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My 21 year old son has just announced that he is gay

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 15 September 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

My 21 year old son has just announced to my husband and I that he is gay. I am totally shocked, devastated and completely unable to cope with this revelation. I still love him, but am disgusted by his behaviour.

He wants us to meet his boyfriend, but I have said absolutely not. I believe he thinks it's fashionable to be gay, but I am horrified. He has had a few girlfriends in the past, but nothing serious. Now I'm thinking this was all a disguise to shield us from the truth. My husband is putting on a brave face, but is distraught. We had presumed in the not too distant future our son would marry, and we would one day be grandparents, but I feel I have now lost my son.

My world has been shattered and I don't know what to do. Please help.

Patricia Marie says...

For any parent, finding out their child is gay can come as a shock, and facing up to this news can be difficult and painful, but in your case, if you are unable to alter your way of thinking, then you could indeed risk losing your son. He has finally taken the enormous step to trust and 'come out' to you both, only to be rebuffed. Have you considered how he is feeling? Being gay is not a choice. What your son needs from you now is simple acceptance, not to be made to feel guilty. Perhaps the first step in acknowledging this would be to welcome his boyfriend into your home. Many parents who have been in your situation find that, once they come to terms with their child's sexuality, the relationship between them deepens, and please stop worrying what others think; true friends will be supportive of you, and most importantly should accept your son for who he is.

Try to gain a sense of perspective – at present all you have lost is your own idea of how life should be. Your son hasn't changed. He's still the same person he was yesterday. Who's to say your son won't have a family and provide you with grandchildren in the future? Don't let him down at the time he needs you most, but instead show him the unconditional love every child deserves. The important factor in any relationship is not the gender to whom people are attracted - more that they love, respect, and treat one another with kindness.

Contact Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (FFLAG), who are brilliant at supporting parents when their children come out - and after. They would understand the very complex, raw, and totally understandable emotions that are enveloping your family at present. I also recommend: Always My Child by Kevin Jennings; this great read provides the insights and practical strategies parents need to support their children and cope themselves, having established their child is gay.

Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays: fflag.org.uk/0845 652 0311  
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My friend doesn't support me

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 08 September 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

I've had this friend for years - since we were at college together. And I always thought we'd be there for each other through thick and thin. Three years ago, she went through a terribly messy divorce and I supported her. Then, last year I found out my husband had been cheating on me, and after trying to work through it naturally, I went to my friend for sympathy. But she turned on me, telling me I was dragging her down and asking too much of her. We're still friends, but the closeness has completely gone. Was I wrong to have expected more from her?

Patricia Marie says...

You weren't wrong to expect more from your friend at all, but you may have to accept that she wasn't necessarily rejecting you when she let you down. Sometimes people can't be how we would like them to be, or act in the way we'd prefer them to. For you, it hurts because it feels personal, almost as if your friend decided you didn't deserve her help. But in reality, her behaviour is about her, not you. It sounds like your unhappiness, in a situation so like her own, dramatically brought back her grief and pain.

When we want to offload, we have to take some responsibility. Just because we want to get angry and upset, it doesn't mean that our friends are able to deal with us being this way, especially if they have issues that they are trying to deal with, which we may be ignoring because we are too focused with what's bothering us. While friends can, and should, be there for us when we need their support, often a professional can give us the care we really need to move on. Perhaps if your friend had gone for counselling as well as asking for your help, she might have been able to put her sadness aside and been there for you - and now not feel so guilty about failing you, which I suspect is what the distance is about.

I believe you may benefit from some counselling yourself to help you move forward with this situation. Hopefully, once you start to feel better you'll be able to forgive her and that closeness will return.

The British association of Counselling and Psychotherapy have a directory where you can find a qualified therapist in your area. www.bacp.co.uk 01455 883300
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Morv Moon Launch at The Trafalgar St James

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
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on Thursday, 07 September 2017
by Annette Kellow

When I was told I would be spending the morning relaxing in luxury Morv pyjamas, trying a new facial from 111 Skin whilst sampling breakfast at The Traflagar Hotel St James, my excitement scale was definitely on the higher level.

After all, the newly refurbished Trafalgar St James with its elegant suites and sumptuous furnishings has had excellent online reviews whilst I am a huge fan of anything to do with skincare, fashion and general pampering!

Stepping into the spacious suite I was introduced to the uber glamorous Morvarid Sahafi, the designer and founder of Morv London.

Her new silk satin pyjamas line is a luxury collection available in eight different prints and designs. All styles come with a detachable hood that doubles as an eye mask. Morv got the idea when she was travelling a lot and found the elastic on eye masks often tight and digging in. She also wanted to sleep in comfort whilst keeping the look chic too.

I opted for a pair of polka dot pyjamas which as soon as trying on felt like pure silk on my skin. This teamed with some freshly made fruit granola and relaxing on the king size bed I was in near heaven!

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All of Morv's designs are made to spread awareness in society, often featuring female empowerment icons such as Joan of Arc and the Suffragettes.

She also uses natural based dyes, ecologically smart fabrics and 5% of her annual profits go to a chosen charity. Not only that but her designs are simply put works of art, her attention to detail and craftsmanship is second to none and her collection is curated with a woman's life in mind.

