How do you keep romance alive when you have two kids and little time? - Kim


This question warms my heart so much! I'm sorry you're struggling to find the time to get soppy with the other half but please take some comfort in the fact that you want to. So many couples slip into a state where they're living like disgruntled housemates and wonder why they have nothing to talk about when they do get a moment alone together. You still want to make beautiful memories with your partner and that's half the battle! You are well ahead in the game. Kids are passion killers, it's probably a good thing, otherwise you'd inadvertently fill you house with 'too much prosecco' babies. One day the kids will be gone and you'll have all the time you want to share candlelit evenings together. Isn't that exciting?! Simply keep romance on life support for a little bit longer, doll. 

You'll be pleased to know I've had questions along these lines before - you are not alone. I don't know what people are expecting after introducing a screaming, crapping, attention-hogging, emotional and financial parasite into their relationship but this 'kids are killing the romance' problem is a common one. So here's some previous posts that in summary encourage you to make the most of the little time you have:


Alternatively, you can do what I did - get divorced, move out, struggle to support two households, divide time with your children, start the soul destroying process of online dating, weed through dozens of cretinous men to find the one respectable dude left on the planet and invite romance into your life every other weekend! Things don't sound so bad now do they...

Does anyone find themselves wondering why a partner cheats? - Tracy


Does anyone else find themselves wondering why a partner cheats and then blaming themselves? The last FOUR bf's I've had all cheated and I am now wondering if it's my fault?

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Whenever a relationship ends you find yourself wondering, was it me? My marriage has been over for some time and I still find myself getting distracted from the food shop because I'm analysing the things I said and the decisions I made, wondering if I'm living out the real-life Sliding Doors and not sure if this is the shitty life or the good one. It's natural, not always useful, but natural. We can learn from all our experiences but especially the negative ones and the end of a relationship is a good time to consider what, if anything, we would do differently. That being said, when it comes to cheating, I'm pretty hard line - the fault lies with the cheater and never the cheated. Your exes might have tried to convince you otherwise but cheaters are very often liars, so I'd probably disregard what they had to say. 

It's not you it's me is a cliche because it's true. When a person cheats it's about their choices, their insecurities, their fears - nothing you would have done could justify it. I know the things you have running through your mind because I've thought them too - I wasn't fun enough, I wasn't pretty enough. None of it is true but what if it was? That would be like firebombing your local newsagents because they gave you the wrong change. 

I can't imagine your friends and family have told you anything different, so I thought I'd try and back up my stance with some cold hard facts. Research by the organisation Trustify reveals that 55% of men are willing to admit to cheating. Let's look at that. More than half and that's the men who are willing to come clean. The odds are not in your favour. The study also examined the reasons why people cheat and to be honest, I got bored. All the reasons boiled down to one thing - they wanted escape. And who doesn't feel like that sometimes? We all feel lost or trapped or confused from time to time and some people respond to that by betraying people they love. Sadly that's life and bad luck. 

That being said four partners in a row is very bad luck and whilst I hope I've made clear that I want you to absolve yourself of any responsibility for the cheating you have experienced, I'm wondering if it's a coincidence that you've found yourself with a string of cheaters? You see, the kind of men who cheat feed on one thing - insecurity; they can smell it like sharks smell blood. A woman who doesn't completely love herself will let the little things slide, those small indiscretions that hint at the greater disrespect to come; she'll be willing to put in the other eighty when she's only getting twenty percent; she'll be accepting, so very accepting, that the wrong man will take advantage of that and she'll persevere with the wrong man because she can't quite believe that the right man is waiting around the corner. If any of this sounds familiar, I urge you to take a break before your next relationship and the only love affair you should be having right now is with yourself. 

3 Little Buttons

Confessions of a New Mummy

Fear is a f***boy


Over the weekend I spoke at Wildfire Women and I'm still overflowing with sisterly love. Head over to the community if you want some of your own. Here is an abridged version of the talk I gave, Fear is a f**kboy.

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Fear is too petty to let get in the way of your goals. Fear is not valuable enough to rob you of joy. You need to ghost fear because fear is a f**kboy. 

For the uninitiated, I'll explain what a f**boy is. There's these men and they have a goal and they sense that if they offer enough affection and affirmation they will reach that goal and if they cannot offer this genuinely, they will lie. To be clear the goal is to get their leg over and after they achieve this, they run and hide like a child. 

