Wedding 911

My kids hate my fiance.

I recently got engaged to my boyfriend of three years. We've been living together for 2 1/2 of those years. I have two daughters, ages 21 and 14 that really dislike my fiance and are less than enthused about the wedding. I would love for them to be my bridesmaids, but they are not supportive. In fact a lot of people we know have not been exactly supportive because of our age difference (I'm 15 years older than my fiance). Any advice on how to either get my daughters involved?

Re: My kids hate my fiance.

  • There are plenty of ways to get them involved, but I'd first want to see why it is they don't get along with your fiance. When starting a new family it's very important to make sure the kids are comfortable- especially the youngest one, as she lives with you both (I assume.)

    I'd want to work that out- either with family counseling, or just plain old talking it out and making sure they don't feel displaced by him.


    weddingcactus
  • Yeah, this isn't a question for a wedding planning forum, this is a question for a counselor and your kids. Put the bridesmaid plans on hold until you can reach a resolution with your kids about the new person you are bringing into the youngest daughter's home. 

    How old are you? If you're a relatively young mom, I'm not at all surprised that a 21 year old kid would be less than thrilled about mom dating a guy in his late 20's, early 30's. Which isn't to say that the age should matter in your relationship, because it shouldn't, but I could see how it would be a major sticking point if you haven't openly discussed it her. 
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    cambrynMaggie0829CMGragainMairePoppy
  • JaxInBlueJaxInBlue member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Name Dropper
    edited November 2014
    Agree with PPs.  For now,  it's important to understand why your daughters feel the way they do.  It's especially important if they are living at home with you - they need to be heard and feel that even as you formalize your relationship and grow the family, they have a stake in it.

    This will require that you let them listen - even when they say hard things or things that don't align with your experience - and that you engage them in dialogue about their concerns.  Acknowledge and validate their concerns and their feelings.  Let them be part of the problem solving and constructive dialogue.  A family counselor could help tremendously in creating an environment in which everyone feels heard and in which no one feels defensive.

    As an outsider, there are a couple things that may be driving some of the feelings.  If this person came into your older daughter's life when she was 17-18, she may be resistant to relating to your FI as a parental figure.  She may see herself as not in need of rearing anymore, and may need the space and time to carve out a different relationship dynamic.  It may also be that if your FI is a near-peer in terms of age to your daughters, they may not understand or feel comfortable with him in a position of authority.  (This may not be the case, but I have seen this conflict in social circle.)  There may also be some discomfort about the early speed of your relationship - your FI moving in after six months might seem kind of quick depending on what your circumstances were before.

    I'd let go of the wedding-related conversations and focus on addressing their concerns.
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    Anniversary


    cambrynchibiyui
  • Concerning the age difference, I will be 48 at the end of this week and my fiance turned 33 in March. I know the reason my oldest daughter doesn't like him is that they are both very strong personalities and neither of them will ever admit that they are wrong. My younger daughter actually gets along with my fiance for the most part as long as her sister isn't around. All her life, she has pretty much gone along with anything big sister says.

    Thanks for the input, everyone.
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Concerning the age difference, I will be 48 at the end of this week and my fiance turned 33 in March. I know the reason my oldest daughter doesn't like him is that they are both very strong personalities and neither of them will ever admit that they are wrong. My younger daughter actually gets along with my fiance for the most part as long as her sister isn't around. All her life, she has pretty much gone along with anything big sister says.

    Thanks for the input, everyone.
    If an adult (your fiance) cannot realise that he needs to be a bigger person when arguing with a child/ teenager he has much bigger maturity issues than a "strong personality".

    Why doesn't your older daughter like him? Have you ever just talked to her about it one on one in a non-judgemental way?

    You need some family counselling before you even contemplate marriage. I would suggest both counselling for just you and your daughters as well as for the four of you as a whole. 
    MairePoppy[Deleted User]
  • edited November 2014
    If the kids were 6 and 10, I would say it is more likely just kids not wanting someone new in their lives and the whole "you're not my dad, you're not the boss of me thing" At 14 and 21 I would take a closer look at why they don't approve.  

    Certainly having been raised by you, they know you better than anyone else in the world and they may see something you don't.

    Probably not the answer you want but worth thinking about IMO.
    doeydo
  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    If I were 11/12 and my Mom moved in her boyfriend after dating 6 months, I wouldn't be too crazy about him either. You should probably have a heart to heart with them about why they feel negatively about him. And really try to listen to them and their POV.

