Q I'M convinced my husband is having an affair but he flatly denies it. I know for a fact he had flings all along, which I ignored because the kids were young and needed all my attention.
This time, though, things are different – he seems different, changed and I suspect he may be serious about whoever she is. I'm not sure what to do. At 50, I'm too old to want to start again and I doubt he would leave because of our finances – is it possible to stay married and live semi-separate lives and be happy with that?
A Firstly, what evidence do you have that he's having an affair? It's a dangerous game to start making assumptions based on unsubstantial evidence. Perhaps he's experiencing problems at work or going through some sort of mid-life crisis. It certainly sounds like you have issues in your relationship and have done for quite some time. So my advice is to focus on ironing them out for the forseeable future.
I don't believe that it's too late to help your relationship and find contentment together again, and it certainly makes sense from a financial perspective for you.
But ultimately, happiness is what is most important. Relationships and marriages can function in many different forms and many are less than traditional these days. It's a very personal decision to do what works best for you.
Q My friend constantly gives out about her job – I work with her so I know it's not as bad as all that. She's always a bit late, takes sick days when I know she just doesn't feel like coming in and acts like she's doing people a favour if she has to do anything she thinks is outside her job description. She's not a bad person, but she doesn't seem to have a work ethic. This is not a good time to be on the boss's radar, but she hasn't taken any of my gentle hints on board.
Should I tell her bluntly to sharpen up in work?
A As a friend, I think that you have a responsibility in supporting her and encouraging her work life. It would be difficult to just sit back and watch her be unhappy. She is obviously struggling with her job, even if you cannot understand why. Different people have different strengths and weaknesses in all areas. My advice is to arrange a girly dinner or get-together and have a good chat with her about your concerns. She may not realise the extent of the problem as other people around her may be equally as negative. But make sure she knows that you're supporting her as a friend and not criticising the way she lives her life. Be kind and non-judgmental.
Q I stopped drinking a few years ago when my student days ended because I was not a nice drunk – in fact I used to change personality completely and become totally obnoxious, so I just decided it wasn't for me. I have a cool new job in sales and marketing, which I love, but six months in I am finding myself excluded from a lot of things because I don't drink – my bosses tend to be at these events so I feel like I am missing out on my chance to network, build relationships and move up the ladder. Any suggestions?
A Unfortunately, alcohol plays a large role in much of Irish culture and non-drinkers are either viewed with suspicion or put under pressure by others to have a tipple. I am not a big drinker either, and often feel like a little bit of an outsider at parties and other social events where people are intent on drinking and enjoying themselves. But the price you ultimately pay with your health and looks is not worth a few hours of alcohol-induced merriment.
My advice is to insist you go to these events and be a part of company life.
It shouldn't matter if you do or don't drink. Either way, you have a job with them and should be given the same social opportunities as drinkers.
Usually, people don't notice what you're drinking after a while so you could start the evening off with a non-alcoholic cocktail or beer. Ultimately, you should do what makes you happy and not worry about what anyone else thinks. It's none of their business.
Original source The Herald