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JENNY JACKSON - Counsellor

Please note: comment in these pages is NOT provided by Jenny

 

 

RELATIONSHIPS AND PERSONAL MATTERS

Hi, I am in a very tricky position and don't know what to do.  Last year I met a guy who was seemingly lovely.  We saw each other for a few months, but things were not all rosy.  He made excuses, cancelled dates etc frequently.  The relationship, while short, was very intense and we never really broke up, rather just stopped calling each other.  I then went through a terrible time where I felt quite rejected by him, and felt generally low and unhappy in myself.  He still called from time to time, but I had stopped answering the phone when I saw it was him.  It was easier.  After a few months, and a long holiday, I decided to put myself back into the dating scene and have had a few dates with another guy, who is nice.  However, this weekend, the first guy called me an told me that he loves me, that he knows he treated me terribly and he wants to spend the rest of his life with me.  He asked me to come and see him the next day, which I did, and all the old feelings returned.  He has apologised for treating me so badly and explained that he got scared by the feelings he was having about me.  He didn't know if he was ready to commit to someone, so it was easier to let me down.  Now I have the dilemma.... I still love the first guy, and if I could guarantee that he is truthful about his feelings, I'm there in a shot.  However, what if it doesn't work out? Have I missed the opportunity with the other guy?? Please HELP!!!!

Two Boys!!!!

Sorry dear, you will have to choose, or lose the two of them. If your heart says to give the first guy another go, and if you are prepared to lose the second guy, then the only way you will know for sure will be to accept him. You will probably lose the second guy. Be ready to be hurt though if the first guy has NOT changed his ways.


Dear Agony Aunt
I'm 32 years old and have just ended my relationship with my partner of 11 months. Recently I have been in contact (via messenger) with a girl whom I met approx 13 months ago, while I was visiting a then current girlfriend, kind of. At that stage I thought she was extremely cute, but I never had the chance to talk to her direct as she was just visiting and was a friend of a friend obviously. This girl, who we will refer to as Jane, has a current boyfriend, and has a previous boyfriend who lives in another city, trying desperately to get her back. "Very full on with me" she says. Over the last 2 weeks we have chatted about different things, and txt even, with the conversations seeming fine, chirpy, and I have even mentioned the occasional “I really like you” line. I know she likes toalking to me, she says so. I have even asked her out for a walk, which she accepted, although she said “at a later stage”. She has also told me that she was tempted to go back to this ex-b/f's motel room recently (he was down for the same course she is doing) but that she swore to herself that she would never cheat. Also, she says that she has told her current b/f she doesn't know where her head is at the moment, and she says that he said nothing, proberly worried she might leave him.

When I am talking to her on messenger, he sometimes turns up and she has to hurry to get offline, but then sends me a txt straight afterwards saying sorry. My problem is this: I like talking to Jane, very much so, and as I said we seem to communicate well online, but I am unsure where her mind is with everything. She must have so much on her plate so to speak, and I am trying soooo hard not to pressure her for fear of sending her packing before we have even properly met, but everytime she mentions her b/f, or her ex-b/f, I cringe, thinking it is hopeless. Although you'll proberly say that patience is the key element here, I cant but help think that my chances of seeing her are slim to none. But if we do eventually meet up, it is quite possible she will be hounded by the “other 2”. It is her birthday next week, and she said she will send me an invite (along with everyone else), but I don't think I will go, for fear I will see her with her b/f.  Jane has asked me why didn't I like her all those months ago, and what was wrong with her then, and when I replied saying it was bad timing etc, she says it could have been totally different now. If only things had turned out differently those 13months ago. I guess I will just have to ride with this and see what happens. Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated, especially soon.
Sincerely Down and unhappy

Dear D.a.u.

It is tempting to suggest that you are '32 going on 13'! Life is certainly full of 'if onlys and what ifs' along with regrets and missed opportunities. It grieves methat you are so confused and this comes through so forcibly.On the one hand Jane says that she wants to remain faithful yet she is carrying on a clandestine on-line relationship with you. I think you must ask yourself what you see in this lady and why she is carrying on her side of the 'relationship'. She may be as confused as you are or else she may be enjoying having 3 men on her string. I'm sorry, but I can't work this out for you. You will have to do that for yourself. Take a long hard objective look at things; you may find it best to move on. Have a look at some of the subsequent answers about meeting people - there may be something there that helps.I hope you will soon be 'UP AND HAPPY'Love from your friend,

Agatha


Hi, I am a 28 year old female.  Although I am not a hugely outgoing and social person I am also not a geek who likes to sit at home and knit on a Saturday night.  I have tried to meet people in lots of different ways, joining groups, going to classes, going out.  I just don't seem to be able to meet people who I click with who are genuine. How can I meet people who are like me (like to go out once in a while, like to watch movies, like to go to shows)?? Lonely Girl Hi LG,
You seem to have taken the most obvious steps and I would have otherwise suggested clubs, groups etc. Have you tried a dining/dating club? There are other reputable organisations who arrange dinners and the like (check the Time Out in the NZ Herald or equivalent in your regional newspaper). You should be able to find one in your local area. You don't indicate what your work situation is but I assume there is no group of people your age who socialise together? You could try googling 'how to meet people'. There is some interesting stuff there - and of course a lot of rubbish, but you seem to have your head screwed on correctly - which might give you some ideas. I pray that you will find the right opening my dear. AGATHA


Dear Aunt Agatha I know it is strange to vent a problem to a total stranger, but I thought it may be helpful to me....as strangers can offer a more objective opinion on certain matters.  I am a 27 year old senior in Nursing school.  I was married for 7 years to a man that cheated on me and had little respect.  Due to my respect for my marriage vows, I stayed in my marriage and endured the pain and misery.  That is until I met a man that I knew (in my heart) was the one.  I know it sounds tacky to say that I left my husband for him, because in reality, I should have left him years ago, but the truth is....meeting this new guy and feeling what life "could" be like gave me the boost and courage to walk away and get divorced. 

   My boyfriend and I have been together 10 months now.  At first, there was such magic....we had (and still do have) a friendship like no other.  We are best friends, have so much in common...and are so much alike we even know what the other is thinking most of the time and can finish each others sentences.  The sex was amazing....for the first 7 months we could not keep our hands off of each other.  That has now changed, and I am deeply worried.  I know as relationships get deeper that the initial sexual fire can dwindle, but this is a bit much.

