What to D​o When Your Family Doesn't Support Your Engagement

This is an overwhelming and painful position to find yourself in, but we have some tips that will hopefully help bring your whole family (partner included) to a place of understanding for a lifetime of love, happiness, and support.

1. Communicate With Them

If you are able to have a safe and healthy conversation with your family, give them a chance to share their feelings about your engagement. Even though it may be difficult and you may hear some things that you don't like or that are painful, it may ease some of the tension for them to feel heard. It could open the door for you to also share your feelings and explain why being married to your partner is so important to you. 


2. Consider What They Share With You

Honestly take into consideration the reasons they don't approve. This does not mean that you agree with them or that you should break off your engagement, but they may point out some things that you haven't thought about or realized. If there are some valid issues, then you should discuss them privately with your partner.


3. Give Them Time

Continue your wedding plans as much as you can without them and give them a break from being involved. This could give them time to process their feelings about the engagement.  Hopefully they will resolve that it is ultimately your decision, and decide that they would like to continue to have a relationship with both you and your partner.


4. Counseling

It may be helpful to seek professional counseling with your family members. Having a professional to help both sides navigate through their feelings may be the key to reaching a decision about how possible it will be for your family to be involved in your life.


5. Talk to Your Partner

If you feel you have made every possible effort to give your family the chance to accept your engagement, then you and your partner need to discuss how you will move forward. Will you be able to attend family functions amid the disapproval? Will you still have contact with your family and just not include your partner? Will you give your parents an ultimatum that involves not having contact with them until they accept your partner? What will happen if you have children?