Post # 1
I was just reading the thread about whether you waited b/c society said it is too soon and it got me wondering….
Is there anything that your parents could have said that would have convinced you to wait?
My 19 year old future step-daughter got engaged shortly after her 19th birthday after dating her FI for only a short time (how long is unclear since she didn’t disclose the relationship until 2 weeks before telling about the engagement). A few weeks later she informed her father that she was going to get married the following month. He convinced [read: bribed her] to wait.
While we understand her “why wait?” mentality, we’d just like to see her wait as long as possible. We’ll support her and love her regardless of her decision.
Post # 3
I think telling her you’ll support her and love her regardless is important. The next would be asking her not “why wait?” but “what’s the rush?”. It’s just a fact that marriages of people that young are sometimes on shakey foundation. Does it mean ALL marriages that start that young are shakey? No. Plenty of 30 year olds make bad choices too. BUT, if this is true love and they are committed to each other for life, why not grow a bit more together and wait until they are more established as adults and not high schoolers. If she’s worried she’s going to lose him or that this window of opportunity is passing her by those are huge red flags. When it’s right, it can wait a few years. There isn’t any rush for matrue adults.
Post # 4
I almost got married at that same age. To say that my life would have turned out differently is the understatement of the century.
However, there is NOTHING my parents could have said. At that point I had already been on my own for over 2 years and was close to being done with my degree. Anything my parents said about my age just pissed me off.
I obviously ended up going a different direction with my life, and although I matured and grew up at a very young age, I look back and laugh at myself.
Post # 5
My cousin got married at 20 to a guy who was 36. He couldn’t hold down a job and generally it was just clear that this was not who she should marry. But she did…and 7 years later when they got divorced she asked her mom why she didn’t stop her. The truth – she wasn’t going to listen anyways. I doubt your daughter will either…
The most anyone could do was support her and be there when things did ultimately unravel. all that said, she met and married a wonderful man and has 2 kids and a lovely family now 🙂
Post # 6
Money? honestly – when people are that young they’re just going to go for it. Just keep asking friendly questions – ones that make her think beyond what she’d previously considered. Not persuasive, but just honest and have her hear her own answers. Either she’ll be more committed to marrying, or think longer and harder about her decision.
Post # 7
My mother had me promise a long time ago to not get married until I graduated college. I have no problem with this and out of respect for her and myself I am sticking to this promise. I want to be able to support myself without the help of my husband.
However, this does not mean I necessarily have to wait before I get engaged.
Post # 8
My parents and his both wanted us to promise that we wouldn’t get married until after we graduated like accorn. I respect them and I wanted to support myself without my parents helping me before I got married.
Post # 9
Ah, yes my parents could have convinced me to wait some reasonable amount of time like 6 months or maybe even a year but my parents always knew when my relationships started so that’s kind of a flag for me that you don’t know. If she won’t talk to you about her relationship I doubt she’ll take your advice on it. Whether on not parents can do x depends on the relationship and it doesn’t sound like your relationship is one that will let you convince her to wait.
But tips in any case I think phrasing it as wanting her to wait “as long as possible” is a Big No that sounds like you’re never going to be happy about her getting married so why should she exert herself for that goal? If you say, “six months” that’s a reasonable time line you can give persuasive arguments for and that’s a time line she can envision in her head as coming to an end so I think it would be much more effective.
Post # 10
I did ask the question “why wait?” in the other thread. But in that case, the couple were two adults who had lived enough to know who they are and are able to support themselves as individuals and as a couple.
I think that knowing who you are and being able to take care of yourself, and then others, are definitely pre-requisites to getting engaged…
I also think you should be very careful when talking to her because a young lady in love will defend her boyfriend no matter what others say. I second the suggestion to ask questions, to discuss with her, so that SHE comes to the realization that her relationship could be built more before making that kind of commitment.
