(Closed) 1.5 yr engagement (our way) vs. 2.5 yr engagement (parents’ way)

posted 11 years ago in Emotional
Post # 17
3124 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

It sounds like for some reason, they’re really holding on to your Fiance and wanting to exert the last bit of “control” over him before you are married.  Once you are married, he’s not going to need to defer to them for things – it’ll be between the two of you (not that it isn’t like that already, but in the mom’s eyes that’s probably how she sees it).

It’s not easy to get married (or do anything, really!) while you are in the middle of med school, but will it be better for him to get married right afterwards?  When all of his schooling is wrapping up? that’s the busiest time.  Just go with your gut and scale the wedding to what you can afford, that way no one can bully you into things that don’t feel right for you as a couple.

Post # 18
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I say go for what you want. My Future Mother-In-Law wanted us to wait until 2014 at first, then she lowered down to 2013 and finally she said she’s ok with 2011 but would prefer 2012. This is after I pointed out to her, in a joking tone, that Fiance and I are already older then she and Future Father-In-Law were when they got married. I think that helped her put it into perspective. She was pushing for 2014 for the same reason, she wanted us to both finish school. But, both Fiance and I pointed out that we may never know for sure when that would be (I’m going into Nursing and the waiting list is LONG like, they’re putting people on the waiting list for 2012 and it’s only 2010) and that we weren’t really comfortable with being engaged for longer then we were dating and Fiance told her that he feels ready and not rushed. Maybe your Fiance could talk to his mom about this and help put some of their fears to rest.

Post # 19
428 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009 - Church Ceremony/Reception at The Waterford House

I think this is more about a control issue too.  Is this the first time they’ve acted this way toward their son or you?  Are they paying for his medical school?  How long has he been in med school- did he just start?  I can understand a parent to be worried about focusing on school, but by the time people enter graduate school they are usually ADULTS.  I would just worry that if you don’t voice your opinion now and find the root of the issue, it may lead to more/bigger issues & problems later. 


Post # 20
531 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

No way, do it the way you guys want. His parents sound ridiculous and controlling, their actions are appalling, it’s like bribery on the not helping out financially or putting forth their time…….disgusting really. If you give in now think of what your future will be like with them around, always expecting to have the upper hand and for you guys to bow down. Fiance will graduate med school and you guys will be married on your time frame and you can show them how wrong they were, you are not little kids.

Post # 21
10216 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2010

ditto the control and well i think it’s your wedding your way.  he’s  a grown man you’re a grown woman.  perhaps marriage ended everything for them?  my mom was fairly upset when i was pregnant with my son at 20 even though i didn’t live with her was on my own etc. but for her i guess parenthood ended everything as well as marriage, there was no more school, etc.  i graduated college on time etc, so she know trusts my decisions. i think they are just afraid for him to lose everything he has worked so hard for AND they have probably bragged so much about.  ((HUGS)) i can sort of see me as being this type of parent unfortunately lol!! i drilled in my son’s head, graduate high school go to college and/or join the peace corps, at 26 travel the world, at 30 marry, at 35 have children.  So this is also not in “their” plans.

Post # 23
3761 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I think if you and your Fiance are both adults (meaning you do not rely on parents for financial support) then you should be able to have the wedding as you planned.  I agree that a 2.5 year engagement isn’t the worst thing in the world and it may be worth it so that you save the peace with your FIL’s.  However, it is about the marriage. 

Can you maybe talk to them about how you really support Fiance in med school and would really support him to finish.  Make sure they know that is totally part of the plan. 

I am half way through a year engagement.  The last 6 months I was finishing up grad school and bought a house.  I did not get any wedding planning done at all and it was really stressful.  Now in these last 6 months, thankfully I have more time to focus on the wedding, but I still feel rushed. 

Post # 24
27 posts
  • Wedding: May 2010

Aubergold – First of all, congratulations on your engagement!!  About your issues, please allow me to offer a different perspective.  My cousin and his fiance are in pretty much exactly the same boat: He is in his last year of med school.  He and his now-FI have been together for about 8 years now; they got engaged to in between his third and fourth year.  His parents suggested that he work for at least 2 years after that before actually getting married (which would make their engagement over 3 years).  He and his fiance concluded themselves that, rather than get married while he is still in med school or right after he graduates, it makes sense to do it after he finishes his intern year.  They decided this for a number of reasons, and of course everyone and their situations differ, so what is right for them may not be for you.  They decided this because:

(1) His parents have a set idea of when it is “appropriate to get married”.  The thing to note is that they aren’t doing it maliciously – they just think that he has been a student all his life and has never worked, and they feel that he should go out into the world and hold down a job for some time (basically, be a REAL adult with REAL responsibilities) before getting married.  Although he thinks he is mature enough, he also secretly agrees with them that he should be fully ready to take responsibility for not just himself but his wife and their future children before getting married. 

