Wedding Woes

Overthinking, party of 1

OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
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Dear Prudence,

I am a teacher at a private religious high school with a relatively formal staff culture. I have just become engaged to my long-term boyfriend (he’s quite a bit older than me), who used to teach at this school about three years ago. While he worked at the school, he was married. We started a relationship after he left the school and got divorced. None of the students are aware of our relationship and neither are most of the staff, with the exception of my close friends. Now that I’m wearing an engagement ring (plus I’m taking time off work for the wedding), I expect people, especially students, will want to know more details, starting with my fiancé’s name. Other teachers who have gotten engaged have gotten tons of questions and have enthusiastically discussed appropriate details with their students, so that’s OK. But my situation is a little more complicated. Do I tell them my fiancé is “Mr. Lopez,” whom they all know? Do I make up a fake name? His first name is pretty unusual, and I think they would guess who I was talking about if I used it. I’m worried it will be an unprofessional overshare if I admit I’m marrying their former teacher, whom they would remember as a much older married man. Am I overthinking this?

—Engaged Educator

Re: Overthinking, party of 1

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    Yes. A lot can happen in 3 years and there's nothing wrong with being engaged and marrying an old coworker from there. IMO anyway. 

    OliveOilsMomDrillSergeantCatcharlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    The only thing that could be an issue is that since LW works for a private religious school.  Depending on the religion, marrying a divorced person could be an issue. 
    DrillSergeantCatcupcait927MissKittyDangersparklepants41
  • The only thing that could be an issue is that since LW works for a private religious school.  Depending on the religion, marrying a divorced person could be an issue. 
    This. At my Catholic high school, they fired a teacher for marrying someone who was divorced.
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    wow.  I'm not catholic so I had no idea that was even an issue!

  • wow.  I'm not catholic so I had no idea that was even an issue!
    As a practicing Catholic, if you marry someone who is divorced and who didn't have a Catholic annulment it's against the teachings of the church because the church sees that divorced person as still married to the first spouse.   

    I've heard of some Catholic schools making employees sign codes of conduct that essentially they'll live by the teachings of that faith.  
  • wow.  I'm not catholic so I had no idea that was even an issue!
    Some schools in Canada are not legally allowed to do things like this, but they usually find a loop hole on why to let the person go {or not hire them}
  • banana468 said:


    I've heard of some Catholic schools making employees sign codes of conduct that essentially they'll live by the teachings of that faith.  
    I sing at a Catholic church. I had to sign one of these - I can't "openly" live against Church teachings. 

    I mean, I totes do, but I try to keep shit on the downlow at church, and I'm okay getting fired. (I pretty much assume I will be every time there's a new music director, anyway.) 
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    InLoveInQueenskimmiinthemitten
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
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    My catholic high school fired my old teacher as soon as gay marriage became legal here and he married his partner. It was super shitty. Especially because he had been with his partner for 15 years and had brought him to multiple faculty functions. 

    LW needs to chill. Also what's wrong with just saying "yes, I got engaged. His name is Tim." They don't need to know more than that if she doesn't want to share. 


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  • You all just potentially changed my answer.  If getting fired is a possibility (horrified face), than she needs to keep answers really general and keep a phrase like, "I really don't like to talk about my personal life at work," on constant repeat in her brain.

    But if it is more just that it is awkward, it's probably easier to disclose the basic facts.  Though that would still be up to her to decide the easiest path.  Examples of her end of conversation, "Yes, thanks!  I did just get engaged."  "To Bartholomew Winters."  "Yes, the same Bartholomew Winters who used to work here."

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  • wow.  I'm not catholic so I had no idea that was even an issue!
    Some schools in Canada are not legally allowed to do things like this, but they usually find a loop hole on why to let the person go {or not hire them}
    They don't do this in Ontario. As a product of our Catholic school system and having seen teachers who got married after leaving other spouses, the priesthood, and the nunnery, I think up here, short of actually violating actual laws, you really cannot stop teaching in a Catholic school for that reason. Also, the Union would have your ass. 
  • wow.  I'm not catholic so I had no idea that was even an issue!
    Some schools in Canada are not legally allowed to do things like this, but they usually find a loop hole on why to let the person go {or not hire them}
    They don't do this in Ontario. As a product of our Catholic school system and having seen teachers who got married after leaving other spouses, the priesthood, and the nunnery, I think up here, short of actually violating actual laws, you really cannot stop teaching in a Catholic school for that reason. Also, the Union would have your ass. 
    They've done it and I live in Ontario. My friend is gay and he's a teacher. He is qualified for the position but because it's Catholic school they always find a reason not to. He suspects they search social media before hiring in most places so he recently changed a lot of things to make him unsearchable
  • wow.  I'm not catholic so I had no idea that was even an issue!
    Some schools in Canada are not legally allowed to do things like this, but they usually find a loop hole on why to let the person go {or not hire them}
    They don't do this in Ontario. As a product of our Catholic school system and having seen teachers who got married after leaving other spouses, the priesthood, and the nunnery, I think up here, short of actually violating actual laws, you really cannot stop teaching in a Catholic school for that reason. Also, the Union would have your ass. 
    They've done it and I live in Ontario. My friend is gay and he's a teacher. He is qualified for the position but because it's Catholic school they always find a reason not to. He suspects they search social media before hiring in most places so he recently changed a lot of things to make him unsearchable
    Gay is a bit different. I know several teachers who didn't come out until they changed school boards. They cannot overtly fire you if you're gay, but they can make you uncomfortable as hell. Which is what happened to the few people I knew. Most teachers I know on Social media don't use their real names.
  • lnixon8lnixon8 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    I teach high school and I would look at my students like they had three heads if they had asked my fiance(now H)'s first name.


