Dear Rosanna: 'I'm too young to have a child'

On unwanted pregnancy, discovering sexuality, an out-of-control sister and suspicions of an affair

Dear Rosanna, I've just found out that I'm pregnant and I don't know what to do.

I'm 25 years of age and have been having a relationship with one of the managers in my office for the past six months. He's married with a family of his own and I know he has no intention of leaving his wife for me. I'm not sure that I would want him to, either. But I'm worried that I could lose my job as the company is going through financial instability and I don't think I'll get another one too easily.

I think I'm too young to have a baby, and I certainly don't want to bring up a child on my own with no job, but I can't bring myself to go abroad to have an abortion.

Rosanna says:

This is a complicated situation, but from the outset I really think you need to be honest with those close to you and do exactly what you feel is right, not what anybody else urges you to do.

I would advise you not to have an abortion. You're still young but you're also an adult and should be emotionally equipped to deal with a pregnancy. It's highly likely you would deeply regret it, especially as you're not keen on the idea now.

As for your job, try not to worry too much about that right now as you'll eventually need to take maternity leave. And if it comes to the worst, you have the experience of your present job behind you if it comes down to finding another.

Finally, you must tell the father of the child as soon as possible, if you haven't already. It's up to him whether he decides to tell his wife and family. Even though you don't predict your relationship has a future, he will need to take financial and emotional responsibility for the consequences of his adultery. I wish you the very best in whatever you decide.

Dear Rosanna,

I think my younger brother might be gay. I've used our family laptop a few times after him and it's obvious that he's been looking up gay websites. He's 15 years old and I always thought he was more interested in sports than girls. I don't know how to approach him about it and I can't say anything to my parents as they are really strict and they'd probably throw him out of the house.

Rosanna says:

Your little brother is undergoing that difficult transition from a boy to a man, and those teenage years are especially tough for anybody questioning their sexual identity.

For young men and women who are struggling with understanding their feelings for others, there's the risk of being judged for their choices.

Your brother may well be gay but, if so, the very last thing he deserves is a lack of support from his family. In fact, he needs a lot of help from you now.

It is a desperately sad situation when parents are unable to accept their child's sexuality. Who he eventually chooses to sleep with is nobody else's business but his own.

I would urge you not to feel pressured into approaching him about it, but if the opportunity arises then gently let him know that you're aware of his internet activity.

Do not make him feel criticised, just be a supportive presence and somebody he feels he can speak to.

Dear Rosanna,

My 16-year-old sister is completely out of control and I don't know what to do. We live with our mother and don't see our dad anymore.

My sister has no respect for our mother and refuses to take any sort of criticism and is really aggressive all the time. Her friends are horrible and they go out drinking at the weekends. She’s also been stealing money from my room.

We don’t have any other family members that I can turn to and my mum is at her wits’ end

Rosanna says:

It sounds to me that this is a desperate cry for help by your sister. Her life lacks structure and strong parental influence, and is quickly spiralling out of control. If it continues this way, she could end up in a lot of trouble with others or even the law.

She probably feels that she's adult enough to do what she wants, but she's still technically a child and not equipped to deal with her situation.

She's rebelling from any sort of familial influence, so I would suggest encouraging her to speak to a trusted teacher or family friend

who can assess the situation from an external perspective. I would also encourage you to try and steer her away from these friends, who sound like a terrible influence.

She needs to realise that she is hurting those close to her and is potentially causing great damage to herself and her future. If she refuses to heed advice, then she will have to learn from her own mistakes.

Dear Rosanna, I think my husband might be having an affair. We are members of the same gym but he’s become obsessed with going and is there five nights a week. I’ve gone up a couple of times when he hasn’t expected me and seen him chatting with one of the personal trainers. I am not sure whether I am jumping to conclusions but I really didn’t like the way he was acting around her. I don’t think he’s actually done anything yet, but I am worried that he might be tempted to. I don’t know whether to confront him about it or not because I will be crossing a line by accusing him of having an affair.

Rosanna says:

I often advise people to trust their instincts and act on them as they're so often right, but in this case I would urge you to approach the situation extremely carefully. If you were to accuse your husband of engaging in an affair, or even insinuate it through conversation, it could do untold damage to your marriage as that important bond of trust would be broken.

What I suggest you do first is casually ask him why he's been going to the gym so much? It could be a completely innocent desire to lose weight and tone up. Suggest you treat it as a couple activity and go together regularly, as having a 'gym buddy' can really aid motivation, particularly on these dark, cold evenings.

Once you're there with him and not just popping up unexpectedly, you'll be better able to gauge the situation. Do some subtle investigations before jumping to potentially damaging conclusions.