Post # 1
So my boyfriend of 3 years and I are likely to get engaged end of September/very beginning of October. Our timeline originally was to get engaged by the end of 2019, but life circumstances (is having to do long distance for a couple of months while I move back home to the west coast and he stays in our current city for work), we agreed that we would ‘push up’ our engagement date before I move back in the beginning of October.
The thing is that my sister has been with her current boyfriend [26M] for like 5 years with no engagement in sight. Her and I have briefly talked about it, but she said that her Boyfriend or Best Friend isn’t ready, she’s waiting for him to mature, etc. but I can tell that there’s a tinge of resentment in there just by how she says it. She also gets really annoyed when she sees people getting engaged when they’ve been together for less time than her and her current Boyfriend or Best Friend have been together (so obviously my partner and I)
I obviously want her to find out about this before it happens. Do I tell her about the plan? Do I wait and tell her after it happens, acting like it was a surprise?
I just don’t want to make her feel terrible and want to soften the blow
Post # 2
Why do you want her to find out about your engagement before it happens? Do you think she needs to be prepared? You and your boyfriend getting engaged has nothing to do with your sister. You’re both adults, you’re both free to conduct your personal relationships however you choose. You’re not obligated to warn your sister that you’re about to get engaged. There’s nothing she can do about it anyway.
Instead of assuming that your engagement will be a big blow to your sister, why not assume she’ll be happy for you? You’re not doing anything wrong by getting engaged before her. I think it’s perfectly fine to wait until you’re engaged and then announce it to your family all at once. Warning your sister beforehand seems really strange.
Post # 3
I wouldn’t tell her beforehand. It will come off weird and she might take it as you rubbing it in her face.
What would you even say? “Oh, By The Way, sis, my bf is going to propose to me soon just so you know”?
Besides, it’s not your problem that her partner isn’t proposing to her.
Dont walk on eggshells around her. Just let it happen and if she’s pissed then so be it. She should be happy for you.
Who knows? Maybe you getting engaged will prompt her to take some action in her own relationship.
Post # 4
You can’t control how she feels and what’s going on in her life, nothing is going to soften the blow and you aren’t responsible for tending to her feelings regarding this, her boyfriend is.
Post # 5
- Wedding: November 2019 - City, State
I don’t think you have to say anything about it. Her own situation has nothing to do with your engagement. Just get engaged, announce it to her like you would the rest of your family.
Post # 6
I don’t think its healthy to enable her bad behavior surrounding her reactions to other people getting engaged. She shouldn’t be having negative reactions to others getting engaged. As an adult she should talk to her boyfriend about getting engaged instead of being mad at others. She is using that as an outlet for her anger at her own situation and that isn’t appropriate.
If you tell her ahead of time all you are doing is telling her that her negative reactions to other peope’s joy is ok. It isn’t. Her unhappiness is a clue to her to speak up and work on her relationship, not to be jealous of other people.
Don’t tell her ahead of time. Get engaged, and share your happy news with her in person or on the phone. Don’t even think of telling her your news in a way that babies her. For example, don’t tell her ” oh we got engaged, and i really didn’t want it to make you upset etc” F that. You shoudn’t have to in anyway lessen your excitement or joy because of the choices she is making. She is choosing to stay in a relationship that isn’t meeting her needs. She doesn’t get to project her unahappiness on other people.
She also does not get to “lay blame” on other people as if they have ANYTHING to do with her situation. Her complaining and being upset when people get engaged before her is her trying to blame other people for the situation she finds herself in. That isn’t ok. THere is literally nothing about someone else getting engaged that in ANY WAY has anything to do with her situation and when she gets engaged.
Post # 7
yeah I get what you mean. I think it’s more just knowing how bad her anxiety gets and I don’t want to trigger it.
Like, when she sees that someone gets engaged that’s in a ‘newer’ relationship than her and her Boyfriend or Best Friend, she’ll text me a screenshot with something along the lines of ‘they’ve literally only been together for 2 years’.
One of her really good friends since elementary school just got engaged to her boyfriend of about 1 1/2 years and she was SUUUUUPER bitter about it
Post # 8
And if she does get upset at your engagement I suggest the following responses.
– I am sorry you feel upset, but that is something you should talk to your boyfriend about not me.
– I fully expect you to be happy for me, any negative emotions you are having about this should be discussed with your boyfriend but they don’t have anything to do with me.
– My engagement is not about you. If you are upset I suggest you speak to your boyfriend.
Post # 9
+1,000. She will get over it.
