Advise, Please

I don’t know what to do. I doubt that any of you don’t know that I am recently engaged – I feel like I’ve been telling everybody and their dog, I was so excited. But now, my happiness has faded into quiet desperation, because I feel that I can not share this good news with my mother. At first, I was only going to hide it until I was well established in school, so that she could see that I was not going to give up on my education to get married. But now, everytime I mention Carl or relationships or anything of the sort, she goes off onto a very pointed sermon about how she hopes that I am not making any kind of long term commitments. My only response to this has been that she need not worry; nothing will persuade me to leave school. Although I understand that she is only trying to prevent mistakes that she feels will hurt me, I feel that she is biased by her own unusually bad experiences and choices. I really want to be open with mom, and stop having to hide my engagement from anyone who knows any of my relatives. But, I am so afraid that she will go ballistic, and I don’t want to lose the good relationship that we have only just begun to build up again. I’ve asked Carl for advice, and he tells me to do what I feel I should; well, I don’t know what that is!

I was educated long after the discontinuation of flogging, and I have no problems with spelling or grammar.
This is because I’m not a moron.
– Stolen from AuraSeer :slight_smile: Sorry, I just thought it was too cute!

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First of all, congradulations. I wish you the best in your marrage. :slight_smile:

If it was me, I’d be firm and tell her. Be as clear and determined as you are in this thread about your commitment to your education.

You’re engaged. You gotta tell her sometime, and the longer you wait to tell her, the more pissed off she’s gonna get when she finds out.

From what you’ve implied, you don’t plan on getting married until you have graduated, or are firmly in school. Tell her this, over and over, and ride out the doubts your mom will have with absolute conviction that you’re right. Be a rock.

And good luck.

You say “cheesy” like that’s a BAD thing.

Tell her.Deal with the fallout. She will have a tantrum, then it will pass. She will be wound up until she sees you arent gonna drop out.


Dont tell her. Dont tell anyone. Are you wearing a ring? How old are you? How old is he? How long is the engagement to be?

If you have no ring, and you are both young, with a long engagement planned…dont tell anyone, it is just a ‘gift-grab’ anyway.

Hey, if most marriages end in the big D, you can be pretty sure that your engagement will bite the dust anyway, so why upset Mamma?

Um, gee, thanks kellibelli. to answer your questions/statements in order:

  1. Yes, I have a ring (it was his mother’s).
  2. I am 18.
  3. He is 24.
  4. Four years, or until I graduate. Unless he joins the military and I move to live with him. I’m not sure if there is any kind of stipulation that we have to be actually married to live together on base.
  5. I still have never heard of anyone getting presents just for getting engaged.
  6. While I realize how often people (especially our age) get divorced, I’d like to at least remain optimistic, if you please.

Congratulations, kelli, you have almost single-handedly convinced me to go ahead and tell her.

(Not to discount Sealemon’s contribution, thank you, dear.)

If you are not mature enough to be frank with your mother you are nowhere near mature enough to contemplate marriage.

“I think it would be a great idea” Mohandas Ghandi’s answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization

I’ll give you the same advice that I give my almost 18 year old daughter:

You are young. You have lived in a small town all your life. You have college ahead of you and a chance to meet hundreds or thousands of new people. Don’t be in a hurry to get married (or in your case, engaged) to the high school boyfriend because it’s comfortable.

Most realtionships that begin in HS don’t make it for the long term. In 3, 2, or even 1 year from now you will have changed…leave your options as open as possible…don’t lock down too soon.

Contestant #3

Thank you, C#3, that really was good advice. I do want to point out, however, that I did not live in a small town for most of my life, and I did a lot of dating in high school (or rather, I’m not commiting just because I’m comfortable.) One of the reasons that I don’t want to get married until I graduate is that I believe that if we can make a long-distance relationship work for four years, then we can get through harder stuff in the future. Is this faulty logic?

No, your logic is not faulty in that regard, however, my point is more along the lines that now that you are “engaged”, you might tend to shut yourself out of a chance (or chances) to hook up with someone else that might be umpteen times more compatible or stimulating to you…

I just don’t see what it is you have to gain by engaging now. Why not wait the 4 years before making a committment such as engagement?..that way you can still apply your logic…

Contestant #3

That may have come off a tad more cynical than what I meant.

