Yes, sometimes critical and practical words of 'tough love' can jolt someone out of lethargy (I've had evidence), but that's not what you need. You say you've tried anti-depressants and CBT, but how long did you give these aids to recovery?
This immensely sad email is from someone who needs help, and I feel sorry that the things you've tried seem to have failed. People often tell me counselling hasn't worked when they have had only a few sessions.
So please don't let things get to that stage, but insist on more discussion — because this careless man needs to take you more seriously.
A married man of 60, yearning for lost youth and love affairs not enjoyed, is likely to become restless, and his flirtatiousness is almost certain to get worse. You love your husband, and I'm sure he loves you and would be devastated if you left.
Your children would be furious with him on discovering why.
Sexual activity usually results in sexual arousal and physiological changes in the aroused person, some of which are pronounced while others are more subtle.
Sexual activity may also include conduct and activities which are intended to arouse the sexual interest of another or enhance the sex life of another, such as strategies to find or attract partners (courtship and display behaviour), or personal interactions between individuals (for instance, foreplay or BDSM). Human sexual activity has sociological, cognitive, emotional, behavioural and biological aspects; these include personal bonding, sharing emotions and the physiology of the reproductive system, sex drive, sexual intercourse and sexual behaviour in all its forms.
You have to visualise living a different life, shine a light on your darkness and force it away. It cannot happen if you are slumped by an empty wine bottle. I wish you'd said more about your relationship, and whether you have good friends. To remind you, 'Rachel', 18, was an A-level student with four problems: her exams, her severely damaged arm, her boyfriend and her estranged father (not to mention the step-mother).
Please ditch the booze — and remember, when you feel desperate, the Samaritans are there: ring 116 123 from any phone. All I can say is you must believe your life matters. The second letter was from 25-year-old 'Abina' — very guilty for hurting boyfriends…I'm glad to have letters from younger readers on the page, but C. was scornful — as proved by his email subject: 'Spoiled Teenagers.' He chose to ignore all of poor Rachel's problems except the very least of them, exam stress: 'Poor little dears are under so much pressure.'Let's deal with his second point first.
I have asked him to stick to friendly conversation, but still find it almost impossible to trust him. Some might say that he hasn't actually done anything wrong. When I read this it was just before this week's news report on how the genders define cheating.
An online survey threw up some interesting (if, to me, predictable) results.
That's probably been the average over the years, reflecting the proportions received.
You cannot compare the grief of a woman over her dead grandchild (June 17) with Abina's femme fatale tendencies — but if that young woman learns something from writing, and thinking about my reply, and it helps her become more stable in the future…
I recommend the Mind website (uk) to any reader who feels as 'stuck' as you do — it offers pathways to follow, sources of information, suggestions for action. The damage your cruel mother did must be worked out with a qualified person, even if it feels worse before it starts to get better. Please stop self-medicating and make a huge effort, telling yourself aloud: no person has the power to ruin your life. It's true I print more letters from women, but that's since more write in.