Post # 1
When I first met my fiance, I thought it was great he was dedicated to his family, like it was a sign he’d be a good husband and father. Now I feel like he will never consider ”our family” #1 priority because his parents, siblings and nieces and nephews will always be first.
- FH lives with his parents (totally normal in their culture) and supports his mom financially. This was something he promised her he would do years ago so that isn’t changing. I don’t know the details other than she was formerly a maid but it confuses me that everyone involved agreed to this – his mom, dad and FH himself – especially since he was so young at the time!
- He mentioned wanting to save money for his multiple nieces and nephews college education. He backed off this idea after we discussed having kids but again it just shows that he takes on way too much responsibility for his family members and I can’t say for sure if that is his own decision or how he was raised/told to think. His nieces and nephews all have great parents. They’re lower middle-class families but FH isn’t wealthy either (we both work hard for what we have) and his sisters and sister-in-law don’t work so I feel like if those families were really struggling, the parents could work that out. I don’t know if he ever mentioned the college savings idea to anyone else and am honestly afraid to ask.
- When they aren’t together, they talk ALL THE TIME!!!! Just as an example, we went away this Valentine’s Day and he was sending his mom photos, playing her voice messages commenting on them, watching 3-minute long videos his sister sent him of her daughter, answering video calls from his 2-Year old niece… it’s just too much. And they knew we were out of town celebrating! I almost wonder if his sisters are innocently sending videos, photos and letting their kids call him everyday or if they’re doing it knowing/hoping that he’ll spoil them.
FH is amazing and I don’t like feeling resentful towards his family. I tell myself it’s just money or they just have a closer bond than I can understand (my family is great but we live in different countries and do not financially support each other or talk every day).
Any input on how I can change my mindset on this OR talk to him about this?
Post # 2
- Wedding: July 2020 - City, State
I’d be very concerned about him wanting to pay for the college tuitions. That could be a huge problem when setting your own children up for college or even just affording your own life when they go to college.
Post # 3
I would not marry this guy until you establish some boundaries. Before I married my husband he let his siblings take advantage of the fact that he made a lot of money, it drove me fucking crazy because they are capable adults that can fend for themselves. I’m all about helping family, but there has to be boundaries in place.
We talked about it, I told him my feelings, he kidn of woke up and realized what was happening and put an end to it. He will occasionally still loan money to family members, nothing crazy, but he runs it by me before doing so. Even before we were married he did that because we shared finances.
As far as the constant communication with family members, again you need to set boundaries.
Talk to your fiance, be honest, be reasonable, and try to meet in the middle.
Post # 4
Don’t marry someone whose basic commitment of time, energy, and money is to his family of origin, rather than to the nuclear family he will build with you. You don’t want to be Second Wife or see your children have less so his family of origin can have more. Is he the Scapegoat, expected to solve the family’s problems? Is he the Hero, dashing to their rescue?
You would probably benefit from premarital counseling to see if he can transfer his basic loyalty to you. If he can’t, don’t marry him.
Post # 5
The financial-college thing could be a problem unless the two of you are on track to being incredibly wealthy. It’s possible that it’s just a pipe dream that he’s not overly serious about, but before you get married I would definitely make sure you have the same financial priorities.
His family messaging you while you were away doesn’t seem like a HUGE deal to me though. If you were out for dinner, then yes I’d be annoyed. But unless it was taking up a significant portion of the weekend it wouldn’t strike me as too odd. I often send my parents pictures when hubs and I are out of town, and my nieces and nephews call me on holidays or my sisters send videos.
Post # 6
You will grow more and more resentful watching his money go to his family, as well as YOUR income, if you marry him. Even if you keep your money seperate so his family doesn’t end up with it, then you would be the only one focused on building your own family funds while his go to raising his neices and nephews and supporting his mother. Not something I would sign up for, that’s for sure.
Post # 7
Couples counseling…..he needs to understand that he cannot fully support one family while starting his own. Something will have to give and all adults will need to be held accountable for their own children. It doesn’t mean he can’t continue to provide SOME financial support to his parents but he shouldn’t be expected to fully support them. Really, what parent burdens their child like that?
Edit: I missed the part where this was cultural so I’m changing my statement in that OP probably needs to accept that he will support his parents financially but needs counseling so that she and Fiance have an understanding that works for both of them. But nieces & nephews?? Nope….let their parents have that responsibility.
Post # 8
Personally I wouldn’t want to marry someone like this.
It sounds like he doesn’t just have issues setting boundaries with one family member. It’s almost all of them.
