My Fiancé and I Have Family Problems. Should We Elope?


Family problems are common for many individuals. If you don’t have issues in your immediate family, you likely have extended family members with their own problems. When a couple brings two families together for a wedding, it’s possible that some of those issues could surface.

If the two of you are facing potentially significant family problems surrounding your wedding, you might have discussed eloping instead of having a ceremony. After all, avoiding family complications would give you the much-needed peace you desire. Eloping could allow you and your fiancé to truly focus on one another, rather than any drama that might occur at a large gathering.

But before you decide to elope, there are some things to consider. When it comes to reducing family-related drama, you have options. And it’s important for the two of you to approach this decision carefully.

On principle, we aren’t opposed to elopement. But if you’re using elopement as a way to escape your family problems, those complications will likely still happen in the future. It’s up to the two of you to carefully approach this idea, and to avoid making rash decisions.

Consider the Importance of Receiving Your Parents’ Blessing

When you decide to get married, there’s something special about receiving your parents’ blessing. It can speak volumes about the future longevity and fulfillment of your relationship. And traditionally, having your parents’ blessing could contribute to peace between your and your extended families.

Of course, every situation is different. If you have not received a parent’s blessing for one reason or another, address the issue in pre-marriage counseling. Your counselor will be able to offer objective feedback on your particular situation.

Remember, Your Families Will Still Be There When You Get Back

Elopement isn’t an escape from your family; instead, it’s a short-term delay on drama that could actually backfire on you. Your families will still be there when you get home from your honeymoon. If you know that eloping will push their buttons, consider whether your problems might actually escalate later on.

Ultimately, you want to choose the path that will offer the two of you the most peace. Consider whether eloping will truly give you that. It’s possible that separating your wedding from your family is truly the best choice, but take your time before you decide.

Assess the Situation Objectively

Objectively speaking, how severe is your situation? Weigh your options and possible outcomes. Based on your experiences so far, what scenarios might bring you and your fiancé the most peace? The right answer might be elopement; on the other hand, you might decide that having a small wedding with your families could be a better alternative. It truly depends on your circumstances.

We recommend seeking wise counsel from a trusted pastor or counselor to help you decide on a path forward. Your marriage mentors might also be able to help you navigate the situation. When emotions run high, having experienced and caring mentors to help can give you valuable insights you might not have otherwise.

Own Your Decision

Whether you ultimately decide to elope or invite your families to a wedding ceremony, own your decision. Stick together as a couple. You will need to hold tightly to one another over the years, especially considering the family challenges.

There’s power in knowledge, and it’s good that you’re aware of the problems now so that you can plan to navigate them together. Our book, High-Maintenance Relationships, is especially for individuals who have challenging relationships in their lives. It could help the two of you work through family issues, both at the wedding and beyond. Pick up your copy here.

Are you thinking about eloping? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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