Post # 1
I have been engaged for 2 days now to a wonderful, wonderful man. The engagement was a surprise as we have only been together for 7 months. I am thrilled and secure with choosing him as my life partner however so the short timeline doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is the fact that I have not met his Mom and Stepdad or his Dad and Stepmom in person though we have talked on the phone and my future hubby has told them a lot about me… minus one big detail…
I have a genetic disorder that causes me to need to use full leg braces or a wheelchair. I am fine with the way that God made me, and so is my Fiance, but I am nervous that his parents will think that he is selling himself short by choosing to spend the rest of his life with someone who has a disability.
My Fiance has never told them about that part of me because he says that it doesn’t change the way he feels about me, and he doesn’t care if anyone else thinks that it should.
I’ve just never felt so self aware and uncomfortable about my body and what someone else thinks. I guess I am just looking for some advice, or maybe just some encouragement from you fellow brides to be.
Thanks so much for reading. I’m quite out of my ellement here.
Post # 3
Please, please Bee’s. I meet his mom and stepdad in two days. Should I tell them before, or just get there and go with the flow?
Post # 4
I do not believe it is your responsibility to share this information with your FI’s family. You are who you are, and there is no need for you to provide any disclaimers about yourself to them.
Your FI should evaluate whether or not he believes his family should know this information in advance, and he should act accordingly.
Best wishes on your engagement! I hope all goes very well with your family visit!
Post # 5
No, I probably wouldn’t say anything. Leave that up to your FI and he obviously doesn’t feel it is important. You’re the same person that he’s been telling them about!
However, I would prepare myself for stares/looks of shock, and potentially whispering or inappropriate questions. Your FIs family has had a picture of you in their head for the last several months, and I can just about guarantee it didn’t include a wheelchair. It doesn’t mean that they’re terrible people, it just means there will be an adjustment period.
Good luck–I hope the visit goes smoothly!
Post # 6
He loves you. Thats all that matters and should be all thatr matters to his family.
It’ll be okay.
Post # 7
If it eases your anxiety, I would just ask your fiance to let his parents know about your braces/wheelchair ahead of time. Otherwise the parents will be surprised and will probably ask right away if this is a recent injury or something else– they will have more conerns and questions vs. if they’re assured about it and told right off the bat. Plus, depending on how they react it could be awkward for everyone involved if they don’t know. However, once they know, they should have no reason not to be accepting of you!
Post # 8
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@alittledifferent: I would ask your fiance to tell them ahead of time. I’m sure he would be super supportive about it… “I never mentioned it before because it’s such an unimportant detail, like the color of her eyes… I love her exactly how she is…. etc”
But I do think this would be the best way to avoid any awkward surprise on their part, since I’m sure it’s not what they’re picturing.
Congrats on your engagement!
Post # 9
I personally (from personal experience) think it would be a good idea to say something to his parents beforehand so they don’t say anything inappropriate out of surprise.
My son-in-law has a physical disability – he walks with a very pronounced limp, can’t stand up completely straight and has unusual gait due to nerve damage in his hip from a very bad car accident. My daughter told me about it before I met him so it wasn’t a surprise.
I forgot to mention to a friend who invited them to dinner. Afterwards, my friend told me “you didn’t tell me he has a disability, I noticed him struggling on the stairs.” I told her what my daughter had said and that it doesn’t cause him any pain. I forgot to mention it again when he met my parents (her grandparents). My 87 year old dad asked “Is he lame?” (not the politically correct term) as he was worried he had just injured himself. I explained about the accident again and that his disability doesn’t cause any pain.
In both cases, I realized that I forgot to mention it because to me, it’s just a part of him, I understand how your fiancee feels and ultimately, it shouldn’t make a difference. However, it probably would have been better to mention it in advance, to avoid awkwardness.
Post # 10
Thank you guys so very much. I have known people throughout my life to be in general very accepting of my differences, and you all are helping show me that I should continue to maintain that belief regarding my future in-law’s.
I am not ashamed of who I am, and am happy to answer any questions that people ask, especially from children. I understand that there can be fear around my physical reality if I don’t explain it, not that I need to explain it to just anyone. This is my life, and I am entitled to some privacy about it, but my in-law’s will be family. I owe them the time to adjust their expectations of their son’s life and of me.
I think I will ask my wonderful fiance to give them a heads up and let them know that it’s fine to ask questions, but that I may choose not to answer.
On to the next problem: Wedding dress styles that work in a wheelchair! 🙂
Thanks again Bee’s
Post # 11
I understand your fiance’s POV but he should give his family a heads up so that they don’t spend the time they should be getting to know you wondering about your braces/chair. I really hope it goes well. I have a debilitating pain condition that has some affect on my fertility. It hurt a lot to know my FI’s family was counseling him against staying with me because in all the dreams they had for him they never included caring for a disabled partner. We found out that my fertility should be good, which has helped. Also, over time they have seen us together and realized how good we are together, and that while I bring challenges into his life, I am a net positive for him. they have gotten over their reservations and are very supportive of us.
I really hope everything goes well. If it doesn’t, it will hurt, but don’t get too down. They may come around, though it hurts that they have to.