sister and some pals to celebrate my freedom.
Two weeks after I got back my husband told me he has met someone else and us breaking up has given him a new lease of life -- he's started jogging and has taken up lots of new hobbies. He seems so happy -- but I feel betrayed, miserable and lonely.
I think I've made a horrible mistake -- should I try and get him back?
A. This is a huge change in your life and one you didn't exactly make overnight. You made it because it felt right for you and, understandably, it left your husband devastated.
I can also appreciate how much of a shock it must have been to find out that your husband has moved on with his life, found new interests and has met somebody new. That part was never going to be easy for either of you, but he has every right to move on with his life, especially since he was the one that was dumped. You can't have it both ways, unfortunately.
I suspect that you only want him back because he's now seeing somebody else and that element of jealousy has naturally crept in, but you would inevitably fall back into the same pattern again and your old problems would crop up.
Unless you are both prepared and willing to actively fight for your marriage, possibly with the help of a relationship expert, then I would suggest you focus on your futures as individuals and see how you feel further down the line.
Rushing to take him back and then the relationship not working will inevitably lead to more heartache and resentment.
Q. My twin sister has started smoking joints -- we're 16 and have always been sporty as well as academic. She started hanging out with a new girl, who came to our school at the end of third year, and now fights with our parents all the time and breaks all the rules.
She keeps getting me to cover for her when she bunks off school or sneaks out late at night and I have done that up to now, even though my parents are worried, but I am scared about her taking drugs and don't know what to do.
I don't like this new girl she is hanging out with and she makes a point of excluding me, so I don't even know what's going on.
A. It sounds like your sister is going through a particularly rebellious phase, which is not altogether unexpected for a 16-year-old girl. Hanging out with a different crowd, arguing with your parents and breaking the rules may cause plenty of tension, but dabbling in drugs is the most worrying part of this and could land her in big trouble.
She is smoking mind-altering substances which have been proven to seriously affect brain chemistry and could lead to mental health issues. Using you to cover for her also has the potential to get you both into trouble, and it's extremely unfair on you.
My advice is to speak to your parents and be honest with them about your concerns for her well-being as they may not realise the true extent of it. I think that you should leave it in the hands of grown-ups with authority but you should also sit her down for a serious conversation and explain how worried you are and how much you dislike being excluded.
It's worth looking at the reasons for her behaviour and reassuring her that people are looking out for her and are there to support her.
Q. I'm in my second year of college and share a house with three other students -- the four of us have lived together since first year and agreed from the get-go that overnight visitors were welcome provided it's not a regular thing. We also agreed that even if one of us (we're four lads) hooks up with a girlfriend and it becomes serious, she is not to become a regular fixture -- it's a grand house for four guys.
The problem is that one of my housemates has got very serious with a girl and she basically stays every single night. She has more or less taken over the shower room and keeps rearranging the furniture, gives out if the kitchen is messed up and last week put a cleaning roster on the fridge.
Myself and the other two lads had a pint at the weekend and we're all fed up -- we want her gone, even if that means our mate moving out too, but we don't know how to say it to him?
A. I Can understand your frustration. Living with others isn't always easy and there needs to be rules in place to ensure you all live together peacefully. When these rules are broken, people will inevitably feel put out. This new girl sounds like she's trying to really make her mark in your home and change it to suit her, which is totally inappropriate and rude.
You, and the other two guys you live with, are completely in the right to arrange a meeting with your friend and tell him that you're not happy with the changed dynamics of the house.
He will have to speak to his girlfriend and make a decision about whether to stay or leave. It's your house too and it's important to be firm when issues arise that not everybody is in agreement with. Either she changes her attitude and behaviour or she's not welcome. You need to reach a compromise as mature adults.