Post # 1
I just got engaged on Sunday. I am 36, Fiance is 50 (both of us are long in the tooth I know). This is the first marriage for both of us, and there are no children between us. We don’t yet have a date set.
My parents don’t know yet and I am planning to take my Fiance there this weekend and tell them in person. The thing is, I am afraid it will go over like a fart in church. Here’s why: Fiance has been unemployed since last July. I am not happy about that, but it’s a fact of life these days and it’s no reason not to get engaged. But I have a feeling my dad is going to be upset about the engagement. Because I own property and Fiance doesn’t, I think my dad thinks that he is going to take advantage of me. But Fiance has much more money than I do.
The second issue is, my parents are very religious Catholics and I do not plan to get married in the church. My Fiance is Jewish, but that’s not the reason I am not getting married in the church. The reason is I just don’t want to. I think I want to elope on the beach and not have a religious ceremony.
I’m afraid of all of these questions/issues coming up and it being a contentious conversation, but I will have to face that.
I guess I am wondering if I should just tell them on the phone beforehand, but I thought it would be better in person and with my Fiance to give the news?
If anyone has any advice or comments they would be most appreciated.
Post # 3
What a tough situation! I would think that your parents would respect the maturity of coming and talking to them in person about and would probably be more upset that you didn’t think you could talk to them in person about it. While they make not have the most positive reaction to start with, hopefully over time they will see how happy you are and will also be happy for you!
Post # 4
I wouldn’t bring up the church thing right away. Just tell them about the engagement and worry about the plan later. If they give you a hard time, just say “Thanks for your concern.” and leave it at that. Congratulations to both of you!
Post # 5
@Beckster329: This is a good response.
OP, I agree with sticking to just the engagement news for the moment. Pick one battle at a time. If you’re asked about wedding details, say you haven’t gotten quite that far yet, you want to explore the many options available first.
As for your parents and the overall reaction to your Fiance, well, that’s a little tougher. You’re both adults, so you should be able to be frank with him about your concerns in how your parents will initially react. Maybe see what he thinks about initially breaking the news on the phone in advance since it will be him that has to face an attack in person. On one hand, he could be very bothered by what they will likely say and he may want to get it out of the way beforehand so he doesn’t react emotionally to their complaints. On the other, he may be insistent about being by your side and defending your decisions as a couple to your parents.
Post # 6
Thanks both of you!
I just called my 81-year-old father (who sounded as mean and crusty as ever) and made an appointment to go down there with Fiance on Monday. He said, “Mimi, we’re old and sick and there’s nothing to eat in the house.”
I told him we will order Chinese food.
@Beckster329: I agree about not telling about the church thing. I just hope my mother doesn’t bring it up. If she does I am just going to say, I will think about it, or something like that. I think for my dad, the bigger issue is the unemployment. I don’t think he is completely in the wrong to feel that way, but I just don’t want him to be mean to Fiance.
Post # 7
Thank you. This is very sage advice I think. Since the engagement just happened on Sunday and that was the last time I saw Fiance, I didn’t want to say anything about my parents because I didn’t want any potential rain on the parade. But yes, I will tell my Fiance these concerns. In the past I did tell him that my father wasn’t thrilled about his unemployment and he said he wanted to go there in person and talk to my father. But I told him it was premature because he was just a boyfriend at that point and I wanted to have a ring on my finger before he went to talk to him about that.
Post # 8
I know that my Future Father-In-Law looks down on me because I’m not working at the moment. I’m in remission from cancer and had additional health problems last year, so it’s coming up to 12 months since I last worked. Future Father-In-Law even had the nerve to tell Fiance that my health issues were just an ‘excuse’… It’s not made me feel well disposed towards him, that’s for sure…and I couldn’t help thinking ‘ha’ when I heard Future Father-In-Law will be joining the ranks of the unemployed this month…
If your father does raise it, point out to him what you’ve said here: that many good people are unemployed right now, that your Fiance has his own money, and that you are old enough to know what you are doing…and that the decision not to get married in church is yours.
Good luck, and congratulations on your engagement!
Post # 9
Thank you so much. I’m sorry about your FFIL–that is exactly what I don’t want my dad to be to my Fiance.
I hope your health continues to improve and that all works out for you. Much love! xo
Post # 10
Just wanted to let you know how this turned out. Went home with Fiance on Monday and gave the parents the news. It went very welll! I was prepared for the worst but got as close to the best as I could hope for. Fiance shook my dad’s hand. Dad smiled and told us, “Lots of luck.”
Mom was nice to Fiance too and they didn’t ask any questions.
Loved this! Thank you to everyone. The advice was VERY helpful!