    I moved closer to him in December, and that's when our sex life came to a halt.  Instead of having it 4-5 times a week, it went to once a week...and now, sometimes we go for more than a week without touching each other sexually.  We still have all the other amazing aspects of our relationship and have wonderful intimacy in other ways, but I am freaking out about it and he is feeling the pressure, which I think makes it worse.  I should also mention the emotional aspects.  I have fallen head over heels for him, but he is not there yet.  He tells me and shows me everyday that he cares very deeply for me...loves our relationship, and would do anything for me.  I am fine with this because I know that feelings develop at different speeds and in different ways for each individual.  I never pressure him about this and I know he will either fall in love with me when ready or he won't.  I don't stress because things between us are so wonderful.  With this sex issue, however, I am becoming more and more insecure.

    I have tried to talk to him about it.  I have asked if it is an attraction issue (or lack there of) and he says no....that he thinks I am very beautiful and sexy.  He basically just says he has a lot on his mind and is trying to accomplish a lot and can't seem to get his tired body and mind into sex.  My problem is that I am a very sexual person....I am 27, energetic and vibrant, although nursing school is very stressful and I have very little time to relax.  To me, the only difference between a wonderful friendship and a relationship is the sexual intimacy.  I need sex, at least once or twice a week.  I have been very understanding for the past 2.5 months, but I now find it getting to me more and more and he says I have been bringing it up everyday.  I hate this!!  The last thing I want to do is be a nag and ruin my wonderful relationship with the man I love, but I don't know what else to do.  What do you think the problem could be?  How should I (we) go about solving it?  Any advice you can give would be most eppreciated.  Thanks, and God bless.


"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all"...Helen Keller
"It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live"...Ethel Percy Andrus
"The right man is the one that seizes the moment"...Goethe
"Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old"..Franz Kafka CVDear CV,Well dear, this website exists because sometimes it is easier to write something down and send it to an anonymous person than to locate, and then pluck up courage to speak to, a counsellor in person. Of course the counsellor will be trained and educated and I am just an old biddy with a little experience in life who seeks to be a listening ear and to say just something that may just help a bit. So, I do hope that even gettng to this stage has helped somewhat.Of course I do not profess to have all the answers, and indeed most of the time not to have any answers! I think this is one of the latter cases, for there is no clear answer here.A friend, a lovely lady with so much going for her, once said to me, somewhat despairingly, "why do people change when they get married!". She and her husband had had a relationship not too dissimilar to your current one, but the fizz and bubble of the 'courtship' days had given way to a somewhat more routine expression of intimacy and they were both busy with careers and then family. You can guess the rest. So it is not a unique problem, and it need not be a difficulty if both adjust to it. Love requires more than sex and many couples experience a wonderful relationship which develops into one which is close and meaningful with (perhaps) occasional sex. The problem is, of course, that you are having trouble adjusting to it and, for his part, he is not able to commit.Neither of you will be able to 'intellectualise' this. If you do not get it sorted out you will become increasingly frustrated.I think you need to discuss this, preferably together, with a reputable relationship counsellor. Your GP will probably be able to recommend one in your local area. In New Zealand there is a reputable nationwide counselling service RELATE (www.relate.co.nz) 0800 RELATE (0800 735 283). If you are not in NZ you could try entering 'relationship services' or 'relationship counsellor' into your local Google.God Bless you too, my dear. May you find the help you need.AGATHA


i need your help.

i am in year 10 and think that i am gay, i met a lad at school who i really liked. we became best mates but i still fancied him, one night i slept at his house when his parents were away and we were setting up a bed for me and our faces suddenly met and we started kissing, after a while [we engaged in sexual activity] we started taking pictures off each other and spent the night together. after that night we met in school and went in a toilet cubicle and kissed and [more sexual activity took place]. i dont want to carry on with the relationship but he does, what should i do. If you don`t belive this its ok

thanks

mDear m, Be very careful with photos. They can come back to haunt you in later years!
I guess year 10 is about 15/16? 
I talked with Uncle Tom about this (no names though).
He told me that many young men experiment with sex with other boys - possibly as it is less threatening - as a passing phase. It does not necessarily make them gay.
You say you want to stop it, so why don't you? If the other boy is pressuring you into this then you are better off out of it anyway. Tell him frankly that the experience was pleasurable - and that you value his friendship - but that you do not wish to continue the physical relationship. If he respects you he'll let up.
Good luck.

AGATHA
Thanks, we met up again last weekend and did the same bt i`m taking your advise and moving on your a real help, m


i have a 5 1/2 year old son,(from my first marriage) and have wanted another child since he was 2 yrs old, i am now desperately wanting one, but my husband who i have been with for a year does not want another yet.
how can i curb my clukyness? so i don't want to push the issue but i  want another child and think about it everyday, i find it hard not to when all my frends and the mothers at school have toddlers and babies.
thankyou
for your help.
anon Dear Anon,
firstly my apologies for apparently not replying. The webmaster sent your message on to me but it got lost somewhere and I have just found it in my box.

I've been thinking about your situation but haven't really come to any conclusion that would help.
Our urges and instincts can be so strong, and I think the only real way forward is to talk honestly and frankly with your husband - but without pressuring him (men tend to dig in a bit when feeling pressured don't they!?). Hopefully he will understand and perhaps agree that the time is right to start your (joint) family.

I did find this site which discusses your situation, and I hope there is soething there that helps:
http://www.babyworld.co.uk/wb2/default.aspx?action=91&read=1470&fid=53&prv=17853&nxt=17602

Bless you, my dear - and again my apologies for the delay in replying

AGATHA


no probs, i just decided to leave it alone and a couple of months ago he was the one who said he'd like to try for one. i am now 1 month pregnant.
god bless
and thanks for your reply.
How wonderful, Dear!
Thank you for letting me know. It is such an encouragement!

Uncle Tom is expert at 'masterful inactivity' and says that often it is better to wait, as things often sort themselves out. Perhaps I should listen to him a little more!

I wish you every happiness

AGATHA


Hello Aunt Agatha,

I have a problem, I got involved with a man who left his wife for me back in February last year. He now lives with me, but still using his wife's address for all correspondance. He says that he loves me, but he is not legally seperated from his wife. His kids refuse to me, and his wife won't leave him alone. He calls them like 10 to 15 times a day but never in front of me, if she calls on his mobile while he is with me, he doesn't answer the phone.

I have tried a couple of time to leave him but I always call him back and he comes back. He works long hours during the week, and the weekend he plays soccer and spends time with his children. I feel so miserable, I work and go home and do nothing else, but I can't seem to let him go as I love him so much.
People have told me that them have seen them together on numerous occasions but when I confront him, he says that they are lying. Because I love him so much I end up believing him until I get another call advising me that they were seen together. I have told him last week, that if this is what he really want to be with his wife and kids, I beg him to just leave and never come back. He says that he 's not sure what he want.
Please advise me as I have very few friends here in NZ and no family at all apart from my two children from my first marriage.

