Solve your life dilemmas with expert advice from Maura O’Neill
Dear Maura: I’m 42 and an only child who lives with my dad. Up until two years ago, I had no one in my life, never had a boyfriend. Then I found a lovely man on a dating website, and we’re still together. It was wonderful to have him over the past two years. But in the last few months, I feel down. My life is full of the ‘same’: same job, same house and now my partner is going under that heading of ‘same’. I never travelled because before my Mam died my life was built around her, which meant I didn’t do anything except stay home. Now I deeply regret that. The problem is, I want a different life but don’t know what that looks like. I want to do things but don’t know what. I’m so numb in this routine of mine that I can’t see beyond it. My job is boring, and I’ve been in that warehouse office since I was 20. It’s like I can’t find my way out of this life of mine. Where do I start to make changes? What’s the first thing I should do? The other worry is what if I start to get fed up with my boyfriend but I hang on to him because I couldn’t bear to be on my own. Everything is pointing to a life that is only being half lived. I don’t want that anymore. Answer: Pick one part of your life where you feel strong enough to make changes. What about work? Would you consider applying for other jobs?
Perhaps think about taking a course and going in a different direction? You feel lost now because there is no structure on anything you wish to change.
However, choose one area and begin to go in a different direction. This will give you a new, brighter mindset to a more energising life. Plan a trip with your boyfriend.
Little changes make a huge difference to your well-being.
My sister invited loathed friend on trip
Dear Maura: My sister ruins everything. We were supposed to go away with her, our cousin and me but now she’s after inviting a friend of hers that we don’t like.
The holiday will be all about what she, this friend, wants to do. It’s a total mess because I’m barely speaking to my sister for doing this and our cousin is trying not to get involved.
How are we going to get a holiday mood going with all this stuff happening? I’d love to say I’m not going but I’ve been looking forward to this for two years. The thoughts of us all on the plane barely speaking has my anxiety out of control. But what can we do? We all want to go.
Answer: You will need to lay some groundwork for all of you to enjoy this holiday, that means everyone getting a chance to have their say about what’s happened and how the holiday should go. I know the idea of everyone getting together is a bit scary.
The aim is to clear the air without having rows. So say your piece and let you sister know she should have asked you about the invite to her friend.
The goal is to put any issues to bed and look forward to the holiday. Relaxing in the sunshine will give you all the much-needed break you clearly need.
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