I started seeing a guy earlier this year and have never felt this connected to anyone before. Unfortunately, he said he didn’t feel the same way and that his previous girlfriend was the love of his life. We split up for a while, but he eventually came back to me. But I just can’t shake the nagging doubt that he may still have feelings for his ex, although he assures me he doesn’t. What should I do? Helen, via email
Of course he still has feelings for her. This girl was the love of his life, so he’ll always have feelings for her. Wow. Downer. So you ditch him, right? Wrong. You accept this and stop worrying. Because a) continually bringing her up will do nothing but ruin your relationship and b) not only has your man come back to you, he has also insisted that he only has eyes for you, which means, feelings for his ex or not, he realises that she is his past and you are his future. Now stop fretting, start smiling, throw yourself into the relationship and make sure you’re the next love of this guy’s life.
My husband I have an 18-month-old baby and are both besotted, but I feel like I’m doing all the parenting. He’ll play games with her, but won’t do things like feeding and nappies, or getting up in the night. It’s driving me mad and I’ve told him so, but he just shrugs and ignores me. Aside from this, we have a happy relationship, but I’m starting to feel very bitter. Please help. Caroline, via email
Don’t panic. This is a common situation that’s usually down to one of two things. Either your partner doesn’t realise you need help, or he’s scared he’ll mess up. As he’s ignored your cries for help, the chances are he’s scared. This fear can be overcome in a couple of ways. Ease him into action by asking him to help you, then after a few times suggest he has a go himself. Or shock him into action by informing him that if he doesn’t get off his backside you’ll get your mothers involved. He’ll be changing nappies before your baby can scream: “Waah”!
I work in a shop and recently saw my colleague take money from the till. She’s a good friend so I don’t want to tell my boss, but I have strong morals and what she’s doing is wrong. What should
I do? Name withheld, via email
This is a difficult situation. If you are a good friend I would recommend talking to her to ensure you didn’t misinterpret her actions. Ask if she’s struggling for money and if she needs help. If she does admit that she took money from the till, warn her that if you find her doing it again you will have no choice but to report her. Hopefully, this will deter her.
I’d love to be an agony aunt as I often give advice to friends, have good listening skills and am non-judgmental. I’ve applied to volunteer for the Samaritans. What else can I do to pursue this career? Ashley, via email
Volunteering with the Samaritans will put you in great stead for a role as an agony aunt. There isn’t a way to guarantee a career as an advice columnist, but you should be an expert in your field and able to share your knowledge with readers. You could set up a blog that people can respond to – they are easy and free to set up via WordPress. This will give you a great platform and create a following. If your blog does well, you may be able to make money through advertisers. Then contact your local paper and pitch a column. Good luck!
Dear Dr Hilary
I think my 19-year-old daughter might have Asperger’s syndrome. She gets very angry and is also very lazy. She doesn’t want to do anything, spends all day in her bedroom and refuses to help around the house. My other children are quiet, well-behaved and sporty. She works part-time, which she likes, but it’s really hard getting her to wash and dress. How can I get a diagnosis? Pat, via email
Asperger’s syndrome can include problems with anger management and behaviour that can be seen as uncaring, anti-social and inflexible. Repetitive routines and an inability to understand how their behaviour upsets others is also common. Having said that, many 19 year olds without Asperger’s can behave selfishly and fail to do chores. But she shouldn’t need help to wash and dress, so an assessment by a behavioural psychologist specialising in autistic disorders would be useful.
Dear Dr Hilary
I’ve developed man boobs and am getting bullied at work. I’m only 26 and I’ve tried several diets to get rid of them, but with no success. Can an operation remove them? Paul, via email
If you are overweight, fatty tissue will be deposited around the breast area, so weight loss will help. But some men have true breast tissue enlargement, which is called gynaemastia. It can be caused by a hormone imbalance, or as a side effect of medication such as anti-ulcer or heart disease treatment. Excess alcohol and abuse of cannabis or steroids may also be to blame. Man boobs can even be the result of liver or kidney disease, so make an appointment with your GP. Blood tests will help rule out any underlying condition and, if needed, you can have surgery to remove the excess tissue.
My best friend has asked me to organise her baby shower, but not only am I very busy at work, I don’t really know any of her other friends either. Would it be awful if I turned her down? Margarita, via email
I’m not sure why your friend can’t organise washing her baby herself – that’s what the maids are for. But perhaps you’re referring to this ridiculous custom whereby someone has a party to celebrate the dubious honour of getting knocked up? In which case, I’d “shower” this friend in vomit for even wanting one, let alone asking you to organise it. This event will be ghastly whatever you do – no booze and no men – so why not just say you’ll take on the duty and do absolutely nothing? Then when no one shows up and she starts crying, simply pretend she never asked you. Gosh! Those baby brain hormones really are the worst, aren’t they?