Post # 1
So here is the story (kind of long…sorry)…my boyfriend and I have been dating for 1.5 years but we have known eachother for about 6 years. On Christmas Eve he proposed and I accepted! His family was so excited to hear the news. My parents on the other hand couldnt even say congratulations to us when we told them.
Here is a little background on the whole thing….I graduated from undergrad this past year and am away at medical school right now. My fiance moved down with me a couple of weeks ago. My family being the strong christians that they are didnt agree with us living together even though we each have our own rooms but we made this decision anyways. It was the only financially realistic thing to do. My fiance will be starting classes here at a college and also has a job lined up. My parents say they like him but they think it is too soon in my medical education to get be getting married. They originally said that they wanted us to wait until I was half way done with my first year in med school until we got engaged. I am half way done now. However, now they say they wanted us to wait 6 more months until my first year was completley done. I dont understand what 6 months would have changed. My fiance and I are so in love and have been talking about marriage for about 8 months. We are planning on having a kind of long engagement…anywhere from 1.5-2.5 years. Since I have a very busy school schedule we have to choose the date carefully and I want plenty of time to make the wedding plans…especially since I want the wedding to be back in our home town but we live a couple states away.
I left early from break to come back to school because my parents just dont want anything to do with my engagement. They will ask if I told so and so yet and I will say yes and they will just shake their head like they are disappointed that I am spreading the news. This is suppose to be a happy time for us but my family is turning it into one of the worst times of my life. My family has always been close but this is tearing us apart and I really didnt think it would have. My younger brother is happy and excited for us….everyone else besides my parents and my grandmother (but thats a different story) is happy for us.
My mom has not returned any of my phone calls since I left a few days ago. I dont know what to do. Should I just give them time to come to terms with our engagement or should I take a more active approach to the situation? Any advice would be great! Thanks 🙂
Post # 3
First, I want to say how sorry I am that your family isn’t happy for you. It’s a wonderful thing, deciding to marry the person that you love, and it’s something to be happy about. And of course you hope that the other people you love are happy for you.
Obviously your parents are worried that this decision might somehow derail your career decisions or affect your ability to do well. Not that their concerns are necessarily valid – while being married is certainly work, and takes time and energy away from other things, being married to the right person can be a huge help and support. I have two friends who are doctors, and they were both married during medical school, and it worked out very well for them.
Are your parents helping to support you financially – paying for part of medical school, or helping with your living expenses? Are you expecting them to help pay for the wedding? If so, then they have a signficant say in what you do, and that probably affects how you can respond. It would be nice if financial support came with no strings attached. But the decision to get married is a clear announcement that you now consider yourself an adult, and the decision to get married against your parents’ wishes is even more so. Going ahead with this may mean that you need to decide that you can do it without financial help from your family. If you want to try to go ahead with this and still have them help out, you definately need to try to let things settle down, take some time to demonstrate that your education goes ahead as planned.
If you’re financially independent, then you can really do what you want. That doesn’t mean that you need to (or should) start some kind of campaign to make your parents accept your decision. I think it just means that you tell them you’re sorry they don’t approve, but you’ve made your decision, and you hope that in time they will come to accept it and even be happy for you. And then I think you quietly go ahead with your life. With any luck, by the time the two of you make your vows to each other, your family will come around enough to be supportive. But behaving like an adult, someone who would like their approval but doesn’t need their permission, is often the best way to deal with parents who try to be a little (or a lot) too controlling. Once they recognize that you are an adult, maybe they will be able to treat you like one.
Post # 4
First off, congratulations! You must be so excited… and it must be really hard to have your family putting a damper on it.
Second off, let me say without hesitation that medical school is a hard road. I’ve been there. Many of my friends got engaged during medical school… most of them worked out, some of them didn’t. There is no good time to get married during medical education, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Just be aware that it is a high risk time. Two of my friends that were married during medical school are already divorced, but that’s two out of 100’s of medical students. I was definitely jealous of my friends who were married during residency! The support they had was awesome, and life would have been so much better with someone to share it with!
