Share and share alike sounds like good advice, but there has to be limits.
For example, at some point siblings need autonomy. Small children might be asked to share everything, but that needs to end at some point.
It definitely shouldn’t continue into adulthood.
A woman dealing with being asked to share her engagement party with her sister turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
“AITA for refusing to share my engagement party with my non-engaged sister?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“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 fiancé reached out to her boyfriend because he was equally confused and said ‘Uh are you guys engaged?’ and her boyfriend outright said that they weren’t. Nonetheless, my sister is showing the ring to everyone and even putting together a wedding planning binder.”
“My parents honest to God plan is for me, my fiancé, and my sister to be the guests of honor at the party while her boyfriend stays home.”
“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 fiancé 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.”
The OP summed up their situation.
“If my parents are paying for it and it will be mostly family there, it might just be easier to give the friends who are invited a heads up and just go through the motions.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors unanimously declared the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).
“She’s not ‘excluded’, it’s just not hers because she’s not engaged.”
“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.” ~ notforcommentinohgoo
“NTA. What’s next will you have to have a double wedding too?
“Except yours will be real and you’ll have to include your sister for her pretend ceremony?” ~ Storms_and_Rainbows
“So in your 20s/30s your parents don’t find it embarrassing to celebrate your sister’s promise ring? You’ve all aged out of that nonsense and it sounds like your sister is in high school instead of a full on adult.”
“Perhaps if you frame in the light of ‘this will embarrass you because a promise ring at 30 after 12 years together is ridiculous’ they may drop it. But given this was their idea in the first place probably not.”
“So you can fund your own engagement party or pretend to be thrilled about your sister jointly celebrating the ‘I may someday get married but it’s probably likely not going to happen’ party.” ~ ShermanOneNine87
“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 a** 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.” ~ BadBandit1970
“She should tell her parents we are going to do something else but your sis can still have her engagement party with her imaginary ‘fiancé’.”
“I mean she is the one that wants all the attention.” ~ Pretend-Olive-3964
“So neither your mom or sis think of this as lying or misleading people? Friends and family people.
“Like that won’t create any drama, right? Not to mention making your sister the butt of jokes. NTA.”
“Have you explained to your mother that this ONE moment you want to share with just your fiancé? If she can’t understand her daughter wanting this moment to share with family and friends without the sister, than I’d cancel.”
“If your fiancé wants a weird party then throw the weirdest damn party on the planet, with only you two as the guests of honor.” ~ VeritasB
“You cannot be serious that they intend to have a engagement party for her where her own fiancé won’t show up? Like WTF.”
“I cannot imagine anything more humiliating than being at an engagement party for myself where my own future husband does not want to attend.”
“I don’t know where you live, but can I get an invite so I can see this sh*t show? I promise to take discreet photos and video.” ~ TeachingClassic5869
“This is just BANANAS. I’d almost go ahead with it just to soak in the absolute WEIRDNESS. How are they styling this‽‽”
“‘Mr. and Mrs. Delusional invite you to attend the engagement party of SeasonBree and Mr. Fiancé. Also, congratulations to Miss Havisham and the promise ring from her boyfriend of 12 years. Boyfriend will not be attending’.”
“Guest: ‘Oh, congratulations SeasonBree and Fiancé!’.”
“Mom and Dad: ‘BUT WHAT ABOUT MISS HAVISHAM‽‽’.”
“Guest: ‘Congratulations….?’.” ~ Starchasm
“Do your parents not realize how embarrassing that’d be for your sister? What happens when someone wants to take pictures of the engaged and ‘engaged’ couple?
“You’ll have you with yours and your sister will have hers with her and an 8×10 of her boyfriend?” ~ -chelle-
“They think they are being supportive parents instead of talking her into therapy.”
“But hey, she now has her bubblegum machine ring that is turning her finger green as we type these things.” ~ False-Importance-741
“Someone needs to tell Promise Ring Patrick that his girlfriend’s parents are trying to make this a double engagement party. I doubt he is ready to make it official with OPs sister.” ~ No-Place-8047
“It sounds like the sister is equally delusional, especially as she’s already planning for the wedding based off of a ‘don’t break up with me’ promise ring.” ~ KayakerMel
“It is rude of mom to squish your sister into an engagement party. Rude to you and also setting your sister up for humiliation since the woman was given a ‘shut up ring’ after 12 whopping years.”
“I’d honestly tell mom no to the party. You only get married for the first time once. Have the parties on your terms, not hers.” ~ SketchyUsername1
“OP should have a cardboard cutout made of the boyfriend.”
“She could break it out mid-party while making it clear that the actual boyfriend isn’t there because HE is NOT engaged.”
“Then, make sister pose with her promise ring and boyfriend cutout.” ~ TarzanKitty
Many had thoughts on promise rings at the 12-year mark of a relationship.
“Promise Rings: The snooze button on the alarm clock of your relationship.” ~ malackey
“It’s a shut-up ring. Not a promise ring.” ~ polthedol
“I promise to promise, someday.”
“Who wouldn’t want a flaccid commitment like that?” ~ gardeninggoddess666
“When I was a kid in the late 60s/early70s, ‘promise rings’ were for:”
“1) religious young couples (between ages of 15-18) to allow themselves to feel okay about having pre-marital sex—’it’s okay because we are going to get married when we can’.”
“2) couples when boy was 18 but girl was only 16 or 17. There was always a chance the young man could get drafted, or had even already been drafted, but the girl’s father was not going to allow them to get ‘officially engaged’ before the guy left for basic training because the girl was just not old enough, in her parents’ view.”
“3) the guy had a part-time job (so could afford to buy a promise ring) and wanted to send a signal to the rest of the world that he was ‘in love and very serious about this relationship, so keep your mitts of my girl!’.”
“4) the young people were members of a strict religion which discouraged any physical contact such as hand-holding and side hugs, without the young people being ‘courting’ (exclusively dating with the intention of marriage).”
“No self-respecting girl would wear a ‘promise ring’ past the age of 22 unless the guy who put it on her finger had re-enlisted or was MIA or KIA.”
“Why is a girl in her late 20s wearing a promise ring?” ~ Proverbs21-3
“I think he’s using the promise ring to continue to stall.”
“She must have let him have it when OP announced her engagement, so he came up with this immature farce.”
“After 12 years, this guy does not want to marry her.” ~ Appropriate-Dig771
The OP didn’t provide an update on their decision about the party.
Perhaps it’s best to skip this spectacle altogether.