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Ask Amy: She's torn between fiancé, family

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • August 28, 2013 - 2:47 PM

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. 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 oo 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?

Amy says: 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 fiancé more time to ingratiate himself to your family.

Over time you will realize there is 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.

‘Weird’ co-worker

Dear Amy: I have a co-worker who is extremely annoying. There is something wrong with her, but I’m not sure what — perhaps a mental illness or disability. She constantly communicates with me, to the point where I have started to just ignore her. We have an instant-messaging system at work, and all day long she sends me messages. I tell her I am busy, but she doesn’t let up! She also texts me and sends Facebook messages when I’m home. I cannot take it. (At least at work I can get paid to put up with her.)

She has done this to several other people at work who have simply deleted her from their contacts or not replied at all to her messages. I don’t want to deal with her that way. I want to tell her that she needs to back off! She is about 20 years older than me, and she is just plain (sorry to say it) weird. How can I tell her I do not want to be friends without hurting her feelings?

Amy says: This person may not be able to behave according to your terms. You seem determined to retrain someone who may not see the world, or relationships, the way you do. The kindest thing to do is to say to your co-worker, “I’m sorry, but you do message me a lot. I don’t really like that. Can you not send me so many messages? It makes me feel bad that I can’t answer them.” After that statement, a combination of technology-blocking and tolerance is called for.

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com.

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