Just Engaged and Proposals

telling his family when his mom doesn't approve

We recently got engaged, but haven't told too many people yet because before he proposed he happened to tell his mother that he was thinking about proposing to me and she tried to steer him away from it. I wouldn't have thought too much about it, but he told me that she said women want to get married because they want to have babies and he's not ready to have children and women rush into weddings no matter what the man thinks and women who want to get married are just insecure and marriage doesn't change anything. Just basically bashing on me for wanting to get married. It's true that I have been wanting to get married and talk about it a lot, but he made the decision that if I could wait a little while we would have a longer engagement and I agreed. We are 25 and 27, so we are not teenagers or anything and we have been together 15 months, so it's not that not too short of a time.

The problem is now we talked it over and I explained why all that stuff is ridiculous and untrue about us and we are engaged. We have told some close friends and my mother, but he doesn't think we should tell anymore people until we figure out how to tell his family. His parents are divorced and he agrees that we should start with his dad and I agree, but we are still so worried about his mother finding out that we are hesitant.

I am personally so surprised she acted this way that I am worried about what she'll say about me when we she finds out, but how long can we wait on telling people? I am excited and want to tell my family, but i am trying to be respectful that he wants to take his time and tell his family carefully, but I don't think there will ever be a 'right way' to tell his mom. what do we do?

Re: telling his family when his mom doesn't approve

  • I think this is his call, since it is his mother.  Congratulations on your engagement, but I personally would be a little concerned about this situation.  Not really the part about his mother discouraging it, but the part about his proposing on the condition that you have a longer engagement. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • First of all, congratulations!

    Second of all, your FMIL is projecting her own insecurities about her divorce onto you and your fiance. 

    You're correct in that there probably isn't going to be a good way to tell her, so I would just do it and have your fiance prepare for the worst.  In my opinion, she should be in therapy.  Her views on marriage/relationships/women doesn't sounds healthy at all. 
  • Thanks for your help. We have been really open about discussing our feelings about marriage and have agreed on a 2 year engagement which I have no problem with.
  • Ditto pp's I would just have your FI tell her or go together (unless of course you live a plane ride away). I think it's probably best if you tell FFIL and FMIL on the same day (or withitn a very short period of time) so there's no chance of the other one finding out before you tell them - you'll avoid buthurt feelings that way.
  • I feel like your FI should have manned up and not let your mother bash you like that when he told her he was thinking of proposing... Either he's not 100% about this engagement or he's being a big baby. Or both.
    And if the stormy weather came...I'd just kiss you in the rain... Daisypath Anniversary tickers image
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_just-engaged-proposals_telling-his-family-when-his-mom-doesnt-approve?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:683Discussion:9c162d5c-f6d4-4572-84bb-85f4c8b08934Post:75aff1cc-f6dd-4b59-b408-40039436b363">Re: telling his family when his mom doesn't approve</a>:
    [QUOTE]What is a longer engagement supposed to prove?  That you weren't fibbing when you told him you weren't planning to have children immediately?  I just don't see the point of a long engagement unless it's because of still being in college, long-distance relationship (usually due to being in college), waiting to save money to pay for the wedding, etc.  Posted by LucyHC[/QUOTE]
     I personally don't think any of those reasons are any more valid- why not wait until after school to become engaged, or you til you have the money? I know after the proposal I realized what a big step we were taking and if by nothing else his mother's reaction (since I actually have a really good relationship with her). We know we are going to be together forever, we love being engaged, we love planning the wedding and honeymoon, but we want to wait til we take the next step, so what? Now we can take or time in planning, I have time to talk to his mom, we have time to really discuss marital issue before hand, make sure we can properly problem solve, quite frankly I think our decision was pretty mature. I hope that validates it for you.
  • If you want to wait, more power to you, but I think the point that Lucy is trying to make is that there is indeed a difference between your fiance saying, "I'd like to delay getting married so we can save money and avoid wedding debt" and "I'd like to delay getting married because my mom says that all women who want to get married are baby-trapping crazies and I'm allowing this outside opinion to influence my relationship".

    Getting married does not mean that you have to start cranking out the kids immediately.  Unless you've lead them to believe that this is your plan, their concerns are unwarranted, and to be honest, a bit insane.

    The second your FMIL started "bashing" you for wanting to get married, your fiance should have defended you.  If he can't cut the apron strings and stand up for you, he isn't ready for marriage.
  • Congratulations!. I don't see a problem with having a long engagement, I also plan to have a long engagement but due to financial reasons, school situations etc. The long engagement I feel is not a problem, I just think you should be concerned about his reason for wanting to wait that long. If it is just to appease his mother I would advise you have a serious conversation about what both you want from this engagement. I hope for all the best for you and your FI.