I wish you a good day and I look forward to your reply.

Regards, Miserable
My Dear Miserable,

You don't say what lead to his leaving his wife in the first place or what lead to your coming together. From what you say, though, it does not look as if the man has actually made the mental move away from his marriage, and I suggest that it does not really look as if he ever will. A miserable relationship is no crutch for the isolation and the loneliness I sense from your last sentence.

I suggest that you have really made up your mind that this situation is hopeless and should indeed tell him to go back to his wife (he does not seem to have made a break anyway).

Put this down to experience and set about sorting out your life. Depending upon your age and interests there are bound to be some clubs, societies, churches and so on in your local area that would allow you to meet people and make friends. Drop me a line if you need some help in this regard.

'Bite the bullet' and be strong in your resolve. I think it would be best for the both of you.

Sincerely

Love from AGATHA


Breaking up Dear Agatha,
Recently my girlfriend of 2yrs & I broke up. I thought everything was going great, we had a great relationship on the surface at least, so it was a huge shock when it happened. We are both in our late 20's I felt she was the right person for me, and she I know she wanted me to be the right one, but it turns out that she had been holding back on me for some time. When we talked she told me that 'it, just wasn't right' but when I pushed further she told me that, the only thing that really concerned her was that she no longer found me physically attractive and it had been that way for 6 months. She followed with - "when I kissed you there was no spark - it was like kissing one of my good friends, imagine how that felt for me not wanting to go further with such a great guy, has a great face, great body"... I think the reason she never said anything sooner was had hoped that it would pass or she was just being silly etc, but obviously it didn't and she finally had to give in to what her heart was telling her to do. How did it get to that, and what went wrong and why...

I regret the fact that she never brought it up with me sooner, our sex life had been affected for a while the quality was still great but quantity had gone way down and at the end only when we had been out drinking, that was difficult and it bothered both of us, but other than that the rest of the relationship was good, she still liked her hugs too. I kind of figure that the physical attraction thing was the end result of other feelings/issues that may have built up, does that sound right? I think I fall into the nice guy category - you know, the sort  will do anything, want others to be happy, go with the flow, make her feel secure etc - I worry that, that may have been the issue, and being like that I may have taken away the challenge for her. I struggle with the fact that we really did have a great relationship, we have the same dreams & ideals and spent plenty of time together & with friends & family, I couldn't have asked for a better relationship.

I try to understand why she ended up feeling that way about me. I wonder how much she tried to resolve her feelings or did she put it in the too hard basket and move on, I wonder if any of her friends challenge her decision or did they just say sorry to hear about you two, it seems like the wrong choice when I consider what was. I admit that all I want is to have her back although I imagine that's not going to happen, and wonder if it even could rekindle after she has lost that spark for me. I know she still loves me...we still have limited email contact see each other occasionally, and get on ok and know she cares, but i wonder if she is any happier now without me, or has it been a weight off her shoulders. maybe out of all the jumble above, you could find a way to give me some clarity or words of wisdom.

thank you sad & lonely

Dear s&l,

It is very often a shock to one of the partners when a relationship breaks up. This makes it harder for that one.I think your most telling phrase is 'I know she wanted me to be the right one ... '. From this I wonder if the signs had not been there a little while and that because you felt so much for her, you perhaps deluded yourself into thinking all was well, whereas deep down you knew that she was not as committed to the relationship as you? No matter how much she wanted the relationship to be specail, if that 'vital spark' is not there, nothing can make it happen. You have also discovered that without committment, sex is but a physical act ... a pleasurable one, but just physical. Sex by itself will not carry a relationship. I'm sure you have read the next letter which is a very similar situation. You would both have been unwise to continue when there was not 100% committment both ways. I can't really comment on most of your other points as I don't know you personally, but I suspect you are correct in your surmisal - though beware of too much post-mortem, and 'self-analysis 101' it can only make you sadder really, for your next relationship(s) will be quite different in many respects. I hope writing it down helped your thought processes. It is not possible for me to postulate about her atttudes I am afraid.Only the two of you can determine whether you might get back together. Sometimes a period apart will allow someone to realise that the relationship was indeed valued. But in your case that's an assessment that you must leave to your girlfriend. Value your friendship and be available but do not push it. Fortunately you have a lot going for you ... great guy, great body, good looks, nice guy (your partner's description of you) ... and clearly an honest and decent man. It will not seem like it at the moment but there will be (if you do not reconcile) a lady out there somewhere where the chemistry is right and where you will make a great couple. Do not try too hard; let things take their course. You will need to pick up your life of course (staying at home moping will not help you to meet that certain person though moping might be just what you feel like doing at the moment and you need to rise above that)Bless YouAGATHA


hi aunt agatha
it's along road to recovery after a relationship breakup, and as I have discovered a real rollercoaster ride that i'm still well and truly stuck on.


I firstly wanted to thankyou for responding to my letter, and further wanted to give you a link to a website that has given me loads of support, encouragement & advice in the hope that you may find it applicable to in helping some of you other readers, as it has me. http://www.ojar.com/boards/index.php  breakups for the under 35's

sad & lonley

Dear s&l,

Thank you for dropping me the email. I don't often hear back from my correspondents. The site you mention is certainly an interesting one and it contains a wide variety of thoughts. I am so pleased that you found it helpful. Thank you for sharing it ... as you can see it is now posted here with the hope that others might find both these pages and the ojar site helpful.

There is never one simple answer in such matters and it must be helpful to read a variety of comment, experiences and advice as one ponders one's situation. I talk/have talked to many friends over the years. One of them had a dreadfully hard breakup many years ago and spent days moping in his home before shaking himself out of it with the help of some good freinds who understood, bided their time, took deep breaths at times (!) and were just there for him.

He is now very happy and knows that the first relationship would not have been as successful.

I shall continue to think of you in my prayers, dear; may you be richly blessed and at peace.

AGATHA


Gut Feelings

Dear Aunt Agatha

My partner and I have just split up after a fantastic two year relationship. We're best friends and will always continue to be great friends, compatiblity-wise you couldn't get much better suited couple and she agrees. So what's the problem then what went wrong? The 'GUT FEELING' has reared its ugly head. There must be something wrong with the relationship for there to be some underlying doubt, at least that's what I would think, but NO!

