Agony aunt column: Ask Lucy

This is the latest column from Lucy Saunders, who provides a regular agony aunt feature - Ask Lucy.

Sunday, 7th August 2016, 5:09 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:19 am
Lucy Saunders SUS-160623-152004001
Lucy Saunders SUS-160623-152004001

Dear Lucy. I have been in a relationship for about five months now and you could say it’s going great. My one concern is that my boyfriend hides his phone away and when he texts someone he hides it, but when I go on my phone he has to know who I’m texting and what I’m doing. We had a massive argument when he said that he doesn’t like the fact I have male friends and I talk to them sometimes; but when I saw his messages he speaks to about eight girls a day. Am I wrong to think he is hiding something? Please help me.

Lucy. It sounds like you are both not sure about having friends from the opposite sex and there is one rule for one but not the other. I think you need to talk and be honest about how you feel about having male or female friends, as one of you might be OK about it while the other might feel threatened or jealous. So I suggest clear boundaries from the start about this issue and no hiding text messages. Make it transparent to each other that you can see who you are texting and you both mutually agree that if one of you isn’t happy about having ‘friends ’from the opposite sex then the other has to respect it.

Dear Lucy. My husband and I had a huge row on the Thursday before the referendum results and are now not getting on. He attacked me verbally with such anger. We both voted differently, I voted remain and he voted Brexit how can we both get along together? Maybe he wants to exit and I want to remain? Your thoughts?

Lucy. I think using the terminology of remain or exit is symbolically clever but I hope this is not the case that your husband is wanting to leave you because you have different political views? This should not interfere with your relationship and I can appreciate you must be feeling wounded after he got so angry with you but it sounds like your husband was over loaded with all the media frenzy and hype and took it out on you. You both have to try and respect and appreciate what the other has to say and not take it so personally as normally in relationships we have countless opposing views. Sit down and have a chat about your differences, as surely politics shouldn’t ruin your marriage. Embrace your differences and I am sure you will find a lot of common ground so you don’t have to be at loggerheads.

Dear Lucy. I am in my 70s and live alone and my beloved dog aged 14 died the other day. I feel guilty to waste your time writing to you as I feel I shouldn’t feel so sad, as he was only a dog but he was my special dog and I am so bereft and lonely without him as he was my companion. Can you help?

Lucy. I really feel for you and know how upsetting it is to lose a dog or other animals that have been such a huge part of one’s life. Dogs are faithful and love you unconditionally; they give us joy, companionship, love and security. We know they are always there for us and they need to be looked after and are great companions. Your loss is very real and very normal and I can imagine the sadness you must be feeling at this time. It is true that time is a great healer and you may in time feel like getting another dog/puppy and although it will never replace your loss it can give you back some of the joy you have lost.

Lucy is a BACP Accredited Qualified Counsellor. She previously worked in the media as an actress.