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AIBU not to be thrilled my 18 year daughter has got engaged?

(110 Posts)
Petradreaming Sun 04-Jan-15 10:20:48

My daughter and her boyfriend of 2 years have announced they are engaged. I am furious a bit undecided about it.They are both 18. They say they want to get married in 2 years.

She is a great kid, has just started full time work, did well in college, has started driving lessons and wants to travel. He is lazy somewhat different. No inclination to get a job, stays on his playstation all day and is just so bloody drippy. Not to drip feed, he moved in with us during the summer ( long story) and now I feel probably correctly that I have enabled this latest development.

I was hoping she was out growing him. He is a nice enough lad but shows no gumption. I don't want her shackled to someone without ambition or any get up and go. At the moment, I am trying to be very relaxed and 'accepting' of it all.. but I really want to scream very loudly that they are getting married over my dead body.


JeffVaderRunsTheDeathStar Sun 04-Jan-15 10:22:39

She is 18 years old. It is her life and I suggest you butt out.

FrogIsATwat Sun 04-Jan-15 10:23:42

You are not unreasonable at all but you do know you have to smile and nod don't you.
Also you need to stop giving free board and lodge

Fairylea Sun 04-Jan-15 10:24:12

Well the best way to put the knackers on it is to give them a 6 month time frame to move out. Then he will need to find work and they will no doubt start arguing about finances and before you know it they may well split up. Or it could be the making of them.... maybe.

georgedawes Sun 04-Jan-15 10:25:44

Not unreasonable I'd be upset too, but don't show you're upset as it'll push her away. It's likely they'll not last the course anyway.

PekeandPollicle Sun 04-Jan-15 10:25:58

Encourage her at least and preferably both of them to go travelling. That way they'll have to warns one month and cope away from home and if he still lacks gumption your DD will probably see him off.

PekeandPollicle Sun 04-Jan-15 10:26:23

Warns one month= earns some money

pluCaChange Sun 04-Jan-15 10:28:11

Are you charging rent? Maybe you should start making noises about how they should "nest" now that they are an engaged couple and make sure she remembers about contraception. The headline and hidden costs of renting will give them a big shock, and may shake up their relationship. Also, by then he would be out of your house, which is something you seem as though you would prefer...

Janethegirl Sun 04-Jan-15 10:28:18

I'd be charging them both board and lodge, but I'd put it in an account for them.

Obviously don't tell them that's what you're doing with the money though.

Hopefully they may decide not to go through with the wedding, but I think you're just going to have to grin and bear it as they are technically adults.

YANBU as I'd feel the same as you do.

LadyLuck10 Sun 04-Jan-15 10:28:31

Yanbu, they are barely adults with life experience why would she want to settle down so quickly. I too would encourage her to go travelling, and hopefully lose him along the way.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 04-Jan-15 10:28:35


2015 Sun 04-Jan-15 10:28:52

I wouldn't be thrilled about that either. What's he doing for money if he doesn't work confused Does he do chores at least.

I'm not sure you can do anything other than gentle chats about the future - where they will live, what they will do for money etc etc.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Sun 04-Jan-15 10:29:53

YANBU. However, you're going to need to be subtle. I bet the engagement idea was his, as I assume he wants a meal ticket.

Draw attention to his uselessness in a quiet way, by remarking on his screen time in passing. Drop hints about nice flats and what they cost. Leave him alone to make meals, and make sure DD comes home to either an empty table or a wrecked kitchen.
Courage and patience.

lessthanBeau Sun 04-Jan-15 10:30:26

don't worry about it now, she said 2 years that's a long time at that age, lots of older teens get engaged and nothing ever comes of it. I suspect she may well outgrow him in the next couple of years. also a sad fact but divorce is so easy these days she won't be shackled for life if they do get hitched.hmm hmm

Rebecca2014 Sun 04-Jan-15 10:31:00

Well you should suggest they should live together alone before they get married. If he still such a lazy boy then I am sure she will dump him by that point.

championnibbler Sun 04-Jan-15 10:31:00

nothing you can do i'm afraid and its her decision to saddle herself to this loser.

but but but......
i do agree its a bad idea to be engaged so young.
what's the big rush?
why does she have to have a ring on her finger at 18?
i'll never, ever understand that mindset.

in the meantime...
i would either ask them to start paying rent/keep or else they move out.
he sounds like a total layabout and freeloader and i do see trouble ahead actually.

just wait till she's pregnant.... hmm
then she'll see his true colours.

notonthebandwagon Sun 04-Jan-15 10:31:16

Sounds to me like you're doing the right thing to me. She has to make her own mistakes. I'd be inclined to do what Fairylea suggested - a nice dose of reality will make or break it. Either way, it's better them figuring that out now instead of after getting married.