We have talked about our relationship, we have the fun, laughter, intimacy, communication, all of it, we love each other and she has assured me I am fantastic and don't need to change. I'm 34 and she 32, I guess we were heading in the direction of getting married & financial etc., but it's not a commitment issue. Plain and simple, she has a 'gut feeling' that 'it or something' is not right.

She can't really describe what it is, nor i think does she really understand it herself. I know that she is following her heart and it is better for this to happen sooner than later, but thats not a whole lot of comfort right now.

So what is this 'gut feeling' and how could it have such an over powering effect on what is / was a great relationship?, I certainly can't get my head around it, maybe you could explain it better and do you think it's something we could get through?

Sad Dear Sad, You pose a very deep question and I am not sure that I really have the words to discuss this. (But having said that I'll give it a bit of a go!)

You have to know that a woman's intuiton/instinct is (certainly to her) a very real thing and it is not something that can be ignored lightly or 'got through'. It would be wrong for her to enter into a more formal committment if her inner voice is telling her not to. Have a look at the following URL which is the best I could find to explain it: womenclique.com/intuition.html .  Of course, this is not to say that there will not come a time when her intuiton will tell her to change her mind and commit but likewise there is no certainty that she will come round to your way of thinking.

It may be that her gut feeling is to wait (rather than to break off) so you may chose to continue your friendship and not enter into other relationships in the hope that things will change. You cannot assume she will change her mind though. One thing is certain, you cannot successfully force her to go against her woman's instinct .

Although written from the point of view of trust and betrayal in relationships (which is not your situation of course), the concepts discussed in these links might be helpful: www.feminist.com/resources/artspeech/insp/saying.html  www.newfieldaus.com.au/articles/Trust_and_Relationships.htm

I've talked with Uncle Tom and he tells me that this problem is likely to be gnawing at your own gut, and that the feeling is almost physical, indeed some sources suggest it IS a physical sensation.  

There are some good quotes here: en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Intuition Try googling 'womans instinct'  'gut feeling in relationships'. The links may help you understand what you are up against ... though you are right, none of this will be much comfort to you. 

I am so sorry that I do not have a magic wand for you but I WILL pray for you and the situation.

Bless you my dear

AGATHA


Back to the top


First I'll say hi and thank you to Aunt Agatha, I appreciate it. I am 17 and am easily upset by the loss of my mother. She commit suicide when I was only 10 months old and I still find it rather hard. Sometimes if people annoy me or shout at me I can get upset over it (not in public, usually at home on my own) as I think of how I could talk to my mother about things that bother me...only I don't have one! I cannot talk to my father about it as he doesn't like it when I bring it up in conversation and he tends not to respond. He will not talk about his feelings with anyone, family or friends, no matter how close they may be. I realise that this can be classed as a 'typical male' as they are proud people and tend to share their feelings less than the typical female but this also gets to me. I like helping people, its a way of coping with things in my life, not because I can compare my life with someone else's but because I feel satisfied when I know I can help people and that people can trust me. I want this with my dad so he will share things with me, I am his daughter and no matter how much it hurts me I want to be there for him. I am a person who people my own age tend not to trust as the fellow teenager thinks that if a person is fairly eccentric (which people think of me as) then they are not trustworthy people. I'd like to highlight that this is NOT true.

         My family has suffered though a lot before I was around and since I have been around. I realise that this is not my fault but it pains me to see my family being so...I can't think of the word...separate and split up. My mother's side of the family were rather awful to my mother when she was suffering from post-natal depression after I was born, they only visited Ireen (my mother) once a week and when they did they just shouted at her and made things worse. My dad's side of the family isn't much better in the sense that they don't talk and when they do it is with ill feelings. My uncle Alan's girlfriend caused a problem between the family which ended up in no-one talking to him. This hasn't changed and we haven't spoken to him in around 5 years now.

     The same thing has happened with my father only we all still talk to each other. I feel this is because of me. I feel like the piggy-in-the-middle and I don't like it, although this has calmed down now. My grandma and my dad's girlfriend don't talk which is due to lots of reasons, the main one being that she isn't very nice anyway. My dad has spent the past year and a half falling out with A (his girlfriend) and then making up repeatedly. She seems so confused, wanting one thing and another the next. She has three children which are confused and sometimes lack support from her. My dad has pointed this out and they now have more attention from both my dad and A. Everyone my dad knows thinks that A, his girlfriend, is a big mistake which I suppose is rather hard for my dad to take in. I cannot reason with my dad over this so he sees her when I am not around. I now understand how love can make people blind.    

My father spending more time with A and her children makes me feel lost as I am an only child. The only person my father has had to focus on for 15-16 years of his life is me and now I feel annoyed and selfish in not wanting A and her children to take up all my fathers 'happy' time. Me and dad very rarely have normal conversations now. Conversations involve me finding out what my dad has been doing during the day and then not talking much for the rest of the evening. This upsets me as I want my father to notice and show some more interest in me than he does. He under-estimates me a lot and hasn't really reinforced any of my actions, problems or complaints (an example would be : when I was at school and we had a bad teacher who didn't work us I would tell my dad and he would ALWAYS without fail stick up and support the teacher/other party involved, rather than me)    

I try not to argue with him as I have been brought up in a family that keeps secrets and things to themselves. I am not like this all the time and try to be honest whenever possible...its only fair. My dad also refuses to speak civily to my uncle David (who is getting married in Easter in Cyprus). This has resulted in me and grandma being invited to the wedding but not my father. To be honest he would only ruin it anyway hence the reason why he is not invited. My grandma has recently turned 70 and because of this and my sanity I have tried talking to my father into talking to my uncle as (sadly) my grandma won't live forever. He refuses as per usual. He is very stubborn - I take after him on that as well.    

I also made a rather large mistake last summer in having unprotected sex with a random person that my friend knows, and yes I realise I was wrong in doing so. This upset me and so I was under less stress, hid it from my father unsuccessfully. This caused lots of problems between me and my grandma AND me and my father. My grandma is a retired school nurse which made the fact that I chose not to tell her hard to stomach. I know I have a lot going on with family, it hurts and nothing helps in relieving my emotions and how I feel. I go through bad patches where I can become confused, upset and very unsociable which I have once received counselling for. This did not help me as all my councillor did was point out the good things in my life and tell me that it was up to me to feel better about the above situations.

I realise this isn't really a simple question (or in fact a question) but I don't know what to do and find it impossible to forget the past. Please help...Sorry this is sooooo long and I hope it doesn't bore you (I apologise if it does...)

