I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I’m miserable and bad tempered all of the time.

My family are avoiding coming to see me because I’m so grumpy with them, and I know people at work are starting to avoid me too. My periods have become erratic and heavy and I don’t I like myself very much right now. My husband suggested that maybe it’s down to menopause, which didn’t exactly go down well, as I’m only 39.

Perhaps my feelings may be down to having to face the fact that I’m turning forty on my next birthday?

I just feel awful, but I’m not sure what I can do. - DL

Fiona says: You may think your husband is being cruel in suggesting that this is the menopause, but it’s certainly not impossible. Technically, the menopause is the point at which your periods actually stop. The time before that, when periods can become erratic and moods can change, is the perimenopause, and the process can last as long as ten years.

I would strongly advise that you go and see your GP for a check-up, as what you describe sounds as if this could be a distinct possibility.


For the past three years, I’ve been in a relationship that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.

We laugh together a lot and have similar tastes, but I don’t really fancy him - although we do sleep together and I enjoy it. On New Year’s Eve he proposed to me and it’s completely floored me. I like him, but I don’t love him - and marriage is out of the question.

I’ve managed to avoid the issue so far, but I’m not sure how much longer I can do this as he brings up the subject every day. Is there a way out of this mess without really hurting his feelings? - BB

Fiona says: I’m afraid I don’t think there is. Your boyfriend has clearly invested more in this relationship than you, and, after three years together, he feels a commitment that you don’t. You need to come clean with him- and the sooner the better. Be gentle and explain that you’ve realised you don’t feel the same way about him as he does about you.