  • Our decision for a long engagement happened before the discussion with his mom. We knew we were getting engaged and ordered the ring, but he hadn't proposed. Sorry, if that was not clear. Maybe he should have defended me, but I can understand his surprise at the same time. In every other aspect she really likes and respects me. I still don't know what made her say that... Fear of losing her baby boy?
  • When I was proposed to - I knew my Dad would not be impressed. I'm young (20 and will be 22 when married) and i'm also a daddy's girl and he would probably be happy if I never got married (just how my dad is lol)

    I hate to like dissapoint my Dad so I was really scared to tell him but I called him and said guess  what i'm engaged. he wasnt happy he told me "well what do you want me to say"
    i was upset - it blew over eventually (he still thinks I should wait until im like 25 or older to get married) but i've made it clear to him it upsets me when he always brings it up because I feel like he doesnt support me which hurts my feelings.

    point of my story haha ( i tend to veer off a lot lol) ... i sucked it up and told him even though i knew he wasnt going to be happy and i think maybe your fi should do that too
  • Thanks for everyone's help. We told his dad who was both happy and supportive. His dad's advise? Not worry about telling his mom just yet and focus on telling all our other relatives who will be happy too!
  • bask in your happiness and tell the people who are gonna be happy for you! don't let one person bring you down even if it is his mother. she'll come around eventually.she's probably taking her bitterness about the divorce on you both. but about the long engagement, i'm slightly offended someone would say there is no point. my fiance and i are saving enough money to have the wedding of our dreams in 2 years, we're going to take the time to save and plan so we wont stress and have drama. be happy darlin! don't worry about anyone else's opinion.
  • My concern in situations like this is whether son is influenced by mom's disapproval, and how her disapproval plays into his discussions with you. I went through this with the man I was engaged to at 23, and we ended up breaking up because of how much stress she put on our relationship, and I realized I didn't want to raise children in an environment like that. He could NOT grow a spine and tell her to butt the **** out.

    Probably a two year engagement is a good thing, as it will give you more time to consider if you really want to deal with her interference for all time. Does she live near you? Or far away? Is she going to be popping over and judging you for the way that you raise your kids, and if so will your husband stand up for you, or will he protect mommy's feelings?
  • It's his mom, he knows when a good time to tell her is and she probably already knows. My boyfriends mom doesn't approve of me, simply because he is the only child and she thinks I'm going to steal him. We live in the same city, he has a farm. We aren't going anywhere.

    I might think about going out to dinner with her, just as a girl's night out thing. Or find something that you both enjoy. If it comes up, you can talk to her about what getting married means to you, or what being engaged means to you.  I had to sit down with his mom and kind of do the same thing. After our dinner and expressing my views on things (in a polite way), as well as telling her where I am from and where I plan to go with my life, she seems to understand a little better. She has actually started to call me her daughter, which is weird, but it's a jump from her wanting me to fall off the face of the earth.
  • Thanks for sharing that story! We finally told his mom a month after the propoal and she was a little shocked, but I think she realized that if she doesn't approve she will just get left behind. She said "you have to be sure she's the one" and he said "im sure" she said "i had a feeling". She asked how she could be supportive and offered to throw an engagement party. We should have told her earlier in hindsight. Now she knows its what her son wants and knows that if she lets her fears take over she will get left behind. She was also embarassed to find out that my fiance told me what she said, and it wasn't in confidence like she thought.
  • Story of my life right now.  My BF and I have picked/purchased the ring and he already asked my mom and dad.   Both family and friends are waiting for us to be engaged, so everyone is really excited...except his mom!   When he told his mom of his plans she showed no excitement and brought up "reasons" questioning him on why I was the one!   Of course he tells me this, because we tell each other everything, and of course I got upset.  Mainly because we are temporarily living with his mom-- who is really nice to me and has always seemed supportive of our relationship-- so I took this hard considering she has never showed signs of not wanting me to marry her son.  He is the oldest and her "go to guy" since her husband passed away years ago, so I am hoping there is just some resentment on those terms.  I can't figure out though why she wouldn't just be happy for her son.  According to his other family members its just the way she is and reacted the same to his brother when he got engaged.  But, it has taken the excitement out of it and caused anxiety and an uncomfortable living situation for me.  I am so excited to get engaged but can't help wonder what its going to be like between me and the MIL once we are officially engaged.  I'm proud of my BF since he stood up to his mom and told her there was no doubt in his mind that I was the one, so that made me feel better... but its been a month now and I know he has the ring, but still hasn't proposed, so I can't help but wonder if she has caused a hold up. 

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