PJ

Dear PJ,

Thank you so much for having the courage to write such a long and detailed letter. Of course I am not bored. I am honoured that you felt able to express yourself so comprehensively and openly.As you rightly say, there isn't a question in here, but there are in fact a large number of things bubbling away and I am not really qualified to comment very deeply.

Can I say though that you come through (all things considered) as an AMAZINGLY mature and sensible young lady. You've certainly had some hard knocks in your time and more than your fair share of adversity but I firmly believe that you will come through it.

Indeed, I am praying for you as I write this and that is the best thing that anyone can do for a person. I think your counsellor was right in what (s)he said and it is unfortunate that you were not in the best frame of mind to accept that at the time.

With love from your friend
Aunt Agatha


Concerned I am 29. I will soon be 30. I have been dating a man for the last three years who is 31 and his ex wife is 28. They have two kids - 8 and 10. I have never been married and I don't have kids. I get anxiety when he calls or goes over there to pick up the kids because his ex has left a note in his truck, has nude pictures of herself on the internet and has asked him what it would take for him to come home.

I trust him but not her and since he is such a good father I worry he will go back to her for the kids. She is remarried but separated. She also has another child by another man. How can I not get upset about this?

Dating a divorced man and miserable

Dear Friend,

t is very natural to be concerned in such circumstances and it is also natural that 'she' might try for a reconciliation. You have to be cautious that your actions and concern do not sour your relationship. She seems like a lady who needs attention. Your man has a responsibility towards the children and it is hard to see how he can meet those obligations without seeing her at times. What you do not say is whether you have broached the subject with him and (if so) what was his reaction? Also you do not mention whether you have the children stay with you both at times.

I am not suggesting that you use the children to get at her or try to win them over, but if your man sees you as a good person with the children this might help.  I guess it all comes down to trust and to the relationship that you have with him.  You say that he is 'a good father' and you clearly feel very deeply for him. She does not sound like the sort of person that a man who is worthy of your love would go back to, and I suspect that he knows that to do so would not be in the best interest of the kids.

Talk to him in a calm way, love him, don't smother him, win him.

With love from your friend,Aunt Agatha


'First time' problems

I have a girlfriend who I've been going out with for 6 months. I'm 17, she is 17 and one night we got carried away an ended up nearly having sex. Although I get extremely aroused I don't seem to be able to enter her, my penis is erect but not hard enough to enter, although I think it also may have something to do with the fact she has not really been 'broken in.' We are both virgins and although this incident was embarrassing we laughed about it, but I don't want this happening again.

Please help.

John

Dear John,

It is good that your girlfriend and yourself can 'laugh' about (and presumably discuss) the difficulty you have. There are likely to be a number of factors involved here.

Girls are born with a hymen, a membrane in, and across the entrance of, the vagina. This may be ruptured by physical activity (which is why the presence of a hymen indicates virginity but the absence of a hymen does not necessarily mean the reverse). However, if present, it has to be broken in order that the penis may penetrate.

If your girlfriend has an intact hymen this may make things a little difficult, but it may not be the only reason for your problem. It is important that you are both totally ready for the act of  intercourse, and you should build up slowly to it. Sensitive foreplay will increase the pleasure of the act for you both (and extend its duration immeasurably!) and will make the act easier.

Any tensions - from concern about discovery, not being sure that you really want to do it, a worry that performance is not 'up to par'  etc - will make things more difficult.

So, assuming that you ARE both ready, may I suggest: A romantic evening (perhaps a very light meal and just a little alcohol) with a slow build up to an early retreat to the bedroom. Be prepared - ensure you have, and know how to use, a good condom and that you have a good personal lubricant. Go slowly, and explore each other's bodies. Find out what most pleases your partner. When the GIRL feels she is really ready you will be too. Your technique will not be perfect and you should not be embarrassed if the girl uses her hand to guide you into her.

If penetration is difficult try lying on your back with the girl lowering herself onto you. Remember to practice safe sex at all times.

Aunt Agatha


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Relationship ProblemsDear Aunt Agatha

This seems a bit stupid but I guess there are a lot of troubled people out there.  My problem is that i am in my early forties, have been with the same man for 14 years and we are married and have 3 lovely children.  We have been through a lot i.e. major money worries, bankruptcy, business failure, complicated pregnancies, you name it. 

We now care for my elderly mother in law and live in her home.  I have tried numerous options for work and run a busy household and feel I dont give each a fair go in the process.  My husband and I fight a lot - our children are extremely wary of our outbursts.  The outbursts used to be verging on violent but they are less likely to go that far these days.  We have great difficulty in discussing major issues.  We have also had no intimacy or sex for several years now. 

He has always had a problem with premature ejaculation but then it became impotency and has always shut down when I try to discuss this with him saying it was "his" problem not mine.  This would be fine if I didn't want to have a physical fulfilling relationship but I do and as time goes by I feel I becoming an old frump.  This is really upsetting because I always felt attractive, outgoing, loving. 

It is very difficult to know what to do - we have been to counselling together and separately and are still in the same old situation.  It would be wonderful to get our lives back on track and be happy together.  We have parted twice and still love each other very much.  It just seems too much to tear our childrens lives apart for your own physical needs. 

I  had a brief encounter with another man 3 years ago - it was nice to know I was still attractive to a male but it was also very devastating with all the guilt attached to it.  I also feel I am dependant on my husband financially and have always taken care of our children, his mum, his business from home.  I now feel that it has taken its toll on my health as I have frequent depressive bouts and high blood pressure.  What do I do? HB

Dear HB,

Hmm, I would perhaps have suggested that you seek counselling but you say you have been to counselling (together and individually). To be effective, though, there has to be a will to move forward by both parties.

Noting your husband's unwillingness to admit to "his" problem, I wonder how he took to the counselling?  Were there any clues in his attitude?Then again, what sort of counsellor did you see? Was it a relationship counsellor or a sex counsellor? If not the latter, perhaps your doctor might suggest a sexual relations counsellor whom you could consult for advice. Perhaps they might give you some advice about how to work with your husband to overcome his difficulties (I hope he reads this as the condition is far from unique in men of his age and it may help him to know that),

Not every sexual 'episode' needs to involve intercourse ... loving kissing, cuddling, touching, kissing, licking, manual stimulation (did I mention 'kissing'?!) are all very stimulating and often satisfying in their own right. Of course it will be difficult for your husband if he is concerned from the outset about his 'performance' but then again you must help him to overcome this (see the advice to the young man above in this page) and must certainly not do anything overtly to damage his confidence in himself. Men are so strange about these things, but we sensible ones cannot just talk them out of hundreds and thousands of years of conditioning can we?      

