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Tycoon fiance wants pre-nup

Q: I'M getting married in July and, out of the blue, my fiance is insisting that I sign a pre-nup agreement. He's successful in business, but really I think it's his parents who are pushing for me to sign as it's a family business.

They had a nasty experience with another daughter-in-law who left a few years after getting married for another man. She caused so much trouble that, in the end, they paid her off for a bit of peace, and I don't think they've gotten over it. I'm feeling depressed about the whole thing – where does it say about my fiance that he thinks I'm like her?

My friends say it won't hold up in court anyway, but it's not about the money. I feel hurt at a time I should be feeling happy.

A: I do appreciate how shocked and hurt you must feel over being asked to sign a pre-nup when you should be getting ready for the most happy and romantic period of your life.

But I can also understand how your fiance and his family feel, considering they were treated badly and taken advantage of by their previous daughter-in-law. I don't think they consider you to be the same type of character, but they're sensibly taking precautions, which is absolutely right of them.

Speak to your fiance about your concerns, but I also don't see the problem in you signing it once you're also satisfied with the terms. It will keep everybody happy and you can move on with the main focus, which is your wedding.

Q: My 19-year-old daughter to set to head off inter-railing around Europe with her friends and my heart is in my throat with worry.

I trust her to bits, she has a good head on her, but it's other people out there that I don't trust. It's keeping me awake at night and leaving me really anxious and irritable.

She has promised to text every morning and night. My husband tells me to relax, that she is travelling with friends and there is safety in numbers. It's not the first time I've had problems allowing her to become independent. I'm the same with my other two. I've suggested flying over to see her at some point but she looked horrified at the thought.

A: I appreciate how worried you feel and my parents were exactly the same when I went off on my post-Leaving Cert holiday when I was just 18. No matter how sensible your daughter is, there are still dangerous individuals out there who will try to take advantage of a tourist.

However, I don't advise you to spend time worrying as that's an energy-draining waste of time.

Invite her travel friends over for lunch and chat casually with them about safety precautions, protecting themselves and their cash, and looking after each other.

Make sure that they know never to leave someone on their own, and to ensure that their mobile phones are always charged and topped up with credit.

I absolutely advise against you flying over to meet them as she needs her own space and independence.

Ensure you keep in regular contact with her and know where she is at all times.

Once the trip gets underway and all is fine, then you should begin to relax and worry less.

Q: Please help, I'm spending about €20 a week on scratch cards and no matter how I try to stop myself getting one when I'm out shopping, the words just pop out of my mouth, "...and a scratch card, please."

Occasionally I win, but never enough to make spending so much every week worth it. The thing is, I'm having a hard time convincing myself I won't win. I've spent the winnings in my head so often and then felt disappointed that it's a wonder I've not copped on by now.

Paying €80 a month is way too much and I can't afford it.

A: It does sound to me like you have an addiction to scratch cards and its beginning to affect your life. I'm guessing that you're addicted to the feeling of possibly winning, as you haven't been particularly lucky so far.

This is something that you need to be strong about and really have the will to make changes and quit buying them.

I highly advise that you remove yourself from situations where you're tempted to buy them, at least for a few weeks until the urge lessens and you can gain a little perspective.

Maybe avoid shops that sell the cards, or ask a friend to pick up what you need. You could also look into buying your groceries online and getting them delivered.

It is too much money to be wasting. Have a look at the statistics of being a scratch-card winner and try to find something else that you can learn to focus on. You really need to summon up all your inner strength to beat this costly addiction.