Post # 11
My parents were of the opposite notion (since FI & I have been together for 12 years!), they were holding themselves back from asking “What’s the hold-up?”. But I’m going to second @Lydia123109: sit her down or, if she feels threatened, them both down & ask VERY CONVERSATIONALLY “what’s the rush?”…not in an accusatory tone, but rather with the intro that, if you understood their reasons, you’d support them more fully (emotionally as well as financially?) & it would save them a lot of passive-aggressive behavior from you both. Listening to their answers without arguing against the answers might get them to hear their own answers. Let them know that you might ask this a few times or deepen your inquiry until you fully understand it. Remind them that asking these questions doesn’t mean you love her less or don’t trust them, but are trying to untie the apron strings & see them as full adults making their own decisions, which is more likely to happen if they act like adults & explain themselves.
That’d be the nice way to go about it. The nasty way is to hold a financial carrot or boulder over their heads…Carrot = incentive to wait (as in you’ll contribute more to the wedding/house fund – and follow through); Boulder = threaten to not contribute until you understand why/daughter is X years old. This method has issues of its own & could result in a huge fissure in your/your husband’s relationship with your step-daughter. If she’s not stubborn or rebellious, you’ll get the time you want, but at what price?
Post # 12
I think it depends on what kind of person she is and the relationship you have. Some people are never going to wait. I think you are least likely to have an effect on her if you come across as an enemy, so I would just be careful about how you phrase your questions.
Some questions I would ask:
1) What are your career plans? His? Where are you going to settle down, and what if one of you gets a job somewhere else?
2) Are you going to share money? What if one person makes a lot more than the other?
3) Plans for kids and how to raise them, plans for pets, etc
4) How are they going to split the holidays between two families?
5) How does he/she feel about limits in the relationship, like strip clubs, friends of the opposite gender, etc
Basically all the hard questions that couples have to ask each other before getting married. This way, maybe she’ll realize that they haven’t discussed all of these topics yet and think seriously about the relationship. If you phrase it more like you’re curious (“so, what are your plans about ___?”) vs. accusatory (“Have you even thought about what to do about _____?”), I think she may listen.
Post # 13
If she isn’t supporting herself, her father should inform her that he will no longer be paying for anything in her life once she gets married. If she thinks she is old enough to be married, she is old enough to support herself. He should no longer help her with ANY bills, rent, car insurance, cell phone. Nothing. My guess would be that her fiance isn’t ready to financially support himself either let alone another person. That should give them something to think about.
Post # 14
My parents were divorced when I was 6. My mom got married at 19 and seriously missed out on so much. She had me at 23 and my sister at 25. Just seeing all the hard work that she did trying to go to school (she was in pharmacy school and is a licensed pharmacist) and raise 2 kids, it made me not want to go down that road.
She always told me to just wait… I am so happy that I did. I am 28 now and I will be 29 a month after our wedding.
I would hope that my children would wait. I understand your pain especially with this “mystery guy”
Post # 15
I am wondering why she never let anyone know she was in this relationship if it was so important to her that she gets engaged with this guy?
If he’s going to become a part of the family, it would only be fair for the family to get to know him…
I second the poster who said that once married, she’s on her own.
My parents always told me, that when I’m mature enough to leave home, I will not be welcome to go back to live with them – they said that in the most loving way, and of course would not have left me on the street, if I was in THAT much trouble. But the message was clear, and did not feel like a threat. I was to wait until I was absolutely sure that I could have a good life without them supporting me before I leave home. It showed me exactly how serious it is.
Post # 16
I think it depends on what type of relationship beforehand they’ve had. If they’ve never talked about relationships too much it’s still worth trying but there’s more likely to be resistance. But I think that’s the best way to go. Or have family or someone who he can point her to who she trusts.
The other thing would be $$, at that age I could support myself but it wouldn’t have been a great life, and I knew, marriage (not that I ever wanted to get married then) would = no help with college.
Other than that, unless her friends also think it’s a bad idea and you can get them to talk to her. I’d just be very careful for her not to feel cornered or abandoned.