If you are going for a 4 year engagement, tell everyone in 3 years. That way, if you change your mind, or decide to postpone the wedding for grad school or whatever, people wont always have that to throw in your face.

You tell everyone, 3 years later, you break up. 5 years later you announce an engagement to ‘bob’, everyone will roll their eyes and say " oh yeah, how long will it last this time?"

I dont want to be mean, you surely love him, and that is a beautiful thing, but at your age, nevermind, suffice to say, that people dont finish growing mentally till the mid 20’s, and you MAY grow together, maybe not.

Whichever path you tread…good luck.

(stunned) did C#3 just give kind,fatherly type advice to cessandra?*

Cessandra wrote:

Wow. You really are from a small town, aren’t you? :wink:

My sister just got engaged to her boyfriend of four years; they plan to get married in the summer of 2001, after she graduates college. Never shall the words “just an engagement” be spoken in their presence! Let the celebration commence!

The two sets of parents are collaborating on an engagement party, which will be held at my parents’ house. As of last count, 105 guests have confirmed their attendance, and about 80 more have not yet responded. Some of us are travelling great distances to be there.

Sis and her new fiancé have registered their china pattern, their silverware, and all the other stuff that a happy couple needs. By the end of the party, they’ll have a stack of gifts five feet high. (They’ll also need to find someplace to store it all for the next two years, but I’m sure they’ll figure something out.)

Of course, this is just the engagement party. The real spending doesn’t start until they have their huge, fancy, elaborate wedding, in the finest Long Island (read “Lawng Guyland”) tradition.

Of course I don’t fit in; I’m part of a better puzzle.

Definately tell her. However, like everyone else has said, give yourself a chance in college. It’s amazing how much of an eye-opener it can be once you get there.

Cessandra, do you really want advice? Or are you looking for reassurance and maybe a good tip on how to tell your mother about your engagement -which is what I think you’re actually asking for-, right?

In your case I have to agree with C#3, Lucky, and Kelli.

You are way too young to get married, but it seems to me that you have your mind set, and you won’t change a thing. If you were my daughter my advice would be: Move in with him, don’t marry him. You don’t need the “paper” to show/prove/whatever your love and commitment. But you’re not my daughter. I can only wish you luck, and hope that you don’t end like so many of us, divorced, with children, and regretful.

Regarding how to tell your mom about your engagement: if you don’t know, how can we? You are brave and mature enough to make a decision that will affect the rest of your life, and you don’t know how to tell her?

Be happy. Good luck.

Men will cease to commit atrocities only when they cease to believe absurdities.


Well, I wasn’t looking for advice on whether to get married. Although I appreciate everybody’s input, I had really already decided that a long time ago. The advice I was looking for was whether/how to tell my mother. And I appreciate the advice that I got on that. Actually, I had decided to tell her (I even made plans to have dinner with my folks and Carl), I just lost my nerve after her latest spiel, and I wasn’t so sure anymore. But you guys are right, (those of you who said that) I just need to suck it up and tell her already.


No! I’m not! I live in a small town. I am from Houston (a very large city!) Not pickin’ on ya, AuraSeer; ya know I love ya, man. :slight_smile:

You bring up a very good point. And maybe I’ll regret not taking your advice, but, I’d rather not try to hide this for three years. And as for C3 giving me fatherly advice, I’m willing to listen (even if I decide not to take it). :slight_smile:

I don’t really understand. I couldn’t date other guys anyway, regardless of whether I was engaged. Unless you think that I should just go back to “just dating”?

Thank you all. I know it probably sounds like I’m not listening, but I am. I’m just trying to reconcile all of your advice with the way I truly feel. :slight_smile:

People like to sound off the same thing over and over. When circumstances change and people think of what they said, they often regret the retoric they spouted. I can’t say how your mother will react, but I hope she’ll recognize’s your commitment to this and that it’s your choice not hers in the end. Her support would be appriciated, but it’s your life. You need to go for what makes you a happy whole person. Tell her and the worst to happen is she doesn’t like it, but she’s not the person that is engaged, you are!

Who needs this engaged stuff? I’m not sure I was ever engaged. We have wedding rings, but I never wear it, my wife rarely.Just for formal occasions. If you are still engaged next september, tell your mom.

