I want to take a short sabbatical from work due to burnout. I will have to rely on my husband financially for a bit – any advice on how to avoid a build-up of resentment?

Maybe make sure that your sabbatical doesn’t last a decade. That might cause some resentment. But jokes aside, a sabbatical is a great idea. Most people could benefit from taking a prolonged break from work – it’s good to get away from things and refresh. Sometimes, that leads to more innovation at work or a clearer understanding of what you want, which might lead to a career pivot. Whatever the case, if you’re in a somewhat stable position financially, there’s no reason for any build-up of resentment from your partner.

My boyfriend has low self-esteem. How can I give him compliments without coming off as patronising?

Mean it. When it comes to compliments, it goes a long way if you actually mean them. Don’t focus on boosting his ego – compliment him only when there’s actually something to praise him for. Besides compliments, showing appreciation can also make someone feel better about themselves, even if it’s a small thing like getting you a glass of water or taking care of a task. That said, if he really does have low self- esteem, there’s a limit to how much external validation can help. Real confidence is going to have to come from within himself.

Do men get it?

Traditionally, men seem to have more body confidence. This largely came from male- dominated media in the past, where women with “ideal body types” were seen as the norm. This has changed in recent years. Media has turned to showcasing eight packs on men. Male movie stars routinely get into incredible shape for roles that will showcase their buff physique. As a model who started out in the late ‘90s, I saw the “ideal male body type” shift. Back then, if you were in reasonable shape and lifted some weights, you could do body work. By the time I stopped modelling in the ‘10s, if your body wasn’t rippling with muscles and had visible veins in places you never even knew you had veins, then no one would be taking a photo of you with your shirt off. At the same time, the media started showing more diverse female body types. There are plus-size models and ads showing real women (brands using models with acne and scars, not retouching images, etc). It has gone a long way in evening the disparity between media- driven images of men and women. Although this might not give you added confidence, maybe it helps to know that men struggle with this too. And hey, misery loves company.

This story first appeared in the July 2021 issue of Her World.