Advice columnist Fiona Caine offers her perspective on family dramas, emotional issues and dysfunctional relationships
Q Although it always seems to be seen as a positive thing, I’ve no wish to make contact with my birth mother or father.
I was adopted 19 years ago and I’m now 21 with wonderful adoptive parents whom I love to bits.
So although I know I won’t go looking for them, how can I stop them from finding me?
A Start by asking your adoptive parents about the adoption and details of the agency they used.
If you write to this agency telling them you want no contact with your birth parents, they should respect your wishes.
Birth relatives may still track you down through other channels if they’re particularly determined, probably using an agency of some kind too.
Most responsible agencies would contact you first to see if you are willing to meet.
Have you really thought this through, though? What about half brothers and sisters for example – would you want to meet them?
You may find it helpful to talk your feelings through with someone who understands the issues, and the Post-Adoption Centre (www.pac.org.uk) offers support and counselling.
Daunted by move abroad
Q My boyfriend has just got a new job abroad for two years and wants me to go with him. We’ve been going out together for three years and although we’ve touched on it, he’s always said he’s too young to marry–- he’s 22.
I’m 26 and while part of me wants to go with him it will mean giving up my job, and I worry whether I would get a new one if things didn’t work out.
I still don’t know whether he is committed to a long-term relationship with me, but surely three years together is long enough for him to know how he feels.
Why can’t I be more decisive about this?
A Why should you be any more decisive than he is? It’s a much bigger decision for you; you’d be leaving family, friends and a job.
The only thing that would remain the same is your relationship and as you have never lived together before, that would be a huge change too.
He, on the other hand, has a job lined up and if you go too, he has someone with him he knows to make things more comfortable and familiar.
So don’t beat yourself up, it’s difficult for both of you and I’d say that if you didn’t have doubts there would be something wrong with you.
You really need to talk about long-term plans.
Expecting you to give up everything without any kind of reassurance about a future together would be naive of him.
Perhaps you could initially get a leave of absence from your job and take an extended holiday to see how you get on.
Can I control menopausal demons
Q I’m becoming a really awful colleague, wife and mother – I’m scratchy and irritable all the time.
I shout at the kids and find myself snapping at colleagues and my poor husband.
A few weeks ago, I said something so horrible to him that we didn’t speak for two days.
It felt like there was a demon inside me saying it was all his fault, so why should I apologise?
I realise this behaviour is irrational and that it’s probably linked to the change (I’m 48) but what can I do?
I don’t like myself very much and I’ve heard horror stories about the menopause going on for years – I’ll alienate myself completely if I don’t do something about it!
A Your doctor really is the best person to help you through this if your behaviour is out of character and out of your control.
You also need to talk to your husband; tell him you think this is the start of the menopause and that you are going to talk to your GP.
He may not know much about this stage of a woman’s life so you need to get as much information as you can that you can share with him.
Again, your doctor can help or you can get advice from the website Menopause Matters (www.menopausematters.co.uk).