(Closed) How do I tell my parents I'm engaged?

posted 7 years ago in Family
Post # 18
2137 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

mightywombat  Well im a grown woman and i think its a beautiful tradition and its not getting their consent its taking them into consideration and letting them know you thought of them you are going to marry their daughter, to me its just moral.

Post # 19
2920 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 1996

I agree with the idea of calling them excitedly, keeping the conversation VERY SHORT, and expecting their reaction to be less than thrilled so you won’t be too disappointed. If it were me, I would then send them a card or note or email, reiterating how happy and excited you are, how firmly you know that Fiance is the right man for you, and stressing that it’s very important to you that they are pleased for you and that they support your relationship. That way, when you go to see them with Fiance to show off your ring (assuming you have one!), you have set the stage for them to behave in appropriate ways and they’ve had time to get used to the idea. If they are unable to do that, I would consider it a pretty clear response, and I’d try to accept it and focus your attention on people who are happy for you.

Post # 20
4192 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

It sounds like your parents are in the “it’s better to ask for forgiveness than for approval” category. (Not that there is anything with the impending engagement you need to ask forgiveness for…I mean that they have a track record of not supporting your decisions. At first I thought- maybe you should drop hints about the engagement, but that might backfire on you)

I agree with Jijitattootell them with a brief, excited phone call, then you can follow up with a joint visit later to celebrate. It doesn’t sound like your Boyfriend or Best Friend would get your father’s blessing, so why put him through that? 

Post # 21
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Missus_LLC:  there is no requirement to ASK parents. My parents certainly never expected that and will not “give me away” at my wedding either. Two grown adults with two witnesses can marry. Involving family is a very good gesture, which is great if they’re nice back. But I see her family as one that just has a picture set out for her and that’s not fair. I do not think that if, say he were to ask her dad, and dad said no, then the two of them shouldnt do it. We enter relationships for us, not for our parents. It’s her that has to live with it all her life so it’s her choice that’s important

@1stRosie:  Its such a shame. If you believe asking is appropriate, do it. But by all means do not let a no from your dad be what stops you.  Your choice is your choice and if they FORMALLY refuse to be a part of it, you know where you stand

Post # 22
811 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

If they’re that unsupportive about everything you do, I’d avoid it altogether and just change my Facebook status.Maybe then, they’ll get the hint.

Post # 23
2334 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I don’t think you should tell them you’re engaged until you actually have a ring on your finger- it seems like your parents need some sort of finality to your decisions (like not accepting your job situation until you were permanent).

When my SO and I started looking at rings, I told my mom that we were “talking about future stuff” one day in the car.  It was super awkward, but I think it sort of prepared her.  When he proposed, my parents were the first ones I called.  Now, my parents love my Fiance so its very different than your situation, but I think the heads-up talk, followed by official engagement annoucement, might work well for you, too.

Post # 24
2866 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@mightywombat:  I hate that tradition too

Post # 25
478 posts
Helper bee

Well, you’re not actually engaged yet.  And maybe this works in your favor.  Rather than technically asking their approval, you and your Fiance can discuss with them that you are planning to get married.  It makes it seem less sneaky (I know it’s not sneaky, but they might see it as such if you spring it on them post-fact), more out in the open.  As an adult, you needn’t be shy, afraid, or avoidant of this topic with them.

Post # 26
218 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’m so glad you started a thread on this, since I had a similar problem!  I was TERRIFIED to tell my parents.  I’m not very close with them, and they didn’t know I was seeing anyone.  I literally had no idea how they would react.  I actually also thought my friends would disapprove, since they already had voiced concern about how fast we were moving and about it being too soon… of course all of them took 7 years to get married, so nothing I do would be slow enough for them!

Anyway, I bring this up since I honestly was pleasantly surprised at the reactions of every single person, even the people I thought would be unsupportive.  When you just talk about marrying someone, that is very different than having a ring on your finger. Once that happens, I think most people give up on trying to talk you out of it, and they start trying to figure out how they can make it work and not estrange themselves from you and your new fiance.  You can’t really judge how your parents will react based on their past reactions, since being engaged is very different than just dating someone. They might surprise you.

I would just call them up whenever you’re comfortable.  tell them on your own, just in case they have a bad reaction, and then they’ll have time to get used to the idea before you come over with your fiance along.  That’s what I did.  My parents didn’t have the best reaction ever, but they did come around once the shock wore off!!!  If mine managed to be supportive, anyone’s can!  Good luck!!!!

Post # 27
661 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Hi all! I faced this exact problem a few weeks ago. This is the thread on it:


And it has the same themes. Big age difference, boyfriend is Jewish and I am Catholic, and also add his unemployment into the mix!

@1stRosie:  Just use your judgment. If you want to call them first then call them. Personally I think any communication is better in person. For me it worked best announcing it to them in person together once we were engaged and I had the piece of ice on my finger to show my mom. They took it MUCH better than I thought they would.

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