Family Matters
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my uncle is engaged

So, last night my uncle announced his engagement to the family when we were all gathered together for our Christmas party. My uncle is in his early 40s and is currently living in the family cabin on the river. He doesn't have a lot of friends. He is a vegetarian and is very obnoxious about it. He is the youngest of five children. He was with his previous girlfriend for 16 years. He has gone back to school recently. He just got a new job. 

So, my problem is...his new fiance? She's my age. Maybe even a month or so younger than me. She's 26. And they've only been dating since July. And she has a 20-month old little girl. 

What is going on? Is this a mid-life crisis or what? I don't know how to respond to this. I miss my old 'aunt' a lot and I've only met this new girl three times.   

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Re: my uncle is engaged

  • My grandpa (my mom's dad) remarried a few years back very suddenly after his wife's death. The kicker is that he married a lady that is a year younger than his daughter (my mom). We all thought he was going crazy and we didn't know what to think! However, they are very happy and the lady is actually really nice and seems to be good for him. My advice is to just give her a chance. It's his life and I'm sure you want for him to be happy. If she makes him happy then where's the harm in it...
  • How do you respond? You wish the bride "best wishes" and the groom to be "congratualtions". It's pretty straightforward.

    It sounds like your uncle is something of a late bloomer and that perhaps, it's why he is drawn to a woman who is younger and in the same place emotionally as he is.

    A midlife crisis typically involves a red convertible. Look for it.

  • image -auntie-:

    How do you respond? You wish the bride "best wishes" and the groom to be "congratualtions". It's pretty straightforward.

    It sounds like your uncle is something of a late bloomer and that perhaps, it's why he is drawn to a woman who is younger and in the same place emotionally as he is.

    A midlife crisis typically involves a red convertible. Look for it.

    This 

    ETA: your post is very much about YOU.  Your problems w/ it (none of which really are a true problem) and how you miss his ex.  What about being happy for him?  Can you really not muster any happiness for him?

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • Suck it up and say congrats. His life really is no ones business. And any opinions that you have about it truly do not involve you so you should keep them to yourself. That kind of includes vents on here. I made a huge mistake blabbing away about someone else's life on here a long time ago and it made me feel like an idiot afterwards. It doesn't do any good to slam others on here..all it does is make the poster look bad.
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  • His life = his choices.  You smile and say congratulations.  As long as she's legal, I don't see why the age difference is a big deal.
  • I realize that his life=his choices and I'm not about to stop him from making those choices. As if I even could. That doesn't mean I'm not allowed to have feelings about it.
    My hope is your story will be about changing.-A Million Miles Daisypath Happy Birthday tickers
  • You're perfectly fine to have feelings about them. No one is telling you not to having feelings. They're telling you that you should not be acting on those feelings as it is none of your business.

    I agree, I would be wierded out by it. I would have to refrain from raising my eyebrows. I would probably talk to my husband about it - because he's my husband. But I would also keep my mouth (and typing fingers) quiet about it because, unless he is exhibiting other behaviors that are cause for concern, it's none of my damn business. Recognize you're being judgemental and move on.

    Ignore the politics and enjoy life!
  • I had an uncle who started dating fairly quickly after his wife died.

    He spiffed himself up, got a new haircut and some new clothes and started dating.  He had a variety of ladyfriends until he decided on one to marry.

    I thought Sonya was very nice. Don't ask what my mother and cousin (the uncle's daughter) thought of her.:(
  • image SecretHoodie:
    I realize that his life=his choices and I'm not about to stop him from making those choices. As if I even could. That doesn't mean I'm not allowed to have feelings about it.

    When your feelings boarder on being selfcentered, it sort of does. 

    Every example you gave his a non-starter and by far has nothing to do with the success or failure of his relationship....

    A relationship that has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU AT ALL. 

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  • OP - you asked how to respond.  The overwhelming answer was to say "Congratulations".  

    Your hangups with the relationship don't matter.   

  • What does your uncle being the youngest of 5 kids and an obnoxious vegetarian living in the family cabin on the river have to do with ANYTHING?

    You lost me with that.  You sound like a twit.

    Their relationship isn't any of your business.  I'm assuming that you didn't marry your husband based on your weird, friendless uncle's approval, so he doesn't need your approval to marry whoever he wants to marry.  Wish them well, that's the appropriate response and your only obligation as a family member.

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  • I was trying to give some background on where he is coming from and his personality. As a psychologist, I can't help but try to understand people's behavior and the reasons for it. It's just how I function.

