By Bunmi Sofola
My girlfriend of two years smokes like the proverbial chimney. She was a smoker when I met her, a habit she picked up abroad when she was a student. I hate her smoking as Iâ€™ve never touched the stuff. Not only does the smell put me off, sheâ€™s so addicted that it interferes with our relationship.
Immediately sex is over, she lights up instead of cuddling up to me. Even when weâ€™re relaxing in front of the telly, sheâ€™s always getting up to go outside and smoke. As a result, we seldom smuggle up to each other on the sofa.
Apart from this irritation, I also worry about her health. Sheâ€™s the type of girl I would like to get married to, but I donâ€™t want to spend my life surrounded by smoke or marry someone who is likely to get sick from too muchÂ smoking. Iâ€™ve asked her to stop but she wonâ€™t, reminding me she was a smoker when I met her. Anything else I could do?
When you asked her to stop, how did you put it? Thereâ€™s an enormous difference between being really concerned and being irritated. Telling her how much you hate smoking is just going to make her stressed, which in turn will make her want to smoke more. If, however, you sat down with her and said you want to spend the rest of your life with her but are desperately worried about her health, you might get through to her.
A lot of smokers are aware itâ€™s bad for them and repulsive to those around them. They would really love to stop smoking but are caught up in a powerful addiction and feel powerless to stop it.
Let her be aware of the practical things she can do to make giving up less scarry than she thinks. Some reputable chemists have very effective drugs to suppress the urge to smoke amongst which are nicotine replacement aids like patches.
You need to work with your partner to beat this habit, giving her encouragement for cutting down or quitting rather than grief when or if she fails, you may get somewhere. Very few smokers are more committed to the cigarettes than someone they love dearly, so if youâ€™re patient and work together to a quitting plan sheâ€™s comfortable with, she may give up smoking altogether.
My girl is sleeping with her ex-husband
I met my current girlfriend three years ago after sheâ€™d been let down by her ex-husband. She said he told her their marriage was a mistake and he just took off. For two years she didnâ€™t even know where he was. Now heâ€™s shown up again. Since then, sheâ€™d been distant and less keen on our relationship.
A few nights ago, she went out and came home at 3 am. SheÂ Â told me she was with friends but Iâ€™m sure she was with him.Â Does our relationship stand a chance? Iâ€™m really upset by this development.
It is often very difficult to get over your first love and right now, your girlfriend is confused. Her behaviour might look suspicious but you need to trust her. Give her space but let her know youâ€™re willing to listen whenever she feels like talking. If she keeps on giving you the cold shoulder, try initiating the talk and let her know you understand why sheâ€™s confused.
Just bear in mind that no matter how much you hate this man, you should try to avoid being too critical or angry with him, or your girlfriend wonâ€™t feel she can open up to you. The man broke her heart once and left her in the lurch. Trusting that kind of man again takes a lot of courage. Be patient and with time, your girl might get over her confusion.
I can’t seem to keep my men
I am 26 years old and every time I meet a new man, I truly believe heâ€™s the one for me. I gel so carried away with the moment, but things always end in tears for me. I get horribly hurt, swear Iâ€™ll be more careful next time, and then it all happens all over again.
When next I feel I want something so much, how can I make sure I takethings more slowly?
Being in loveâ€™ is all about how you feel. Making love work, choosing the right partner, forming a good relationship, creating long-term possibilities, is down to a combination of feeling and thinking. So, when you meet someone new, give yourself time to think. Set a schedule so you donâ€™t rush into sex or communicate too soon.
Donâ€™t spend every minute together. Take time out to think whatâ€™s actually happening. Ask yourself some soul searching questions such as: Do I like this man as well as love him? And donâ€™t force him into a commitment when heâ€™s not ready. With time youâ€™ll recognize the type of man thatâ€™s really for you.
I hear voices at night
I am a middle aged mother of three. My problem is that, lately, I often hear voices in my head just when Iâ€™m drifting off to sleep. As a result, I stay awake some of the time and my husband is worried that I might be losing my mind. Is he right?
What youâ€™re experiencing has nothing to do with mental illness. According to medical experts, youâ€™re having hypnagogic hallucinations â€” which, youâ€™ll be glad to know, are actually perfectly normal. Theyâ€™re probably being caused by lack of oxygen in your brain and as your breathing becomes shallower.
People who experience hypnagogic hallucinations often think theyâ€™re hearing the doorbell or the phone ringing, but any noise is possible. Reassure yourself and your husband, you arenâ€™t going mad.