Getting Engaged is super freaking exciting!
Breaking the news to your unsupportive and judgmental family members might take some of the fun out of your engagement.
Here are some helpful ways to help you navigate this exciting time with grace.
If you know your family does not support your relationship, you already know they will not be popping open a bottle of champagne to celebrate your engagement. Approach your family members in a way that makes you feel most comfortable. Be ready for a bad reaction. Be honest with them. Tell them what it would mean to you to have their support. Your family might actually surprise you and end up being supportive.
Remember this is YOUR day.
Your wedding, your rules. If you decide to eliminate the negative Nancys and any of the unsupportive fam, that is your choice. If you decide to elope and invite no one, that is also your choice. There might be blowback, but you also might be surprised that your family is relieved! Whatever you decide to do with your wedding day, it is the right choice.
If you have a homophobic family, they might feel relieved that they were not invited. Every family dynamic is different, so make sure you talk this out as a couple and decide WHO you want present on your day.
Talk to a Therapist
If Therapy is your jam, consider talking to a therapist about navigating your unsupportive family during this time. I’m an advocate for therapy ALL THE TIME, but when you are overwhelmed with stress, it’s a necessity. A therapist or counselor will be able to provide you with healthy ways to cope during this somewhat stressful time. Maybe consider even bringing your family members to a therapy session to have a neutral person help you hash it all out.
Take Care of Yourself
Self care is SUPER important. Planning a wedding in itself is a stressful time. Family drama is the LAST thing you need during this time. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water, eating as healthy as you can, getting 8 hours of sleep every night and doing something for yourself every day. Do everything you can to keep yourself calm and happy during this time. Lean on your friends and framily for support if you need it.
Hear Them Out
If your family has honest concerns, hear them out. Try to not engage in arguing or fighting, but just listen. If you don’t agree, calmly explain YOUR side of things. Ask them what bothers them about your relationship or marriage and see if there is anything you can do to make them feel better. Making others feel comfortable isn’t our job, but if you could have a conversation to hear their concerns, why not try it?! If they are being hateful, harmful and toxic, explain that you will not tolerate that behavior and remove yourself from the situation.
Cut the Toxic Out
Family is important and they are your DNA, but if you have a toxic family member you are allowed to cut them out of your life. If you have tried setting boundaries, having conversations about the way they treat you and feel like you’ve exhausted every option, let them go. It’s okay to remove harmful people from your life, DNA or not.
Whatever you do, enjoy your engagement. Surround yourselves with supportive friends and family in these happy and exciting times. Your unsupportive family will ultimately miss out on important moments in your life and have regrets in the end. That is their problem, not yours. Love is love and love will always win.