This is the latest column from Lucy Saunders, who provides a regular agony aunt feature - Ask Lucy.
If you have a question for Lucy please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Lucy, before I got married to my fabulous husband, I had a fling with this guy from work and because he worked abroad a lot, he could never commit and he broke my heart. Recently he found me on Facebook and I have noticed that our posts are getting quite ‘flirty’ and I am finding myself becoming more and more attracted to him and becoming obsessed at looking at my Facebook page, just to see his posts. He took my number and recently text me about meeting up and I am worried that if I do, we might end up having an affair again.
Lucy: Gosh this temptation and the fantasy you are experiencing regarding this man does seems quite powerful and seems very real, however you have answered your own question that you feel you might instantly have an affair with him which could seriously jeopardise your marriage to your, in your words, fantastic husband.
It seems like there was never any closure on this relationship as he travelled a lot and could not commit. Who’s to say he will commit again and he could possibly ruin your marriage and then you could end up with a very broken heart. I suggest you put more effort into your husband. It’s easy with every day life with routine and stresses to take one’s partner for granted and then go looking elsewhere. I also wonder if there might be something missing in your own life that is making you want to look elsewhere, maybe this is the time to reflect on that.
Dear Lucy, I am 33 years old and I can’t stop comparing myself with other girls and feeling that they are more attractive then me. I am not sure where this envy is coming from about other women and it makes me feel that I am not attractive enough to find a man. I feel I am overweight and most of my childhood my parents would always hint that I was eating too much and tell me not to wear certain clothes as they made me look too big.
Lucy: You sound like you are very hard on yourself and it could be coming from being emotionally chipped away at by your parents as a child. Children want to be loved unconditionally and for who they are and not to have to conditionally fit in to who their parents want them to be. Your envy of others is a lack of self-esteem on your part and maybe some counselling might help you to build up your own self esteem, so you feel better about who you are as opposed to comparing yourself to others?
Dear Lucy, I am beside myself with exhaustion for caring for my mother and angry that my brother who lives in London is not wanting to help and has a grudge against me. He feels that I have always been my mother’s favourite, however I don’t see why my brother can’t take responsibility.
Lucy: Sibling issues are very complex. Siblings, no matter what age, can feel that their mother or father loves their brother or sister more than them. Sibling rivalry is very real to the person who feels it but it can sometimes be unfounded. If it is true, it’s not your fault and you need to not let your sibling issues interfere with the very practical matter that you need his help with looking after yours and his mother. I think you should get together and have a heart to heart about how your feeling and how you would really like him to help out, perhaps at weekends if he lives in London. You need to take a break as caring for the elderly can be emotionally and physically exhausting, and you won’t be helpful to your mother or your own wellbeing if you don’t.
Lucy is an Accredited Qualified Counsellor. She previously worked in the media as an actress.