My partner’s ex is still involved in his life
Q: My partner is still friends with his ex, who he dated before me. He speaks to her on the phone and they meet up for drinks after work. He swears she is not a threat, but she’s single and doesn’t seem in a rush to meet anyone. Next week he is going on a Christmas night out with his old uni friends and I am not invited. After a lot of digging around I’ve discovered she is going, too, even though she didn’t go to college with them. He says she is part of the “old gang” but I feel threatened by her and she clearly doesn’t like me. It looks as though she is here to stay. How do I stop myself from being hurt and humiliated?
A: Your partner has to hear that you are not being petty or immature. The reality is that you feel undermined and threatened by his ex-girlfriend’s continuing presence in his life.
I am sure she is a lovely person, and lots of men do have female friends, but at the moment you are unsure of your place or where you stand. Ask for an adult chat and admit you feel confused and unsettled. Do you have anything to worry about?
Are they still intimate? If he continues to brush you off and you continue to feel insecure, maybe you will have to trust your instincts and accept he is incapable of giving you what you are looking for.
I’m angry at theatre trip payback
Q: A couple of years ago I lent a good friend a considerable sum of money. She has never mentioned it again. A few weeks ago she invited me to see a musical with her, saying it was her treat. Later she muttered something about us being “all square now”. So was that it?
Was the ticket the payback? How do I get her to realise she still owes me?
A: Nice try, crafty friend. Now you need to see her again, face to face, in order to point out that the money was a loan and not a gift and that the debt is still outstanding. If she would like to deduct the cost of your ticket from it, then that’s fine, but the rest of the money is still owing.
The fact is that she knows exactly what she is doing. If she doesn’t have the money all at once, tell her she can repay you in instalments, otherwise you will be visiting Citizens Advice or a solicitor.
Wealth is no excuse for his bad manners
Q: My boyfriend has a lot of money but he’s not a very nice person. I have tried to give him the benefit of the doubt because I know his job is stressful and he has a lot of responsibilities. But he is continually rude to everyone, from waiters and taxi drivers to my family and friends, so I have to question his nature.
Asking him to change doesn’t work. What’s his problem?
A: Presumably your boyfriend’s wealth affords you both a nice lifestyle, but if you can’t respect the man sitting in front of you then what’s the point of sticking together?
I get it that he is under pressure, but so are doctors and teachers, and the vast majority of decent people don’t go around acting like idiots. Perhaps you just have to conclude that the man has a very high opinion of himself and some extremely bad manners.
Do you stick around to be dragged down by him or do you break out and start being true to yourself?
Q: I am my best friend’s alibi because she has a boyfriend. Her mum hates him and has forbidden her from seeing him. We are both 16 and every time all three of us are together (usually at my house) they start kissing and groping in front of me. When he asks me if I want to join in, she just giggles.
They embarrass me and I feel intimidated. Does this idiot really expect a threesome? Any time I complain about it to her she says I’m jealous. How does that work?
A: This girl is no friend of yours.
She’s a user – using your friendship and your home because she has nowhere else to go. Kissing and groping in front of you is crass and rude.
As for the threesome – that would be the biggest mistake ever. Confide in your mother or another adult you trust and make it clear to this pair that you won’t be hanging out with them in future.
You don’t owe them a thing and there is absolutely nothing uncool about standing your ground and speaking up for yourself.