Having said that, I too got engaged in my first year of medical school. It didn’t work out, fortunately or unfortunately. For me, medical school was a time of drastic change and growth, and I ultimately went in a very different direction than the person I was with at the time. My family could see this and really weren’t supportive of the engagement. I didn’t see their concerns clearly at the time, but luckily I figured things out on my own! Your parents may be scared that you are in the same mode that I was or something else might be bothering them. Their concerns may be realistic or off-base. It’s hard to know without communicating with them.
It sounds like you are making an attempt to talk to them about this, which is good. I think it is really important to listen to and understand their concerns, and then decide for yourself whether they are founded or not. You can also determine from their responses the best ways to approach them in bringing them on-board with the planning and in supporting you.
If you have any other questions or need more info, feel free to PM me. I’ve definitely been there and done that, and now I’m thrilled to be getting married in July!
Post # 5
Like the other have said…
CONGRATULATIONS!!! YIPPEE!!! YEE-HAW!!! HOT-DOG!!! HOW EXCITING!!! OH MY GOODNESS!!! HOW WONDERFUL!!!
I am so happy for you and I don’t know you!!
I am also feeling a bit of your pain and saddness as I know that my family will totally "shun" me like the red-headed-step-child when my man finally pops the question!! I’m always shocked when other families do this, espically since you have been dating for a while and are planning for a long engagement!!
I know, as doctorgirl stated above, that this will be a very trying and growing time for you and I’m sure him as well, but let’s pray and hope and think positive thoughts that it will be a time of growing together!!
I don’t have an advice because I come from crazy people and 6 months from now or 600 years from now they would NOT be happy about an engagement.
Just focus on keeping things open on your end and not shutting her out. Maybe drop her notes in the mail that are just things that say hi and how are you and updating her on how you are and don’t say anything about the engagement. Don’t push her away because then it will just not be fun when you try to get back together, which I just know will happen!
Give her room and let her come to her own terms with everything and be there with open arms and a loving heart when she comes around to the fact that her baby is all growed up and is a doctor and getting married and (shhhh don’t tell the neighbors) living with her boyfriend!!
-I know you mentioned parents but I always focus on Mom cause that is what I have – I’m sure your dad will come around once your mom has.
The BEST of luck to you and be as OCD about this site as I am because it really makes your day so much the better!!
Post # 6
some of my family members did not approve of my fiance (now husband!) and were less than thrilled when we got engaged. it was difficult but here are some tips that will hopefully get you through it:
– find your allies. the family members who did support us stood by us and defended us and talked to the disapproving family members on our behalf. while stubborn people will remain stubborn, it helps to have the emotional support of those who do care and love you and support you. keep them close to you during the wedding planning process, they are the ones that will lend you their shoulders to cry on, shoo away the naysayers when they are stressing you out, and give you good advice about how to handle them.
– always present yourselves as a united front. as soon as they find a potential conflict, disagreement, or misunderstanding between you two, they will exploit it and use it against you to say "see, this is why you’re not ready to get married. you can’t even agree on such a simple thing!"
– try to be as calm and rational as possible when having discussions with them. i know this one is really hard and i broke this rule many times. but it helped when i was talking to them as a mature adult, telling them this is our decision, it should come as no surprise since we have been together for many years, and even if they do not support us, we will get married. this fact will not change.
once i got over the emotional anguish of it all and started making wedding plans and not involving them in the decisions, they panicked, tried to make more trouble, got rebuffed, and then finally accepted that the wedding was happening. and then of course they decided that they had all sorts of opinions on where and when and how the wedding should be held, which was another pain in itself but at least they had finally reached acceptance! this is certainly not an easy process but just remember that you are going to marry the person you love most in this world and start your life, future, and family together. congratulations and good luck!!
Post # 7
What about sending her an email? Express to her how you feel, and ask if you can please talk it out. Your right, it should be a happy time and it would be better to figure out how everyone is feeling and communicate now instead of letting it go.
Good luck and hang in there.
