April 2010
  Ask Hillie

Dear Readers,

I can hardly believe we're a quarter of the way through 2010! It seems like only yesterday I was toasting in the New Year! Luckily the weather seems to getting a little warmer, I can only hope this Summer will be as extreme with its sunshine as the winter was its with ice and snow.

Frosty celebrity relationships however seem to be on the increase. Last month especially with Cheryl and Ashley Cole, John and Toni Terry, Tess Daley and Vernon Kay, Tiger and Elin Woods, Sandra Bulloch and Jess James...the list is getting endless! What I find so sad is the betrayal of trust, as well as the heartache, for the innocent partner. So the topic for my article this month is 'Trust' and I hope you find it helpful.

On a more positive note my new website has just gone live www.hillie.com Please have a look and let me know what you think of it!

Have a great month,

Best wishes

Hillie Marshall


Trust is a very special component of any relationship and once it is broken it is exceedingly difficult to regain if not impossible in many cases. Trust is often taken for granted when it comes to relationships; staying faithful to one another; being there for each other no matter what may happen, so that when trust is broken it can be devastating.

It is difficult to have a loving and fulfilling relationship unless there is a deep, underlying friendship between partners. Good friends like and trust each other, treat one another in a courteous way and respect the other's feelings. They respect each other's individuality and give them space but do not take liberties. Friends try to make the other person feel happy and good about themselves and will avoid undermining the other's confidence with unhealthy criticisms. Friends are a united team who will stand by the other and not betray their feelings.

You should give your partner the benefit of your trust from the very beginning of your relationship. They are less likely to betray your trust if you are not fearful of them doing so.

Sometimes when we are in love with someone, we get so fearful of losing them because of bad past experiences; we unwittingly sabotage our own relationship in varying ways. We may always look for negative signs that things are going wrong with the relationship rather than dwelling on the positive aspects. This may well depress the easiest going of partners until they just see the negative and the relationship falls apart. When the relationship eventually goes wrong we feel we have been proved right, because we knew deep down it was too good to last. The stupid thing is that if we had not been fearful and panicked, the outcome would have probably been the opposite. So try to let go of the past and allow yourself to move on from old hurts. If you begin to feel uneasy about your partner's actions or lifestyle then ask them questions about what appears to be happening in an open way. Chances are there is a very simple explanation and your partner will appreciate your brave honesty in voicing your fears. In turn you must carefully, keep an open mind and allow yourself to understand what is going on.

I strongly feel that we all have a duty to our loved ones to be open and honest in our relationship and should try not to give them any reason to feel uncomfortable or to induce jealous feelings.

On the other hand there will always be the dishonest heartless egocentrics who don't think beyond their own self gratification. They will find every reason or excuse to persuade you that your suspicions are all in your mind and that they are utterly innocent. Some are such good con artists that in the end you can feel you are losing your marbles! However when they are well and truly found out in their lies they invariably play the victim if you don't forgive them straight away. They play on your vulnerabilities and try to make you believe that if you had behaved differently they would have never gone astray! It's an old trick that unfortunately causes a lot of people to give cheats a second, third or more chance until the injured party finally sees the light or the cheat leaves for someone else.

When someone cheats on you it is a violation of your trust and shows complete disrespect for you. If you find yourself in this situation you may ask friends and family for advice and hopefully you will be given unbiased opinions – but you can never be sure. The only person you can really ever trust is yourself. We all have gut instincts; that little nagging feeling in your mind which tells you that you feel uneasy and unhappy about a situation. You also have your fears and your lack of self esteem in such circumstances that may tell you not to rock the boat. In my opinion you should always listen to your instincts and be brave. Worrying about a situation is always worse than confronting it and dealing with it. I was terrified of divorce, of being my own, but the reality was one hundred percent easier.

There's a reason why people break someone's trust; they may be weak, dishonest or self centered and in my experience these people will do the same again at a later date so it's possibly best to cut your losses and move on. After my divorce I gave several relationships a second chance, wasted my time and lived to regret it. However I learned a lot and when I eventually, after eight years, met my now husband I had an inner gut feeling that at long last I had truly met a man I could trust in every way.

So give your partner plenty of rope and support but if they should hang themselves be brave, there's a silver lining for everyone – someone decent is out there somewhere, you'll just need patience and trust in your instincts.


Your chance to get your worries off your chest
Whether it's marriage guidance, relationship advice, workplace or career difficulties, or family problems I'm here to help. A problem shared is a problem halved, so if something is getting you down or troubling you please email me at hillie@enterprise.net

Dear Hillie:
I've been single now for over four years since I broke up with my husband. I'm 37 and I'm scared I'll never find someone else. My friends keep setting me up on blind dates which I find excruciating and I've also tried Internet dating but the men never turn out to be as good as they seem when you meet them in the flesh. I've tried speed dating and that didn't work, are there any alternatives?

