COLUMNIST and trained counsellor Fiona Caine answers another set of reader dilemmas.


In many ways, my husband is great but, when it comes to housework, he’s hopeless. He does occasionally vacuum and pitches in most evenings to cook. However, I clean the flat and it’s always me that clears away and washes up.

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Laundry is another area where he thinks it just happens magically. This probably reads like a housewife whinge, but I work full-time too and often get home after him. It’s becoming a real issue. I have tried dropping hints, but these are ignored.


You’re right, this is no trivial matter, and it must stop. It’s not only unfair, but it’s also likely to affect your marriage adversely if it’s left to fester.

Subtle comments haven’t worked, so you will have to be more direct. You could simply stop doing all the housework.

A somewhat less confrontational approach would be to make a list of all the chores you both do across a week.

You don’t have to share all tasks equally; one could cook and the other washes up or you could do the ironing while he does some cleaning.

If resentment builds up, it will cause real harm to the way you feel about him.


I'm in a relationship with a man who wants us to live together. He’s bought an apartment that he’s put in his name, even though I’m planning to help with 40 per cent of the debt. Five months into our relationship, he told me he is still married, even though they’ve been apart for 10 years.

Apparently, he has stayed married because his wife is unwell, and they have a daughter. He says he will leave everything to me, and I want to start my relationship with him, but knowing about his wife is making me have doubts. How can I commit and help him when he is not legally separated?

I also have a child and I’m afraid that I could be left with nothing. I am independent but it seems his ex-wife and daughter are financially dependent on him. He says I should trust him, but I’m 50-years-old and life has taught me to be wary.

Daily Echo:


I think you’re right to be wary. The minute money becomes involved in a relationship, you need very clear guidelines as to who owns what. Putting 40 per cent of your money into a property would probably be fine if the title deeds were drawn up to show you own 40 per cent of its value. Leaving it in his name alone could cause problems.

A solicitor could help you draw up new title deeds, but he’s not been honest with you, so how can you be sure he will be in the future?

I would caution you on giving up your independence to share your life with a man who is still married and has financial commitments to his wife. Be wary with your money until he’s finalised his divorce!