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Surprise engagement

(74 Posts)
petitpois Fri 28-Apr-17 09:52:59

My youngest son called last night (in tears!) to say he's got engaged. The thing is, we've never met the girl! They've only been together 4 months and I know absolutely nothing about her. I first heard her name less than 8 weeks ago and now she's going to be part of the family! They're coming to visit this weekend and I'm at a complete loss as to how to handle this. I'm delighted he's happy of course, but this is....very quick! He's 25. Anyone else had your children spring a surprise like this on you?!

M0nica Fri 28-Apr-17 10:03:28

I did the same as your son! My DH had been part of my extended social group for some years, but our courtship lasted 6 weeks. I didn't live at home so my parents had never met him, I do not think they even knew we were going out, just knew that I sailed with him. I just rang my parents up and asked if I could bring him with me when I came home for the day the following weekend and then announced that we were engaged just before lunch.

I seem to remember that my parents took it in their stride. Delighted for us both, dug out a bottle of wine and the day went as normal. In the long term: my parents loved and respected him and turned to him for advice where they knew he could give it. In return he was always at ease with them, willing to help when needed.

So, petitpois, I would just be welcoming and delighted to meet her and congratulate them - as if you had known her all your life.

kittylester Fri 28-Apr-17 10:18:42

Just go with the flow. Your son sounded very happy so be pleased for him. If it all goes well and they get married and have children you need to have been welcoming to your new DiL and, if it all goes pearshaped you will be pleased that you were not in any way to blame.

I met my Dh on 19th December and he asked me to marry him on 26th January. We are still together almost 47 years later - it's not necessarily a bad thing.

petitpois Fri 28-Apr-17 10:21:58

Goodness, Monica, that is brave of you! You must have trusted your parents to take the news well. I will of course do my best to be welcoming but I've got all these QUESTIONS. My DH does call me the Inquisitor on normal occasions and this is certainly not normal! Will have to try really hard not to frighten the poor girl.

M0nica Fri 28-Apr-17 10:38:19

Do you know petitpois, at the time I didn't even think about it.

My father was in the army and although we were emotionally close as a family, we were always on the move and I had at times been at boarding school, lived with relations in school holidays when my parents were abroad and been away at university. Standard forces childhood in the 1950s/60s. We all just took life as it came.

Harris27 Fri 28-Apr-17 10:45:11

I would be shocked but happy he has found someone my youngest son is 30 and no one on the horizon as yet . Would love him to meet a really nice girl yes pensionhire wind dies work I met and married my husband within 6 months only 17 and we celebrated our ruby wedding last week!! Goid luck !

Harris27 Fri 28-Apr-17 10:46:21

Sorry should of checked that meant ' whirl wind ' does work!

Humbertbear Fri 28-Apr-17 10:46:39

When I got married my parents had only met my husband a few times. Just go with it. You will get to know her over time.

cornergran Fri 28-Apr-17 10:47:52

Just take a deep breath and smile, petitpois, I expect your son and his wife to be will be as anxious as you are. Try to hold on to the questions. Most of the answers will come out in conversation anyway if you hold back. Isnt it positive they want to come? If you are cooking for them just gently check with your son if there are any foods to leave off the menu or alternatively anything to particularly include. It will be fine! Do let us know how it goes.

Magrithea Fri 28-Apr-17 10:50:31

My brother and his then fiancee came home from a day out shopping and announced they were engaged - they're celebrating their 31st wedding anniversary this year. I think they'd been together longer than a few weeks though!

Our DD and SiL were just engaged when they announced that they were also pregnant! DD was 6 months pregnant when she walked up the aisle and our DGD turned 5 yesterday. Times change and people are different, important thing is to welcome the girl into the family.

OBEWAN Fri 28-Apr-17 10:51:06

Congratulations! I'm sure you'll cope beautifully and welcome your son's Chosen One to the bosom of your family. I suspect CO is a great deal more worried about meeting you than anything else! Tell her you're delighted for them both and that she must be a very special person to have won your son's heart. Then let them do the talking. And remember - there's another Mum out there somewhere panicking that her daughter has been swept off her feet by an unknown young man! As Confucius said "Let your children find their own path and it will always lead to your door". You'll be a brilliant MiL. Good luck!

eebeew Fri 28-Apr-17 10:55:01

Whatever you say will set the tone of your relationship for the future. Really what is the problem? Your son is an adult and it is his choice who he marries.

