Dear Rosanna: Spurned for an older woman

On a sad and sorry love rat, christmas party dangers, parental disapproval and overly controlling partners

Rosanna Davison

Dear Rosanna, A year ago my husband of three years left me for a much older woman.

I might sound like a spurned wife but she’s really not very attractive and doesn’t seem to be a nice person either. She’s also in her late 40s. (I’m 30 and he’s 32.) I have discovered that they have broken up several times and gotten back together.

Recently he’s been calling me and telling me what a fool he’s been. He wants to come home and says he has changed his ways. How can I ever trust him again and should I take him back? My friends say that men like him never change but I loved him when I married him so there’s still a bond there. What should I do?

Rosanna says:

As the saying goes, to be human is to be flawed. We are all capable of making mistakes but I strongly believe that, in most situations, people deserve a second chance once they have accepted that they have made a mistake and are willing to learn from it. It must have been a terrible shock for your husband to leave you for somebody else, no matter how unattractive and nasty you may think she is.

It sounds like he’s unhappy with her and has realised that he has made a grave error, so it’s only natural for him to beg you for a second chance. My advice is to take him back since you claim to still have a bond, but make sure he recognises the gravity of his actions.

It will take time and continuous commitment to rebuild the bond of trust between you, but it is absolutely possible. Give him the benefit of the doubt when he claims to have changed his ways, but ensure he realises that if he reverts back to his old ways, there will be no more chances. Good luck.

Dear Rosanna, I’ve been married for seven years and my husband is a kind and decent man who I love very much. However, a new guy is after starting at work and we get on brilliantly. There’s obvious chemistry between us and I really fancy him. We went to our Christmas party recently and we had a quick drunken snog, which I felt extremely guilty about.

I can’t believe how selfish I have been. I now wonder if I should be married if I have such strong feelings for another man?

Rosanna says:

This is by no means a unique situation, as so many flings and affairs originate in the workplace, but since you're a married woman who claims to love her husband, it needs to be handled carefully.

You have been with your husband for seven years and it’s not at all unusual for marriages to become stale over that period, as relationships need constant work.

I can understand the thrill of the chemistry you feel with this new guy, but it's most likely just the initial rush of fancying somebody new, and I would advise you to keep your distance as much as possible from now on. It's not worth jeopardising your marriage with a good man for a quick fling.

I am relieved to hear you feel guilty and recognise that your snog was wrong, but I would urge you to do your best to put it behind you and focus on your marriage. Make sure to avoid placing yourself in future situations where alcohol could tempt you to stray once more. It is just not worth it.

Dear Rosanna, I’ve been with my boyfriend for the past six months and he’s the first guy I’ve been really serious about.

The problem is that my parents really don’t like him. I’m 17 and he’s 20 and he hasn’t got a job. My parents think he’s a layabout but he’s got big plans for the future. Although I love my mum and dad, I think they’re being unfair on him.

They’ve even asked me to stop seeing him and I’ve refused. Now they’re barely speaking to me and we’re rowing all the time. We used to get on so well but it’s breaking my heart.

Rosanna says:

You may be young but you’re almost an adult, which entitles you to make your own decisions. I’m sorry to hear that your parents haven’t taken to your new boyfriend and that you are caught in the middle, but ultimately this is your relationship and not theirs, and I believe that they have no right to interfere.

You need to trust your instincts and have faith in your boyfriend’s future career plans if you hope to stay with him.

It sounds to me that your parents are being rather childish by hardly speaking to you, when they have initiated the entire situation. This is your potential happiness with a partner and nobody has any right to interfere, in my opinion.

I would only encourage parental control in situations if either partner was a particularly negative or dangerous influence on the other, but, in this case, your boyfriend is probably just trying to find his way in life. When things have calmed down a bit, just tell them honestly that this is your decision and their interference is an extremely bad idea now and for the future.

Dear Rosanna, I’m worried about my friend. She’s recently started seeing this guy and she can’t seem to do anything without checking with him first.

We were out last weekend and he was constantly texting and calling her to make sure that she wasn’t flirting with other guys.

I’ve said it to her gently that he might be a bit controlling and she completely freaked out. She said that I’m jealous of how happy he makes her and I shouldn’t try and ruin her relationship. I know there’s something dodgy about this guy, but how can I make her see sense?

Rosanna says:

It certainly does sound like your friend’s new man is being unnecessarily overprotective, and behaving in a way that will inevitably lead to plenty of future tensions and jealousies.

It’s a bad sign for him to be acting like this in the early stages of the relationship. While your friend may just see him as being caring and protective towards her at the moment, I can guarantee that she will eventually start to feel smothered and resentful.

I do agree with your approach, however. You're simply worried about his behaviour and can see the situation clearly for what it is from an outside perspective.

I would advise you to sit her down for a serious talk and explain that you're not one bit jealous, but you're simply concerned that her boyfriend is not treating her in a trusting and respectful way.

Presumably she has done nothing to breach his trust, so his behaviour is entirely unwarranted. Gently explain to her how it looks from your perspective and that you have her best interests at heart. If she refuses to address her situation, then she will, unfortunately, have to suffer the consequences, but at least you will have tried your best.