Do you share the same family doctor? If so, whilst the doctor may be unwilling to discuss your husband's medical condition with you, you might be able to discuss your situation and perhaps ask the doctor (in a non-specific way) whether the new CIALIS drug might help? I believe this would be legitimate as the whole situation is clearly having a negative effect upon your health. If not, perhaps your doctor might approach your husband's doctor? (I don't know whether they would consider this ethical, but you can but ask).You love your husband and are concerned for your children so leaving him is not the answer, and it will not be possible (believe me!) to really find comfort in a physical relationship outside of your marriage.

I get a lot of letters which suggest that this might be a solution but which also clearly indicate that it is not. You rightly indicate that guilt and similar feelings are a major tension. Tension, my dear, you do not need!You have clearly put a very great deal into your relationship and you must not give it away lightly or give up too readily, and I am bitterly sorry that I cannot give you a simple remedy to make everything right.

Thinking of you,Your friend,Aunt Agatha


  Time for a Change? This is probably an odd thing for a 45 year old man to be writing. I've been married for twenty years but the marriage has become boring for me and I'm not getting what i need from my wife. I think she still loves me but she doesn't want to express it.

I have tried and tried to tell her what I need but she sees it as pressure and because she is satisfied, can't see the need for change.

Now things have become much more complicated as I have fallen in love with another woman, who also loves me. We have not had sex as yet and although she is very attractive the sex is not important to me. She gives me more hugs than I ever get from my wife and we make each other feel good. We have been friends for  a few years but the relationship suddenly changed. She is also married and we both have children. Her marriage is falling apart and although it doesn't help, it is not our relationship that has caused that to happen. We would both like to be together and not have to sneak around as the sneaking and little lies are a real worry.

The problem is that there is too much at stake for us to carry on our affair and risk getting caught. We have agreed to put an end to it once already but the attraction is too strong and days apart are too sad.  Obviously if we leave our partners, it will affect everyone around us, and they will be hurt. So should I stay in this marriage, forget about my new love, hurt for a while and live with the regret forever that I missed what could be the best opportunity of my life? Or do I keep working on it, although I am tiring of that. I don't want to grow old in a loveless marriage that is more like a friendship than a marriage.

Thanks, Deno

Dear Deno,

I wonder if you are using this correspondence to justify a decision that you have already made? It sounds as if your marriage has fallen into the 'complacency' trap. I am intrigued by your reference to 'more like a friendship than a marriage'.  Most marriages lose a little of the heat from the relationship kitchen but that is often the case as lovers become good friends. Strong and good marriages are built on true friendships which usually include a good sexual relationship. They take work, though, by both marriage partners to be successful. I am saddened that (as you say) your wife cannot understand the need to offer you the little hugs and touches that you crave. Was this always the case, or are you only now noticing it because of your new friend? Did it trouble you before? You say she does not realise that you are missing something from your relationship. Do you just express your needs by trying to talk or do you offer her hugs and the little touches like making the tea and so on? This is a decision that only you (and your friend) can make. As you rightly suggest, it is a decision that affects the lives of your current partners, your children and your friends and families.  It is not an easy one.  I will be thinking of you and pray that you two will ultimately make the right decision.

With love, Aunt Agatha


Pregnant and alone
Dear Aunt Agatha, 

I am in desperate need of some advice.

I am 22 weeks pregnant & my fiancé has just walked out & left me.  I am not entirely sure what to cry about first at the moment...the fact my son has lost his dad, I have lost the only man I have ever loved, or the fact I have to face a pregnancy & a lifetime of childrearing on my own. I feel nothing but utter despair. I can't sleep, I can't eat & I don't know where to turn. My partner was taking Prozac, but recently decided to come off the drug...he left with the excuse that he couldn't face the responsibility of our future life. Although I don't know for sure where he is living at the moment , I know he has stopped showing up for work & has started drinking heavily. What should I do...should I let him be, to come to some reality on his own, or should I try & get him back? I would do anything to change this situation, but I feel totally out of control & it truly breaks my heart to think he is sleeping on someone's sofa in a drunken mess whilst I am lying awake feeling our baby kicking & sobbing night after night.  Any advice would be welcome...Thanks,

S

Dear S,

Pregnancy can be a time of great joy, but sometimes it can be very difficult - even without the circumstances you are going through. I don't think I can give you advice (as such) as there is obviously a lot more in your situation than you can express in a short email; so let me just ramble on as I sit and knit in the corner ... and I hope that something strikes a chord and helps.  You're obviously concerned about your fiancé and his condition, but I can't really offer much here without knowing a lot more. Prozac can be prescribed for a number of levels of depressive type disorders. The main man in my life has been on it due to stresses which lumped up and really he is fine (he just needed that extra boost at a difficult time) but, too, it may be prescribed for serious depressive cases.

I don't know where your fiancé comes in the spectrum.  However, it is likely that he is not functioning in a totally rational manner at the moment and your statement which suggests he has sought recourse 'in the bottle' suggests to me that you are (in frank and total honesty my dear) somewhat better off without him at the moment. You have yourself and your baby to look after.  You don't mention your family or other support such as girlfriends. 

You need to have someone to talk to. Don't try to carry the load on your own. Can I suggest that you must look after yourself first, my dear, and that you have enough to do without trying to work things out for him.  I suggest you leave him be and deal with it if he comes back on his own. Put the situation with your fiancé to one side, look after yourself and your baby. Your child must be your first consideration. Eat properly, eat well. Rest and sleep as best you are able but take some exercise also. Follow the pre-natal class advice. Love your baby and don't fret about the future, that will look after itself. Be positive. Pray if you can. I'll be praying with you.

With my love, Aunt Agatha 


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Gay?

I have a crush on my friend and I have never experienced any feelings like this to a man before, am I gay or just confused?

