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To have expected a bit more from my mother following engagement?

(85 Posts)
amandine07 Sun 07-Apr-13 13:06:06

So OH and I have just got engaged smile

The first people we told were my parents, this morning in fact. While my dad seemed rather excited and was congratulating us, my mum hardly said anything & didn't seem interested in asking any questions or details about the wedding etc, my dad lead the way asking questions when usually he's the quiet one.

I don't know what to think. My OH feels a bit deflated & on our way home he was saying that my mum didn't look that happy- he was right, even though I tried to make some excuses.
Even as we said our goodbyes, my mum was just like "oh, see you soon" to both of us, she didn't say the one word I was expecting- congratulations.

God, I feel a bit embarrassed- I'm 35 yrs old, not a teenager about to wishing I'd just sent a text or done a brief phonecall!
I mean I wasn't expecting fireworks & champagne spraying everywhere, but I was hoping for some excitement from them or even just looking half pleased for us.

FredFredGeorge Sun 07-Apr-13 13:39:29

You've lived together for 3 years, your "engagement" is already discounted by everyone who knows you because you're already committed don't expect excitement about something which isn't particularly exciting.

wonkylegs Sun 07-Apr-13 13:42:05

She might of just been overwhelmed.
My mum decided that the moment we announced our engagement was the time she would announce she was actually divorcing my dad. hmm She couldn't wait another second despite claiming she was going to divorce my dad for the previous 15yrs. It was typical my mum centric behaviour thoughsad

amandine07 Sun 07-Apr-13 13:42:57

Thank you!

Have to say, out of all the couples we know who have got married, all of them were cohabiting for at least a year prior to getting married.

I personally would find it a bit scary to be marrying somebody who I had no experience of living with, however much I loved them and thought I knew them. For me it would be insanity!

We're looking forward to celebrating with friends at various points over the few weeks. However, the most important thing to me was seeing my parents happy for us.

CoolaSchmoola Sun 07-Apr-13 13:43:41


Her reaction could have been worse, we live away from family and DH phoned his parents to tell them...

His mother HUNG UP on him without a word!!! It took her two hours to phone back and squeeze out a few words.

Charming lol!

Birdsgottafly Sun 07-Apr-13 13:47:44

The “stay independent" type of advice from women (even your Mother) is bullshit that should be kept to themselves. A life without a few flashes of feeling in love (even if they are mistakes) and without children (if you want them), is a pretty poor one, which cannot be compensated with never struggling for money. You are being independent, if you are making your own decisions.

Viviennemary Sun 07-Apr-13 13:47:46

She should have shown a bit of enthusiasm even if she doesn't really feel much. But a lot of people think that an engagement is just a private agreement to get married. And I can see their point in a way.

amandine07 Sun 07-Apr-13 13:48:21

FredFredGeorge I totally disagree with you, I do not think that our engagement is 'totally discounted' by everyone around us as we've already been living together!

The friends we've told so far today have certainly been excited, as we were for them when they announced engagements, got married etc regardless of whether they lived together or not.

As I said above, the important thing for me was seeing my parents happy at our news- and my OH's parents too.

Christelle2207 Sun 07-Apr-13 13:49:22

I would speak to your dad and see what her view is. A chance perhaps that she was too shocked? My mother was so shocked that she barely said anything at all - but turned out to be very happy for us.

Birdsgottafly Sun 07-Apr-13 13:57:42

For those saying that the OP shouldn't expect people to react enthusiastically, do you have grown up children? and realise that this is her Mother, as in you only really get one Mum and as such she will be the Mother of the Bride and weddings are usually the reason for the biggest family get togethers? Unless your family is dysfunctional then it should be a reason to be happy. If you are not happy with your Children announcing major happy life events, then you need help.

DoJo Sun 07-Apr-13 14:00:26

Could she have been disappointed that your fiance didn't ask your dad's permission or similar? Congratulations btw!

amandine07 Sun 07-Apr-13 14:06:33

Birdsgottafly thank you- precisely!

In reality I'm not bothered if someone we know doesn't give a shit about our engagement, the essence of my original post is that mother appears not to give a shit (however, I'm very much hoping this is not the case) which is indeed a massive big deal to me!

amandine07 Sun 07-Apr-13 14:12:02

DoJo I've no idea if she'd be upset if he didn't ask my dad's permission!

I wouldn't expect my OH to ask my dad prior to proposing. I'm my own person, I'm not owned by my family for permission to be given.
I know this was/is traditional to ask before the proposal but it would not have gone done well with me- I've had this conversation with the OH before!

DumSpiroSpero Sun 07-Apr-13 14:17:44


TBH with two children getting married this year and now you announcing your engagement I would hazard a guess that your mum is feeling a bit sad/old/redundant and wasn't up to doing a better a job of covering her feelings up.

Hopefully when she's gotten over the initial shock she'll be more enthusiastic for you.

