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I'm having an affair with my best friend's husband

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 07 April 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

I have been having an affair with my best friend's husband since January and want to end it because I feel guilty, but I have fallen in love with him and can't give him up easily. He says he is just waiting for the right time to tell his wife about us then he will leave her.

He insists he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. I have been on my own for over a year now and the three of us often go out and I have to pretend nothing is going on. I don't know if I should just carry on with the affair until my lover is ready to tell his wife, or do I tell her everything and risk losing our friendship?

Patricia Marie says...

Women tend to believe they are in love when they have an affair. Men can be more opportunistic, but women need to feel more emotionally engaged - and that can be fatal. You say this man is your soul mate, but the reality is what sort of man has an affair with his wife's best friend? If he means what he says about wanting to spend the rest of his life with you, why have you not already ran off into the sunset together? Many mistresses wait forever for their lovers to leave their wives, and when forever never comes, they are left heartbroken.

How do you know you are not just a bit of escapism for him - just a bit of fun. It may not be the first time he's had an affair and promised his mistress the world.

If your friend did find out about the affair, there's every chance your lover would go running back to his wife, and you'd be left with nothing. I urge you to find the strength to end this relationship before this situation becomes destructive. Consider shifting your energy into finding your very own man, rather than waste your time on somebody else's. We can't help who we fall in love with, but everyone is worth more than being someone's mistress.

However, if the two of you are genuinely in love, then he should do the decent thing and tell his wife, who deserves to know her husband has cheated on her and her best friend has betrayed her.

And you need to be sure he's worth it because you are set to lose your best friend forever.
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I'm a shopaholic

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 31 March 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

I am a shopaholic and I don't know how to stop. My friends are concerned about me, but they don't understand and are so irritating. I love designer clothes and keep ordering items from the Internet without any regard for how I'm going to pay for them. I just put everything on my credit card, and when that reaches its limit, I use another.

Up until now I haven't even considered the implications of owing so much money. My wardrobes are full, yet I crave more. Having plenty of designer clothes initially makes me feel happy and successful, but in contrast, I am actually just a doctor's receptionist and very depressed. I have recently been thinking about moving out of my rented flat and buying my own place, but not sure if I would be able to get a mortgage with my growing debt. Please advise.

Patricia Marie says...

Firstly, I commend you for being honest with yourself by recognising your spending is spiralling out of control. The traits you display are typical of a person suffering from shopping addiction, but once you gain a better understanding of your behaviour you will be in a stronger position to take control of your life again. Shopaholics often have escalating debts, stopping at nothing until matters are taken out of their own hands. Compulsive spending often results in not just serious financial issues, but relationship problems can occur, often leading to depression for the sufferer. Your spending has created the comfort you desire - filling a void in your life.

While the underlying motive behind each compulsive shopper may be different, the euphoric feeling achieved when making purchases is universal. Just like chemical addiction, the addict experiences a sensation when making a purchase, likened to the rush of a drug, achieving a 'high feeling'.

You clearly undermine the position you hold at your place of work, and to improve your self-worth you need to be aware of your positive attributes. With all addiction treatment, honesty and acceptance about one's self is key and taking responsibility of your financial situation would be a huge part of your recovery process. Confronting your creditors would be a good place to start as they could offer you a debt management plan. In addition, do visit your G.P, who can offer a health check and arrange some counselling where you would be able to explore the emotional issues causing your addictive behaviour, and assist you in moving forward to a more positive way of being.
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Debrett’s x Bicester Village ‘The Future of Fashion and Etiquette’ Panel Discussion

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
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on Thursday, 30 March 2017
by Katrina Schollenberger

There is no doubt that fashion, style and etiquette go hand in hand. Tom Ford once said 'dressing well is a form of good manners'. In that light, never was there a marriage of two unions more perfect that Debrett's etiquette consultants and Bicester village, the luxury outlet village showcasing premium fashion brands at discounted prices. This year, the two institutions will partner on a bespoke book titled the 'Guide to British Style', depicting the history of British fashion and trends and providing insight into contemporary seasonal dress codes.

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To celebrate the launch, I was invited to a panel discussion featuring some of Britain's style experts and influencers including Mary Portas, Richard E Grant, Lady Kitty Spencer and Debrett's stylist Tim Lord. Held at the Keeper's House at the Royal Academy, guests were treated to a sit-down breakfast of miniature mango and chia seed puddings, pineapple skewers, Croque Monsieur's and sweetcorn fritters topped with guacamole.

The panellists covered a range of questions delving into British fashion, and with such differing backgrounds and ages, opinions were varied. For example, Mary Portas had asked if Britain were to set up shop in any country around the world, what would our 'signature look' be, and what items would be on display? Does Britain have a 'signature style'? Richard E Grant definitively thought not, whereas Tim Lord was on the fence, and Lady Kitty Spencer perhaps thought hats would be our top export. Despite this, there is no doubt that Britain has lead the forefront on fashion trends for decades. Panellists agreed that Brits dress unapologetically, whereas countries like America lag behind the times, with Richard inputting that British men "are not fearful of looking anything less than four-square heterosexual, they dress with more individuality than their American counterparts".

