ADVANCED psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist CLAIRE GASKIN sees clients in Essex and in London’s Harley Street. If you have a problem you’d like Claire’s advice with, email agonyaunt@nqe. com For more details on Claire’s work, visit


My son is getting married later this year and while it should be an occasion for families to pull together, it is actually causing me and my wife major stress.

We both are very fond of our son’s fiancee and were delighted when they announced their engagement - but she has turned into the dreaded bridezilla in the run up to the big day and is being increasingly rude to us.

I can shrug it off, but my wife is very upset. The major issue has been over the fact we have, willingly, given quite a sizeable amount to the cost of things but were told in no uncertain terms they would invite who they liked and we would not be able to include even our oldest friends.

I know it is their day, but it would not be happening without that money and we feel it is a small request to have those who have known our son most of his life there.

How can we persuade them to see our point of view or are we the ones being unfair ?

CLAIRE SAYS : Your son’s fiancée may be feeling anxious, but this is no excuse for rudeness. If it’s getting worse you might need to nip it in the bud now.

It’s important to have clear examples and begin any conversation with ‘I’ or ‘we’. For example: ‘We felt upset when you said/did…’. Tell her you understand it’s a stressful time and perhaps offer to help.

When it comes to the money, I’m afraid you’re going to have to let it go.

Your kind and generous gift has been accepted and it’s too late to add conditions.

Finally, choosing the guest list is one of the first joint decisions they’re making as a soon-to-be married couple.

Excluding your input may be their way of cutting the apron strings.

This can be tough for you as parents, especially if you are close to your son.

Talk to them both. Acknowledge that it’s their day and you respect their wishes.

Don’t mention money, but do say how much it would mean for your oldest friends to be there. If they refuse, your only realistic option is to accept their decision with grace.

Try not to stress too much. Once the wedding is over everyone can get back to normal.