    Name-calling is really unnecessary. 

    Since the relationship is going to affect my family, whom I am very close to, it IS business to an extent. And actually, my family's opinion was very important to me when I started dating my husband, after several very bad relationships where I did not solicit or listen to anyone's opinion. You're right, he doesn't need my approval, and unless he asks for it, I will not give him my opinion. I did wish him well, and then I went to what I thought might be a safe place to try and process my feelings about it. 

    I see I was wrong and that this is a place full of people who call each other names. If that's the type of people who are gold posters here, then forget it. Don't bother saying you won't miss me, it's mutual.

    My hope is your story will be about changing.-A Million Miles Daisypath Happy Birthday tickers
  • Really? I would think that a psychologist would have a much better grasp on this type of thing.

    I think everyone was very clear that regardless of your personal feelings on his relationship that proper etiquette dictates that you say congratulations and treat her as you would any other family spouse or spouse to be. 

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  • image Tofumonkey:

    Really? I would think that a psychologist would have a much better grasp on this type of thing.

    I think everyone was very clear that regardless of your personal feelings on his relationship that proper etiquette dictates that you say congratulations and treat her as you would any other family spouse or spouse to be. 

    Thank you - that is EXACTLY what I was thinking.

  • image SecretHoodie:

    Since the relationship is going to affect my family, whom I am very close to, it IS business to an extent.

    Huh?  how exactly is his relationship going to "affect"you all anymore than his other relationship did, or ANYone's relationships in your family?

    This seriously comes across that it's a fore-gone conclusion that this is going to be a BAD relationship and that she's going to cause strife. 

    And really- this makes you sound even more self-centered than you did before. You don't care about his happiness - you only care about how this woman will somehow "affect" you and your family...???

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • image -auntie-:

    How do you respond? You wish the bride "best wishes" and the groom to be "congratualtions". It's pretty straightforward.

    It sounds like your uncle is something of a late bloomer and that perhaps, it's why he is drawn to a woman who is younger and in the same place emotionally as he is.

    A midlife crisis typically involves a red convertible. Look for it.

    Everything auntie said.

    [IMG]http://i39.tinypic.com/rkd75g.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i41.tinypic.com/23r1e34.jpg[/IMG]
  • image Tofumonkey:

    Really? I would think that a psychologist would have a much better grasp on this type of thing.

    I'm guessing that at most she has an undergrad degree in psychology and hence deems herself a psychologist. 

    My undergrad minor is psychology.  I like to think about how people's experiences shape them and their behavior as well.  But secrethoodie - nothing that you mention is in any way relevant.  At all.  Except to say that maybe he's such a weird loner that maybe he doesn't have tons of choices in a mate.

    Who he marries has nothing to do with you or your family and will only affect you to the extent that you let it.  Perhaps you need to put a little space between you and your family if you are this enmeshed.  Or perhaps you just need to grow up and get over yourself. 

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  • image SecretHoodie:

    I was trying to give some background on where he is coming from and his personality. As a psychologist, I can't help but try to understand people's behavior and the reasons for it. It's just how I function.

    Name-calling is really unnecessary. 

    Since the relationship is going to affect my family, whom I am very close to, it IS business to an extent. And actually, my family's opinion was very important to me when I started dating my husband, after several very bad relationships where I did not solicit or listen to anyone's opinion. You're right, he doesn't need my approval, and unless he asks for it, I will not give him my opinion. I did wish him well, and then I went to what I thought might be a safe place to try and process my feelings about it. 

    I see I was wrong and that this is a place full of people who call each other names. If that's the type of people who are gold posters here, then forget it. Don't bother saying you won't miss me, it's mutual.

    As a psychologist, perhaps you need to delve into why your uncle dating someone young is bothering YOU so much.  I mean, you don't live with him.  You don't work with him, I assume.  So you'll have someone your age to talk to at family dinners a few times a year.  What's the big deal?

    My mom has been living with her boyfriend, who is a few years younger than I am, for 5 years now.  The first two, I stomped my feet and threw a fit and refused to acknowledge him.  Then I realized I was being a selfish ass and gave him a chance.  Know what?  He's a perfectly nice guy.  He even painted my son's nursery and put together his play kitchen this Christmas.  Do I find it odd (and somewhat creepy) that my mom is living with someone who wasn't even alive when I was walking and talking?  Yep.  But it's none of my business.  It's not my relationship.  As long as he's not abusing her, my opinion isn't relevant and is kept to myself.

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