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Should I call off my wedding?

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 24 July 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

I am feeling really scared and don't know what to do. I am due to be married in three weeks' time and having doubts about going through with the ceremony.

I have been with my fiancé for five years, we became engaged last year, only because it seemed the right thing to do. Although I care for him I am not in love with him, and feel like running away.

The truth is if I marry him, it will be for all the wrong reasons, but at the same time, I cannot break his heart which I shall do if I call it off. The wedding is costing a fortune of which my parents have helped contribute to, and we will be set to lose the lot if I were to cancel at such short notice. I cant sleep, am feeling miserable and very panicky. I haven't told anyone about how I am feeling as everyone is looking so forward to the celebrations.

I have recently met a man at work who I have become very close to, he wants to take me out and makes me feel like an excited teenager, unlike my fiancé who I feel we have now become more like sister and brother. Please help me, I don't know what to do.

Patricia Marie says...

If you find yourself having doubts before your wedding, does that mean you definitely must not get married? No - but you should pay attention and talk to the man you are marrying. The chances are he would have picked up on your emotions and by opening up it may help to re-bond the relationship.  Understandably, many women approaching their wedding day have doubts if they are making the right choice. After all, it's one of the biggest decisions of our lives. You say you're not wanting to break your fiancé's heart by calling of the wedding, but considering going ahead and to marry under false pretences would be far worse.

The man you have met at work is new and exciting, as is any new flirtatious liaison. If you were to remember your first meeting with your fiancé, feel sure he would have made you feel the same way. It would be acceptable to cancel the wedding if you really were having serious doubts, but don't risk losing a good man just because a more exciting one has come on the scene.

It takes more than love to have a successful marriage, its about displaying mutual admiration, respect, including supporting and caring for each other and most importantly being friends, as without friendship love can easily fade.

You need to ask yourself, how would it feel to be without this man you have been with for five years. Sometimes we can't see what we have until its gone.

Has the intimacy wained slightly because of the pressures of the wedding planning? If so, this can be worked at by remembering the good times you have shared.

Finally, the huge cost involved if you were to cancel is not the reason to embark on the biggest commitment of your life. You owe it to your parents to be honest, and however shocked or upset they seem, once you share your fears with them, your problem will be halved and things made clearer.

It wont be easy, but I urge you to explore your situation very carefully, before making any life changing decisions.

Have a dilemma? Please email  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

Ye olde Internet

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Thursday, 24 July 2014
This week I’m mostly posing as a cross-generational-go-between. In a remote barn, close to the sea but also surrounded by heavenly East Sussex fields, I’m kicking off the long summer break by ensuring that my Oldies spend a quality six days with my Smalls.

I say Oldies but they are actually pretty sprightly. Not in the least bit daunted by clambering over the sand dunes of Camber, climbing up 266 steps of a lighthouse and (proverbially) kicking a football around a garden – this couple aren’t past their sell-by date quite yet.

Games of chess, long reading sprints and a little scrapbooking (as per my own childhood) have been the order of the day when not out and about finding local castle ruins and riding 1920s steam trains. But back at the barn, to my surprise I have found Lord Y more than a little addicted to the internet. Rurally situated with only an ADSL connection, communication has fallen off at times during our break. And there was me concerned about my terrible Instagram habit which is nothing compared to his stress as he banged away at a futile laptop. Steam poured from his ears as he listed the urgent emails that needed to be sent… within the hour. It seems that even those retiring-retireds are also obsessed with ye olde internet.

The art of suncreen application

Posted by Nanny Knows Best
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on Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Sorry, but there is no art, trick, nor right way of applying sunscreen to a hot and sweaty child. It’s much like learning mouth to mouth resuscitation on a crash-test dummy, great in theory but no comparison to the real thing. Here is what I have learnt:-

A child will not voluntarily approach if you have sunscreen visible in your hand so you need to be cunning. Otherwise, chase down said child, and employ the element of surprise to disrobe him/her before he/she realises what is happening.

Use a distraction tactic (“I have a secret to whisper in your ear”) to hold your victim whilst uncapping sunscreen with one hand and dousing as much liquid on skin as possible because you won’t get a second chance. Again before he/she is aware, cover every millimetre of head, shoulders, knees, and toes, to withstand a nuclear explosion. Disregard the whining, “it’s too cold/hot/sticky/gooey/ yucky/burning”. It is guaranteed the sunscreen will leak into eyes so with your third hand or left foot, grab child’s hands before they do a better job of rubbing the sunscreen in their eyes than you ever could.

