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Just Joan; THE AGONY AUNT WITH ALL THE ANSWERS.

Byline: Joab Burnie

He's taking a loan of our mum

QI AM 37, have had the same partner for 15 years, three children, a house, a car and a job in short, I have a life.

My problem is my brother who is 30 and who has never had a partner, a child or a house. He can't hold down a job for long or stick at the college courses he starts. He was treated for depression for some years.

I think part of his problem is that he is gay, but stays locked in the closet. He lives with my mum and she runs after him hand and foot.

He's a lazy pig who leaves everything lying about and despite my mum being the only person in the world who loves and cares for him, he treats her like dirt.

He shouts and swears at her over the least wee thing and after years of biting my tongue, I let him have it. As far as I am concerned we are no longer related.

I feel sorry for my mum but she's made it clear that she would rather put up with him than live alone. She's not getting any younger and hate seeing so little of her, but because of him, I can't. Her grandchildren miss her as well.

I just wish he could see how selfish he is and make an effort to get a life before he drains mum of hers. He has no respect for anyone and always believes he is right. My other two brothers agree with me.

AI CAN see why your brother irritates you and vice versa but how he and, for that matter your mum, run their lives has nothing whatsoever to do with you.

If he's taking a loan of your mother, then it's up to her to sort it out, not you. She clearly wants him to stay with her.

I'm not saying you weren't right to tell him he should treat her with more respect, but beyond that you cannot go. Apart from anything else, it's a waste of breath.

But I also hopeyou are remembering that depression is a serious illness and can last for many years.

In fact, from what you've written, it looks very much as if your brother is still suffering from it. Instead of shouting athim, you might do better to encourage him to see his GP.

That said, ``divorcing'' your brother would probably be good for both of you, but I can't understand why you've also got to stop seeing your mum.

Depriving her of the company of her grandkids is wrong for them as well as her. In fact, if your brother is as bad as you allege than you should be trying to visit her more rather than less often.

Finally, you've a lot for which to be grateful and while I'm sure it's largely down to your own efforts, it shouldn't stop you showing some compassion towards those who have been less fortunate than you.

`If I drink, I can't perform in bed. If I don't, I can't attract women'

QI HAVE a problem with drink and sex. If I don't drink, I don't have the confidence to approach women.

But if I drink, can't always manage to have sex, which is very embarrassing. I have tried to go to bars and just sip a beer or have non-alcoholic drinks but then even if a woman speaks to me, I answer in monosyllables. Once I've downed a few shorts, I have all the patter in the world but because I am worried I won't be able to perform, the result is usually the same go home alone. AYOU might do better not only if you gave up the drink but if you saw women as people and not merely as something to have sex with.

So it's not so much Dutch courage or even self-confidence you require as a few lessons in how to treat women as friends first and potential bedmates a long way second.

Reading a book such as How to Love and Be Loved, by Dr Paul Hauck, should also help. If you can't find it, you can order it by email on mailorder@spck.org.uk

I hate my wife's short haircut

QMY wife has cut her lovely long hair. I hate it. It was truly, as the Bible says, her crowning glory.

She swore to me that she would never have it cut but then she visited my son and daughter-in-law and came back as shorn as a sheep.

She says it is much easier to deal with and that having long hair gave her a headache. I blame my daughter-in-law and will find it very difficult to forgive her. To me itis almost as much of a betrayal as having another man.

AYOU are being ridiculous. You are also being very selfish. Long hair can indeed cause headaches. Expecting your wife to suffer because you've got these daft ideas about her hair is wrong. So well done the daughter-in-law if she did encourage your wife to do what she wanted for a change instead of always kowtowing to you. Time to stop behaving like a little tin god and act like a loving husband.

Office party fling wants a replay in the cupboard

QLAST year at our office party, I had sex in a cupboard with one of my colleagues.

We have never talked about it other than agreeing we wouldn't tell anyone as I was engaged (I am now married) and he has a wife.

But I've had an email from him suggesting a repeat performance. I know it is playing with fire but I go all tingly every time I think about it. As no-one ever found out before and we'd make sure they didn't again, is there really any harm in it? It's just taking a kiss under the mistletoe a step further.

AYOU'RE a wife. If you found out your husband was having a Christmas bonk with one of his workmates would you be quite so casual about it? don't think so. It's wrong. It's infidelity. It's cause for two divorces. Stick to a smooch under the mistletoe if you must but think you would be better to avoid the party and temptation altogether.

QMY son's marriage has broken down. He has to go on paying the mortgage and child support for his kids.

I don't grudge my grandchildren anything and I would never want them put out of their home. But by the time my son has paid everything, he can't even pay me for his digs.

What really sticks in my throat is that his wife has her fancyman living with her and they run two cars. The kids are coming to us for Christmas while the pair of them jet off on an expensive holiday. My son can't afford a pint with his pals but my son won't let me say anything in case his wife keeps the kids away.

AWE only know your side of the story. But I'll agree if everything you say is true, then your son has got the dirty end of the stick.

Sadly, there usually is a loser when a marriage comes unstuck the biggest are almost invariably the kids. If your son feels he is being unfairly penalised, then he should see his lawyer or approach the CSA for a review. But I don't think it really helps anyone if you stir things up. So hold your tongue.

If you have a problem, write to: Just Joan, Daily Record, One Central Quay, Glasgow G3 8 DA or e-mail j.burnie@dailyrecord.co.uk. I cannot reply personally
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 10, 2003
Words:1288
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