Q I sent a sexy nude photo of my girlfriend to a friend by mistake. I was a bit drunk and playing with my phone. He's shown it to our friends and the texts I'm getting are fairly filthy and hardcore.
I'm going to be killed if she finds out. If one of my friends says something by accident, or on purpose to wind me up, I may as well go into hiding.
She'll be angry and heartbroken and I don't think I'll be able to face her. We've been together almost a year and I think she's special. How could I have been such a massive prat?
A I am glad that you at least realise what a big mistake it was to send a naked picture of your girlfriend to a friend, even if it was a drunken accident. It's never safe to keep such images on your phone, no matter what. As you really care about this girl and her not finding out what happened is your main priority, I would urge you to take serious and immediate action with your friends.
Either speak to them by phone or meet up in person and ensure they understand that there should be no more mention of the picture of her ever again.
Apart from anything, it is completely inappropriate for your friends to be saying filthy things about her. It is disrespectful to you and her. If they're decent people and real friends, they will respect your request and you will hear no more about it. Take this as an important lesson learned.
Q What's up with my ex, who in spite of us splitting up five months ago, still calls me regularly? We were together two years, yet he always put his friends first, and would plan our dates around rugby matches and music gigs, and other stuff he did with his pals. In the end I didn't feel his heart was in it so broke it off with him, and I had to give up when he didn't try to change my mind.
I've heard he's been chatting up other women and I've my eye on a guy in work and hope to hook up with him at a going away party soon.
I thought I wanted to stay friends with him but I find his constant contact a bit annoying. I feel he's treating me like a girlfriend but without any of the romance.
A It seems to me that he is finding it difficult to break himself away from you. He clearly likes you a lot as a person yet was not prepared to treat you as his priority when you were romantically involved. He enjoyed your company, but on his terms and when it suited him. Now he still expects you to be a part of his life and to drop everything for him.
Since you are keen on this work colleague and want to move away from the clutches of your ex, I suggest that you gently explain to him that while you're happy that you have remained friends, the constant contact has to cease for the sake of you both moving on.
Be sensitive to him as he probably won't expect this from you, but it will benefit you both as you comes to terms with the end of the relationship and start moving on with other people. You can still remain friends, just not on the phone constantly.
Q I'm 19 and a student and living at home and I'm afraid things are getting violent between my parents. Sometimes they've only to be in the same room for nastiness to creep in and they say the meanest things to each other.
They've always fought but now we're struggling with unpaid bills and are cutting back and spending more time at home and there's no holidays or restaurant outings or anything nice, things are getting vicious.
Last night I heard my mum shout that my dad was a loser, and my dad yelled that if she didn't shut up he'd shut her up. When my younger brother or I are in the room, they just shout over us. They're too angry to even care.
A I'm really sorry to hear that things are tough in your family situation at the moment, and you're certainly not alone. Violence and anger never solve anything as I'm sure you know.
They are just a way of venting pent-up frustration but are never conducive to actually solving anything.
It is so important for your family to support each other during difficult times, not reduce themselves to fighting.
I urge you to arrange a family meeting as soon as possible and to literally beg them to work together as a team for the sake of your parents relationship and your little brother.
Explain that nothing will be solved by warring with each other, and encourage everybody to come up with solutions to your financial situation.
Agree that some luxuries have to be put aside for now, but this hardship won't last forever. You must support and love each other.