People can change. Especially with issues like this as they get older. But even if you were to talk about your boundaries and set expectations, I think you’d still have issues in the future. It’s especially hard because issues like this you have to keep in his court. You really shouldn’t have to get involved. You would need him to be given an opportunity and make the right decision.
Post # 9
What culture is he from? Who supported him financially as he grew up?
My husband”s parents didn’t have much so he lived with two different uncles for over 5 years each whole growing up. Other relatives have contributed to his education. Now that he”s on hid feet, he wants to give back by supporting some members of his extended family. That seems fair to me, given the help he was given.
It obviously depends on where the lines are drawn – how much does he want to give, how much can he afford to give without damaging the chances of your future children etc.
It will require open communication but you need to decide whether you can face him continuing to provide some support if that is what’s normal for his culture.
Post # 10
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
If it’s going to bother you this much, I think you may need to end the relationship. This is a long established family dynamic that existed long before you came around, and you aren’t going to change it. You know his relationship with his family was like this from the start so I’m not sure why you thought this would change once you got engaged. And even if he even hints at changing it, his family will blame you and either pit you two against each other, or they’ll ostracize him and he’ll blame you for the collapse of his familial relationships.
You’re either on board this crazy train or you’re not. You won’t be given the opportunity to be the conductor.
Post # 11
It sounds like the two of you are fundamentally incompatible on a foundational level. His culture of origin and his connection to his family sound like they very much inform who he is and how he moves in the world (and his ties to other people). Why are you with him rather than finding someone who more closely matches your perspective about how to manage family responsibilities and time?
It comes across as unreasonable to want to dictate that he needs to dial back his attentions and commitments to all of these other people in exchange for . . . you. Is it excessive? Yes. But is it your place to make him make different agreements to suit you? No. You’ve seen the issue and you are aware that it means you will likely be finding your hypothetical nuclear family being less of a priority for him than you would prefer because of his caretaking of his extended family. Can you deal with that? If yes, move forward. If not, you probably need to move on.
Do you honestly, knowing what you know of him, think he’s going to ever be okay with just taking care of himself and you (and whatever family you might create together) while “abandoning” these other people who have depended on him thus far? You’re delusional if you hope that’s going to be the end result here or that it would result in any kind of happiness or peace.
Post # 12
This sounds like a fundamental incompatibility between the two of you, not like a minor habit that he can change over time. I would re-evaluate your relationship. If he stopped financially supporting his family, but kept his close relationship with them unchanged (I.e. the texts and calls while on vacavtion etc), would you be happy? I feel like he may be able to amend his plans to financially support all of his nieces and nephews, but if you try to tell him he has to pull back from how close he is to them, it’s not going to make you look good.
Post # 13
You two have incompatible values. Sure you like that he’s a ‘family guy’, but that is the family that gave him ‘family guy’ values. You not only mention resenting the fact that he supports his family financially, but also his emotional connection to them and the bond he has with his nieces and nephews. I get it, not all families are like this. There is no such thing as ‘normal’ for each family their own. Culture is a strong influence and it sounds like you two have difference in expectations that is based on family values and culture.
You both work full time and plan to have kids. Your family lives in another country and you don’t talk every other day. When you have kids, do you plan on having HIS family to be around to give you guys support? What about childcare? You mention that he currently lives with his parents. Is he planning to move out when you get married or are you moving in with them?
Post # 14
1. Manipulating your child into agreeing to take care of you financially at a vulnerable age is sketch AF. Watch out for his mother. She sounds like she is controlling.
2. His family seems to be under the impression that he is rich and he isn’t doing much to dissuade them of that incorrect notion by promising to fund their children’s education.
3. Boundaries! I think that his family is getting nervous about your relationship taking precedence over their needs so they are trying to stay front and center via reminder messages, pictures and videos when they know he is with you. However, it is his job to put his phone on silent and pay attention to his date.
4. IT ISN’T ONLY MONEY! It’s is your future. His family is taking advantage of your FH’s charitable nature. If you feel like you cannot have a conversation about this with him now I don’t think things look good for your marriage. This is going to become a focal point of contention for as long as his family expects him to support them. Get it out of the way before you walk down the aisle or you’ll live to regret it.
Post # 15
Are you planning to live with his family? May I ask what nationality is your future husband? This could be a cultural thing and it sounds like it is. If you are planning to stay with him, you may have to accept their cultural ways. It is who he is. You need to talk to him and tell him what is bothering you. If he is not going to change, then you have to leave him. You can’t change someone if that is who they are. Welcome aboard bee! I see it’s your first post.