WOMEN AND MEN: auntie ag & uncle ony

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Send your problems to: Aunty Ag and Uncle Ony, Real Life, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Aunty Ag and Uncle Ony regret that they cannot enter into personal correspondence

I am getting married in August. Unfortunately my fiance's unmarried sister, who looks like Winona Ryder with Elizabeth Hurley's breasts and worships my fiance, has decided to upstage me. She is planning to wear white lace with an enormous hat and veil, is having full hair and make- up from someone who works in magazines, and has arranged for her friend to do the photographs free - which I'm sure will mean all the ones of me are from the least flattering angle possible. It's ruining the whole wedding day for me.

Uncle Ony: It sounds to me that your problem is not about being upstaged on your wedding day but about your feelings about your husband-to-be, and more importantly yourself. Is it a sense of inadequacy about your own attractiveness which is making you jealous of your sister-in-law? What is lacking in your relationship with your fiance which is making you resent his relationship with her? Try writing down your dreams. I'm afraid you might find the outfit your sister-in-law wears to your wedding is the least of your worries.

Aunty Ag: Ony, the poor girl's got enough on her plate with her witch of a sister-in-law turning her into a neurotic wreck for her wedding day, without you starting. Now darling, stop feeling wimpy and start turning things to your advantage. First make sure the witch's hair and make-up artiste does yours first. Simply tell your fiance to tell her that's the deal or you'll pull out of the wedding. Second, start generating a mood of paranoia in her for not being married. Get her alone and murmur: "Angel I hope you don't mind me telling you, but people are saying its a bit tragically bride-wannabe you wearing white. Frankly I think it's absurd, but with all this pathetic talk about you being on the shelf, I'd hate you to go all the expense and find everyone laughing at you behind your back." Next take out a bank loan to buy a dress to die for and hire your own photographer with strict instructions to put two inches of vaseline on the lenses when he's snapping you and a fisheye on when he's doing the witch. If the bank manager plays up, simply ask him how he expects you to get a husband to pay off your overdraft if you don't have a divine frock to wear for the wedding.

I have just had a baby and am in a complete state of shock about what a nightmare it is. My husband, Neil, seems to have decided to establish a pattern of not helping at all - so even when it is Saturday and the baby is yelling her head off he always finds some excuse not to take his turn, like hiding in the loo reading the sports pages for 45 minutes. What shall I do?

Uncle Ony: I suspect that Neil's inner child has become dominant, is resenting the arrival of a rival child and making him recoil and deny. He is feeling unloved. You need to reassure him that he will not stop being the centre of your attention just because you are now three instead of two. Try cooking him a special meal and creating a romantic atmosphere to reaffirm your former relationship. Tell him how much you love and need him and how much you want the joy of parenting to be shared by the two of you together.

Aunty Ag: Darling you have to nip this skiving in the bud right away or you'll be stuck with it for a lifetime. You know exactly what the idle sod is up to and so does he. Don't nag or whine. Next time he hides in the loo simply place the baby outside the lavatory door (at a safe distance to make sure he doesn't tread on her when he comes out), pin a notice on her saying "gone for a kip - back in two hours", run up to the bedroom and lock the door. Harden your heart to all hammering. Come down two hours later all sweetness and light, looking as gorgeous as possible, and murmur: "Did she sleep?"

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