My family hasn’t met my fiancé

Dear Meredith,

I'm happily engaged but in an unusual situation. My family hasn't met my fiancé. For background, I met him one and a half years ago. He is the most reliable, loyal, and kind person imaginable. He is not perfect but he accepts me as I am. He values thinking positively, living in the moment, and making the most of every experience we have together. He says that is because of the hardships he's suffered. He went through a family trauma when he was younger and later served in the military. He was also in an accident that caused lasting injuries that have impaired his mobility.

I've met his entire family and they all love me. But after I first started dating him in August of last year, I told my family that I wanted to bring him to Thanksgiving at my sister's house. She and her family live on the West Coast but I planned to fly us there and stay in a hotel. My parents said they didn't think it was a good idea because we hadn't been dating long. My sister said that I was welcome to come but not with him, which was very upsetting to me.

Then when he proposed to me on New Year's Eve and I accepted, they lost it. They thought it was disrespectful of me to get engaged before the family had met him. Now it is one year later and we're at a stalemate. My sisters have come to see me but have not met him, and my parents refuse to visit because he has moved into the house that I own. Six months ago I also bought a beach house. The houses are in my name because he does not have good credit but he is working on improving his score. My family doesn't like the age gap (he's in his 50s, I'm late 30s), and they are fixated on his health problems and lack of money. I do worry about his health but I plan to be there to support him.

Their focus on money annoys me because I make a very good income. I travel extensively for work so I want a spouse with a stable situation. My fiancé can stay home and take care of the properties, which is very helpful. One issue is that this man has no contact with his adult child (he attributes this to his child's mother’s influence) and doesn't want any more children. I always thought I wanted to have one child but now I think my relationship is the top priority.

What should I do? I'm in love but I don't know how to plan a wedding when things are so bad with my family. My sisters think we should just live together and not get married, but he wants to go ahead with wedding plans, and his family is excited about it too.

– Wedding or Not?


Your family should meet this man. Their concerns about your pace should not stop them from involving themselves in your life. Invite them to your house to meet your fiancé. Then start planning your wedding because it's about you and your relationship, not them.

As for the other questions, the ones about kids and money and health ... I would only say that sometimes it helps to meet with a counselor of some kind, before accounts are tied together, to figure out what works best for everyone. If he has not-so-great credit, how do you protect yours as he improves his own? Have you worked out all of the complicated insurance stuff? Who owns what? These don't sound like romantic conversations, but they can be. They’re about going into a good marriage with all of the information you need.

I mean, you've probably considered all of this, but it's nice to have answers you feel good about when people ask questions.

I'm sorry you haven't had much support throughout this process, but if your family doesn't come around to meet this man – to see what you’ve been building – it really is on them. You can't pause your life because they want you to. All you can to do is make healthy and smart decisions for yourself.

– Meredith

Readers? Wait on the wedding or no?