ClashCityRocker Sun 04-Jan-15 10:33:56

I wouldn't be thrilled either.

You mentioned that you thought she was 'outgrowing' it possible he's sensed this and has sprung the proposal on her as pre-emptive strike?

I would be supportive to her, but point out that they need to learn to live together, independently, before marriage. I would also subtly encourage travelling.

bigbluestars Sun 04-Jan-15 10:35:28

I wouldn't be thrilled but not too worried. Is it the marriage that you are worried about? How would you feel if they simply lived together?
Divorce is easy. Divorce rates are now running at 56% in the UK.
I don't mean to sound flippant, but spaeking as someone who married young and subsequently divorced, it was not the end of the world.

Hitching up with deadbeats is part of the learning process - however painful to watch. Don't sweat about the marriage thing, it's a scrap of paper.

AuntieStella Sun 04-Jan-15 10:37:16

I think your best course is continue to be welcoming (at least he's 'could do better' rather than horrible) but try to make sure that actual marriage or (planned) DC are deferred for as long as possible.

If they're still together at 21, then you might have come round to the idea that she's made a durable choice and a lot might change in that time anyhow in terms of their circumstances.

I would be getting them to start planning how they get a place of their own, and introduce rent (rising towards market rent).

My DH got engaged at that age to his first GF - I think he was emotional about having lost his virginity to her and felt he needed to be "serious". It didn't last - they grew up, and grew apart (and never did get married - they too had a long engagement - be grateful your DD is setting a long term date - it may be that she isn't actually too sure of it, it's all his idea, but she couldn't say no without making things too messy, so this is her way of hedging her bets).

Be outwardly happy but yes rent and real life will hopefully see him off - if you have the money to sub her/them to go travelling (perhaps offer half of each ticket?) then that is also as others have said likely to get her to see him in a different light.

Cantbelievethisishappening Sun 04-Jan-15 10:40:08

She is 18 years old. It is her life and I suggest you butt out.

Yes.... because I am sure this would be your response if you were in the same position.

YANBU.... I would feel the same.
That said, getting engaged does not automatically mean marriage. She may just like the idea of it but when push comes to shove it may not happen.

oldestmumaintheworld Sun 04-Jan-15 10:41:14

Oh Petra, I'd be gutted too and my DD is 22! I guess that the most helpful thing to do would be to say brightly 'Well now you are engaged you'll want more privacy to get to know each other as a couple before you get married, so when are you moving into your own home XX(name of boy).' If he or she say, 'oh not yet, or we'd rather stay here'. Then equally brightly you have to say' Oh no, that isn't going to work so we'd better agree Easter I think.' And then just zip it and just repeat, 'Oh no that isn't going to work' if they come up with other objections. Then you have to back off and let her see what a useless lummocks he is, by not going out of your way to be helpful. If they need help with things that a married couple will have to deal with (trips to doctors, moving house, getting the washing machine plumbed in - all the usual) then sit on your hands and let them get on with it.

He may surprise you which may help you feel a bit better. And if not she'll get ticked off with him and that should do the trick.

Oh, one more thing. Has she got an engagement ring yet? You might ask and then say' I gather these days that three months salary is the usual amount to spend, have you chosen one yet.'

If all else fails you could introduce things like who's going to pay for the wedding?, have you discussed how many children you'll have,. And Frog is right, no more freebies.

Good luck

Petradreaming Sun 04-Jan-15 10:41:46

I am so pleased that the majority would feel that same way. Softly does it from now on I guess. I know she is technically an adult.... but she is still my child, its hard to let go.. ( my mum still tries to hold my hand crossing the road and I am 45! :-) )

maddy68 Sun 04-Jan-15 10:42:39

Yanbu. However there is nothing you can do about it. If you object in the slightest you will face a rebellion.
I got engaged at 18 too. Been married for 25 years. As for him being a drip he will change, boys grow up later.

It also seems like she has different ideas so they may we'll grow apart
Also it's unlikely they will be able to afford a wedding in 2 years time. Just be clear that you wouldn't be able to contribute much to a wedding and they must start saving.

The not going out, lack of holidays etc while they save will show cracks if there are any

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