His second engagement… how can I expect his family to react?

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 3
3698 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think you are overthinking this 🙂 

if someone offers to throw you a party, great!! Party!!!

if no one offers to throw a party, jump into planning. Lots of people don’t have engagement parties – we didn’t. 

Post # 4
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Considering that you aren’t engaged yet and you have no idea if anyone is going to even offer to throw you a party (no one threw me one or even mentioned it) I think you are worrying WAY too much.

I do understand where you are coming from with wondering how things will be different, as my husband was married befroe and part of me thought “I don’t see why people would want to come to yet another wedding, give you yet more gifts, etc”. But, his family and family friends love me, and know we are right for each other, and no one had any problems with showing us that love.

Regardless of that, still with the parties, etc… Don’t expect anything, and if you DO get offered something, just accept it. Don’t think so hard about it!

Post # 6
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@nessdawwg:  My DH is the same way. He probably asked the opinion of every family member he could think of before proposing! And he was hesitant to move in together because he was afraid of what they might think. 

In the end his family was totally supportive despite all of his fears and happy to welcome me to the family, and happy he found someone he loves so much after the heartbreak of a divorce. 

IMO his mom is being unfair by being snide, but im assuming inside she really just wants him to be happy. sometimes people get divorced, sometimes they get engaged and unengaged. You can only so the best you can in life, and if anything he and his family should be glad there was no actual wedding. They need to get over the engagement gift thing. Your SO has to ultimately do what is right for him! And his family will react how they react wether he proposes today or a year from now. He can’t do anything about them, he can only be confident in his decision, and know he is marrying the woman he wants to spend his life with!!

Post # 8
1535 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

You are still aloud to have an eparty, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money! FI’s parents had one for us in their backyard. We had a bbq type thing. It did cost some money because we provided food and drinks, but i don’t think you have to. Some friends brought food as well

We also never asked for gifts. Some people brought some, some people didn’t

Post # 9
1102 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@nessdawwg:  They will be thrilled … you dont plan the party your self so that will be up to whoever chooses to host it ... I am very sure no one will hold on you what she did... if you get gifts thats nice if not its really about celebrating your love take it one even at a time dont worry someone else plans that party if it happens 


just get engaged be happy don;t worry if yu dont have  a party lots of ppl dont if you do it will be fun … dont be hurt if you dont its jsut alot of planning and stuff so just have fun you will have bridial shower and stuff if you dont have that andthe wedidng will be epic andthen theywill all take you seriously so just enjoy it dont worr about reactions 

Post # 10
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

My FI was engaged before (I’ve been married twice before).  FILs never mention her.  I’ve met her once, she’s a really nice person, her and FI split up because there was a large age gap between them, and they wanted different things.  

I always feel a bond with her as she dislikes FILs even more than I do!  

I don’t have any family where I live, and a very distant relationship with the two members I am in contact with, both of whom live on the other side of the world.  I’m not a ‘family’ person – in my experience, the whole concept is vastly overrated.  I don’t see why anyone should put up with bad behavour from anyone, least of all from people they are related to.

Let your FI worry about his family and his previous engagement.  Don’t borrow trouble, as a wise friend of mine used to say.


Post # 11
1981 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I would try not to worry about it- it’s not worth the effort. Also, for what it’s worth, no one threw us an engagement party, and it wasn’t a big deal. If someone offers, then great! But if not, focus on planning the wedding (which will be expensive enough). Good luck op! A proposal in Europe in December sounds great!!

Post # 12
147 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I am the “second bride” and his family was not excited AT ALL. The first thing they said was “We are NOT paying, just so you know.” No congratulations or anything. His mom never really liked me all that much. She really clicked with the last wife, and her and I just don’t click at all, so I think that that is the source of a lot of the lack of excitement too.

You say that his family loves you though, so I don’t know how this might change things for you. However, I wouldn’t expect a party either way.

Just go into it expecting nothing. That way all you can be is pleasantly surprised, right?

Post # 13
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I think the fact you have been together 3years should matter.so you should be treated in the same way as his previous relationship.  My brother has had two fiancée In the last 12-18months I didnt get them a card or a gift as simply thought it was abit of a joke he only got engaged the first time after 4months of being together as he was on the rebound from his ex of 6years and my other brother got engaged to his long term gf now wife as they married.


My brother broke up with the girl as she was extremely immature and got with another girl to only get engaged a second time again this was because my other brother had got married and I had a baby. He tends to do things when other people are. He wanted the party but people didnt show up so they went for a meal.  I refused to get a gift on the basis he isnt with people long enough and it was abit of a joke. However given your situation they should be pleased and excited for you. Some relationship s dont work out but the fact youve been together so long should say something. Xx

Post # 14
1248 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I will be my FI’s second wife and his family reacted with heaps of happiness when we got engaged. His mum had been bugging us to get engaged before the ink dried on his divorce paper! They offered to contribute to the wedding budget but we declined for a number of reasons – FI didn’t want them to put money into a wedding of his again as he felt bad that they did the first time and the marriage obviously ended, we have more savings than them and better incomes and this way we can do it exactly how we want.  

Here (Australia) couples throw their own engagement parties if they want one, you don’t have to have one thrown for you so that wouldn’t be an issue here. We didn’t want one though so was irrelevant to us.

Post # 15
28 posts
  • Wedding: April 2014

I know how you feel with the hole ‘i wish they hadn’t split up’ thing my FI is divorced and my FILs prefer her over me. But at the end of the day he split up with her and wants to be with you. However They are bound to be more critical of any future relationship after such a serious one fails I remember how my family were (as someone who has had an unsuccessful engagement in the past) the first time my Dad met my FI he was super harsh but only because he loves me and doesn’t want to see me get hurt again. Plus why do you have to have an engagement party thrown for you why can’t you throw one yourself????

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