My crazy ex has naked pictures of us that she’s threatening to reveal. How do I handle that? ALEX

Pictures of us? That’s a good sign – if it’s a video and she’s in it too, it’s unlikely she’s going to self-sabotage. It sounds like she wants some air time… from you. Suggest a drink (somewhere public) to discuss whatever issues are bothering her.

Stay calm and listen, don’t talk or get defensive. And, if it’s really over for you, don’t lead her on in an attempt to smooth things over. That
will have the opposite effect. And a tip for anyone reading this: if you’re going to send naked snaps, make sure to crop your head off and avoid
any distinguishing marks and scars.

I’m a neat freak, but my girl makes a mess when she visits. How do I tell her it bugs me? JOHAN

You’re different and you’re going to encounter things that mean more to one of you than the other. How you compromise and communicate around this will strengthen you for the big stuff. It’s your space, after all, so speak up before you do any permanent damage. A friend’s super-neat boyfriend started to tidy up after her in a comical way. They laughed about it – and still do – and, while she makes more of an effort now, he’s accepted it’s not as much of a priority for her.

I can tell you what won’t work: being passive aggressive. Get sulky and you’ll make her start to question everything and pick fights to try and draw it out of you.

I can’t stand my sister-in-law. She’s unbearable. Is there a way to delicately bow out of functions with the in-laws? KEITH

Short answer: no. Family’s a contentious one. I’m sure you feel territorial about yours, and the quicker you learn that she’s allowed to criticise her family (and certain friends), but you are not, the better. You will only lose in the popularity polls if you don’t pitch – with your wife, who will feel unsupported, and her family.

She’s your priority, after all, so smile, top up drinks, stay focused on what this means to her and put the time in for the big occasions, then you’ll be more likely to be excused from the less important visits.

My new girlfriend is amazing – but does a weird baby talk thing that’s an instant turnoff. How do I get her to stop (sensitively)? MPHO

No one (I know) would choose to continue to do something that was a turn-off to their partner. So I’m guessing that she doesn’t even
realise she’s doing it. I’m also pretty certain that she’s going to be upset (mostly embarrassed) however and whenever you tell her, but you have to. I’d want to know, sooner rather than later.

Rip off the plaster, Mpho. Tell her it doesn’t make you feel mature or manly: two important ingredients for you to be in the mood.