Daughter engaged- why am I devastated?

Our soon to be 24 year old daughter just got engaged to a very nice young man. He has a good job, and she will be making very good money when she graduates in two years. They say they don’t want to get married for at least a year and a half. She lives at home, her now fiance is buying a home.
When this young man came to us a few months ago to ask permission, we said the timing is not good right now. We told him the two of them should wait for her graduation to get engaged and plan the wedding after that. Now is not a good time for our daughter to plan a wedding, or focus on anything other than her school (she has straight As). In the past, we have seen her focus drift when she is distracted. Our daughter also works over 30 hours a week in addition to being a full time student. She will also have college debt when she graduates. Even though we told him this, they got engaged… I understand they are both adults, but I still wonder why he bothered asking us.
We are not helicopter parents and we raised our daughter to be independent and make good, faith-filled choices, but the thought of her adding one more egg to her over flowing basket right now has me shaken. I am so happy she found a nice guy, but they both seem so young right now.

Your daughter and her husband will be able to team up and carry the overflowing egg basket TOGETHER. :slight_smile:

I’m very serious about that. It’s wonderful to be married and have a lot going on, because then there are two of you to bear the burdens and help each other!

Is there a reason why she needs straight As in college (other than that she always has and you are proud of her for doing that)? The only reason I can think of is that she is in a major in which straight As are necessary to be admitted into an internship (e.g., pre-med). Otherwise, big deal. Seriously, big deal. It doesn’t matter. The companies aren’t interested in straight As as much as they are life-experiences and ability to do the work. In our lab, we would rather have a C student who is good at lab work than a straight A student who is booksmart but not practical-minded.

And what’s the deal with the college debt? Surely you weren’t thinking that she would wait to get married until she pays it off? Not necessary. Let your daughter and her husband work together to pay off the debt, and you stay out of it, unless you are volunteering to pay it off for her. There’s no reason for anyone to remain single while working to pay off a college loan. Even if they get pregnant right away and start a family, college loans are very low interest, and there’s nothing wrong with taking years or even decades to pay them off. Lots of people working in our lab are paying college loans even after ten years or more. Nothing wrong with that. It’s reality for today’s college graduates

I say back off. If you push her, she will push back, and you will find yourself in a conflict with her and the husband. Support her decisions and enjoy this happy time of planning.

It sounds like your daughter is doing fine. I don’t see any reason to be devastated.

straight As could mean a 4th year full tuition scholarship, saving $30,000

Reality is going into more debt for a wedding could mean a poor credit score.

I am facing almost the exact same thing with my daughter, but as she has always had excellent grades, isn’t it possible that she will do just fine? At some point, and 24 is not so young that she can’t be ready, we have to truly let our daughters go and make their own lives, their own decisions and their own way. If they stumble, hopefully, we can be there for them. :slight_smile:

Excellent post Cat! :thumbsup:

Letting children grow up isn’t easy, and watching them spread their wings and fly without your help can cause a lot of fear because it means you have to let go of the controls. But it’s not your job to make these decisions for her anymore, and now you have to put your trust in your parenting and in God.

A good marriage is a blessing, not an additional hurdle to overcome. :wink:

Will pray for you.

Sounds fine to me. Let them make their own choices.

Debt does not make a poor credit score, not paying said debt does. Credit scores are easier to repair that people think.

I think you are making a bigger deal out of this than is necessary.

Lovemyfaith Our soon to be 24 year old daughter just got engaged to a very nice young man. He has a good job, and she will be making very good money when she graduates in two years. They say they don’t want to get married for at least a year and a half. She lives at home, her now fiance is buying a home.!

At nearly 24 your daughter is an ADULT .

Lovemyfaith When this young man came to us a few months ago to ask permission, we said the timing is not good right now. We told him the two of them should wait for her graduation to get engaged and plan the wedding after that.

You had NO RIGHT to say that!..they are both ADULTS and should be allowed to get engaged when they want to!..by interfering you have treated your ADULT daughter like a CHILD

Lovemyfaith Now is not a good time for our daughter to plan a wedding, or focus on anything other than her school (she has straight As). In the past, we have seen her focus drift when she is distracted.

That is not your decision to make!..your daughter is a grown woman and should be able to decide when she wants to plan her own wedding

Lovemyfaith Our daughter also works over 30 hours a week in addition to being a full time student. She will also have college debt when she graduates.

