Anonymous asked in Family & RelationshipsEngagements & Weddings · 1 month ago

How do I respectfully tell my stepdaughter it’s too soon to get engaged without injuring her feelings or our relationship?

Bit of a backstory - I am 33, my partner is 43 and we have been together for the last 6 years, got engaged at the end of 2019. 

My stepdaughter and I have both put a lot of effort into building our relationship and I would say we are quite close. She and her boyfriend are both 21 and she is absolutely fixated on weddings and such. I would say looking at stuff for the wedding I am planning to her dad May have sparked it, but honestly why girl doesn’t like looking at all the pretty wedding stuff, it’s exciting. She rang me this morning and told me to tell her when he dad gets home from work tonight because she and the boyfriend have big news, and I’m anxious with all the imaginary planning for her own wedding she’s been doing it will be an engagement announcement. Her boyfriend is a nice guy, we both like him, but they’ve only been dating 6 months. They are so young. She was still in a relationship and living with her ex when they met. 

As someone who got married very young, I wish I had someone in my corner to tell me it wasn’t the best idea. I know her mum will be over the moon and I don’t want to upset her or have her feel like I don’t support her. They might live happily ever after, I have no idea, but it’s just so soon and they are so young and inexperienced with the world. Please help


**I was previously married. Got married at 20 to my son’s father (we had dated for 4 years at that point). It was such a stressful and painful time in my life. Everyone told me afterwards as I was struggling through the divorce process that they new it was a bad idea. I feel like it might have helped me if I at least felt like I had someone who honestly cared about me and told me not to go ahead with it. Prob still would have gotten married in hindsight, but I would have had that person

Update 2:

Alot of people say it’s not my place, it’s her dads place to talk to her and I agree in general. But as I said we are very close and she respects my advice and opinion. When she tells us, she will also look to me for my reaction, not just her dads. I don’t want to lie to her and fake excitement. I want to be honest with her. She’s an adult, no one can tell her what to do and at the end of the day I would support her choices no matter what they were. If it doesn’t work, we help pick up the pieces

17 Answers

  • Trish
    Lv 5
    4 weeks ago

    Do you think you don't want her to outshine you.  I know when it comes to two people deciding to marry if you don't have anything good to say keep your mouth shut.  I have three sisters and they have seven failed marriages between them...and I didn't say a word even though I knew it was a bad situation they were going into but it wasn't one sided it takes two to tango.  I have been married to the same man for 54 years thus far.

  • 1 month ago

    You can't tell them no, it just doesn't work. You could fight her and try to dissuade her and damage your relationship, or you can continue to be the supportive person she knows and be there for her no matter stupid choices she makes. She's an adult and no one can tell the future, keep having a good relationship with her though. 

  • 1 month ago

    Let's back up. You said that your step-daughter is so young and inexperienced but you also said that she had lived with another guy. If she is 21 and has lived with a guy, and now wants to get married, I'd say that she has experience, and not only prior but with the present boyfriend also. Just tell her Dad how you feel and maybe he can have a talk with her Mom.  But you can do nothing but just give her some ideas.

  • 1 month ago

    Maybe mind your own business and let the kids live and learn. You had to. 

    They aren't going to listen to you. And acting like a controlling narcissist won't help matters.

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  • 1 month ago

    I don't agree with people saying keep your mouth shut.  The whole point in beinh close with someone, regardless of the relationship, is to feel free to have open, honest & sometimes tough convos. 

    The most important msg is to tell her you'll support her in whatever she decides.  Then issue your concerns.  To me, the biggest one is the fact this is a short term rebound relationship.  Nobody aged 20 should be living with a boyfriend - you have the rest of your life to be accountable to another person!  I imagine she got some cautionary words about that and look how it ended.  Not she's moving at warp speed yet again. 

    Another good way to tap the brakes has to do with paying for the wedding.  It's becoming far more common for couples to pay their own way, for a variety of reasons.  Talk to your husband about this.  It would not be wrong to tell her she is on her own for this wedding.  If he's always promised he'd pay, that was a mistake, but in that case, offer her a very modest sum to put towards planning. 

  • drip
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Would they even listen to anyone saying they are too young to marry? 

    Her father can try to help them by sitting down and showing them how to budget and the reality of what they can afford. 

  • 1 month ago

    You really can't have it both ways.  If she doesn't ask your opinion, then any "insight" or well-meaning "advice" on your part probably won't be well received.  As a new step-mom, it really isn't your place to get involved.  Her own father should be the one to step in and try to talk some sense into her. 

    While the statics support your concerns about marrying young, it isn't totally fair to assume she will have your experience either.

    I'd encourage you to talk to your husband about all of this and let him be the heavy and take the lead in any conversations about his daughter getting married.  

  • Kelly
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You can give some insight and let her know you're worried about her future but in the end, it's her decision at this point.  Its's quite unlikely that you can change her mind and even in your own case it's unlikely had someone had a discussion with you about it you would have.  

    This is a conversation that really should be coming from a parent or if a stepparent one who has been there very long term and who has a solid bond with them.  My kids are very close to their step-dad but he also raised them and was there most of their lives, they don't remember life without him.  He's earned the right to have such conversations with them but he's a guy and quite chill so his approach to it would be different than mine, for certain topics they're more likely to listen to him.

    Most young marriages do fail, mine did to my kids' dad, he's still in the picture and they have a great relationship with him too (he and I also get along).  However, not all of them do.  A lot couples also figure things out and stay together, your stepdaughter may or may not be one of them.  The best you can do is let her make the choices and be there for the fallout if there is any.

  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You're not her mother or even officially her stepmother (as you're not married to her father). So I'd convey your concerns to your boyfriend and let him talk to her about it. You shouldn't have to be the one to draw her ire when she's told she's going off the rails. 

  • 1 month ago

    Basically - you can't. She's an adult, and (like you) she'll make her own life choices. 

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