ETCETERA / ANgST: Expert advice on your problems

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I divorced my husband 10 years ago because the enthusiasm seemed to have waned in our marriage and our children were in their late teens. I felt it important to live on my own and develop a more dynamic life. We have remained in touch on a friendly basis and in recent years have grown closer. He would now like us to live together again and seems to think I have reached the same conclusion. Part of me would like that, as I have changed and grown myself and feel I can be a different person in the relationship, but I am worried about getting back into living together and finding I want to get out again. Equally, I don't want to make my ex-husband feel rejected all over again and spoil the chance of things working out.

Many people long for the chance of re-running an old scenario in the hope of achieving a happier ending. But now you have that chance you seem to have the same old doubts about the relationship, tinged by a vague wistfulness rather than powerful feelings. It seems as though your ex-husband is leaving you to make the decision - perhaps not the most passionate or irresistible approach for a woman for whom 'enthusiasm' is so important. Unless you genuinely feel you can accept what the relationship has to offer, you may regret the loss of your freedom. Perhaps, by living separately, you can maintain a close relationship without either of you giving up your independence.

Renate Olins, London Marriage Guidance, 76a New Cavendish St, London W1M 7LB. Tel: 071-580 1087.

My daughter has become friends with a family much wealthier than ours. They ask her to go away with them at weekends, and to the theatre or out for meals. I feel I must give her the money to pay her way, but it is proving a strain to do so. I do invite the child back to our house, but I can't offer that kind of entertainment. I know how much my daughter values the friendship, and I don't want to prevent it being possible for her. What can I do?

You describe a common concern, and it helps us realise that receiving is more difficult than giving. There will be all sorts of emotions about fairness, envy and pride. Yet these two girls value each other and are young, so it may be important for both sets of parents to take an opportunity for an independent chat in which you explain your dilemma. Any parent with a jot of maturity is bound to understand, and these days none of us can be sure for how long we will be financially well off. If you try to keep up, you will only become worried, cross and resentful and that might damage your relationship with your daughter. The girls are likely to be absorbed in their own scene, and may not want to be at your place anyway. If you can keep this in mind and remain on 'goodwill standby' for the future, an opportunity will surely arise where you will be able to play an important role that feels natural.

Carolyn Douglas, director, Exploring Parenthood, Latimer Education Centre, 194 Freston Rd, London W10 6TT. Tel: 081-960 1678.

I am 31, single and as yet I have no children. In recent months I have noticed that my sperm is cold to the touch. Could this have implications concerning my ability to reproduce, and if so can anything be done about it?

Sperm comes mostly from the seminal vesicles and some from the epididymis. These structures are inside the body and will be at body temperature, so sperm ejaculated will be close to or just below the normal core body temperature. The most likely explanation is that anxiety has made your hands and body feel hot, so the sperm feels cooler. Remember, when fertilisation is required, you ejaculate directly into a vagina where the temperature and environment is perfectly designed to make life easy for your sperm.

Simon Parrot, director, London Institue of Human Sexuality, Flat C, Langham Mansions, Earls Court Square, London SW5 9UH. Tel: 071-373 0901.

Dr Chris Barrett in the andrology department at the Jessup Hospital, Sheffield, adds: 'I have never heard of sperm coming out of the body cold, but if this were the case it could affect your fertility. You should certainly consult a doctor and ask about getting a seminology test.'

Write to Angst, The Sunday Review, The Independent on Sunday, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

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