Hillie says:
Thank your friends for their efforts but tell them you want to give all blind dating, whether it's through them or the internet or speed dating, a miss for a while. Now take a deep breath, relax, make yourself a hot drink and take a conscious decision to stop feeling desperate. Being desperate won't help you and may well, although you possibly think your feelings don't show, put men off. Forget looking for a new partner and write down a wish list of everything you have ever wanted to do and start making them happen. You should also try to widen your social circle; join as many different pursuits as you can such as a health club, sports club, evening classes, amateur dramatics, a singles social events and holiday company such as Dinner Dates where there is no pressure. Make as many new friends as you can and they in turn will introduce you to their friends. Once you begin feeling happy and fulfilled in yourself and start meeting new people who knows what will happen?

Dear Hillie
Ten years ago I had a brief affair with Karen and I was upset when she ended it. We have always kept in touch and now she is going out with someone she calls 'Mr Nice-but-Dim'! Recently in various subtle ways she has tried to ascertain my feelings for her and has jokingly suggested that we should get married in a few years time if neither of us has found anyone else! I'm still crazy about her and I know she is not satisfied with Mr NBD. Why didn't she say the things she is saying to me now, nine months ago when we were both free and why didn't I announce my feelings for her then? Why do people never say what they feel at the right time? Do people become more attractive to you when they are going out with someone else; am I more attractive to her now that she is dissatisfied with Mr NBD? Should I tell her how I feel and maybe risk losing her as a friend and getting hurt again?

Hillie says:
Who knows why any of us say the things we do at any given time? Maybe she's had a change of heart and is now interested in you, or maybe she is boosting her ego by playing with your feelings for her because she is dissatisfied with Mr NBD. There is a saying 'nothing ventured, nothing gained' and if you are still crazy about her then tell her - maybe this is the right time for you both to be together. If she doesn't feel the same way towards you, remember you didn't lose her friendship when she left you ten years ago.

Dear Hillie
I'm in love with a man who is 12 years older than me. Recently a friend told him how I felt and totally took him off his guard. He'd had no idea. He told her I had all the qualities of the sort of person he would want to be with but I'm just a baby! Can you imagine he called me a baby? I feel very hurt but Hillie I can't get over him. Do you think I should just give up or should I keep trying to convince him that being with me wouldn't be cradle snatching?

Hillie says:
You don't tell me how old you are which makes it more difficult for me to advise you. However the man you love has made it clear that although he admires your qualities, he strongly feels that you are too young for him and that a relationship with you would not work. He will respect you even more if you and your friend behave in an adult way and never mention your feelings for him again. Just treat him as a good friend and concentrate on building up other friendships with men who are emotionally attracted to you. Maybe once this man sees that you are getting on with your life and no longer concentrating all your emotional intensity on him, he may view you in a different light. Just relax, enjoy yourself and see what life brings.

Dear Hillie
I was at University with Sue and we went out together for six months. We broke up after a trivial row and graduated soon after. It's now a year since I've seen her and I can't get her out of my mind. I found out her address and telephone number and although I've written to her and tried phoning her, she doesn't answer my letters or return my calls. As she shares a flat with other girls I know she's not married and so I know there's still hope for me. I'm desperate to be with her again, what should I do next?

Hillie says:
I'm sorry to sound brutal, but there is nothing more you can do. If she does not want to return your calls or answer your letters, you have to face the fact that she is no longer interested in seeing you again. Maybe she already has a meaningful relationship; maybe she's engaged to be married. Just because you feel strongly attracted to someone it does not mean they should feel the same way about you. Rejection is a fact of life; it's how you cope with it that counts. This particular relationship, for whatever reason, did not work out - enjoy the memory and move on. Life is for living in the present and not for wasting precious present moments hankering after things that may have been. You are young and if you open up your eyes to other possibilities you never know who might suddenly appear on the scene. The unknown can be an exciting prospect so make the most of every opportunity and live your life to the full. Life is not a rehearsal; it's your one and only performance!

Hillie Marshall
Hillie began her working career as a radiographer and then started in show business as a singer and actress, eventually being theatre producer for her company Edwardians Unlimited. Following her divorce in 1989 and with two young children to bring up, she founded Dinner Dates, the social events and holiday Company for single people. Today Dinner Dates is the UK’s longest established company of its kind with over 17,000 members nationwide. The phenomenal success of Dinner Dates for singles gave Hillie the idea of a social events company for couples, so in 2007, she set up Dinner With Friends, the UK’s first couples only dining club. In July 2011 she sold both companies.

Not only is Hillie a successful business entrepreneur, her experience with people has been put to good use and, as both an Agony Aunt through the internet and in magazines, she offers advice and a sympathetic ear to thousands, making sense of personal and relationship problems.

Hillie is an accomplished author and has written three successful books on relationships. She has given relationship advice on numerous TV and Radio shows such as GMTV, Richard and Judy, The Big Breakfast, Esther Rantzen, Kilroy, The Vanessa Show, The Time The Place, Carlton’s After 5 and was ‘Dr Date’ for LBC.

She has two children Nicola (32) and Jamie (29) and lives in Chiswick with her husband Angus.

You can e-mail Hillie at: hillie@enterprise.net
Her books: 'The Good Dating Guide', 'Hillie Marshall's Guide to Successful Relationships' and 'Agonise with Hillie' can be bought on line at: www.hillie.com

Words copyright: Hillie Marshall 2013

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