I should have mentioned this up front, as there’ll be ferocious squealing and wriggling, and like a Girl Scout worth her chest full of badges, be prepared. Also ensure your own clothes are at throw-away stage as you will be covered in more sunscreen than your victim who will make every attempt to slither away. Don’t let go yet.

If you consider dressing a child an exercise in contortion (yours and theirs), it’s a doddle to dressing a child marinated in more grease than a serve of buttered chicken. This is your final step so grit your teeth, and use any and all threats to get the job done. With the skerrick of remaining energy as you clean up the debris and collect the bags of towels, drinks, toys, and your sanity, remember to plop a sunhat on your victim with your final threat of “we are staying home if I see that hat come off”.

Nanny V has now demonstrated every what-not-to-do in the Nanny Rule Book, but I trust you appreciate a sense of humour is your most effective tool.

My mother is an alcoholic

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 17 July 2014
Dear Patricia Marie

My mother is an alcoholic and it's affecting us all. I now live quite a distance away so only visit a couple of times a month. Mother is supposed to be caring for my dad as he is disabled. He has a carer but not at weekends now as someone from social services has to come, as she forgets to give him his medication and cook for him.

The family have done so much to try to help her. My brother took her to the doctors who did liver tests and said she would die soon if she did not stop drinking. She refused to go back to Alcoholics Anonymous after two sessions. She says she is seeking help, but it's all lies. She has antidepressants but doesn't take them. She hides alcohol all over the house. If we throw it away she buys more. Bills are not getting paid. The grandchildren don't want to visit her as she is always intoxicated.

I am getting married soon and would love her to be at the wedding, but I know she will be drunk. My sister has advised me not to go out of my way to help, as she tried and it made her ill. How can I get my mother to stop drinking?

Patricia Marie says...

You ask the same question many family members of an alcohol-dependent want the answer to. Sadly, the reply is never simple. Alcoholism is a family disease - if one person is drinking to excess, everyone around them is affected. Alcoholics are often in denial, blaming circumstances or people around them for their addiction. They are unable to see how badly their destructive and hurtful behaviour affects those who love and want to help them.
Alcoholics Anonymous recommends ' detachment with love' -  as your sister has discovered, if you don't allow yourself to stand back a little it can affect your health. You have to accept you can't stop your mum from drinking, only she can choose to do this.  If alcoholics are not ready for help, efforts by family and friends trying to force them to admit to the problem, usually causes more resentment, and its only when the consequences of their drinking becomes painful enough will they reach out for help.
Do remind your mother how much you love her, but you cannot help her if she is not willing to help herself, as it is destroying your life. Be firm, and emphasise you are extremely concerned that unless she gets professional help soon, she will cause lasting grief to all her family.
Whether she chooses to get help or not, do contact The National Association for the family of Alcoholics:  0800 358 3456, This is an excellent organisation offering tremendous support for people in your situation.

Have a dilemma? Please email  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

House invasion

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Thursday, 17 July 2014
My house has been invaded, infested or perhaps even burgled. I had – initially – thought about calling the police or even Rentokil. But as it turns out, it’s simply the school holidays and these particular mites actually live here.

Obviously, there is a huge part of me who adores the time off with my Smalls. Forcing me to step away from my keyboard hours at a time, I love seeing them broken out of the constrictions of stiff uniform and hard fast school rules. And there isn’t a part of me which misses homework hour or the manic pre-school run rush either.

However, I do need a few days to adjust to their insatiable hunger, the comics on the stairs (pretty slippery when taken at speed) and utter bedroom chaos that would make any third-world slum look tidy.

The way I see it, there’s only a matter of years before they won’t want to climb the trees, transform their bedroom into a campsite or paint in the garden. And then I’ll be left for dust - so I’d better grin and bear it, at least for the next 8 weeks.

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Daily tip from the lady archive

"BEAUTY may fade and riches be lost, but a sense of humour ripens with the years, and cannot be stolen. It remains a very real solace, and a talisman against the ills of life."

The Lady. The Invaluable Possession 2nd May, 1912
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What the stars have in store for you this week.July 18 - 31

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius

Q: A recent survey has revealed the Top 10 things British women would love to do but are too scared. Have you done any of the following?

Sing in public / karaoke - 10.6%
Ask for a pay rise - 6.2%
Travel or holiday alone - 27.7%
Do a naked photo-shoot - 6.2%
Get a tattoo - 3.8%
Have a bikini wax - 4.9%
Get your hair cut very short - 10.6%
Ask someone out on a date - 3.8%
Quit your job - 19%
Have cosmetic surgery - 7.3%
The voting for this poll has ended on: 13 Jun 2014 - 09:12

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