(2) He realizes that his intern year will be one of the most difficult times he will ever have.  He will be working a LOT (80 hours will be a “good” week!!), and will be exhausted when he is not working.  This isn’t a great way to start your married life.  You don’t want to leave your new wife at home alone all the time, and then be too distracted or exhausted to be much company when you are around.  They will be working really odd hours, too.  Can you imagine him wanting to be nice and considerate and sleeping on the couch in order not to wake you at 3 a.m.?  Can you imagine wanting to do the wife thing and make a beautiful dinner for him, but then having it grow cold while you wait until you fall asleep for him to come back?   

(3) Money.  First year interns earn NOTHING.  If your Fiance is like most of the other med students I know, he will basically be able to support only himself (and all his student loans!) during the four years of residency.  The first year will be toughest as he gets used to the very, very small budget (maybe even smaller than his student budget).  Call him old-fashioned, but my cousin doesn’t want to not be able to support his wife/family.  He wants a year for things to settle down, and the next year, they will be in a better position to talk about how they are going to live, what their expectations are regarding their standard of living, etc.

Again, what is right for them may not be for you, and I don’t know the whole story of your FI’s parents’ issues, but I wouldn’t disregard their suggestions immediately.  I know you’re insanely excited about getting married (yaaay!) and it may be hard to hear what you think are naysayers raining on your parade, but I encourage you to talk with your Fiance and think about it a little.  If it makes sense for you guys to wait a bit, it’s not the biggest deal in the world.  1.5 years vs. 2.5 years?  That year will go by in a flash!  : )

Post # 26
1066 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

This is really a tough call. Initially, I might agree with his parents that it would be good to finish school first, but if you guys are financially able and independent, then I don’t see the issue with getting married while he’s still finishing up school. Especially since his parents aren’t paying for his school, it’s not really up to them to decide when you should be married based on his schooling. I don’t think a long engagement is a bad thing, it will give you guys more time to plan and save, but I wouldn’t want to do it based on his parents pushing you guys around, because then where will it stop? Perhaps you can move in together first then like you said, but his parents will probably be really against that too I think. I dont think a wedding will interfere with his school because most girls like to do a huge majority of the planning themselves. It’s so hard because you want to keep the peace, I’d try to talk to them more with your Fiance and if they’re being REASONABLE, then maybe work with them. If you think they’re being completely unreasonable, then you have to make a choice. I think they would get over it.

Post # 27
1288 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union

My fiance’s parents said he shouldn’t get married until he was 30. Some people just have arbitrary numbers in their heads because they frankly can’t deal with the loss of their kid. My fiance is also the firstborn son and I can definitely tell it grates his mother that she is no longer then #1 female in his life.

Do what feels right for you as a couple. We’ll have a two year engagement by the time we’re married, but it was mostly for financial reasons. If you did actually do things on their timeline, I guarantee they’d say it was never the right time.

Post # 28
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2010



As many others have said, I feel that they’re simply holding on to the last string of control they have over him. You should set your wedding date according to your comfort level, not theirs. It seems to me as if you two haven’t set any clear boundaries with your Future In-Laws.

Do you honestly (not trying to be rude), believe that they’ll be happy with you two moving in during 2011 and getting married in 2012? They’ll most likely find an issue with that as well. My advice is to talk to your fiance and set a date according to your comfort level. Don’t feel as if you’re “starting off on the wrong foot” by doing so. If anythig, they’re the ones that are setting the bad grounds for your welcome into the family by being overly controlling.


Do yourself a favor and set those boundaries soon. If not, it’ll spill into the rest of your lives. Otherwise, if you want to move to another state, buy a house or have a baby, they’ll have an overwhelming “opinion” to share.

Post # 30
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Oh no!  I’m so sorry that they reacted so badly!  As many others have already said, I’m sure that this issue wouldn’t go away if you waited another year: it’s about the control, not about the wedding.  Do his parents live near you, or is this all happening over the phone?  It may be time to visit them when you both have a chance and to talk it over.  I hope when they see how upset it’s making you, they’ll grow up.  Good luck!

Post # 31
1092 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’m so sorry this is happening!  I myself am in a similar situation.  I am in med school and we want to get married in June 2011 (will be graduating May 2012), but my parents want us to wait.  They aren’t happy about the fact that we want to get married before I graduate as well, because they feel like it is only “appropriate” to graduate first and complete that part of my life before getting married.  My dad is open to considering it, but my mom even went as far as to tell me that I “continue to surprise her not in a good way” (the other issue is that I moved in with my Fiance a year ago… Which she also wasn’t happy about).  They currently help a little bit with room and board so I don’t have to take out as many loans, but they’re considering cutting me off financially if we get married before I graduate.  It’s a tough situation.  At any rate, I don’t have any answers right now and am still trying to figure it out.  I wish I could help and give you answers, but I just wanted to let you know that I am a similar boat trying to work things out!!  Good luck and I wish you both all the best!!

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