Post # 1
I’m really torn here because I really understand that relationships take compromise and I’m willing to do it all, but it seems like my fiance is just a spoiled brat and won’t do anything with my family unless it’s something he’s comfortable with.
For example. Thanksgiving. We decided to have it at our house, which is great. his brother and sister live here and my sister and her family live here too so they would come over. Last minute, my sister’s fiance’s sister and her family said they were coming to town. Naturally I’m thinking oh great just invite them over. BUT NO! My fiance had a fit, threated to just work that day and kept explaining that his family doesn’t need to be subjected to “strangers.!” Strangers? i said, they are family and he responds, “not mine”. Eventually after several fights and tear he agreed, but by that time they decided not to come, which broke my heart.
Then Christmas, he told my family we’d spend it with them (his words). My parents are coming out here and we’re spending it at my sisters house. Last minute his aunt decided to come so I compromised. Come spend christmas morning with us and then go with your family. no biggie. So my parents arrive this weekend and I said lets do things with them too and he agreed. So my sister’s friend is throwing a real fun christmas party and we’re all going. I told him about it and now it’s out of the questions, again because “strangers’ will be there. What’s up with that? He says he doesn’t want to spend time with strangers but is down to spend time with family, but we’re going as a family and all plan to hang out. I just don’t get it. The fights get ugly and he has no care to how this makes me feel. I end up going alone and feel awkward. Especially because my parents are paying for our wedding in Hawaii in April and I feel they deserve our time while they are here.
I feel this is tearing us apart because it’s like this with EVERYTHING!. He’s a great guy and we have so much fun together but when it comes to doing things for me even if it’s something he doesn’t really want to do he never budges even though I explain how important it is to me. HELP i really need advice. This is making me second guess everything. 🙁
Post # 3
@bonch: Well I’ll start by saying that the holiday’s are always stressful and seem to bring out the worst in people, but it sounds like he’s being unreasonable. If he’s like this on all things then I’d say that there are some major communication issues. It sounds like you two get along in other areas, so I’d say that seeing a counselor who can help teach you two how to communicate and listen, as well as provide a sounding board for your frustrations could be helpful. You’re right in wanting to deal with this now rather than later though. Wish you the best!
Post # 4
Does he have some form of social anxiety??
Post # 5
@bonch: just a thought-maybe he is a little anti social/has social anxiety. Luckily for me- both fiancé and I aren’t that social. It’s a real thing with possibly real anxiety for him ( def for me). I feel comfortable around my own family and even his but get really anxious around friends of friends or coworkers parties. I get what he is feeling but he should also be able to communicate that to you without fighting If that’s the problem.
Post # 6
@FortiesFlare: I was about to ask the same question…OP it definitely sounds like social anxiety from what you described, do you think that could be part of the problem?
Post # 7
Commenting to come back because he sounds like my husband and it’s taken quite a bit of work to improve. I learned a lot about him and anxiety through couples counseling but don’t want to type it all out on my phone 🙂
Post # 8
@FortiesFlare: +1 This was my first thought as well.
Has he always been like this with strangers?
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
What the hell? Not a good sign. If he’s calling your family ‘strangers’ NOW, I imagine it’s only going to get worse. What’s his issue with them?
Post # 10
Hi @bonch: First and foremost I see that this is your DEBUT post on WBee… so a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”
As I see it, it could come down to a variety of things…
1- Some people like the familiar… and don’t do well with things they aren’t familiar with… such as change, strangers etc. They are the type of folks who have to “visualize” a situation so it is less stressful for them to get thru.
2- And some people seriously see The Holidays as ONLY about family… and ya, usually THEIR FAMILY
The first one is hard enough… and sort of an anxiety issue / phobia
The second one tho can actually also be hard to work with tho if you are a more easy going roll with the punches kind of person… who sees The Holidays as a “The More the Merrier” sort of thing.
The second one is also the one that causes a lot of stress in Relationships / Marriages when it comes down to the logistics of Holiday Planning and working out how to divy up time with Friends & Relatives.
I am like you… I don’t mind mingling the two… but some people do. They get very defensive about time with THEIR LOVED ONES… and not wanting to share. Sometimes it ties back to their childhood beliefs about what constitutes a GOOD FAMILY MEMORY
You guys need to talk this thru… so you have a better idea of WHAT it is that is bothering him most.
And if that doesn’t bring about a positive change… then maybe some couples counselling will.
