Dear Janice,

Christmas was a nightmare.

I tried to keep my cool, but I exploded at the end of our Christmas dinner which resulted in a massive row.

My brother-in-law announced he was bringing his new girlfriend for Christmas dinner which was fine, but you can imagine the shock when this new love turned out to be my husband’s ex-fiancé, who had called off their engagement many years back.

My brother-in-law lived in Australia at the time and only knew her first name, so none of us put two and two together.

She knew but thought it would be amusing to unveil who she was on the day.

I was reeling but decide to accept the situation, that was until my husband and this tart began outrageously flirting with each other.

The more they drank, the flirtier they became.  My brother-in-law was like a volcano ready to erupt, but I beat him to it when she leant over, and with her hand on his knee, whispered in my husband’s ear. He giggled like a hormonal teenager, I saw red and blew my top. I stormed out of the room, grabbed a bottle of wine and spent the rest of the night in my bedroom.

Next day my husband accused ME of blowing everything out of proportion and spoiling Christmas.

His brother still hasn’t spoken to him and has dumped his girlfriend, but I don’t know how to move on from this. Chloe.

Dear Chloe,

What an awful Christmas all round.

This Femme Fatale had a huge part to play in this disaster and I can only assume that she is an attention-seeking minx who has no qualms in stirring up trouble.

But, the real matter in hand is your husband.

You can’t brush this under the carpet, so let’s figure out how best to deal with it.

From what you said in your extended email, your husband’s behaviour was very out of character, which is in his favour.

I reckon because his ex broke off their engagement, he was, in his own sad deluded way, trying to see if she was still attracted to him. (and so was she). He must now look back at his behaviour and feel like a complete idiot and realise that his ex played him big time.

Blaming you was an attempt at deflecting from his pitiful behaviour.

Don’t let this horrible woman ruin your marriage. You most likely have the life she wants, so sit down and chat it through, perhaps with a third party in-between you both ... just in case you see red again.

Dear Janice,

My partner was nothing short of rude when she opened her Christmas presents. She said I had put very little effort into my gifts, she criticised everything and said she obviously meant very little to me if these presents were all she was worth.

I have a lot of financial pressures at the moment and couldn’t afford everything she asked for, but I did spend a lot of money on her, just not the exorbitant amount she expected on the list she gave me.

She still seems ‘cold’ with me but the reality is, I don’t know if I can keep up with her demands.

We don’t live together and only really catch up on nights out and weekends away. I love being with her but sometimes I feel that she is just using me. Harry.

Dear Harry,

It really doesn’t take Hercule Poirot to work that one out!

Of course, she is using you. Harry, if any decent partner had genuine feelings of love and support for you, they would never be so demanding.

Does she know how much pressure you are under financially?  Does she even care?  It seems not otherwise she wouldn’t dream of giving you a gift list, or berating you for the kindness you showed.

A relationship should be as fair and equal as circumstances allow.  Yours clearly isn’t.

So do yourself a favour and follow the old Scottish saying –‘Out with the Old, In with the New’. Begin 2023 by getting rid of this ungrateful wench.

Dear Janice,

My girlfriend surprised me for Christmas with a holiday abroad this Easter.

I said all the right things and smiled, but I really pray I am not with her by the end of January never mind Easter.  Trouble is, I just can’t find the guts to finish with her.

She is lovely, but I don’t love her.  I know I am pathetic but I don’t know what to do.

How do I bring this up without hurting her? XX

Dear XX,

The hurt you will cause this lovely girl will magnify each day that you put off being honest.

She will be making plans, buying holiday clothes, counting down to the big day, and you will be in deeper and deeper, and feeling worse the closer it gets.

Keep all of these feelings in mind, take a deep breath, and just come out with it.

Yes, she will be hurt, but at least she will have time to replace you on holiday with someone who actually wants to be there.