Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend (45) and I (38) have been discussing marriage. I suggested elopement because my family is nuts, especially my mom. Currently she is not speaking to me — neither is the rest of the family, or she will stop speaking to them — because (a) I refused to give over to her or my sister a modest inheritance from my grandmother (my plan was to use it for the wedding), and (b) I asked her to stop posting passive-aggressive comments on my Facebook wall in reference to the inheritance.
My boyfriend is close to his family, so eloping would hurt their feelings, and they are super nice and welcoming to me. I can’t, however, take the chance of my family ruining such an important occasion.
How do we tell his family we want to elope so I don’t burn bridges with them, but not make my family sound like the nutters they are?
“But not make my family sound like the nutters they are”: That ship has sailed. Stop worrying about how your family appears to others. They’re not you.
“So I don’t burn bridges with them”: You either have a wedding and let the nutter chips fall where they may, or you elope. If you choose to elope, then your boyfriend alone tells his family, or you and he tell them together. You’re free to mention here that your strained family situation would make a wedding difficult at this time — and you’re also free not to say that. You’re a combined age of 83. You can do what you stinkin’ want. If his people withdraw their affection over a decision that’s a couple’s business alone, then the bridge already had kerosene on it, and any spark was going to consume it.