    short+sassy
  • lnixon8 said:
    I teach high school and I would look at my students like they had three heads if they had asked my fiance(now H)'s first name.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought it sounded odd that there would be "all these questions from students".  I just figured it had been so long since I'd been in school and that I either wasn't remembering correctly or its different now.
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  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
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    edited July 14
    lnixon8 said:
    I teach high school and I would look at my students like they had three heads if they had asked my fiance(now H)'s first name.
    That's funny, all of H's students know me as Kim and know all the pets too.

    Edited to add:  I also believe they have seen a couple of wedding  pics too.  To me, it's harmless, he's a high school teacher in a small district so he has the same kids in class that he coached in middle school and often times has all their siblings too.  Knowing he has a wife named Kim isn't all that personal.
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    charlotte989875short+sassyOliveOilsMomILoveBeachMusic
  • lnixon8 said:
    I teach high school and I would look at my students like they had three heads if they had asked my fiance(now H)'s first name.
    That's funny, all of H's students know me as Kim and know all the pets too.

    Edited to add:  I also believe they have seen a couple of wedding  pics too.  To me, it's harmless, he's a high school teacher in a small district so he has the same kids in class that he coached in middle school and often times has all their siblings too.  Knowing he has a wife named Kim isn't all that personal.

    I remember my teachers often volunteering general, personal information.  Which I think is great and pretty normal.  And there might occasionally be a question from a student.

    But the LW gave the impression that students would be asking a lot of questions about her engagement and I don't remember that kind of thing happening.

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    kimmiinthemitten
  • *Barbie**Barbie* member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    if LW plans to change her name, they might eventually figure it out. 

    I have a friend who teaches at a Christian school (i'm pretty sure it's not a specific denomination) and had to sign some sort of code of conduct. I think she's crazy for working there, but it does make for some good stories for our gtg. 2016-2017 was her first year teaching there, and they told her during her mid-year review that she needed to incorporate more Jesus into her lessons. as the resident heathen in my mom group, i had a field day with that one.
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    *Barbie* said:
    if LW plans to change her name, they might eventually figure it out. 

    I have a friend who teaches at a Christian school (i'm pretty sure it's not a specific denomination) and had to sign some sort of code of conduct. I think she's crazy for working there, but it does make for some good stories for our gtg. 2016-2017 was her first year teaching there, and they told her during her mid-year review that she needed to incorporate more Jesus into her lessons. as the resident heathen in my mom group, i had a field day with that one.
    I go to a conservative Christian college (add it to my life regrets), and we're required to fill out an evaluation of each class at the end of the semester. One of the questions is "did the professor incorporate faith/Jesus into their lectures." I don't mind a quick prayer at the beginning of class, but some of my professors are too much. They've been the worst part of the college by far. 


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  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    lnixon8 said:
    I teach high school and I would look at my students like they had three heads if they had asked my fiance(now H)'s first name.
    That's funny, all of H's students know me as Kim and know all the pets too.

    Edited to add:  I also believe they have seen a couple of wedding  pics too.  To me, it's harmless, he's a high school teacher in a small district so he has the same kids in class that he coached in middle school and often times has all their siblings too.  Knowing he has a wife named Kim isn't all that personal.

    I remember my teachers often volunteering general, personal information.  Which I think is great and pretty normal.  And there might occasionally be a question from a student.

    But the LW gave the impression that students would be asking a lot of questions about her engagement and I don't remember that kind of thing happening.

    Yeah I don't think they had engagement questions per say with him, but they were genuinely excited for him about our marriage. To me this is just a natural reaction to a happy occasion for a teacher you like. Like the title suggests, she's probably overthinking this. 
    image
    short+sassy
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