I just got engaged to my partner of 4 years, and my parents said they would throw us an engagement party. They are paying for everything, but want to make it a shared engagement party for both me and my sister. I have a slight problem with this because my sister isn't actually engaged.
She has been dating her boyfriend for 12 years, and he gave her a promise ring shortly after my engagement. We're all in our late 20's/early 30's, so pretty much everyone except for my sister and our parents thinks that it is kind of childish and ridiculous.
I have had many conversations with my sister over the years that have boiled down to "Look, if he wanted to marry you, he would," but she has stayed with him and held out hope. And I suppose she took the promise ring as a "close enough" kind of gesture because she is treating it exactly like an engagement ring.
My fiance reached out to her boyfriend because he was equally confused and said "Uh are you guys engaged?" and he outright said that they weren't. Nonetheless, my sister is showing the ring to everyone and even putting together a wedding planning binder.
I feel bad for her, I really do, but she's also a grown woman and I don't feel like I should have to enable this farce. I've been dealing with "Don't forget about [sister]! Make sure [sister] is included!" my whole life and I was really hoping that my engagement, if nothing else, would actually be my own.
I'd rather just not have an engagement party at all than play along with this weird fantasy. My fiance would rather have a weird party than no party, and my parents are scolding me for being so selfish to want to exclude my sister.
"my parents are scolding me for being so selfish to want to exclude my sister"
She's not "excluded", it's just not hers. Where does it end? White dress to the wedding. Come along on the honeymoon. Your parents are the kind of parents who will let her do it. Draw your line in the sand here and now. NTA.
NTA. Ask your parents what they're going to say when the guests congratulate them on your sister's engagement and her bf says: "We're not engaged!" Rinse and repeat when the guests say the same to your sister and her bf. "Congrats on your engagement!" "We're NOT engaged!"
This party will just lead to the bf dumping your sister because this is an obvious ploy to pressure the bf to propose at the party. Your parents and sister are just embarrassing themselves.
Their honest to god plan is for me, my fiance, and my sister to be the guests of honor at the party while her boyfriend stays home.
"I'd rather just not have an engagement party at all than play along with this weird fantasy."
Agreed. NTA You are clearly not the favorite in your family.
NTA. Either don't have the engagement party, or if you do, have someone else host it, like your fiancé's family or even your friends. That way your parents are completely excluded from the planning and have zero control over it. If your sister does show up and makes an ass out of herself, then that's on her and your parents (for mollycoddling her).
If your parents want to perpetuate this idea that she's engaged, that's on them. Everyone else will see if for what it is; a desperate attention grab by your sister and your parents favoritism of her. Draw your boundaries now and hold firm otherwise you'll be forced to share with her the rest of your adult life.
NTA, I always cringe a little when I hear of anyone older than 17 getting a promise ring. Clearly it was a "shut up ring" and he has no intention of ever marrying her. I'm sorry that you haven't been able to have things that are your own. You deserve to be celebrated without having your sister tacked on by default.
NTA A promise ring? It's a little high school and it's a symbol of what? Your sister's boyfriend confirmed he has no plans to ask your sister to get married.
I don't think you're an asshole for not wanting a combined soiree but I also don't see the harm. Yes, it's a little weird your parents are indulging your sister's fantasy and want to have a combined party but I guess I'm like your fiance, I don't mind a little weird every now and then.
What is concerning is whatever fantasy scenario your sister is living in will come crashing down at the party when her boyfriend repeatedly confirms to guests they have no immediate plans to be come engaged or married. It may become a source of embarrassment and disappointment for your sister.
I would be more concerned what’s going to happen when you actually get married and she has no wedding. Are your parents going suggest you share your wedding with her too even though the boyfriend has no intentions of getting married or will they suggest you just give her your fiancé.
You are NTA but your parents and sister are and your sister is heading for some hard truths and your parents need to stop fvvkking enabling this ridiculousness.