F**k: The act of false intimacy 
Boy: Acknowledgement of the pre-adolescent behaviour that follows. 

I was unlucky enough to encounter some of these specimens when I started dating a couple of years ago but very quickly eliminated them from my rotation because they didn't feed me spiritually or practically (They don't buy dinner.) Similarly, I feel that fear has outgrown its usefulness. It used to serve the practical purpose of protecting us from actual physical harm; you're not going to get eaten on the high street, so we need to stop being scared. 

Some of you may be thinking, fear is my friend, fear motivates me - that's some f**kboy shit right there. That's fear saying, you need me, you're better with me, don't give up on me. But make no mistakes, fear will trash your opportunities and when you're home watching XFactor, scraping the cream out of Bourbons, it's nowhere to be seen. You're left with his buddies regret, disappointment and shame. 

How is fear like a f**kboy? 
1) It's seductive. It offers support and protection but it's all lies
2) It doesn't care what you want. It only thinks about feeding itself. It doesn't give a toss that you want to make more money or have a better relationship or ask for help. 
3) Your friends know fear is no good for you. They'll tell you not to listen to it, that you can achieve your goals but later when you're alone together, fear will tell you they're all lying. 
4) It's shameless. It will mess up your life and come right back to your door like nothing happened. 

How to block fear's number
1) Fear crumbles under scrutiny. Sit and have a face to face with your fear; ask it how it's last relationship ended. You'll soon learn it's not the one for you. 
2) Fear hates openness. It wants you to have a seedy, secret  little relationship. Talk about your fear with those you trust and it will lose its power
3) Don't follow fear on social media. Have a detox from accounts and people who reinforce your negative beliefs. 
4) Set fear small tests. Before you let fear mess up your big goals, set it small challenges. It will give you practice for pushing it aside when you need to. 

I know this because over the last couple of years, I've tried to kick fear to the curb. When I started my novel fear said, you can't write. And I deleted fears email. When I applied for WriteNow fear said, everyone will laugh. And I erased fears voicemail. When I was offered a publishing contract fear said, who do you think you are? And I said, piss off fear. 

Fear still bells me. Usually in the middle of the night and I answer because I'm sleepy and it calls from a withheld number. I listen for a minute and then take a deep breath and say, 'Fear, you need to stop calling me. I'm seeing hope now and it's getting serious.' 

3 Little Buttons

Is it possible to fall in love more than once? - Catherine


What is love? (Baby don't hurt me.) One person's love is another's tolerance; yet another's infatuation. I remember those girls that got engaged in sixth form college and were utterly convinced, despite all evidence to the contrary, that they had succeeded in finding the love of their life and that as luck would have it he attended the boys school down the road. When I was sixteen I had the soul of a wizened, cynical divorcee and silently mocked their life plans. Now that I am a wizened, cynical divorcee I think, who am I to judge? 

Many people argue that until you meet THE ONE, that great love, anything before is practice; a kind of love proxy as you bide your time waiting for the real thing but honestly I think all love, even the so called real thing, is simply an evolutionary advantage that stops society unravelling into a mass of writhing bodies. This thing called love is a psychological cage of our own making and that's not a bad thing. On some level we all desire to be contained; love keeps us safe. And luckily I think we can have an infinite number of cages, such is the capacity for love. Ask anyone with more than one child if they have enough to go around - the heart just expands like a balloon. But I don't think you mean bog standard, I'd sacrifice my life for you love, you mean romantic, often sexual love - the good stuff. 

Can this kind of love occur more than once? In my opinion, yes but not always in exactly the same way. Think about eating the same meal every day for a week, the experience wouldn't ever be exactly the same. Some days you'd overcook the veg; on others you might be famished and this would make the meal more satisfying. The food is the same but you are different. This ties in with a theory I've heard that everyone gets three great loves. The first is that crazy, passionate, infatuation based one, usually with a really painful ending. The second is a love that teaches you about yourself and what you need from a partner and the third is a meeting of two people who understand themselves and each other and have learned patience and acceptance from the previous two relationships. What in life do you get right on the first try? Nothing worth having. So, is it possible to fall in love more than once? Perhaps not but I urge you to try. 

3 Little Buttons
Confessions of a New Mummy
Cuddle Fairy