As well as her elegant pyjamas I also got to see a selection of her dresses. These featured a Harlequin party dress, burgundy velvet pieces as well as a sequinned jacket, perfect for the festive season.

But it didn't stop there! Next I was treated to a Lightfinity Express facial by Alice Jenkins from Harley Streets 111 Skin clinic. It involved a serum infused mask smoothed onto my skin followed by a frame which pulses LED lights to rejuvenate and freshen. This heats up slightly, working into the skin whilst I kept the serum on all day to protect even further.

111 skin also has its own range of products which is developed for sensitive skin, their most well known one called the 'Dramatic Healing Serum.'

All of this in such a wonderfully located hotel, the Trafalgar St James. I could quite see myself reclining on the bed all day in comfortable pyjamas sampling more of the hotels delicacies but alas it was time to leave.

As the famous quote says, 'Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.' And Morv London is a wonderful combination of the two.
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I'm worried my friend will get hurt

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 01 September 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

A friend of mine has recently set up a joint account and is planning on buying a house with a man she met on the internet just three months ago. He seems nice enough, but my husband and I have noticed he has some serious money issues and lies a lot, for example when he told her he has never been engaged before when in fact he has. He has become friendly with my husband and tells him things that are different to what he tells my friend. She is completely in love with him and is planning their entire future, oblivious to his financial situation. I don't know what I should do. I can't tell her anything my husband has told me about him as I don't want to spoil their friendship or be in the middle. Also, I'm worried it's none of my business. However, I'm struggling to sit back and do nothing when I'm worried this man might hurt her, am I overreacting and should I just ignore it? Please help. Thank you.

Patricia Marie says...

You are concerned that you don't wish to jeopardise your husband's friendship with this man, yet they have only known each other for a few months, and in this time he has lied about both personal and financial matters, so perhaps discord between them is preferable, to protect your friend from making a huge mistake with him.

However, please remember, your friend is in love with this man, and may be in denial if told something she doesn't want to believe. Rather than being seen as caring and loyal for disclosing this information, you might be construed as a troublemaker, which could cause you great anguish, despite your good intentions.

Although I do understand your wish to enlighten, you may risk your friendship in the process. Nevertheless, you could have a candid discussion with your friend and explain how worried you are that she is verging on a huge commitment with a man she barely knows. Suggest she checks his authenticity, and particularly the personal facts he has communicated to her. If she shows resentment at your suggestion, be prepared to let her find out the truth for herself. Some of the best lessons ever learnt are those we learn from our mistakes and failures. After all, the error of the past can be the success and wisdom of the future.

It is possible that this man may have no ulterior motive, other than perhaps retaining information for fear of being misjudged by your friend. If it should prove that he has been manipulating the truth, is not to be trusted, and the relationship does crumble, continue to be there for her, and she will see that you are very much someone whom she can depend on.
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A Dogs Purpose DVD Launch

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
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on Thursday, 24 August 2017
by Annette Kellow

This week I was invited to the elegantly chic Dukes Hotel to view the new film A Dogs Purpose, celebrating it's DVD Launch on the same week as National Dog Day.

We were there to enjoy a delicious selection of Dukes finest foods and then get settled to see the movie, which I heard was a real tear-jerker (I had come prepared with tissues at the ready).

But there was a twist, our little furry friends were invited too!

I was delighted to be taking my Yorkshire Terrier dog Dorothy to her first ever film screening, and in such a beautiful venue too. She trotted in, instantly sniffing out the other pooches such as Amelia the Cav and Charlie Chaplin from City Dog Experts.

Doggy snacks had been laid out for them and there was even special chairs for our pooches to recline in but first of all it was playtime! Anyone that has a dog knows they love to sniff out fun and my dog Dorothy got straight to it by letting a Bichon Frieze and a Spaniel follow her around in a rather devoted manner.

After she got bored of their adoring affections she ditched them for Amelia the Cav who was happily feasting on doggy popcorn in the corner.

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They did not let us 'humans' go without either. I had a lovely plate of chicken, salad, scotch eggs and a lemon dessert- delicious!

As we sat down they offered us strawberry icecream too, or should I rephrase that- they offered our dogs strawberry icecream, of which I almost ate myself! Frozzy's is a special blend of fruit and yoghurt specifically made with our furry friends in mind. Indeed I tried to get Dorothy to concentrate on the film but her concentration span was rather low with the Frozzy's around and before I knew it the whole tub had disappeared!

The tissues were definitely needed for A Dogs Purpose. Without giving too much away, they had combined several stories interweaving through a dogs life and it was magically set from the 1960's to the present day. The dogs voice is also narrated by Josh Gad so you can hear the dog, Bailey's, continuous thought process which definitely makes paws for thought.

They also showed the comforting therapeutic side of owning a dog and how they instinctively recognise a humans emotions. Apparently stroking a dog for just 10 minutes a day releases the feel good hormones Serotonin and Oxycotin. This helps with a relaxing and calming effect when petting a dog (I secretly wondered about kissing too? I must kiss Dorothy at least fifty times a day).

Directed by Lasse Hallstrom, A Dogs Purpose is for anyone who loves animals and enjoys the sentiment of a picturesque story which will win your heart over and over again.

A DOG'S PURPOSE IS AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY AND DVD FROM 28TH AUGUST COURTESY OF ENTERTAINMENT ONE
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