Most students have debt when they leave college…and your daughter is a grown women and her debts are her own business not yours

Lovemyfaith Even though we told him this, they got engaged… I understand they are both adults, but I still wonder why he bothered asking us.

Good for them! He was asking to be polite!

Lovemyfaith We are not helicopter parents and we raised our daughter to be independent and make good, faith-filled choices, but the thought of her adding one more egg to her over flowing basket right now has me shaken. I am so happy she found a nice guy, but they both seem so young right now.

You kinda sound controlling in my opinion.how can she be independant if you interfere in her life to the extent that you say she cant get engaged yet? You feel shaken because you know that if she marries you wont be able to have the same kind of control over her and her life like you seem to have now.

They have decided to get engaged and they will have to tackle issues together, and maybe learn along the way as they go too. Sounds like they are level headed, smart, and will figure things out as they go. :wink:

Looks like they are more ready then you are. Thank goodness you taught your daughter how to be independent and make good choices. Let them know it was hard for you but you give them your blessing and best wishes. If you’re having a hard time, look at the horizon instead of just today, remember things will be very different in 10 years so hope for the best and ask God’s mercy on them.

There are a lot of couples who just live together for years with no intention of getting married and making a solid foundation. It looks like they are. :thumbsup:

At 24, she’s a grown woman. In a year and a half, she’ll be that much older.

She shouldn’t plan the wedding of the century in her situation, but as you describe her and her intended, she’s going to be OK.

Lovemyfaith said:

“straight As could mean a 4th year full tuition scholarship, saving $30,000”

Don’t you think that fighting with her mom over the wedding date is also distracting? Remove that source of stress from her life and you’ll be doing your part to ensure her academic success and future happiness. (I have had the personal experience of a huge tussle over wedding dates while struggling with difficult academic programs and it was tremendously distracting–absolutely harrowing, as a matter of fact.)

“Reality is going into more debt for a wedding could mean a poor credit score.”

As people have mentioned, not if they pay their bills. Plus, if he is buying a house right now, what does credit score matter? Credit scores are important for people who are always borrowing money (or in particular cases with security clearances and finance jobs), but for people who are actually in good financial shape, credit scores are just a number.

Have you thought about putting the young people through a personal finance class as an engagement present? It could save you a whole lot of money if they do that before they plunge into wedding planning. (I’ve done Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, but I’m sure there are other good ones.)

My personal plan is that when/if the day comes, we will offer our daughters the choice of $10k in cash to be used as they wish–all for the wedding, all for a house downpayment, or some mix of both. In your daughter’s case, you could offer her whatever cash you are able to and tell her she could use it for wedding or home stuff or debt repayment–her choice.

Best wishes!

I couldn’t agree more with these statements. Especially the “If you push her, she will push back, and you will find yourself in a conflict with her and the husband”.

I was 20 years old when I got engaged on Christmas Eve 2006. My husband was 24 at the time. He has asked my parents as well. They were apparently not very nice about it and dead set against it because I was starting business school in March 2007. My husband went to the extreme of buying them special books for mother and father of the bride, mapped out a budget plan, etc. He even took them to a high class restaurant and paid for their meals. On Christmas Eve, my husband did but me a gift card for a spa, but he lost it so he went ahead and gave me the ring.My parents went ballistic. Especially my Mom. She had me balling my eyes out and called my husband everything in the book. I ended up having a panic attack. It wasn’t pretty. I was very thankful that my brother had come home for Christmas. He set them straight and told them that they should be happy that I found a man that treats me with the dignity and respect that I deserved. When I got myself together, I went and confronted my Mother and explained to her that she needed to start having some faith. She was worried that I wouldn’t do well in school thinking about a wedding constantly.

I did do wedding planning, but I did it on weekends when I wasn’t in school. I completed the whole year and a half of school and graduated as 1 of the top 10 in my class with an 86.5% overall average. Still wasn’t good enough for my Mom though. She felt I should have been able to get a 90.

We had originally had a date of July 4th 2009 set. However we had to push that ahead because I was so run down and suffering from depression and anxiety from my Mother continuously butting into every aspect of my life. This caused me to have to attend very extensive therapy for the next few years and I even had to cut her off a few times for a while because I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and stressed out.

