My wife and I always used to have a lovely relationship where we were always making jokes and teasing each other. Four months ago she had our first baby and, when the head appeared I quipped "Phew! At least it isn't black!" only remembering as the words left my mouth that the midwife was West Indian. It wasn't meant as a racist joke, but a running gag about an imaginary infidelity between my wife and her aerobics teacher. My wife, however, was horrified, has gone into terrible post-natal depression, and blames it all on that one comment. We are not allowed to make jokes about anything any more.

Bill, Camden

Uncle Ony: Wow! What an impressive virtual manifesting of the symbolic Inner Child. For years, beginning with your own "real time" birth, your Inner Child has been both nourished and repressed by your "joking" - given a taste of the nutrients it needs to flourish alongside your Inner Man but strangled by the limitations of the narrow outlet. At the very moment when your "real time" child was metamorphosing from "inner" to "outer", your symbolic child emerged, in the form of a twisted deformed "joke' causing pain all around. Of course your wife is mourning, and of course the joking must stop. Humour is an unhealthy manifesting of child/man imbalance. The time has come to develop your Inner Man.

Auntie Ag: (Ony, darling, I suggest you take your Inner Child, hand it to the nanny and ask her to give it a jolly good hiding.) You poor things! Post-natal depression is rotten. Of course it wasn't caused by your joke, but of course your wife thinks it is, because people think all sorts of mad things when they're depressed. First, explain everything to the midwife - a woman in that job must have enough wisdom and humour to understand what was really going on. Ask her if she'll talk to your wife about the unfortunately timed joke and sort that one out. Then get the doctor on the case to start treating the depression. And don't stop teasing your wife, if it's kind and gentle, it'll show her how much you still love her.

I have had a platonic relationship with a male friend of mine for five years. Recently he split up bitterly with his girlfriend and I was trying to be a good friend to him and let him stay in my house. He started getting more and more amorous, telling me he loved me, and wanted to be with me and trying to get me to go to bed with him. I thought seriously about it but was horrified when I challenged him about his intentions and realised he was still sleeping with his girlfriend, had already fallen in love with someone else, and just wanted a quick shag with me. Thank God I said no. Now he keeps complaining that I'm not as good a friend as I was.

Sally, Chester.

Uncle Ony: When will women begin to realise that the male sexual function is not the same a theirs. The male is driven by a powerful sexual urge, driving him ever onwards to sow his seed as widely as possible, while the female seeks to trap him into nesting and protection. You should be flattered that your friend sought to "seed" you in this way, not offended. I suggest you apologize as quickly as possibly.

Auntie Ag: Ugh, darling what a pig. The arrogance and self-indulgence of men thinking they can stick their ghastly little willies wherever they feel like, using whatever fraudulent smooth talk comes into their heads, is beyond belief. Decide how much you value his friendship, in exactly the same way he weighed up how much he valued yours when he decided to exploit your good nature. If it's not worth the effort, drop him without a backward glance; if you want to keep him, tell him in no uncertain terms exactly why he's on probation and if he ever attempts to treat you without 100 per cent honesty and respect again, you will knee him in the goolies, nick his wallet, and never speak to him again. That should make the point, I think, Angel.

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