Dear Amy: I am a 21-year-old business professional fresh out of university. My fiancé (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 confidante, 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 fiancé 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?
— 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 ring sparkle as you give yourself more time to mature and your fiancé more time to ingratiate himself to your family.
Over time you will realize there is no way to please everyone in your life. Do what is right for you. Your mother may need to sit out your wedding.
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.
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.
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