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The floor opened up to questions ranging from casualisation in high fashion to production sustainability before guests left with potted hyacinth bulbs (to represent the growth of Bicester) and the Guide to British Style itself. The book comes in English, Arabic and Chinese, reflecting the origins of Bicester's cultural customers, and will be available to VIP customers at Bicester Village.

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Mother's Day

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 24 March 2017
As Mother's Day approaches, not everyone will be happily celebrating. For those who have lost a mother, it can be a daunting day, especially if this is the first one without mum. The day may also bring mixed and complex feelings to women who have experienced the loss of a child, infertility or miscarriage. They may struggle to cope with the memories and emotions which this day triggers, and may feel very unsettled.

For those who need a little support at this time, I offer some guidance to help you get through...

The Loss of a Mother

If you have lost your mother, this day could prove to be overwhelming, so be gentle on yourself. Do something positive, and perhaps choose an activity that will connect you - be comforted by looking at photographs of her, revisiting places you know she loved, spraying some of her favourite perfume, or listening to significant pieces of music, to relive those special memories. You may find this upsetting at first, but it will allow you to feel her presence, and as time goes on, it could become your own ritual. To honour her memory, plant a living memorial in the form of a tree or rose bush. You may still want to buy a Mother's Day card, to celebrate this day in your own unique way. She may not be here - but is still very much your mum.

The Loss of a Child

The death of a child is a loss like no other. If you feel yourself struggling during this significant day, light a candle in their memory, which could make you feel especially close to your child at this time. You may feel anger, sadness, or guilt, because they died before you. These emotions are very common with grief - don't try to suppress them. No matter how long since your loss, if you are still suffering, consider joining a bereavement group which could help you to feel understood, and give you hope, that if others can survive their loss - so can you. In time your focus can hopefully shift away from your child's death towards remembering your child's life.

And celebrating the day....

If you are celebrating this Mother's Day with your family, relish and enjoy every single wonderful minute. If you are wanting to treat mum, try not to be influenced by the multitude of gifts on sale. Instead treat her to something far more worthwhile like breakfast in bed, an offer to clean the house or work through that pile of ironing. Perhaps bake her a cake, and get to enjoy some quality time with her. These gestures from the heart would, I'm sure, mean far more to her. And if you know anyone who may be reminded of a heart breaking loss on this day, perhaps help ease their pain by a small act of kindness, such as offering a card, flower, or words of encouragement, which could make a huge difference to the way they are feeling.

Life goes on, and we must embrace it. Hopefully there will be plenty to look forward to in the future, and, however you do, or don't, celebrate this occasion, I wish each and every one of you a very happy Mother's Day.

For additional help, advice and support, contact: Cruse Bereavement Care: 0844 477 9400 www.cruse.org.uk 
 
SANDS is a national charity which can offer support when your baby dies during pregnancy or after: 020 7436 5881 www.uk-sands.org 
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Sea Containers Events launch party

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
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on Thursday, 23 March 2017
by Katrina Schollenberger

The Young Ladies of The Lady were recently invited to the launch of Sea Containers Events: two levels of function rooms at the Sea Containers building, created to accommodate a range of events against breath-taking views of London's skyline.

The event was managed by award-winning hospitality providers Green & Fortune, and the evening certainly didn't disappoint. The launch was held on the 12th and 13th floor of the Sea Containers, overlooking London's most iconic buildings. Upon arrival, my guest and I were greeted with a fruit-based vodka jelly segment and a passionfruit and chilli spritz before being escorted up to the 12th floor. We walked around demonstrative dining tables with beautiful layouts, business presentations, a LED dance floor and a large circular bar serving wine, beer and fantastic cocktails.

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After weaving around and gaping at the views, we headed up to the 13th floor, walking up the stairs of an amphitheatre that could hold up to 200 people. There were canape stations dotted around the event with some great cooking including a carving station serving delicious warm lamb pittas. Other canapes making rounds at the event included venison, spiced apple and mulled wine sausage rolls, cured stone bass ceviche, tequila and lime dressing and salt chilli chicken with spiced pepper mayonnaise. Out of all the food of the evening, I particularly enjoyed the seafood display and 'Pudding Lane' full of fine miniature cakes and sweets. There was even edible mist on offer.

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The evening's entertainment included an DJ, electric violinist, pianist, saxophone quartet, a photo booth and an illusionist who left my guest and I completely baffled. Among the six new spaces available for hire, you could envision how anything could come to life from a wedding reception to a corporate party. Rooms are capable of hosting up to 150 for dinner and 250 for cocktail receptions (there is an exclusive hire application for anything larger). The space's terraces and balconies stole the show, with an endless glittering London skyline to view for miles.

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As the evening came to an end, guests were given individually bottled and wax sealed barrel aged Negroni. An absolutely show-stopping evening.
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