DotMH1901 Fri 28-Apr-17 10:59:28

My son got first got engaged at 17 - he came and announced that he and Ellen (who was 20) had 'got engaged' and could she move in with us into his room. I said no, they could do what his Dad and I did and find (and fund) their own place. The next time was when he decided to go back to college when he was 19 (Ellen had long vanished from sight by then) and he met and 'got engaged' to a girl he had only known for four weeks. That soon fizzled out as well when she told him to ask me for money and I said no. He then moved away to London with a good job in the Civil Service. He rang me to tell me that he had met a nice girl at a Trade Union Conference he had gone to. Although pleased he had found someone I did say to his Dad 'Wonder how long it will be before he gets engaged this time'. Four weeks later he rang to say he was now engaged to Kathi. They were together for over 10 years but their engagement was an off and on business several times during that time and eventually, after Kathi's Mum died, it just fizzled out completely. a month or so later he then announced that he was getting engaged to a lady he had met over the internet. Dani lives in the USA and he went over to live with her four years ago (they got married within weeks so he could stay there). He is still with Dani and they have a lovely little girl so keeping my fingers crossed this time it works out for him (and Dani).

shysal Fri 28-Apr-17 11:00:18

I hope you will like the young lady, petitpois. Enjoy getting to know her.

My divorced DD texted the other day to say that she and her new long-distance man friend wanted to call in. I was apprehensive, wondering whether an engagement was going to be announced. In fact she just passed on a book that she thought I would enjoy, then they chatted and went on their way. Phew! He seems to be a wonderful man, but most of their communication is done via the internet so I think they will need more time spent together to really know if it works.

PamQS Fri 28-Apr-17 11:07:38

Neither of my sons has sprung a surprise like this on us so far. The younger one hasn't yet settled down, and the older son made it clear when he first started going out with his now wife that he would like to get married.

I was a bit thrown to discover, as their engagement ring was a family ring provided by his granny, this meant my mum in law knew before I did that he was going to propose - but I got over that!

CaliBoingo Fri 28-Apr-17 11:15:40

It happens. We don't need to meet and pre-approve our children's fiances anymore. 21st century, and all that.

On the other hand, DH's cousin went to Jamaica on holiday and returned a fortnight later, announcing to her folks that she had been married. That, indeed, was a quick shock to her parents.

Parklife1 Fri 28-Apr-17 11:18:13

I bet the girl is really nervous too!

I gave my son my mum's engagement ring. It was joined by a wedding ring twelve years and two children later. I love my daughter in law.

henetha Fri 28-Apr-17 11:21:43

One of my children has had an "interesting" love-life and sprung a few surprises. And the other one got married secretly. So, I understand how you feel.
The only thing to do is stand back, take a few deep breaths and smile broadly. Chances are she will turn out to be lovely and you will get to know her in time.
There is nothing we can do about our childrens personal lives once they are adults. They make their own decisions, just like we did when young.
I do hope it all turns out to be lovely.

annifrance Fri 28-Apr-17 11:26:57

Well of course you must ask the set text questions:

What does your father do?
What does he drive?
How many spare bedrooms do they have?

Always teased my DCs that I was going to ask them.

Nannarose Fri 28-Apr-17 11:57:24

Even better (this happened to a young acquaintance of mine only about 20 years ago)
What newspaper do your parents read?

She bravely said 'I don't know', complete with hard stare (she was an Early Years Worker and used to dealing with obstreperous behaviour). Although never warm to her, they were more careful after that!

petitpois Fri 28-Apr-17 12:01:02

Oh annifrance - not even joking, I'm terrible when I get going blush
Lovely to hear so many other sudden love stories stood the test of time. Fingers crossed my son's will too. His previous girlfriends didn't make great impressions on me but I'm clinging on to the fact that that is why they are ex girlfriends and he's decided she is the keeper. Good advice on checking on the food situation, thanks for that. Sigh, right. Time to whittle down my questions and make the spare room up (and then possibly buy a hat grin). wish me luck!

Granjan06 Fri 28-Apr-17 12:03:26

My daughter surprised me when she told us she would like us to meet her boyfriend, she had made up 18 just over a month earlier, having just completed her Alevels - then told us he was 32, they had been seeing each other for 3 months. I was upset and when he came a couple of weeks later I couldn't speak to him, left my husband (daughter's step father) with him. Five weeks later she announced they were moving in together. They have been married now for very nearly 10 years and have 2 young children and have their own house. Sil also has 2 sons from a previous relationship but both are grown up now, they were 9 and 11 at time of wedding. They've had their ups and downs like everyone else but are fine. I get on well with my s-i-l and he was a star when my husband died suddenly just a month after their wedding. Be happy for your son and don't worry everything will turn out fine

MawBroon Fri 28-Apr-17 12:04:03

Great news!
Did ours "surprise us"? Yes and No.
We certainly surprised our parents just under 50 years ago hmm
To be fair to them they kept their reaction to surprised, delighted (but not getting married yet?)
And we are still married.

mcem Fri 28-Apr-17 12:28:39

If all goes well you could keep it light-hearted and confess that the family know you're the inquisitor so does she mind if you ask a couple of questions. Then ask a couple of non-intrusive and supportive ones and keep it light.

SNOWF1975 Fri 28-Apr-17 12:31:51

I would be shocked too if it was my son but like others have said, just go with the flow and be happy for them.
I had been seeing my boyfriend for three months and I fell pregnant! So, when I met his parents I was already pregnant with their grandchild! His parents never let on how shocked they were. We have been together 13 years now and are still as happy. Everything happens for a reason. xx