Just Engaged and Proposals

How Do I Deal With Family That Isn't Enamored with FH?

I don't want to be a downer on a board that's so wonderfully full of happy ladies....but....I have a problem and would love some advice.


My FH and I got engaged on Saturday with a very hesitant blessing from my father.  While my parents admit to him being a nice guy, they've never been able to get over the fact that he doesn't believe in using contraceptives (he's very conservative catholic).  This is something that I am perfectly fine with and see natural family planning as an opportunity to work as a team with him on something.  Anyway, they have admitted that this is my choice and while they are worried about it, they will not make themselves obstacles, and will help in anyway they can.

On to the grandfather.  I have a grandfather that is a retired psychologist.  He for a very long time refused to acknowledge my relationship with my FH and referred to him as my "pretend boyfriend" because we were in a long distance relationship for a couple years.  Once FH moved to my town he stopped calling him that but would make comments like "when you break up with that boyfriend of yours make sure you get your winter tires back."  My grandfather also tells me that im too immature to make important decisions because my prefrontal cortex isn't completely developed (Im almost 25 with a college degree and a career).  I haven't yet told him about the engagement but I make myself sick at the thought of dealing with him.  I am an extremely non confrontational person.

Has anyone else had to deal with family that is less-than enamored with their FH?  How do I start working toward peace within my family regarding my FH?


(sorry this is so long...its been heavy on my mind for a long time)

Edit:  Im hoping that the FH I see around means "Future Husband" if it isn't please let me know!  I also see FI around is that fiance?  a little abbreviation advice would be appreciated aswell!

Re: How Do I Deal With Family That Isn't Enamored with FH?

  • Well, as far as your folks disagreeing with your fiance's preferred method of birth control - psht.  How you guys decide on having your family is none of their business.  That shouldn't be a reason to give a "hesitant blessing."

    Your grandfather on the other hand just sounds mean.  Calling him your pretend boyfriend?  And saying that you're too immature?  25 is plenty old enough to get married and you are definitely intelligent enough by your communication skills here, from what I can tell.  His arguments are moot.

    My family adores my fiance, so I can't relate too much here - but I did date a guy for a very long time that none of my family approved of at all.  While I'm going to tell you that if you love him you should ignore what they say to you - I can also say that usually, family feelings are right on.  They were in my situation.  But I can't say that families are always right either.  Sometimes their standards are just too high. 

    At any rate - I wish you the best of luck.  From what I can tell you seem perfectly fine to get married and the birth control thing is really, yeah, no one's business but yours.

    PS - The abbreviations are hard to figure out sometimes but yeah, FH is future husband and FI is fiance :) I still like typing them out though.
    panther
  • That is icky...i'm sure with time it will all work out.  You want to marry him and that is all that matters.  When you tell grandpa, I would make a joke like, 'don't worry, i'll get my tires back before we get divorced" that way you can kinda beat him to the punch.  If they keep making comments, just be upfront with them and say that it is your decision, and that you would really like them to be on board, but if they aren't comfortable with that, then you will handle things without them.  The sooner you put everyone in their place, the better.

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  • I'm surprised that your parents know about your choice of contraception.  My parents like to pretend that I don't do that.

    I know it's hard when those whom you respect and have been there for important moments in your life don't agree or support you.  I would find that so hard.  But, the truth is, you can either wilt under it or decide "I'm 25 and I'm adult.  I can make decisions now and I am very happy with the ones I've chosen," and tell your parents and your grandfather how you feel.  Confidence is a great thing.

    Next time your grandfather starts on his shtick, just say "Thanks, Grandpa for your thoughts, but I am really happy.  Have you seen this movie recently?  It's so awesome."  Repeat, repeat, repeat.

    And, time heals most problems.  It's amazing like that.
  • It's your body and it's your fiance's body.  If you both choose to practice natural planning, do it.  That's between two consenting adults and no one else's business. 

    I agree with Joy, change the subject.  It doesn't sound terribly mature for a grandfather to be lecturing anyone on prefrontal cortexes when he calls your FH your "pretend" boyfriend. 

    My FMIL is not really enamored with me.  We've been together 6 years and we're still getting married.  You just have to push through if this is the man you want to be with. 
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  • How does his belief in contraceptives come up in conversation? I can't really add much advice I am just curious. 
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  • Thanks everyone for your advice!  I have made the decision that I will be marrying him inspite of it all.  It's difficult to not have everyone's approval, but y'all are right...it's our marriage, our bodies, our choice.  On the plus side, the parents are comming over to my side and have offered to pay for the ceremony.

    For those of you who are curious about how the NFP came into the conversation....my family speaks pretty openly about that kind of stuff, and they knew that with me marying a devout catholic that that was a possibility so they asked me point blank.

    Thanks again for the needed support ladies!  <3
  • One more point of advice: my fam isn't exactly enamored of my fiance either. They don't dislike him, but they aren't super thrilled, either. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the fact that he works in non-profit and therefore, doesn't make a ton of money....but, I digress. The point is this: if you are genuinely happy, then you and fiance need to be a united front. What matters is the two of you. Yes, in a perfect world, parents would ooh and ahh over their children's choice of spouse, the in-laws would be fabulous and everyone would have lovely, perfect family get togethers. Sadly, this isn't the case. And truthfully, no matter how wonderful your family or how close you are to them, you and your fiance's choice of contracaption is NOT their business. Not trying to be mean, I'm just saying that it's a personal choice between a couple and you must do what is right for you. 

    All you can do is work with what you have, and focus on the positive. In my case, I know that I am marrying the right man for me. He is kind, thoughtful, emotionally generous, and treats me with love, respect, and true companionship. I know that, in time, when my family sees how happy we are, they'll get on board.

    I wish you all the best. It'll all work out. Laughing 
  • He's a very conservative catholic that doesn't believe in contraceptives but he does believe in sex before marriage?  Hmmm....  I'm going to have to try that one on my FI.

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  • You need to stop caring so much what other people think.  My parents don't know what kind of birth control we use, it's none of their business.  I also don't really care if they like FI or not, they are not marrying him, I am. 
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  • Maybe your family is worried that you'll end up having a truckload of kids, when you are young, smart and have your career ahead of you?  Maybe they don't want to see you squander your talents to stay home with multiple children?  Of course, your plans for children are completely the business of you and your FH, but just throwing out another perspective.

    While I thnk your grandfather is going about it all wrong, and being pretty rude to you, try and see where his comments are stemming from.  Clearly, he is concerned about you, as is your family.  Are you *sure* the contraception issue is the only problem?

    I only ask because I was previously married.  The vast majority of my family and friends had issues with my ex-husband (most of which were not revealed to me until after I'd filed for divorce) and I couldn't understand where these concerns were coming from.  Of course, hindsight is always 20/20.. it's all very clear now.

    When more than one person is expressing concern about your impending marriage.. chances are good it's not a witchhunt, but that there could be very valid reasons for their feelings.  It would not kill you to sit down with your family (without your FH present) and get to the bottom of this.  They love you and only want the best for you.  Remember that.  And just because your parents are now "coming to your side" and paying for part of the wedding doesn't mean they've had a change of heart.. they just want to make you happy.

    FWIW, I'm now engaged to a wonderful man that my entire family adores.  I've talked to each family member and asked them to be totally honest, and tell me NOW if they have reservations about our upcoming marriage.  They're all so happy and 100% ready to welcome my fiance into our family.. and that is such a fantastic feeling. 

    Good luck to you all.
    we got it right the second time around! ten.twenty.twenty-ten. Anniversary
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