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


I am stuck in a rut and can’t see a way out of it. My job is largely stress-free and unfulfilling. A few months back, my employer offered me the chance to work at our office in Australia for six months, but I turned it down because I wasn’t sure how I’d cope on my own.

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Why did I do that? It would have been a great chance to do something different and improve my chance of promotion. The silly thing is, I am also stuck in a dull, unhappy relationship that is going nowhere, so it wasn’t as though something was holding me here. I know I should leave him but can’t face the upheaval. What is wrong with me?


You may have become somewhat depressed. Could this depression be driving your fear of change, which in turn makes you feel more stuck in a rut and sets up a vicious cycle?

Do you think you could start making small changes in your life? It doesn’t matter how trivial they are, but they break up the routine you’re currently in. For example, go to work using a different route or eat something you’ve never eaten before.

Once you realise you CAN make changes, it might give you the impetus to make bigger ones, like ending your unhappy relationship. If this doesn’t work, then perhaps you should talk to your GP about getting some support and advice.

Daily Echo:


After 24 years of marriage, my husband and I still disagree on what to do when we go out. His idea of a good time is to either watch or play cricket. I’ve tried to enjoy it but frankly I’d rather watch grass grow. And it’s worse if he’s playing because then he expects me to help with the endless stops for tea and cake.

I would much rather we go dancing, see a film of even have a meal out occasionally, but he never wants to do that. I don’t want to make this into a big issue, but it is beginning to annoy me. Why can’t he do some of the things I enjoy?


If it’s annoying you (and frankly I am amazed it’s taken 24 years) then this IS a big issue already. As to why he won’t do something else with you, I have no idea, but I suspect it’s because it has simply become a habit - and one that you need to break.

Talk with your husband, explain how it is making you feel and suggest that perhaps it’s time for a change. If cricket is boring for you , don’t go to all his matches. Use the time you’ve created to do things that interest you. Start a dance class, go see a film or play, or out for a meal with friends.

Or try something entirely different together.

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