Post # 8
Congratulations on your engagement! You must be so thrilled!
I had a couple of thoughts I wanted to share, for whatever they are worth. First, in my experience, time heals many wounds. Somewhere in your parents’ hearts and minds they must be excited for you–you recently started a very significant and impressive phase of your education and you’re getting married! So maybe in a week or even a few weeks, you mom will come around and call you back. And don’t stop trying! Sometimes our parents act like the kids and we have to be the grownups… so be grownup now and keep reaching out and being reasonable, and perhaps they will soon realize how mature and ready for marriage you really are.
I was also wondering why it is that your parents wanted you to wait to get engaged… do they think you should have dated longer? Do they think perhaps you’ll mature and "outgrow" your fiance while you’re in med school and perhaps wish you would have waited? There could be a hundred reasons for them to want you to wait, and maybe getting to the root of it will help you and your parents to get on the same page.
The last thought… I know this is not true for everyone, but there has never been a single piece of advice my mom has given me that I was upset that I listened to or that I regret not following–it’s always been helpful and led me (or would have led me) in the right direction. Do you think maybe your parents’ reaction is a red flag (or maybe even just a yellow flag) that you should pause to consider?
Post # 9
Well as far as your parents go they just want the best for you. In there eyes the best for you is your education and to do better than they have is it right No but understand that they see you as little angie not grown up make here own descion angie. Again is it right No! At one time they had people problaly saying the samething. Just remember wether you get married now or later you are still with the man you love they can never take that away. So many people worry about being married they never enjoy the ride and enjoy each other. Don’t let anyone parents friends or anyone take yor joy away. When it comes down to it your husband is going to be your new family. Think about holiday, birthdays any special occasion most of the time you will role over first person you’ll see is him.
Just tell them you love and keep it moving you should never feel sorry for the way you feel. They are the one with the problem they’ll get over it it just takes time.
Post # 10
Thanks Everyone for the advice! It is greatly appreciated!
A little bit more info…I am financially independent from my parents. However, I was hoping (key word hoping) that they would provide some financial aid for my future wedding since I am still in school as is my fiance.
I know that they just want the best for me and they think that waiting 6 more months would make things better. Why waiting 6 more months to get engaged would change their feelings I dont know yet…hopefully I will be able to find that out if my phone calls/ e-mails are ever returned. I want to try and understand where they are coming from and what their concerns are. I am sure they will come around sometime I would just rather it happen sooner than later. I have always been the type of person to take in any and all advice people give me…especially when it comes from my parents. However, I am also a stong willed person so although I listen to their advice I sometimes go against it…although that doesnt happen much I know it has happened.
You all are also right…I know I am starting a new family with my fiance (man I love saying that!). He is very supportive of me and my education. He is well aware of what he is getting himself into marrying a medical student and a future doctor and supports me 100%. I think my parents are just worried that he will distract from my education and goals…although I am so career oriented I know that wont happen but its hard to convince others of that fact.
Well, any other advice would be appreciated! Thanks to all who have responded. This is the first time I have ever asked strangers for advice or even posted something on one of these boards but I have to say that I really appreciate everyone’s advice and I am getting addicted to this site! You guys are awesome!
Post # 11
Congratulations on your engagement! I’m sorry your family is putting a damper on what should be such a happy time for you. I agree with all the previous posters’ advice… when your parents eventually cool off and respond to your phone calls, I think the best place to start is to calmly hear them out, and find out exactly what’s at the root of their disapproval. You may be surprised by what you find out. For example, when my fiance and I moved in together, my mom was not initially thrilled about our decision. I thought her disapproval stemmed from religious reasons, but when we discussed it together, I found out that she was just sad that I would be missing out on the "rite of passage" of moving in with my husband after my wedding — which had been a great experience in her own life. It helped a lot to see things from her side, and after talking things through, I was able to move in with my boyfriend with a clear head, and my mom couldn’t be happier for me. Hopefully if you can find out where your parents are coming from, you can help alleviate their concerns and they’ll come around to supporting your decision. Good luck!