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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.

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
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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.


Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Wednesday, 16 July 2014
Last week I had one of those “times have really changed” moments when ten year old Tommy asked if he could google some important information.

Intrigued, I asked him to explain what was SO important that he could only find on google.

There’s a boy in my class who likes a girl in my class and he wants to find out how to get her to like him. He can’t google at home because his mum will find out so he asked me”.

Restraining bewilderment, suppressing all out laughter, and with the composure of my inner professional Nanny V, I had to enquire why a ten year old would imagine that google could provide more helpful information than his mum, his tutor, or me, females who know precisely what a girl likes and wants from a boy.

Tommy: “Oh Nanny V, you are SO old fashioned. Google knows everything”.
Me: “Oh Tommy, you have SO much to learn about life that google and computers could never teach you”.
Tommy: “Like what?
Me: “Where do I start?

Where DO I start???

So we discussed a couple of subjects like friendship and the concept of graciousness in winning and defeat when he plays football (also cuddles and how they make you feel good even when you are a ten year old boy who would never publicly admit to such behaviour!), so he could relate and understand, and so he could appreciate that life lessons come from experience and not technology.

I am not sure our discussion gelled. Actually, I wasn’t sure I gave him the correct information, so I googled “how to get a girl to like you” and I can report with great relief, my advice was spot on.

Life lesson #1, Nanny V is always right. #2, some old fashioned ways still apply today (and hopefully never change).

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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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