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Ask Rosanna: Should I stay with a cheat?

Q MY boyfriend admitted to cheating on me while away on a stag weekend with his friends. I knew something was up the minute he got back because he was a bit distant and then he was very romantic, which isn't like him at all. Finally, he cracked after I kept asking him what was up.

We've been together two-and-a-half years and he swears it was the first time that he cheated. In the middle of a row he yelled at me to go and have sex with another man if that's what it took for me to forgive him. I was shocked, but now he's said it, I find myself thinking about having a one-night stand just to get even.

A: YOUR situation is of deep concern to me because no element of it sounds healthy. While I'm pleased your boyfriend was honest enough to admit he cheated, albeit under duress, there is absolutely no excuse for him to be messing around with other women.

It sounds to me that he used the opportunity of being on a friend's stag to do the dirt. You really have to ask yourself if this is the right person for you. Can you see yourself settling down and building a future with a man who treated you like this?

I do believe in giving people second chances under certain circumstances because we're all human and it can be easy to make stupid mistakes, but I think that you need to find out more about what led to him cheating and who the girl was.

It may be a wise idea to confide in a close friend or family member to get an outside perspective.

As for the temptation to sleep with another man to 'get even', that is probably the worst way to attempt to rectify your situation.

The jealousy and anger it could cause would create many more problems than it would solve. My advice is to be the bigger person here and do not resort to silly revenge tactics.

Q: MY boss got very drunk at a work do and confessed he was sleeping with one of the girls in the office. As far as I know no one else knows about the affair and I haven't told anyone.

However, ever since then he has acted really ignorantly towards me, talking me down at meetings and making jeering comments whenever I come up with an idea.

Other people have noticed his disrespect and are beginning to take me less seriously as a result. Obviously, he regrets telling me, but I want to keep my job, so how do I deal with his bullying?

A: THE important thing here is that you have done nothing wrong. Unfortunately, this man is in a position of power and it sounds as if he is finding it difficult to accept the fact that he got drunk and revealed such a personal secret to you.

He is struggling to cope with his own indiscretion and is taking the cowardly approach by putting you down to make himself feel better.

It's textbook bully behaviour and a direct reflection of how he feels about himself. You have every right to stand up for yourself and put this bullying to a stop before it affects your self-esteem and productivity at work.

My advice is to speak to this man privately and tell him that you don't like how he's been behaving towards you, but that his secret is safe with you. Failing this, I would speak in confidence with another manager to get this matter resolved.

Q: MY 17-year-old sister is pregnant and all hell has broken loose in our house. My dad is threatening violence on the guy who got her pregnant, which is only a threat because he's far too small to actually do any damage. Mum says the whole tone of the house has been brought down by having a pregnant teenage daughter and that the shame of being the youngest granny on the road will kill her.

I think a screaming baby during my Junior Cert year is the worst thing that could ever have happened. I'm 14 and all I want is a normal family. My sister has gone and totally ruined my chances of that.

A: I CAN certainly sympathise with how you're feeling as this must have come as a big shock.

I can appreciate why your dad feels so angry, but the solution is not to beat up the father of his grandchild-to-be because this man will be a part of all your lives for some time.

While your mother may feel embarrassed, I hope she comes to realise this is a fickle and ego-centric way of viewing the situation.

The most important step you must take as a family is to offer every support to your pregnant sister, who must be feeling overwhelmed.

For the sake of her health and the baby's, I urge you to do all you can to help her.

What's done is done and a new life growing inside her is a beautiful thing. You need to view this as a gift. I guarantee that none of you will regret the baby once it is born. I suggest you organise a family meeting to speak about how you are feeling.


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