I really am sick of seeing posts on here where a lot of women get pissed when others get engaged or get pregnant. Like why don’t you go find that instead of taking the passive-aggressive complacent way of bitching about other people’s happiness?! It makes no sense to me.
OP, don’t respond to her bitter texts. She needs to get over herself. That’s not anxiety. That’s just complacency and bitterness at its finest
If she’s so unhappy she needs to do something about her own situation and stop shitting on other people’s happiness
Tell her to get over it. She’ll be fine
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2019 - City, State
I think you are overthinking your sister’s feelings about your own engagement. Sounds like she needs therapy for herself or couples counseling if others’ happiness upsets her. You and your boyfriend should focus on the two of you for this engagement! Her bitterness is her cross.
Post # 11
I understand the resentment she might feel (though at a certain age, dating 2 years before engagement is a long time), but her resentment should be at herself and her partner. At herself, because it’s her decision to stay in a relationship that’s not moving forward, and at her partner for stringing her along.
Three years before engagement in mid-twenties is not short. I wouldn’t tell her beforehand. It’ll either be seen as you rubbing it in her face or you pitying her. Get engaged. You don’t have to pretend to be surprised. Either it will be a surprise (do you know the exact date and time?), or if truly nothing about this upcoming proposal/engagement will be a surprise to you, don’t pretend surprise and instead just announce your engagement to her normally when you announce to family.
The more attention you draw to this in relation to your sister, the worse she’ll feel. The more you fake things, such as surprise, the worse it will be.
Post # 12
“Like, when she sees that someone gets engaged that’s in a ‘newer’ relationship than her and her Boyfriend or Best Friend, she’ll text me a screenshot with something along the lines of ‘they’ve literally only been together for 2 years’.”
I think you need to really think about what you said that I quoted above. How are you responding to these texts from her? If you have been allowing her to sulk about it, if you have been engaging in this with her and replying and saying “yeah that sucks, oh wow thats stupid” etc. You are letting her think her reaction is ok.
When she texts you those screenshots you need to be replying and saying, So what? 2 years worked for them, why is that bad? or saying, ” joy isn’t limited, that couple getting engaged in no way takes away from your joy. When you have these negative reactions to others getting engaged its not normal. You need to stop directing your anger towards two innocent people and their relationship. That is hateful. Instead you need to realize that you aren’t happy, and its starting to come out in a way thats changing who you are as a person. I know you aren’t a hateful person so you need to do something about your situation.”
Post # 13
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
It might even come off as bragging if you tell her ahead of time, like you want to rub it in her face before you even get engaged. Telling her you’re almost engaged would likely be worse than you telling her your actually engaged.
Either way, it’s a her problem. No matter when she finds out, it’ll make her reflect on her own relationship and she’ll be bitter. There’s nothing you can do about it. When you get engaged, announce it as you would if she wasn’t bitter about others getting engaged. She’ll get over it.
Post # 14
I agree with what you said. I think that when people get like this. Reacting negatively to others joy, it is our job to not let that person try and focus their anger and dissapointment AT someone else.
When we allow our friends, family to direct their anger about their own personal situation AT someone else we all need to re-direct it back at that person. We do that by not engaging in trash talk about other people’s life events like engagement or pregnancy. The person who is getting angry is trying to get rid of their anger and disspointment instead of dealing with that anger.
When it comes to this OP’s sister. She shouldn’t be helping her get rid of her anger by directing it at other people. Why? Because OP’s sister should be mad, she should be sad, and dissapointed, and frustrated. But she needs to know that the only place those emotions should end up is in a discussion with her boyfriend about their relationship.
Post # 15
If you’re close with your sister, why not talk to her about your engagement not in a way of “let me sit you down and emotionally prepare you for this” but instead a more casual conversation of discussing your plans.
Maybe SO and I were weird but it wasn’t this secret between us and a big announcement that we were getting engaged. My family and close friends knew we were discussing, then knew we had a timeline we were working towards, etc. I was open that our engagement was very much a mutual decision that was planned and discussed rather then a surprise out of nowhere down on one-knee with a ring event.
This also gave my sisters (two of whom would very much like to be engaged/married but haven’t found the right person yet) time to get used to the idea of their younger sister being at a different stage of life to them. It also wasn’t a surprise when I did send out the message saying that we were officially engaged.
Might be a good compromise of not enabling her (poor) behavior but also giving her time before the event so that she can (hopefully) respond the way she WANTS to respond rather then the way she might emotionally respond without forewarning.