Dear Maura: Wife’s mother is causing misery

Solve your life dilemmas with expert advice from Maura O’Neill

Dear Maura: My wife has been overweight for years. We don’t have sex anymore and that’s OK with me. But I often wonder if she thinks about that part of our married life. I’d never have the guts to ask her. We’re both 42 and very happy together. We love our home which we built ourselves and have great friends and family. I can’t help thinking that one day this is all not going to be enough for me. I don’t think I could ever leave her. She makes no demands, trusts me totally and I feel completely comfortable with her. But that said, the relationship is not as it should be. My wife has a difficult relationship with her mother. From an early age there was, let’s say, tension. Even now she never compliments her daughter. Everyone loves our home and we worked so hard to get it as we have it. The only person never to say anything by way of praise is my mother-in-law. I don’t like the woman but I can’t criticise her. Counselling has never been mentioned but I feel if my wife spoke to someone, we might have a more ‘normal’ life. Answer: I always find these relationships so interesting. We are drawn to protect those who should love us unconditionally yet don’t. Your wife sounds like a wonderful person doing her best to live her life while trapped in a body and mind that was never fully allowed to grow because her mother never supported her as she should have. If she agreed to talk to someone think of how much lighter and freer she would feel to finally get rid of the control her mother has had over her. You are happy together so build on that. Guide your wife to find help and discover the person she hasn’t got to know yet. With your love she will find the strength.

I’m at my boyfriend’s beck and call

Dear Maura: I know this is going to sound a bit lame to write to you about, but here goes anyway. My boyfriend is always on his phone but when I text or try to ring him it takes him ages to get back to me. I’ve had this out with him loads of times. He says that he has the phone on silent or has left it in another room. When he tries to get in touch with me and I’m late answering the phone or texting him back, he gets really mad. If I try to tell him that he can be like that sometimes, he just changes the subject. The thing is because he loses his temper if I don’t answer, I always have my phone near me. I can’t please him. Answer: This behaviour is totally controlling. You are the only one who can make the decision, but from how I see this, you should take his next call and say goodbye. He’s playing games. He’s looking for your attention exclusively and life isn’t like that. Even though you’re in a relationship, you are not there to only keep him happy. You have a life of your own. But somebody like him would not be able to understand that.

Email your problems to Dr Angela Brokmann Maura O’Neill All pictures are posed by models

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