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Dear Aunty Raine,

my wife and I have never had, if I’m honest, a particularly happy marriage. We’ve been married for 30 years and our children are now grown. We’ve  talked about  our future and decided that we’d give making the rest of our married life together a happy experience, our best shot.

With this in mind, we went to a marriage guidance counsellor.

The counsellor said that he felt part of our problem was that we had very little in common. He said that we should take up a hobby together, something we could share as a couple.

Although this seemed like a good idea at the time, and we can still see the benefits of it, we had a massive row as we started driving home because I wanted us to take up archery and she wanted us to do metal detecting.

We turned the car back round and returned to our counsellor, who told us that we shouldn’t expect to agree on something right away and that it was OK to kick a few ideas around first.

Once we were on the road again I said that I was prepared to let the archery go and that I thought scuba-diving was something we might look at. My wife went absolutely ballistic and accused me of only wanting her in a wetsuit so I could ridicule her ‘voluptuous backside’ as she referred to it.  I said that she was talking absolute nonsense.

But then she said that she thought we should take up jogging. I know for a fact that she only said it because she knows I’m ashamed of my knees and wants to see me in a pair of shorts so she can laugh at them. I was absolutely incensed.

We turned the car back round and went to our counsellor, once more, to tell him of our latest hiccup.

The counsellor said ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day! It’s perfectly normal to have a healthy discussion with each other when making plans’

We got back into the car and began driving home. We had only got a few hundred yards down the road when my wife came at me with ‘I think we should start pot-holing’. I almost crashed the car! I couldn’t believe she could be so cruel! She knows I suffer from claustrophobia. And that when we went on a day trip to the caves at the Cheddar Gorge, I became hysterical and after running into a wall while I was in a blind panic, that I had to be taken out on a stretcher. So I said to her ‘Actually I think we should go in for bird watching’. She turned to me and said ‘You bastard! How could you even think about suggesting it after I got attacked on the beach at Skegness by those 200 seagulls. You know they destroyed my sarong!’

We turned the car round and went back to our counsellor.

He said ‘Why don’t you go down a more creative route?’

We got back into the car and headed for home.

My wife said ‘How about card making, we could make all the family birthday cards together?’

I said ‘Oh, you’d love that wouldn’t you? You know I’m highly allergic to glue and could die if I come into contact with it!’

She just sat there looking smug so I snarled at her ‘What about an art class dear?’

She rounded on me and said ‘You throw that portrait in my  face at every opportunity don’t you?’

She attended an art class a few years back and brought home her painting of  ‘Diana; The Peoples’ Princess’. She got very upset when everyone she showed it to thought it was Sylvester Stallone.

We were both seething by now and so turned the car round and went back to our counsellor.

And I have to say that we were pretty disgusted by his attitude. He just sat there with his head in his hands and  said ‘Can you just sod off?’. He then got up, shoved us out of the door and threatened to call the police if we came back again.

I must say that his unprofessionalism really has left us very annoyed.

That aside, what advice do you have for us regarding a hobby which might bring us closer together?

Yours, criticising her cooking because she’s just made a stew that even the dog won’t eat,  Bill, York

Aunty Raine says;

Dear dog stew,

these marriage guidance counsellors have got a lot to answer for. Traditionally the most successful and long-lasting marriages are the ones where couples largely ignore one another.

I haven’t said a word to my Vince for the past 48 hours and he looks as happy as a pig in shit!

If you do insist on the ridiculous idea of doing things together I suggest you join one of the new ‘couples’ binge drinking’ clubs’  which are springing up all over the country, due to high demand.

They are proving very popular indeed. I have looked up clubs in your local area and am happy to tell you that on a Thursday evening the group ‘Plastered Pals’ meets up at the Methodist church hall on Wigmore Street. I hope it’s not too far from you.

Hope that helps! Aunty Raine.

Remember! Mine’s a pint!







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