J Dear J,I don't know!  But I do understand that many heterosexual men have strong feelings for other men without being gay .. or, indeed, being really confused.  I don't think it is something one can rationalise, but please be very careful about how you express your friendship towards him. You could both be hurt. Good luck! Aunt Agatha


RelationshipsDear Agony Aunt, 
At times like this I really wish I had a mother!  A year ago I returned up north - four weeks after having my fifth child.  In hindsight I realise I was running away (again) from the life I had made for myself and my children.  After a life of abuse (all types) from people I should have been able to trust, I found myself with two very close and supportive women friends, and a man who was willing to take on me, my four children, and the one we had made together.  Instead of taking him up on the offer to move in with him (and eventually get married), I packed up my kids and bags, and ran!  Back to the familiar.  Familiar loneliness, disappointment, and lack of affection and support from my family of origin.I awoke this morning (a year later), realising that I had made yet another rash decision.  That I had uprooted my self and my children (for about the sixth time!).  My kids want to go back down south - they feel we had a better life there.  And I want my little son to know his daddy.I phoned him this morning and he has allowed his ex-before-me to move back in with him - but he is very unhappy.  He is an adopted only child and hates to live alone.  He told me he thinks about me a lot and is going to help me pay to take our son down for a visit in a few weeks. I have "grown" a lot over the past year, and I want that life he had offered me.  In my heart I don't feel it's too late (and there has been no other for me)- but what about the woman living with him?  I am a feminist and usually do all I can to support other women.  I certainly would never have an affair with a committed/ engaged/ married man.  While there is no real commitment in their relationship (more a mutual habit or need I think), I feel unsettled about what I would have to do to get back with the father of my child. I know you can't give me any definitive answer, I just need a sounding board, and some wise advice.  I have lived most of my life alone and/or in fear of being hurt again - but lately, that fear is what keeps hurting me! 

TE

Dear TE,
My heart goes out to you, my dear, and I can but pray that even just the act of writing your letter has helped to some degree. What a sad story you both tell and imply and how I wish I could just tell you to 'do this' or 'do that' and give you the answer. Life is not like that and I know that you know it. I expect that in all honesty you have made your decision and are now working through the arguments or perhaps you are justifying your decision to yourself. You seem a warm and caring person but one who is carrying the scars of life. As you say, there is no definitive answer. At some stage you have to face up to the hard decisions. Someone is going to get hurt. Whatever decision you make, steel yourself for difficult times.  I suggest that you take a deep breath and check that you are very sure that the situation (with the man) is honestly the way you have outlined it before you commit yourself (and all your children). You can talk with your women friends and seek their support ... but test all counsel. Do what you believe is right and what your conscience tells you you can live with. I suggest you try to move just a little more slowly than your instinct tells you. Perhaps move south and see how things develop.I shall be thinking of you and praying for you - and for all the others involved. May you make the right decision and may you be richly happy in the future.


Back to the top What should I do?ok, i don't usually complain to complete strangers about my problems but i really don't know what to do about this one. i've been going out with this guy for a while now and i really like him. i'm 14 and he's the first boyfriend i've ever had. i'm not ugly or retarded or anything but before this year i lived in a very small town where my father was a teacher so i got a hard time from all the other kids. i don't feel too sorry for myself about that because it could've been alot worse. just to give you an idea about the school i went to, before i started the small town school i went on a picnic for the new teachers familys and i met 2 other students that were just starting as well. one was one year older than me and the other 2 years older. they were both attractive, popular and happy people and had had lots of friends where they'd lived before but by the end of our first year at school the guy had no friends, had had 2 serious bouts of depression and had been forced by the other students to leave the school. the other girl was tormented every day, had no friends, and in the end had to leave the town. it wasn't so bad for me but it still was pretty tough. alot of the other students played alot of jokes on me and by the time i had left the school, 3 years later, i didn't trust anyone. ok, getting back to what i started talking about. this guy, he really likes me, he's popular, he's good looking, and he's really funny. the problem is, no matter how much he and my friends say he does like me i just can't believe them. i know i should and that i'm just being stupid but deep down i'm scared it will just turn out to be another joke like when i lived in the small town. he broke up with me this morning, but he didn't sound very sure. i bit later our mutual friend, x, rang me and told me that he hadn't meant it and that he wasn't in a good mood and he was a bit depressed. I do believe Damian, he's never lied to me before. i just really don't know what to do and i really need someone's advice. i'd really apprieciate it K

"Actions speak louder than words"  
If x has got it right then the boy will have found a way to make it up to you. You should also realise that at your age, friendships (of the boyfriend/girlfriend type) are often transient and it is wise (but hard!) not to get too upset when break-ups happen.
You are young, and very normal.
Be natural and enjoy your friendships.  The true ones will endure.
Bless you and good luck Back to the top


The age-old decision Dear Aunt Agatha, I am still a teenager (just) and still a virgin. Some of the peer pressure has come off me in the last year or two but I feel very ready for my first proper sexual experience.  There are a couple of boys in our group who are special friends and who I think are interested in me as a woman, or there is an older man at our office who is nice and definitely shows interest! I guess I am not 100% certain, what do you think?
BU, Whakatane

Dear BU,

You need to be very sure about this. Once done, you can never become a virgin again (an obvious statement but one which should be stressed!) I wonder too, what the man will think of you afterwards, and - if one of the special friends - what about the unchosen one? It could make things very difficult at the office! (Men are such fuddy-duddies really and often have higher expectations of their girlfriends than of themselves). There are various 'sensible precautions' to be taken and all sorts of things to be considered. I have looked around the web (some of the sites make one blush - you have to be VERY careful how you phrase the search-terms it seems!). How lucky young people are these days to have the freedom to chose. Be happy, dear, and may you chose wisely and well.

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Concern for stepdaughterI have a stepdaughter, straight a-s, perfect attendance, deans list, 3rd college. works 2 jobs, she got out of a bad relationship and 3 months went into another, i feel. He is a manager of a go-go bar, works on roofs, he is 35 with a son 15 now. She pushed herself into this relationship, she dated him a couple times, and moved in with him instantly. She is now 20, she has been with him for close 3 yrs. You ask her, do you love him, I don't know,  do you care for him, I don't know, and are you moving in with him, what makes you think, I cant take care of him, moreless myself. Are you happy, we ask, I will do what it takes to be happy, even telling him I love him. He himself had a previous relationship, where the girl took him to court, because she said, he beat her up. My stepdaughter, is taking medication to make her happy. He is selfish, so is she, she is spoilt, she is self-centered, and most of all, he doesn't consider her feelings. if you are the aunt agatha, who helps the boston police department and was on television, can you advise me. The family doesn't want this man in her life.B

Sorry, I'm the Aunt Agatha who lives in New Zealand 

It is 'gutting' to see a vital young person whom you love and who has so much potential 'throwing their life away' in this fashion. I fear there is not much you can do. She clearly has some sort of problem which drives her into such situations and which may make her appear to be 'selfish, spoilt' etc.  I can only hope that the medication helps. Talking to (at) her won't do much good I am afraid - and it may actually have the opposite effect (no matter how right your views are!).   If you can, provide moral support without judgment. Prepare yourself for disappointment. Be there for her when she needs you. If you are a praying person, pray for her.   Back to the top


Depressed and alone Dear Aunt Agatha

Please help me if you can, I'm so depressed and alone as I am a married woman with a 2 year old daughter who wants out of her loveless and sexless marriage.  My husband won't leave and I can't leave with my daughter without having somewhere to go. 

