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Reconstructing Renée

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Thursday, 06 November 2014
It seems that this particular Halloween, Renée Zellweger felt the need to go the whole hog by ordering herself a brand new face for the occasion. I say Renée Zellweger as that’s who I can only presume is behind that recently revealed stretched, pulled face of intense shock. But to be honest, it could be anyone… simply terrifying the ghouls, vampires and anyone who might ever be tempted by the horrors of plastic surgery.

But, fear not, oh taut ones, I’m not about to wax lyrical in this week’s post about the idiocy of Botox. No, right now, I’m more interested in Renée’s bid to reconstruct herself. With a career twisting uncomfortably between success and failure, here is an actress who has never made a comeback since the days of Jerry Maguire. Bridget Jones was, of course, a heart-winning performance but in such a desperately pitifully way. Perhaps even you and I wouldn’t have bounced back from those needy binges and single awkwardness.

So Renée, it appears, has turned to her face to exercise some sort of control over her image and has seemingly hidden her issues behind an ever-tightening mask. And, readers, I suppose I do understand this. Many of us feel the need to evolve and alter our external image and sometimes this desire can be overwhelming. So I suppose I see Renée’s reconstruction as just one step further than this. That said, I’d opt for a purple rinse any day rather than ever go under that knife.

I dislike my daughter's boyfriend

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 23 October 2014
Dear Patricia Marie

I was so thrilled to see that The Lady now has an agony aunt as I have been deeply concerned lately about my daughter and would welcome some help.

Jenny (my daughter) who is 19, and lives at home with me, has a boyfriend who seems intent on controlling her life.  He tells her he loves her but from my point of view he seems to be very dominant over her.  If she gets ready to go out and he doesn't like her outfit, he will tell her and she will immediately go and change.  If she suggests that she would like to go out with her friends, he will say he wants to accompany her, and that it is strange if she doesn't want that.  If she doesn't text and ring him constantly, and be always available to receive his phone calls, then he accuses her of seeing someone else.

They have now been dating for six months, but he has mentioned getting engaged and I feel this would be disastrous.  What can I do to make her see what he is doing? I really dislike him to the point I just want him to find another girlfriend and leave my daughter alone.

Patricia Marie says...

You're a mother and of course you worry about your daughter. She may be 19, but is still your little girl and your need to protect her from an abusive boyfriend is perfectly understandable. However, if she's not complaining about him and prepared to put up with his behaviour, then you have to accept she is a grown woman with her own mind and capable of making her own decisions.

By telling your daughter what to do would merely be mirroring her boyfriend's controlling behaviour, and the last thing you want is to cause friction between you and your daughter by expressing your dislike of her boyfriend. She will not only resent you for interfering, but worse, she could even consider leaving home. At least whilst shes living with you, you're able to keep an eye on her, and be there for her when she needs you.

Concentrate on bonding with your daughter - spend some quality time together. Offering a loving, compassionate, concerned and non-judgemental presence will create trust. And if she does open up to you, be prepared to advise. Remind her that domestic violence often starts as mental abuse, with the abuser controlling their partner, including choosing what they wear and dictating their friendships.

Standing back and watching our children make mistakes is the hardest thing for any parent.  Nevertheless, you can still be her hero, but let her be her own hero too, by allowing her to solve her own problems, and learn from any bad decisions.

For your continued support I recommend reading:  BUT I LOVE HIM: Protecting your daughter from controlling, abusive relationships by Jill Murray. Finally, the National Domestic Violence Helpline offer a free 24 hour helpline: 0808 2000 247. It may be wise to make this number available to your daughter.


Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

I dislike my mother-in-law

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 04 September 2014
Dear Patricia Marie

I have a job that my mother-in-law doesn't approve of. She never misses an opportunity to say I'm irresponsible, unethical and an embarrassment to her. But that doesn't stop her from coming to our house all the time and enjoying our hospitality. Recently she was here for three weeks because her house was being redecorated as she was getting headaches from the smell of paint. She drove me crazy with her high-handed comments about my work. Now my wife wants her to join us on our annual holiday. She says it will be nice for the children to have granny around. But why should I put up with the company of a woman who clearly doesn't respect me?

Patricia Marie says...

I suspect your mother-in-law feels that she can get away with saying anything she likes because no one ever challenges her. Perhaps she does not see how intrusive and controlling she is being. To her it may just be she is showing caring behaviour and trying to help. She could be feeling vulnerable - scared she may not be wanted or needed, and by displaying authority allows her to feel she has some control.

It would be a good idea for you to meet up with your mother-in-law somewhere on neutral territory so you can level with her. Insist your job enables you to provide a home and fund holidays for your family, and is of no concern to her. Explain you are not happy with her constant criticism and recognise she seems very unhappy around you. This saddens you as you would like her to be at ease in your company. However, if her unacceptable behaviour continues, you will not be wanting her to visit as much. Once she realises her feelings are important to you, hopefully things will change for the better and you will enjoy each others' company.

Your wife needs to understand the importance of you spending quality time alone with your family, otherwise it could create problems within your relationship. At the same time, you need to remember there are advantages to having your mother-in-law join you on your break. It means you and your wife can get to spend time alone together whilst your children are being looked after by their doting granny. Although your mother-in-law may have been taking your generosity for granted, it seems you may have been focusing on the negatives, therefore, not noticing the enormous help and support she must be bringing to your family. And remember, for all the things you find irritating about her - she raised the wonderful woman you fell in love with.


Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows


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