Ask Fiona: My new boyfriend keeps lying to me and I don't know what to do
Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers her perspective on family dramas, emotional issues and dysfunctional relationships. This week, a lying boyfriend, looking for extra-marital fun and troublesome friends
MY husband and I separated over two years ago and I've recently met a great guy who really wanted to ask me out.
At first I refused, but in the end agreed after he assured me he wasn't married.
Of course, I feel for him, but now I've found out that in fact he IS married and so I feel cheap and ashamed. He tells me that he and his wife are getting a divorce, but now I just don't know what to believe and I'm very confused.
I only see him at weekends and I miss him when we're apart, but I'm worried that he's still sleeping with his wife. I have caught him out in a couple of other lies too, but he's such a great guy and I don't want to lose him.
FIONA SAYS: You've caught him lying to you about more than one thing; he sees you only occasionally; you don't trust him; he makes you feel cheap, ashamed and unhappy. What on earth is there about him that makes him so wonderful?
Are you sure it's not just that you're frightened of being alone again?
Join a club for people in your situation; take up a hobby or a sport and fill your life with activities that don't depend on him. Above all, get out and meet new people and make new friends because then you may find this man is not such a vital part of your life after all.
Once you feel that way, it will be easier to tell him you'll only start seeing him again when his divorce comes through – if it ever does.
I'm afraid I suspect he is probably perfectly happy with his wife but enjoys a little fun on the side – you!
I met someone online but am still married
My marriage is a bit rocky so, for a bit of fun, I advertised in an online contacts agency to see what would happen.
I met a nice guy who is funny, kind and attentive - totally unlike my husband.
We meet often, although nothing has happened between us yet, but I am tempted to want more. My husband is the only man I have ever made love to, so don't I at least have the right to know what it would be like with someone else?
I know I don't want to leave my husband and children because I love them all too much, but I wish my life had a bit more fun in it.
FIONA SAYS: You may not want to leave your husband, but what if your husband wanted to leave you?
If he found out about this man then that's what could happen.
Does the other man you're stringing along know that he's just a "bit on the side"? How would he feel about that if he started to develop feelings for you? If you care so much for your husband and children, why do you risk hurting them?
I can only assume that you have genuinely not thought about the consequences of this at all but, if you really care for you family, put an end to this affair now.
Then you need to start talking to your husband to get your marriage back on track. If you love him but there are things wrong in your marriage, why not talk to him and let him know how you're feeling?
If you can't do this alone, I suggest you contact Relate (www.relate.org.uk).
He just vanished - I feel suicial
I've been going out with a brilliant guy for the last year. He told me and many of our friends that he loved me and wanted to marry me and we have even planned to tell my parents. He told me he was going to tell his parents how he felt but that was the last time I saw him.
He has now completely disappeared, although he left me a note to say he was sorry but he had to marry someone else. His friends tell me he is never coming back and I feel I've lost everything. I even rang his parents but they claimed they had no idea who I was and they wouldn't tell me where he is.
I don't think I can live without him and I can't stop crying and feel like killing myself.
FIONA SAYS: You don't tell me anything about this young man's background but his note said he 'had to' marry someone else, so I wonder if a marriage was arranged for him?
This might have been something that was expected of him as a part of his culture and the fact that his friends say he isn't coming back may mean he's been sent abroad.
This is all very hard on you, but it may not mean he doesn't love you and perhaps telling his parents about you triggered this marriage.
If I'm wrong and if his background isn't from a culture of arranged marriages, consider this: would someone who really loved you behave this way otherwise? Would you really have wanted to marry someone who could act in such an uncaring way?
Whatever the circumstances, you need time to grieve and come to terms with what's happened.
Do please contact the Samaritans (www.samaritans.org) on 116 123 and talk about how you feel.
You may never forget someone you have loved but, while it may not feel like it now, you can eventually learn to live without them – and even to love again.
Two of my best friends don't get on
I am planning my 18th birthday party in May and my problem is, two of my friends can't stand one another. I don't understand why as they are both really nice people, and I want them both to be there as they're both very important to me.
The thing is, I am not sure how they would react if they came across each other; they've had fights before. I don't want a big scene or for the party to be spoilt. If I just ask one of them the other will be very hurt, but what can I do?
FIONA SAYS: If these two people are really your friends and care about you then they should be mature enough to act with restraint at your party.
Tell them both you want them there; tell them both the other is invited; tell them both they are important to you. After that, it's up to them to either avoid one another or at least act sensibly on your special day. You shouldn't have to police their behaviour at a time when you're supposed to be enjoying your party.
It might, however, be worth alerting a mature friend or relative to the possibility of trouble and asking them to be on the look out for trouble between the two.
Finally, do consider the possibility that if one or the other does upset your party, you may be better off without such a thoughtless friend.