Last April I met a wonderful man, 15 years my senior (I'm 33).  I met him off the net - it was just a sex relationship to begin with.  He was honest with me and told me he has a girlfriend in Asia but just wanted sex with me.  That was fine - my husband and I don't have sex and the sex with this man was I have ever had.  We spent more time together than people just having a sex relationship and I fell for him big time.  He was just the nicest guy, very caring and sweet.

We were becoming more like a married couple when he dropped the hugest bomb on me - that he was going to take a job in Asia paying big money.  Of course his girlfriend is there so he's gone back into her arms.  He thinks I'll wait for when he comes back on holiday so he can have sex with me.  I think I should get on with my life, even though I'm in love with him, he can't say he loves me, just cares alot for me. 

A few months ago, I started talking to another guy off the net, who quickly became a good friend but he would talk very mushy about us without meeting me which made me feel very uncomfortable.  I was willing to meet him but not long before we were supposed to meet, he called everything off saying he wasn't sure about his feelings for his ex wife and wanted to get his life in order.  I said that was fine - I wasn't hurt at all and said I'm his friend and would be happy to be his confidante if he wanted.  I didn't hear from him until the day after my 48 year old lover left.

It started off where we left off and so we decided to meet one day.  That went great, we saw each other the next day as well.  Everything was going wonderfully and I'm starting to think I may have found the right man for me when he calls our next meeting off because he had to go and pick up his 3 and 5 year old daughters from his ex wife because she had tried to commit suicide.  The day before she had asked him to get back together and he denied her.  So she did this. 

This leaves me wondering what I should do.  One man walks out of my life, and another walks in but suddenly this man is being torn.  What should I do?

Any help and advice would be appreciated.

Hurt and Confused

Dear Hurt and Confused,
You're hurt and confused .. I'm just confused by the situation you are getting yourself into and by what you expect to achieve by these liaisons. Call me old-fashioned, but I can't quite get used to the idea that the 'Net' is a clever place to meet people especially when you are looking so hard for what you do not presently have.
You won't find happiness in sex,  and women can rarely separate sex and emotional involvement. Clearly man1 got what he wanted out of things and probably thought (men are such idiots!) that you had the same self-centred idea about it all. I don't need to tell you that women feel things differently.  Why are you staying with your husband? It is a marriage which you say is 'loveless and sexless' and it is probably pointless. It is probably not doing either of you much good. I doubt that your daughter will not have discerned the lack of a relationship in the true sense and may be being harmed by it. But have you tried talking to your husband about your situation?  Have you tried counseling? Should you decide to leave him there are agencies to help. There are womens' refuges for example. You don't say where you live so I don't know what the laws are about support and what state assistance there is for housing etc but find out and then make an informed decision.  One thing is certain, bouncing from physical relationship to physical relationship is NOT the answer!
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Will I ever get married?I don't think I will ever get married. I am a little overweight with acne (though this is improving due to some gel). But I am ugly. 2 months ago a boy in college walked right up to me and told me this then all his mates laughed at me. I am not a tall blond who looks good in skimpy clothes, and I feel this is all men seem to want when they drool as magazines etc. I feel I have a lot to offer personally but nobody is interested.

Depressed Bryony (aged 18)

Dear Bryony, Frankly, while men may perhaps 'drool' over leggy blondes, most marry women much more 'ordinary'. Those who capture the sex-bombs then have to worry about keeping them. Often both deserve each other! College boys are the subject of peer pressure and the remarks were probably not actually meant. They hurt none-the-less. You should feel sorry for the boys. They are the ones missing out! 
18 is young, and there is a lot of life to live.  I doubt that you are actually 'ugly' but do attend to your appearance without trying so hard that you try too hard!  Ensure you are always clean and properly presented with nails and hair well-groomed. Get/continue the appropriate treatment for your acne.  Avoid extremes of fashion. Watch the weight but not to the point of excess. Get involved in the life of the college through societies or groups which interest you and the sort of men in whom you may be interested and which give your intellect and personality the chance to shine through.  Do not, though, neglect your studies (balance in all things!) for most marriages occur between people who meet at work. Perhaps join a church. 
Love and perhaps marriage will come when the time is right. Relax a little. You have plenty of time.



Back to the top Good Behaviour
 

Hello there Aunt Agatha

I have begun to traverse the world following my career, and am beginning to feel like a bit of a country bumpkin. I am confident and my social skills are not lacking.  However I feel as if they could do with some brushing up.  Do you know of any deportment and/or finishing schools in NZ that specialise in modern ladies' social and business etiquette?

I have done a search on the internet and have so far come up fruitless.  Any suggestions would be helpful.

Thank-you kindly,

Hanna.

Well Hanna,
It's not clear from your letter why you feel you need such training, especially since you say that your social skills are okay. Basic social skills like politeness, and basic good manners will go a long way.I don't know of any finishing schools or such establishments though there are some training schools which deal in personal development. You could try Foreman's or the NZ Institute of Management for 'personal development' and business courses and places like AUT may run short courses.  There are some small private schools and training establishments which offer training courses in 'dressing for success' etc so they may offer the sort of course you are looking for.   I did find a few hints etc on the web (genevieve westcott, for example) and you could contact  'dress for success' (a non-profit group) in New Zealand. Even if you don't qualify for their help, they may be able to point you towards someone who can provide what you are looking for. 

Best I could do, and I hope these thoughts help. Best general advice I can offer is to be yourself, use your eyes and don't be afraid to ask questions.  Safe travelling my dear

AUNT AGATHA


 

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‘Aunt Agatha' provides the comment and advice in this column to entertain, to help and as a public service.   However, while the information and opinions are provided in good faith no responsibility can be taken by Web4U, site sponsors or any others connected with the site, for any injury, hurt or consequence, physical or mental, which may be attributed to this advice. Though Aunt Agatha does not have the resources to enter into a continuing dialogue and a response cannot be guaranteed, if it will help you to work things out by writing them down and sending them to someone please feel free to do so. All emails are read by someone who cares and our correspondents are known only to AA. Whilst we ask for an email address as a sign of good faith, names and other personal details are never divulged to other parties. The maintenance of this site is made possible by the sites at Web4U but the responsibility for the content is Web4U and Aunt Agatha's alone.