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  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Concerning the age difference, I will be 48 at the end of this week and my fiance turned 33 in March. I know the reason my oldest daughter doesn't like him is that they are both very strong personalities and neither of them will ever admit that they are wrong. My younger daughter actually gets along with my fiance for the most part as long as her sister isn't around. All her life, she has pretty much gone along with anything big sister says.

    Thanks for the input, everyone.

    There has got to be something moreto it than strong personalities. Have you tried to dig a little deeper on this issue?

    Like others have said, I would be more concerned about my children getting along with my future husband than whether or not they will be bridesmaids.

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Concerning the age difference, I will be 48 at the end of this week and my fiance turned 33 in March. I know the reason my oldest daughter doesn't like him is that they are both very strong personalities and neither of them will ever admit that they are wrong. My younger daughter actually gets along with my fiance for the most part as long as her sister isn't around. All her life, she has pretty much gone along with anything big sister says.

    Thanks for the input, everyone.
    If an adult (your fiance) cannot realise that he needs to be a bigger person when arguing with a child/ teenager he has much bigger maturity issues than a "strong personality".

    Why doesn't your older daughter like him? Have you ever just talked to her about it one on one in a non-judgemental way?

    You need some family counselling before you even contemplate marriage. I would suggest both counselling for just you and your daughters as well as for the four of you as a whole. 
    Ditto this x 1 million

  • I don't have kids so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. But if I had two children and they did not like someone, I would not move in with that person in the first place, let alone marry him. I'm not saying that it has to end the relationship, but I cannot fathom forcing children to live with a person that they "hate". I completely agree with suggestions of family counseling all around before even considering going forward with a marriage. 
    doeydo
  • My FI has 2 kids.  If we didn't all get along extremely well, he and I wouldn't be in a relationship any longer, much less have them at our place often to stay with us.  Why would you want to put your children in a situation to be around someone they hate?  And why would you want to be with someone your children openly disliked?  
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  • Well based on what you said on why they don't care for him, all you can do is ask them to be a part but don't force them. It would be one thing if they didn't like him because how he treated you or he treated them. But you can't force them to like him or be excited and want to be a part of the big day. When you have two people who always like to get the last word in, it's never easy.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited November 2014

    Ditto ohannabelle. You need to slow things down and try to come to an understanding with your fi and your children BEFORE you set a date for the wedding. A counselor can help your fi decide if he's going to co-parent your daughters - and what it means to be a parent to young adults. If he doesn't view himself as a parent to your daughters then he's going to have to learn how to support you without interfering. Being a good step-parent or good partner requires selflessness. Is your partner up to that?

    Your girls also need a counselor to help them understand why they don't like your fi. You have a lot of work to do before you plan that wedding. As hard as it may be to wait, it will be much harder for you to end up estranged from your children if the issues aren't resolved.



                       
    southernbelle0915
  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    You also mentioned in your op that a lot of people don't like the relationship. Is it just because of the age difference or are you just assuming that? Are people concerned that he's a young slacker sponging off of you? I would take a good look as to why *no one* seems to like your fiancé/your relationship.
  • Your daughters' feelings aside, I can understand other people not supporting the relationship because of your age differences if it was still a fairly new relationship, but if you've been together for 3 years and still many people disapprove of the relationship, something is going on.  What is it that bothers them so much?  If you're getting disapproval on many fronts, it's time to sit down and talk to people to find out what's going on.
    [Deleted User]
  • edited June 2015
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I think that even if they liked your FI, I would not pressure them to "be involved" in your wedding if they don't want to be.

    While some of it might be the age difference between you and your FI, part of the issue, of course, could simply be that they don't like that their mother is marrying someone who is not their father. You didn't mention if their father is still in the picture or any details about why you're not with him anymore, but if your daughters are grieving and/or resentful because you and he are not together anymore, then even though you've been with your current FI for over 2 years, they just may not feel happy about your remarriage to anyone else.

    If it's something else that is specific to your FI, then you'll have to get them to open up to you about it, perhaps in counseling. But just to expect them to be automatically happy for you and enthusiastic about being in your wedding simply because you are is asking too much. Even if they are happy for you, I'd respect any wishes they have about not being "involved" in your wedding other than being there-even if it's painful.
  • This is a tough situation. I can understand that having kids that don't support the idea of you two being married probably makes you feel terrible. I feel bad for you, but hopefully all of you can get together and talk it out. Best of luck.
  • Ask why they don't like them. Especially the 14 year old because she will be living with the dude. The 21 year old will matter also because she will see the dude eventually in life. Have they said before you got engaged?

     
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