DEAR AMY: I am a 21-year-old business professional fresh out of university. My fiance (28 years old) and I have been engaged since last fall, but I’ve kept the engagement a secret. He is kind, thoughtful and supportive, and I know he loves me unconditionally, as I love him. We’ve been together for two years.
My family does not approve of him. My mother, who has always been my idol and closest confidant, told me that if I marry this man she will not attend the wedding. She feels that because he does not have a university education, our relationship is doomed to fail. He simply “isn’t good enough.” Since this conversation, I’ve stopped wearing my ring around her and other family members.
I can see how much it hurts my fiance to see me tuck my beautiful engagement ring into a jewelry box instead of wearing it, but I love my family (particularly my mother) too much to cause them any unnecessary stress.
I know this is selfish and cruel, but I’m torn between the man I love (and want to marry) and my family members, who support and love me.
Recently the idea to elope to Vegas has come up. Where do I go from here? Is there a way to please everyone? -- I Do, or Do I?
DEAR I DO: You need to take your ring out of its box and be brave enough to be engaged — 24 hours a day.
I’m sure your mother loves you fiercely, but look at how she expresses her love: by forcing you into a situation in which you are torn and too paralyzed to do anything about it. By refusing to accept the man in your life, she is pushing you toward an elopement.
This is a great thing about being engaged: You can watch your beautiful ring sparkle in the sunlight as you give yourself more time to mature and your fiance more time to ingratiate himself to your family.
Over time you will realize there is absolutely no way to please everyone in your life. Own your independence. And do what is right for you. Your mother may need to sit out your wedding. If so, you should accept her choice but not the manipulation.
DEAR AMY: I’d like your advice on how I should go about getting money returned to me that was borrowed by a family member.
She made a small payment recently and specified in an e-mail as to the dates and amounts she’d make the three payments. I completely trust that this person will pay me back, although the second payment date has passed by three days. The date this person set for the third (and final) payment is in about two weeks.
How long do I wait until I remind this person about the second payment, and how would you advise I say this? I don’t want it to come across as anything more than a reminder. I don’t mean to be pushy, but should I let months go by before I open my mouth? -- Waiting for the Dough
DEAR WAITING: It sounds as if this person has devised and imposed her own payment plan, which she is already breaking.
If you 100 percent trust that she will repay the money and can wait for it, then wait until the third payment is due. If she doesn’t make a payment, e-mail her to say, “You wrote that you would repay the loan by this date. Do you need more time?”
DEAR AMY: This is in response to “Hurt Wife,” who is bothered that her husband wears a ring from his previous marriage. Years ago I worked for a man who wore two wedding rings. The ring on his left hand was from his current wife, the ring on his right hand from his late wife. His children enjoyed that he remembered their mother while loving and honoring his living wife. -- Tom
DEAR TOM: I believe there is a different connection between a “late” wife and an “ex” wife. “Hurt’s” husband’s ring was from an ex-wife.