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Dear Rosanna: Will my golfer guy play away?

On learning to trust again, safeguarding a secret, tackling low self-esteem and alternative acne cures

Q My boyfriend is off on a golfing holiday to Florida, to celebrate winning a new work contract. I've asked him to promise not to get up to anything and he has sworn he won't. My dad left my mum after meeting my now stepmum while away on a work trip, so naturally I'm nervous of history repeating itself. I want to trust my boyfriend, but my dad kind of ruined my trust in men when he cheated on my mum.

A you must begin the process of learning to trust men again as it will be difficult for you to enjoy a close and trusting relationship with your boyfriend if you are still stuck in that frame of mind. What happened between your parents was a huge shock for you, but all men definitely do not behave like that. There may have been problems within their relationship that you weren't aware of, and while your dad should never have been unfaithful to his wife, he still has the right to find happiness.

It's highly unlikely that your boyfriend has any intention of ever cheating on you. He has sworn to you that he will remain faithful, and it's so important that you take his word for it. It's incredibly unfair on him to have to feel as though you don't have faith in him.

Relationships absolutely depend on the trust between two people and without that, they have little chance of survival. Try not to worry too much, but do ensure he stays in contact with you while he's gone to ease your mind. Skype is a great, free way of speaking to friends and family when abroad.

Q I confided something shocking from my past to my best friend, and she swore that she would never tell anyone. That was a few years ago, and recently she has been behaving like a prize cow; borrowing money and never repaying it, turning up dead late, and turning every conversation into a long moan about her problems. I would love a little break from her company, but I'm afraid to annoy her in any way in case she tells someone my secret.

A This isn't how a friendship is supposed to be. One of the wonderful aspects of enjoying a close friendship is to be able to share your deepest and most intimate secrets with the other person, secure in the knowledge that the information will never be passed on.

It comes down to basic trust and respect, and to break that is a pretty serious breach of the friendship. It's also likely that you're placing far more importance on the particular piece of shocking information you confided in her, and it may not even occur to her that she could use it against you. It's obviously something that's playing on your mind and your conscience, but my advice is to move on from it

I strongly suggest that you try to shake off this fear envelop- ing you, and speak to your friend about her behaviour. A word of confidence from you that you value her friendship but deserve better treatment, should make the world of difference.

Q I used to be very competitive in sports, work, etc but recent failures have zapped me of my energy when it comes to pushing myself. I was a reasonably fit girl and a high achiever in work but one knock after another now means I am overweight and a temp, having been made redundant. I don't want to bother anyone with these issues as my family and friends think I am strong but I am crying all the time in private and cannot see a way to turn my life around in these straitened times. I don't have a mortgage or credit card bills so I can't understand why I cannot get out from under this black cloud.

A It sounds to me as though you have, for a variety of reasons, taken a huge confidence knock. I believe we go through cycles, and certain difficult situations present themselves to challenge us. We would never grow and develop if we weren't faced with those more adverse stages in life, as well as the positive and uplifting ones.

With some focus and determination, I absolutely believe that you turn your life back around and find the happiness and contentment you seek and deserve. You must not bottle up these feelings and end up sinking lower and lower. Confiding in loved ones can bring great comfort and relief that all is out in the open. Take some time out, if possible, to focus on your goals and what you hope to achieve in a year. Then with their support you can begin to concentrate on losing weight, gaining back some vital self-esteem and searching for your ideal job. Good luck.

Q I've suffered from acne for four years -- I've tried all the over-the-counter treatments and been to see my doctor many times. She said it was mild but persistent, as in low-grade acne -- but none of the antibiotics she prescribed have worked long term. I know it sounds trite but it really gets me down.

A Believe me, there's nothing 'trite' about it. I've had many breakouts in the past, generally caused by stress. People often underestimate the massive implications that stress has on the body's systems and it can seriously throw it out of balance. I think you should firstly assess your lifestyle and diet. Are you under stress? Do you drink plenty of water and focus on eating a balanced diet of primarily fresh, whole foods?

Rather than opting for antibiotics and other medication, I would recommend you visit a practitioner in alternative medicine. Ask questions, pick up information from health food shops and visit reputable websites for remedies that would suit you, your lifestyle and particular condition.