Okay, I’m not going to discuss whether you should be engaged or not. I’ve never met you and I know nothing at all about Carl, so what do I know? And even if I did, it’s none of my business. I do think you’re doing the right thing by waiting a few years. There’s no need to rush into a marriage.

As for telling your mother, I guess it depends. Is she against the general idea of you marrying or against Carl in particular? How you tell her will vary based on her specific objections. If she feels you’re too young, remind her you’ll be 22 by the time you plan on actually marrying.

But I do think you should tell her as soon as possible. If you’re ready to make a lifetime commitment to your husband you should be ready to stand up to your mother as an adult if need be.

I say wait until you’ve gone and done your time in college. Even though you love Carl totally and completely right now, as only young love can, College will offer you a smorgasbord of men ( and a truck load of experience that will open up your eyes) to look at and drool over that you will never ever ever ever get that chance again in this life time with that body you have right now. It would be like being a diabetic in a candy shop.

This does not mean you have to never see or talk to Carl again. Agree to see others.Or don’t see anyone at all, but go one group dates. It may hurt, but no one said life would be a clam bake.

Broaden your horizons. Military life, I hate to say, is not the lap of luxury you may think it is. The pay sucks, the housing sucks ( for the most part) and well, if a war pops up and he is shipped off, everything sucks and you will be all by your lonesome and worried. Glamorous, huh?

If it is meant to be, give it space and you will both mature for the better for it.

At 18, you can see forever with the person you are madly in love with. We’ve all been there: the house, the trips, even down to what the kids look like and their names. In a couple of years, you probably won’t be seeing eye to eye on anything because you have changed and evolved as humans and your perpectives have changed considerably. If you have kids, it only makes getting out of it worse. To me there is nothing sadder than high school sweethearts marrying. It’s like two not-kids, yet not adults are desperate and scared to go into the big cruel world alone so they marry and then twenty five years and three kids later, they have nothing in common and are suffering because they’ve never evolved as their own entities.

You mom has a right to be worried. No parent wants their child to make the same mistakes they make and they want to shield their kids from (what they perceive through their life experience) as a dumb mistake that can most certianly be avoided.

Sounds like Dad is not in the picture and all you have is your Mom’s approval/disapproval to gain/fear. I know this all to well from my own experience of a single mom home. Your mom will probably never fully let go of the invisible umbilical cord that is tethered to you. You represent the best and better part of her: her youth. Letting go of that cord will age her over night.If you don’t beleive me, go on and tell her that you are engaged and then look at her eyes and the tiny wrinkles that suddenly got deeper.

However, the moment you have the balls to make a decision on your own for yourself and live with the consequences of it, you will begin to grow as a woman. There is a great quote, Freedom, afterall, is the ability to live with the consequences of your decisions.

You are looking for your mom’s blessing, and at this portal in life, you will not receive it.

Good luck.

Let me tell you from experience. This is the age when you really need to start severing those apron strings and stand up to your mother. Trust me–it will make your life simpler years from now. You need to assert your independence now and back it up with responsible actions (i.e. waiting to get married until after college, etc.)

Your mother will no doubt see this as another youthful rebellion but I assure you the long-lasting effects will be immeasurable. You cannot just hide from your mother now and say to yourself, “I will start standing up to her and facing her disapproval when it is more convenient for me.” Let me assure you, there is no more convenient time. And even if you don’t back up your assertion of independence with responsible behavior (you break off the engagement to move in with the surfer guy you met on Spring Break, you decide to have Carl’s name tatooed on your left butt cheek and two days later see him out on a date with his “other” fiancee, etc) NEVER buy into your mom’s “I -told-you-so” mentality. Just shake it off and let her know that you’ve made your mistakes but that’s what life is about.

She will always be your mom and she will always approve or disapprove of what you do (you’ll REALLY see this when you have kids!) but at the same time, there is no better way to show her that you are an adult–just like her–than to act like it and not fear her. Treat her like a friend who is giving you advice you don’t want to take–say “Thanks for caring but in the end, I have to make my own decisions.” Believe me, both you and she will be better off because of it!

Born O.K. the first time…

Thanks, everybody. I’ve decided to go ahead with the planned dinner for this weekend and tell my family. I’ll let y’all know how it turns out.

Best of luck, Cessandra.