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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ask Amy: Secret engagement because family doesn't think fiance is good enough

Nice read. Especially because instances where a person wants to marry someone their family doesn't approve of are way too common. While it's ideal to have your family's approval (trust me, it makes everything go smoother), we don't live in an ideal world and hardly can you calmly and effectively play both sides. 

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.

Nwavic's 2 cents 
Maturity commands that you accept the consequence of every decision you make. You have to own it to be able to live it. You can't please everyone. These commenters on the original post mirror NwaVic's thoughts and couldn't have said it any better.
randomnickname said It might help to think about what happens if you do get married. 
Your mother won't suddenly accept the marriage. She's not going to say "Oh, well, it's done" and welcome him into the family with open arms.

What will you do when you get an invitation for Christmas dinner - but your husband isn't invited. Or you get a generous Christmas gift - to you, and your husband is ignored. Or you go over, and your Mom makes constant sniping remarks about how you could have done better, and how sad it is that your husband can't provide for you, and tries to set you up with her friend's son. In front of him. Or you have kids, and *they* get an earful of how Daddy is a miserable failure and Mommy should leave them.

Or, for that matter, if you elope and your Mom cuts you off -- no best friend, no confidant, until you leave him and go back to her.

If you're being asked to choose between your mother and your husband, and you can't choose your husband with a clear and open heart, and defend him when from/to your family, and be willing to cut them off if they won't play nice... your marriage won't be a good one. It will probably be a short one.

So I agree ... - a long, long engagement, and serious pre-marital (and personal) counseling. If you reach the point where you can tell your mother "This is the man I chose - I love him and he is a good man. If you can't accept him, I'm sorry for that, but we won't be seeing much of you after the marriage" and mean it and stick to it - then you can go to Vegas.

FFM said I know it's hard to disappoint parents and those you love. But, their actions are not loving. They're controlling. If you're not ready to stand up to your parents (or anyone else) for the man you love, then you aren't ready to get married, and I'd argue don't really love him. Take some time to grow up. I still struggle with such issues myself -- separating from family -- so I feel for you. But the longer you take to cut the apron string, the harder, and harder it will become.

So sorry you're going through this -- my mother did something similar to me about the same age, but in my case it was cutting off funding for school. So, my choices were college funding or the man I loved (we weren't planning on getting married -- I felt I was too young -- just dating, though seriously). I chose the man, not for the man's sake, but for my own sake. I wanted to make decisions for myself about my own life, especially my romantic life. It caused a huge breach, but I don't regret a single thing about it (and this is 15 years later).
CanisNLibris said Getting married requires being an adult. And being an adult means that you neither blindly take your parents' advice nor blindly react against it, but make your own considered opinion. Being married means you put your spouse first. ...she needs to form an adult identity. It also seems that standing up to her mother is an overdue and necessary step. Otherwise, mom will be running the rest of their lives. And that would be true even if she called off the wedding.  
It no doubt hurts that her mother has threatened to boycott the wedding. But that's a kind of emotional blackmail. People who use this kind of tactic mostly just hurt themselves. It makes mom look bad, and it drives the couple closer together. A forbidden marriage --how romantic. I've known a number of happily married couples who started out life that way, and the offending parents end up apologizing. So, if she loves the guy, call mom's bluff.
Original Post Here.
What do you think? 
Stay Inspired...


Ginger said...

I am so with the responses here. Girl needs to grow up and make up her mind about the guy. Me thinks she is hiding her -indecision/unsureness - behind her mother's disapproval.

First time here. Having a great time trawling through your archives.

Princess R said...

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