(Closed) Caught in the middle between FI and my dad

posted 6 years ago in Family
Post # 2
Member
9262 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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hbroc90:  It would help if both your dad and your fiance saw it as “not losing a daughter, but gaining a son.” Do they have anything in common, like can they golf together once a month or bond over a sports team or video game? It’s going to be very hard if everyone sees it as you trading in one for the other rather than adding to your family. I would try to foster a father/son like relationship between the guys if that’s possible.

Post # 5
Member
211 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

This is a very difficult situation, but I think the best solution to this would be family therapy. You should sit down with your father and your fiancé separately and discuss with them how this is affecting you how its stressing you out, how its hurting you that the two most important people in your life are not getting along. I really feel that both of them will see the hurt that they are causing you, it will want to make a change. If the three of you went to family therapy I’m sure that you can work some things out. It sounds like your father is unsure if your husband is going to be able to provide you with the lifestyle that he feels you should have, and it sounds like your fiancé is upset that your father doesn’t trust him enough to be able to take care of his future wife. I think through therapy the three of you can come to some sort of resolution of how you should interact, and how to get through discussions of topics that your father and your fiancé don’t agree on.

Post # 7
Member
2009 posts
Buzzing bee

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hbroc90: Then just go ahead and stand up to him. Honestly it sounds like everyone is accepting there is an issue but nobody is actually willing to do anything about it. Family therapy is a great idea however that’s already been shot down. It’s like you’re saying, “There’s a problem, what can I do?” and then when you get suggested something good, you turn around and say, “Actually, the problem isn’t THAT bad”. What exactly are you wanting to hear? You already know what the issue is, you already know what you need do to fix it but you just kee going around and around in a circle.

Post # 8
Member
626 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

When you and your Fiance make a decision together and your father disagrees, tell him that you appreciate his advice and you understand that he wants the best for you, but you and Fiance already decided […]. You love him, but he doesn’t get a vote. YOU need to speak up if this is really what you want. If you’re just along for the ride because this is what your Fiance wants, he may be picking up on that, though…  However, why does your Fiance need to be “right” to the point where it causes an argument? Dad doesn’t get a vote, so you and Fiance are free to do as you please. 

Post # 9
Member
556 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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hbroc90:  If you want to PM me, I’ve got unending advice for when it comes to ridiculously over-protective/overbearing fathers. I am an only child, and my dad is a very traditional type of person. For example, man is head of household, children should respect and obey parents even into adulthood, no matter how silly the request, etc…. Well, when I met DH, my dad didn’t like it. My dad (who never really wanted to get married in the first place, but that’s a whole different story for a whole different time) thought that my getting serious with a guy so young would ruin my life, despite knowing my DH well and seeing that we get along and mesh perfectly. To be honest, my dad never wanted me to get married at all. Since my parents had me later in life, he really was hoping that I never would get married, I’d become a successful businesswoman of some sort, and that I’d take care of him as he got old. Totally selfish and overbearing. When I first told him about DH, he demanded that I break up with him, and at this point in time, I was already 18. I stood up to him and told him that I was legally an adult and he had no say in who I dated or who I chose to be with. This led to many, many issues over the past few years, but eventually, because of my persistence in standing up to him, he realized that if he didn’t accept the fact I was going to live my life the way I wanted to, he wouldn’t have me in his life at all. Persistence in standing up to someone about things is the way to get them to eventually accept it. If you and your Fiance like a house, get it. Your father has no say. 

Post # 10
Member
9262 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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hbroc90:  I didn’t respond back after your response to me 2 months ago because it seemed at that time that your fiance is being stubborn and you’re fine with that. And these updates reinforce that. You have the opportunity to enlarge your family by adding your husband, but because he doesn’t want to put a little effort into building a relationship with your dad, instead of adding someone to the family, you’re cutting someone off — your dad.

You said this: “My Fiance has told me that he thinks that my father’s upper middle class lifestyle plays into why he is so protective of me.” Does this mean your fiance thinks he WON’T be protective of his children? This is so sad. Money doesn’t make parents concerned for their kids, and lack of money doesn’t make people not concerned for their kids. It sounds like your fiance is jealous of your dad and doesn’t want to compromise. Of course you can buy whatever house you want and can afford — you don’t need your dad’s permission. But it’s not surprising that a dad would want to see their only child in a nice comfortable home. I’m not sure what you mean by “my father isn’t budging on certain things.” I’m sure your dad is partly at fault here too, but from what you’ve written so far, I feel really sorry for him. Most likely, everything he’s done since the day you were born — and even more so after your mom died — he’s done for you. And now, instead of welcoming a new son into the family, he’s losing you to someone who has no interest in getting to know him. I might be way off, but this is just based on what’s been posted. Ask your fiance to really put himself in your dad’s place. I’m not saying you need to coddle your dad and never grow up and leave, but it IS possible to get married but still let your dad be your dad and an important person in your life.

Ask your fiance to imagine that you and him have a daughter together. She’s beautiful, perfect, so smart and funny. She makes his life complete and is now his very reason for living. Then she grows up and meets a guy who seems nice enough. Isn’t exactly the guy he’d choose for her, but she loves him so he must have some good qualities, right? Wouldn’t he rather that guy reach out to him and try to connect, rather than pull his daughter away? How would he want his future daughter’s husband to treat him? What would he hope that guy says to him and does? That is what he should say and do.

Post # 14
Member
2411 posts
Buzzing bee

You know, having read everything you’ve written it occurs to me that the three of you may have a little difficulty with “role identification”.

There’s no reason why your dad and your Fiance should be jockeying for the alpha role, which it seems like they’re doing.

You have one dad and one Fiance. Your Fiance is not, and will never be, your dad.

Your dad is not, and will never be, your Fiance.

YOU will be wife, lover, helpmate to your husband.

YOU will be a respectful, devoted daughter To your father.

In your dad’s unfortunate loss, you may have become the fill-in in some roles for your mom, and he may unconsciously be feeling some jealousy towards Fiance.

Your father and your Fiance DO have something in common, and that’s their love and devotion towards you. You are responsible for helping them realize that they each have a relationship with you and that those relationships do not and will not overlap. You will make decisions about the issues within your marriage (like buying whichever house you will be living in with DH) with your husband, and decisions concerning the relationship with your father specifically with him.

No role blurring!

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