If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can ask the A team!
I’ve just got married after being with my partner for only six
months. It seemed like the right decision at the time and we were both very
happy. But since tying the knot, I’ve been worrying we may have rushed into
things. I don’t want to split up with him, but I wonder whether we
know each other well enough. He seems completely fine with everything so
maybe I’m just being paranoid. Please help.
First, you need to investigate why your doubts have emerged. What happened? Did your partner do something that made you think: “You’re not the man I thought you were?” Or did you wake up one day and go: “OMG, I’m hitched to a guy I hardly know?” If it was your partner’s actions, then you move forward by doing what most married couples do – air the issue, argue a little, take deep breaths and then discuss a solution. But if a sudden realisation prompted the paranoia, then you move forward by doing what most couples do before a wedding – lie in bed, chat and enjoy getting to know everything.
The father of my 10-month-old baby has never seen her and doesn’t want
anything to do with either of us. I know I have to accept the situation, but
I feel really despondent about life now and I’m devastated by what’s
happened. Have you got any suggestions as to how I can try to put this
First things first, you don’t have to accept the situation. As the father, this pond life is legally obliged to financially support your baby, so get down to a Citizens Advice Bureau pronto for legal advice. Lecture over – let’s focus on you. The bad news is you can’t deal with this alone. The good news is you’re not alone. You have friends and, hopefully, family who can help you, but you need to tell them how tough you’re finding things. The moment you do you’ll a) feel a weight lift off your shoulders, b) have a bounty of babysitters to choose from and c) have begun to put your troubles behind you.
Dear Dr Hilary
My partner suffers with night sweats. Sometimes it’s so bad that we have to
get up to change the sheets in the middle of the night. He refuses to see
his GP as he’s otherwise healthy. Can you help?
Tracey, by email
Excess sweating, or hyperhidrosis, occurs in people who have more sweat glands than the average person, or whose nervous systems overstimulate sweat glands, or who are overweight or have an overactive thyroid. Men are more at risk, and it is often worse at night as air movement is restricted under bedcovers. Try a light sheet, keep the windows open, or use a fan to cool him down. If the condition persists, surgery is an option. Thoracic sympathectomy involves cutting nerves that cause sweating in the upper body – but this is a last resort. Keep encouraging your partner to visit his GP, and check out Hyperhidrosisuk.org.
Dear Dr Hilary
I’ve been experiencing pain under my ribcage, on my right side, on and off.
I also suffer from constipation. My GP sent me for an ultrasound, which
found a haemangioma, but I’m told this isn’t the cause of the pain. What’s
Sam, by email
A haemangioma is a collection of blood vessels, which are unlikely to cause pain as they are usually harmless. The cause of your discomfort depends on the nature of the pain. Is it sharp or dull? Fixed or moving? Brief or enduring? Keep a diary of your pain for a month and show it to your GP. Possibilities include a gallstone, although this would have been picked up on your ultrasound, a kidney stone, kidney infection or nerve pain. However, the likely culprit is constipation. Make sure you eat plenty of fibre, drink more water and exercise. You could try Lactulose, a synthetic sugar (£4.49 for 300ml, Lloyds Pharmacy).
I have two e-commerce business ideas, but I don’t know how to get them up
and running. I’ve set up Facebook pages, but I want to widen my market by
building websites. How do I do this, and once they’re ready, how can I
maximise my profit?
Shu, by email
Social networking is a cost-effective way of raising awareness of your brand, but a good website where you can sell your product will help boost sales. Look into whether you’re entitled to assistance from a start-up support organisation, such as Business Link in England and Wales, or Business Gateway in Scotland. They should also help you develop ideas before you approach a web designer to build you a site. Then you can sell advertising space to up your income.
I’ve just been told I’m being made redundant. I’ve been with the company
for three years, but haven’t had a permanent contract, only a rolling
six-month one, which apparently doesn’t entitle me to any redundancy
pay. Do I have any rights considering I’ve worked there for several
I would speak to your HR department as soon as possible, because some kind of entitlement is usually valid after you’ve worked somewhere for more than two years. But this may differ according to contracts so, if you can, speak to an employment lawyer. They can look at your contract and advise you further.
I’ve been seeing someone at work for about a month now, and think it’s time to
reveal our romance to the office. What’s the best way?
Let me guess, your eyes met across a jammed photocopier and the rest was inappropriate email history? Kept in captivity for long enough, lab rats will always mate (or eat their young, but that’s another predicament) so it’s no surprise that mere proximity to a member of the opposite sex during your nine-to-five has had you dry humping in the disabled toilets. And the beauty of the office romance is that however discreet you think you’ve been, I can guarantee that everyone, from the cleaning lady to the office pot plant, knows you’re at it by now. Therefore, I think you’ll find a company-wide email is all that’s really required to make it official.
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