Ask Fiona: Body hair is ruining my life
Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers her perspective on family dramas, emotional issues and dysfunctional relationships. This week, troubles with excess body hair, a teenage couple prepare for a long-distance engagement, and a widow considers a new partner
I DON'T know what to do about the excess body hair I seem to have developed over the last few years. It's really embarrassing, and although I've tried various creams, it keeps coming back.
I am too embarrassed to get involved with anyone as I'm sure they'd find it revolting. It's all over my legs and arms, and there is some on my face too. I know I could have laser treatment, but I can't afford it. It's ruining my life.
FIONA SAYS: Visit your GP
Please stop treating this yourself until you've talked to your doctor. Excess body hair can be a sign of a hormone imbalance and you need to be checked.
It's also possible that hormone treatment could help you, as some women find that being on the Pill helps to "thin" hair and stop it from growing back.
If this turns out not to be the answer, then, while you may not be able to afford laser treatment, for your body, please consider it for your face. It may be pricey, but it will destroy the root and prevent regrowth.
I know you won't feel confident about starting a relationship until you are sure this problem is solved, but please don't assume that all men find body hair revolting.
Should I commit?
AT 63, I have a home of my own, both my pension and a widow's pension from my husband's work, plus a fair amount of savings. Since my husband died four years ago, I've lived quite frugally and want my children to have something after I'm gone.
An old friend is now a widower and over the past couple of years, we've become close. I've come to love him deeply and I know he feels the same way about me. We have discussed selling our homes and buying a place together, which makes sense in many ways.
He is understanding, loving and attractive and has helped me through two bouts of ill health. My children think he's wonderful and his children seem fond of me too.
I know I would be devastated if he left me, but something is holding me back from selling up and committing myself. Is there something wrong with me?
FIONA SAYS: Doubts are normal, learn to compromise
I THINK it is perfectly natural for you to have doubts, but only you know the answer as to what is stopping you. Perhaps it could be that you don't so much love him, as fear loneliness?
Or maybe you are afraid of the upheaval of leaving your home? Or perhaps you're worried about taking on the responsibility of another relationship? Or could it be that you're afraid you won't be as happy with someone new as you were with your husband? Or that he won't be as happy with you as he was with his wife?
The bottom line is, if you love this man, how much are you prepared to compromise?
Finally, if you are worried about your children not inheriting the money you feel should be theirs, talk to a solicitor and carefully separate things out from the start. I'm sure there can be a solution to this if you want this man in your life.
Am I too young to get married?
I'M 18 and my fiance is 19. We got engaged because he's joined the navy and is due to be sent to sea shortly.
We know we love each other and we think we can work this out, but everyone is telling us we've rushed into things. They say there is no chance of us staying together when he is away at sea.
We know it won't be easy, but we both think we're strong enough to get through this, so why is everyone so against us? It's beginning to feel like they're trying to drive us apart.
FIONA SAYS: Stay strong, listen to yourself
However much they may have your best interests at heart, too much well-intentioned advice can be very tedious. You and your fiance both seem sure of your own minds so try and let their negativity wash over you, accepting it for what it is – their concern for you both.
Once they see that you have both thought this through and are prepared to work at your relationship, I'm sure the "advice" will stop.
You're not the first young couple who have had to make a relationship work when one or the other is sent away, and I'm sure you won't be the last.
Finally, remind them you're only engaged, not married, which will give you a good chance to see if a long-distance relationship works before you commit yourselves.
:: If you have a problem you'd like Fiona's advice with, please email firstname.lastname@example.org