We got married the following July 2010 instead. It was well worth the wait :wink:

My husband and I will be going on 4 years of marriage this July and will have been “together” for 11 years in total. We were blessed with a lovely new home this past September, a new car, and a baby to be born in June. We love each other more and more everyday because we put the Lord at the center of our marriage.

Your daughter seems like a wise woman that has things figured out. Stand back and let her live her life. She’s an adult and she has hopes, dreams and goals so surely you’ve done something right :thumbsup: Just be Mom! Be there to give her advice when she asks for it and pray for her.

She sounds like a wonderful daughter and seems to be making good choices. You should trust in God and pray.

I suspect in truth for them it was more of a formality, a ritual, pomp and circumstance. Asking your blessing on what was already established. He wouldn’t have called to ask if they had not in fact already been engaged. He asked for her hand, she agreed, and then they called you. Thats the way it happens.

Thats the way it was so many years ago with me. My wife to be agreed to marry me wile we were away at college, we called for the obligatory asking for permission. I doubt we’d have taken no for an answer.

But don’t fear. My paw-in-law said he’d have to call me back… :shrug: Which he did as soon as he got off the phone and told his wife he’d said he’d told me he’d have to call me back… And she told him what to do … LOL.

My wife E_7, and I got married when she was still a student. I finished my postgraduate degree and I took a job. She was planning the wedding and everything during her final exams, and etc. She did very good, even thought she was so stressed out. All she needed was support from me, her family, and friends… She got that support. That is what you daughter needs now, your support. Show your daughter you trust her (she is not going against God, is she? it is not like they are moving together before marriage), and help her out if you can and she asks for help.

The only way I could say no to my daughter is if I knew of her intended to have an abusive/controlling personality, wanting only to advance himself and no thought of her happiness…an arrest record…drug or alcohol problem…does not attend church. Then I would have issues with it. I would give them my blessings, witness the wedding and pledge to support them through their years as man and wife. Marriages have been built on less than they are starting out with. My opinion.

Really? Wow. I have truly never heard of any college that gives a $30,000 scholarship for three years of straight As. May I inquire the name of this college? I work with a lot of high school students, and I would love to recommend that they look into this college.

A $30,000 a year tuition bill sounds like a fairly pricey college, although I know that state universities in Illinois are charging $20,000/year. So maybe it’s not so pricey after all.

Reality is going into more debt for a wedding could mean a poor credit score.

As someone else pointed out, debt doesn’t hurt a credit score. In fact, debt improves a credit score (strange, isn’t it?). Not paying debt hurts the credit score.

I was going to post that your daughter and her fiance may surprise you by planning an inexpensive wedding and paying for it themselves. But after hearing that she is attending a $30,000/year college, I’m thinking that she probably won’t settle for a $5000 wedding. But I could be wrong about her. My daughter attended a $30,000/year college, and we paid only $7000 for her wedding–that’s everything, including a nice reception for 100 guests, and nice hotel rooms for the bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Why does she have to go into debt for a wedding? People don’t have to borrow money for a wedding, particularly if they know it is coming a year and a half in advance. Furthermore, she would only have a poor credit score if they don’t pay the bills and it sounds like they are doing well financially. I think you are borrowing trouble and gasping at far-out-there reasons to be against the marriage when your true objection is emotional and not practical. It isn’t going to be helpful to stress her out by feuding with her while she is planning a wedding and trying to finish school.

SEMESTER ANNUAL
Tuition: $14,553.00 $29,106.00

I copied that from the internet. That doesn’t include fees. It is a state school. It is a professional school. (that means law, dental, medical, etc). We help our children with undergrad, they take over after that. We try to help out when we can, I wish we could do more. Our kids work their tails off in professional school and get zero in financial aid.

Why is there a 4th year scholarship? I have no idea. There just is.

You shouldn’t be so surprised about that tuition. Student debt is outrageous Our kids are better off than most, they commute to school, worked and again we helped with undergrad. We know plenty of kids over $200,000 in debt at this point. If you would like a thread about school tuition, financial aid, etc, I can start one I really think people don’t know how bad it is.

Even though DD works and makes payments to her loans, she will still have significant debt at graduation. That scholarship would be helpful, but there will be debt regardless.

No tears, from any of us :). We are a no drama kind of household I think if I called her finance every name in the book, they would be in shock because cursing is my pet peeve Besides, he is a nice kid So is DD

Nice or not, I still think their timing is off

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.