If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can ask the A team!
Looking through the internet history on the computer I share with my boyfriend, I found some porn websites. At first I was shocked, but now I feel upset that he’d rather look at them than me. I haven’t mentioned it because I don’t want to embarrass him, but it’s really playing on my mind. What should I do?
You should realise there’s nothing sinister about men watching porn and calm down. But you’re not going to, so instead think about why your man looked at the sites. It’s because he’s not satisfied with you or your sex life, right? Wrong wrong wrong. Your man looked at these sites because he thought they were either going to be funny or sexy. So stop feeling threatened, and look at the websites. If they’re funny, then laugh. If they’re sexy, then make his millennium by revealing porn turns you on and suggesting you watch it together. If they do nothing for you, then shrug “that’s men” and let him get on with it.
I’ve been with my boyfriend for four years, and just got a promotion. I’m now earning a lot more than him. I thought he’d be pleased for me, but it’s just caused arguments as he doesn’t like it that I treat us to dinners out and buy him presents. I think it’s normal to share things like this in a partnership, but he seems to feel emasculated. What should I do?
Sophie, via email
You have two options. You can fall on your sword, resign and take up a far less rewarding role for far less money. Or you can dump your bloke and woo me with dinners and presents. Worry not, I’m kidding on both counts. Having been both the higher and lower wage earner myself, I know your partner’s angst isn’t about emasculation or changing gender roles, it’s about feeling part of a relationship. Get flooded with gifts and grub and you feel like an employee. Share pressies and payments and you feel like a boyfriend/girlfriend. So, just limit your gifts to special occasions and let your partner pay for the odd meal.
I’ve always suffered from stress, but recently it’s got far worse. My workload has increased as people have been made redundant, and I can’t sleep for worrying. I’m not sure how much longer I can cope, but I don’t want my boss to think I can’t handle it and replace me. Can you help?
You are clearly a well-respected member of the team to have survived the job cuts. The best way to tackle your stress is to address your workload. Write a to-do list and plan how long each point will take, then put each task in your diary. Then you can see exactly what you have time to do. Show this to your boss and ask for advice. If you have too much to cope with, it’s their job to come up with a solution.
My son has been teaching English in Japan for the last four years and his visa is due to run out soon. He’s dreading returning to the UK with the job situation as it is. Do you know any organisations that might help him search for work?
Anna, via email
Your son should look at how he wants to use his talents, and then use the internet to find potential employers or agencies – a good place to start is Direct.gov.uk. Or visit Teachingenglish.org.uk where there’s lots of advice on careers, as well as a community for people who teach English, where vital contacts could be made.
Dear Dr Hilary
I’m 22 weeks pregnant, and a recent ultrasound showed that my placenta is low lying. I read that this is what happened to Amanda Holden when she was rushed to hospital during her pregnancy. Am I at risk? Anna, via email
A low-lying placenta, or placenta praevia, is relatively common at 22 weeks of pregnancy. However, it can be a problem if it remains in this position to full term, as it gets in the way of the cervix and childbirth itself, causing heavy bleeding. After this early stage, your placenta should naturally migrate up and away from the cervix. Your doctor will recommend scans to check this. As the birth approaches, if there are doubts about the placenta’s position, a Caesarean would be performed to avoid any risk of blocking the birth canal. Check out the Dr Hilary Jones Pregnancy App for lots more information (iTunes, £2.49).
Dear Dr Hilary
I often feel faint after eating too much sugar. Because of this I have virtually cut all sugar out of my diet. I also get panicky when I’m hungry, so I need snacks to hand. As a result, I’ve become quite obsessive and almost paranoid about planning my meals. What’s wrong with me? Lorna, via email
Your GP can do a glucose tolerance test to see how your body responds to sugar and whether diabetes – where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body can’t use it properly – is to blame. However, there may be a psychological aspect to this, as you mention becoming obsessive. Cognitive behavioural therapy would help you understand why you feel the way you do, and give you realistic coping strategies. Your GP should be able to arrange this. For more on obsessive compulsive disorder, visit Ocduk.org.
Am I too old to shop in the same stores as my teenage daughter?
Claudia, via email
Until shops install an anti-mutton device that beeps if you’re too wrinkly to enter, one just has to use one’s discretion. You don’t say which shops you’re frequenting or how old you are (quite right too, no one except my mother knows my real age, and thankfully she’s no longer with us), but here are a few signs to watch out for. If you think you’re looking at some nice scarves but they’re actually dresses, or if the music is so loud you assume you’ve wandered into a nightclub and try to order a Martini, then you’re in a shop that’s pitched a little too “youthful” for you. And if you find yourself fighting your daughter for the last neon hairband in Claire’s then you’ve totally lost it. Head to Marks & Spencer and buy a wrap dress immediately.