Ask the experts - Summer 2019

Got a burning question you’re not quite ready to ask in person? Send your questions to our experts and have them answered here.

  • Summer 2019
  • Ask the experts

Brand-new bride

Q: I recently found out my ex-husband has become engaged to a very young lass he has known for all of five minutes. He is 69 and she is 26! For context, our children are in their forties and we have three grandchildren in their teens. While he and I are amicable, I am truly embarrassed and disgusted. He has not told our children yet and I have no doubt they will be completely humiliated. Worst of all, when I questioned him he said his wife-to-be wants a child and he is considering it. Is this not the definition of insanity?

A: I don’t blame you for feeling hurt or embarrassed. It sounds like your ex has panicked. One day he looked in the mirror and saw one grey hair too many. Instead of facing his mortality or feelings of failure, he ran into the arms of a younger female who seemed to want him. He has had a typical mid-life crisis, a little later than usual. He will probably live to regret this decision. Leave him to reap what he has sown. You, on the other hand, should turn adversity into opportunity. Decide you are going to become strong and thrive. Seek help from a psychologist to work through your emotional baggage; you don’t need it any more. Most importantly, follow your bliss. Who or what makes you feel energised and joyful? Keep increasing into your life contact with these people and activities. At first it feels awful dealing with the loss of what was, the grief and the hurt of the rejection. But make the decision to move on. If you accept the challenge to grow your personal power, you, and your children and grandchildren, will be surprised how happy you can become, in spite of his choices.

Answered by Dr Rachel Hannam, Director of North Brisbane Psychologists 

There goes the neighbourhood...

Q: My partner and I have sold our home and downsized to a nice little unit on the coast, which is very great except we have renters next door who aren’t very considerate. They are both smokers and smoke on their balcony next to our clothesline, which makes our clothes stink. They also have a small dog they leave locked up all day to yap at the walls. We have complained to body corporate but they are useless! Any advice for dealing with the neighbours would be appreciated. 

A: That does sound very frustrating. Unfortunately, if you have brought these issues to your body corporate with no result there is probably not much you can do to enforce action. Perhaps you can move your clothes inside to dry on airers? It’s inconvenient for you but a simple solution at the end of the day. And if the dog is yapping all day it may be bored or lonely without its owners. You could offer to have the dog visit when they are going to be out (and only if it is convenient for you). It could be a nice arrangement for you and help foster goodwill with your neighbours.

Answered by Darryl M, National Seniors member

Mellow yellow

Q: I am a 66-year-old lady who has always had horrible yellow teeth from being a smoker (I quit some years ago). I am considering veneers but I know they are expensive, so I am wondering is this the right choice for someone my age? I’m sure there are other options but I’m not ready for dentures yet!

A: I would suggest a minimally invasive route as your first step. I recommend having a professional clean, which will not only remove bacteria and ensure the health of your gums and teeth but will also remove the extrinsic (outside) staining. If there has been intrinsic (inside) staining from the smoking, then I would suggest you follow with a whitening procedure via your dental professional. These two options together can make your teeth brighter and whiter without having to cut the teeth. Please note, your local dental professional will let you know if you are a candidate for whitening.

Answered by Tabitha Acret, Clinical Educator and Dental Hygienist at AIRFLOW Dental Spa experience

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