(( HUGS ))
Hope this helps,
Post # 11
@bonch: Oh man. I’m sorry you’re going through this.
My FI is a classic introvert and it’s taken a lot of work for both of us, as I’m very much a social butterfly/extrovert. While I want him with me at every social event, I know that my friends are often too loud/rowdy for him and he doesn’t enjoy himself. I’d prefer to go alone than to have him be uncomfortable, which causes me not to enjoy myself. So it’s taken some getting used to. I pick and choose which events I really want him at and either choose to go alone or not at all to others. So… my friend’s wedding- yes. He had to be there. But I went to a birthday party the day before without him for it.
But your FI sounds like not just an introvert but possibly a borderline social anxiety. He can get counseling or even medication if it’s bad. To be fair…. I don’t know that I’d consider my FI’s sister’s FI’s sister “family” either… but I’d still have her over. If I were you, I would talk to him about how important these kinds of things are but also be willing to compromise. Yes, he should spend time with your parents while they are here… but he can do that at brunch or dinner with them and not go to the party. You were fine going to parties with your family when you were single, I assume, so you can do it now too. I’m just flat honest with my friends- I tell them “He’s introverted and stuff like this wears him out. I figured I’d have more fun if I could just give you my undivided attention and so I left him at home!” No biggie.
Post # 12
@bonch: My ex was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. He would get upset at me if I went to the gym because it left him home alone. He couldn’t make phone calls, nor could he speak to the apartment manager if we needed something fixed. He would practice before ordering food at a restaurant, and we could only go to resturants he’d been to many times so that he felt comfortable. The final straw was a day that I was sick and he insisted I go to the store WITH HIM to buy medicine for me because he couldn’t handle going to the drug store alone. It sounds like your FI doesn’t have social anxiety disorder, more that he’s shy. I’d discuss your feelings with him at a neutral time, not related to a specific event but in general. Calmly discuss mutual expectations for social events, things he is and is not comfortable with, compromises that you both can make, and reference the discussion (again calmly) when a specific incident arises. As long as he understands you’ll both need to lean out of your comfort zone to make it work I think you two will feel a lot better. Good luck!
Post # 13
Thank you all for your responses. You all are saying things that I totally agree with and makes sense with him. The thing is that I do try to understand his issues and don’t have a problem going on my own, but it comes to the point where everything is something with him. And it doesn’t seem like he cares at all that it hurts me when he acts this way, when it’s important stuff.
He’s horrible at communicating and I’ve gotten him to do better, but I feel like he either will just shut down and not want to talk about it or make it out like I’ve done something wrong cause I can’t understand, although he can’t explain anything to me. Things are always just because he doens’t want to.
NO matter how understanding I am, it still hurts and mainly because he probably wouldn’t come or participate because It would mean a lot to me, because in the long run it’s still something he doesn’t want to do and I’d just be making him do stuff he doesn’t want to do and he’d end up getting mad at me about it.
I”m just so confused and it’s so close to our wedding. I hate feeling this way and I don’t know waht to do. I”ve asked him to do couples counseling and he refues. I don’t know how we can get through this like this.
Post # 14
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Yikes :/ My husband and I learned a long time ago that a very important part of being a good partner is, when your partner tells you “I know you don’t want to do XYZ but it’s really important to me”, you do it. That is like Life Partners 101.
If he doesn’t care that he’s hurting your feelings, he’s not making any kind of compromise, and he refuses to go to counseling with you, I don’t think that seems like a very good start to a marriage….
Is there something you do that he really doesn’t like? (Other than try to spend time with your loved ones and him – that’s pretty basic.) Maybe you can make a deal where you do whatever more, and he’s more flexible with this stuff.
Good luck xoxo
Post # 15
I see why you’re upset about the Christmas party arrangements and think he’s being a jerk about that.
But I wouldn’t invite my sister’s husband’s family to my Thanksgiving dinner just because they decided to show up in town at the last minute. Her in laws are not my family. I can see why your fiance was upset over that. I’m very introverted, and don’t want people I don’t know in my home tagging along with people I’m comfortable around.
Post # 16
- Wedding: June 2014 - Baby #2 due Sep 2017
I agree with OP’s FI reaction to the Thanksgiving party.. it was a last-minute thing with her FI’s-sister’s-FI’s-family … Ahem, anyway they’re hardly close family and would just have been in tge way of a close thanksgiving imo.
I do however think he overreated about xmas though..