Ragwort Sun 07-Apr-13 14:19:22

I tend to agree with FredFred - you've already made a comittment to each other by living together for a long time so to 'announce' you are getting engaged does sound a bit teenagerish coming from a 35 year old. Not all mothers want to be 'mother of the bride' and all that stuff, personally I can't think of anything worse and am glad I only have one son <and hope he elopes if he ever wants to get married> grin.

Still, this obviously bothers you so I would have a quiet word with your mother, without your father or OH being around. smile.

amandine07 Sun 07-Apr-13 14:28:28

I don't know how to put it any other way- we were simply telling my parents the news that we were planning to get married and was hoping for a smile and some hugs. There was no great fanfare or drumroll 'announcement', just cups of tea smile & conversation

Hmm maybe that makes me a teenager at heart- I certainly don't look my age!

I was disappointed that my own mother did not appear that happy-but as others have suggested, there could be a whole load of reasons to explain why.

Gossipmonster Sun 07-Apr-13 14:58:41

None of our family sent so much as a card when we got engaged.

Second time round for us both but still sad

Skinidin Mon 08-Apr-13 01:20:38

If she is at all like me, maybe she hates weddings and is wondering if she is going to have to cough up for some flashy, expensive do.

Sorry, just saying what I would feel.

And I think engagements mean veryy little these days, but even in the dark (say Victorian) ages people didn't expect cards and parties.

They just got on with it.

nooka Mon 08-Apr-13 01:27:48

Perhaps she just found the idea of three weddings in a year a bit overwhelming? It does seem slightly unusual.

My um said 'oh dear' when I told her that dh and I had decided to get married, so it could have been worse!

nicecupofteaandbiscuit Mon 08-Apr-13 01:39:27

My mum cried when DP and I told her we were getting married. She didn't say congratulations, but just got upset because a) we were planning to get married abroad (in the country where we were living at the time, and where DP is from) and b) because we weren't getting married in a church.

Could have been worse though - she asked my brother if he was going to be a good person when he told her he was engaged.

My dad was underwhelmed when I told him too. We had an uncomfortable lunch. Not sure if it was because DP didn't ask his permission, or just because we have been together so long that it wasn't very exciting news. My stepmother was the only one who seemed excited for us.

Congratulations OP. There will be lots of family and friends out there who are really excited for you, and you'll have a great day. Don't let this cast a shadow over an exciting time.

Spinkle Mon 08-Apr-13 05:22:49

my mother was like this. Also when I became pregnant. She wouldn't visit me when I was breastfeeding (because it's "disgusting") She said it was us when DS started having developmental problems.

All in all not very supportive.

DS is autistic btw.

I've come to realise it's about her issues, a reflection on her and not me. Hard though when people assume she's gonna be all mother of the bride-y.

anonymosity Mon 08-Apr-13 06:29:22

Amadine I think its a difficult thing for mothers sometimes. They have to let go, you're forming your own, new family.

To be honest, I am extremely close to my mum, we talk every day but yet when I was expecting my first DC I asked her if she wanted to feel him move (I was about 8 months pregnant) and she said "of course not, and I think you need to grow up, its not all about you" which was so out of the blue and uncharacteristic I was shocked beyond belief.

Sometimes they don't react the way we'd either hope, or expect of them.

Thumbwitch Mon 08-Apr-13 06:34:32

Does she have "form" for this sort of reaction? How has she reacted to any other of your "big news" - passing exams, getting into University, first job, that kind of thing? Has she always been a bit unenthused about anything you've done?

If not then I'd say she has a problem with your OH. And you need to talk to her to find out what it is.

TheRealFellatio Mon 08-Apr-13 07:05:54

Congratulations. On the face of it I can see no obvious reason why your mother might have misgivings about this, so I can only assume that she just doesn't like your boyfriend very much and is feeling disappointed that it is clearly not goingt o fizzle out eventually like she had hoped. sorry if that sounds harsh but I can't think what else the problem could be. confused

fluffyraggies Mon 08-Apr-13 08:20:32

Goodness all the OP wanted was for her mum to give out a hug or two and make happy noises for 10/15 minutes surely? It's not asking the world.

Why is it strange to be want to share happy news with your immediate family after the age of 30 confused

If her DM was a bit sad about it (for any reason) she should have kept it to herself and perhaps spoken to her DH later on or something similar.

I sympathise OP, my mum is always a bit underwhelmed by any of my news - engagement (twice) marriage (twice) and pregnancy (3 times). In fact her reaction to my pregnancy announcements became more laughably cold each time. Even though i was married to the father of all 3 and living in my own home hmm

All i can say is i wont be making the same mistake with my DCs no matter how 'old' they make me feel. Because that sort of bitterness is not forgotten, and i would hate to be remembered like that.

fluffyraggies Mon 08-Apr-13 08:21:10

And congratulations! thanksgrin

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