fmpbride1118 : Several possibilities here:
1. Your fiance is having trouble with mental health issues &/ or grieving the death of his father and his words of no longer wanting marriage or children are actually words of generalized despondency and apathy. In this scenario I would recommend he speak to his doctor, get a referral to a specialist trained soecifically in mental health &/ or grief counselling. Couples counselling in addition to this may also be a good idea. You mention ‘day drinking’, I don’t know if that was a one-off for you guys or part of a larger pattern, but people suffering from mental health problems and/ or grief are also at higher risk of self-medicating with alcohol or drugs. It could also explain the roller coaster of emotions he’s displaying, despairing one moment and upbeat the next talking about future homes.
2. You have downplayed, even in your own mind, the amount of fights the two of you have, the amount of drinking the two of you do. If alcohol is a common factor in these arguments, the two of you will need to address this, cut out the drinking. If it’s possible you’re under-estimating the amount you fight, you may have to take a step back and realize that it honestly has reached an intolerable point for him. If this could be true and you want to save this relationship, I would recommend couples’ counselling. It’s also possible that the two of you have a different idea of how much is too much when it comes to arguing in a relationship. You may think a certain amount of arguing is par for the course in any relationship, whereas he may see even a reasonable amount of disagreement as cause for alarm.
3. His feelings have changed and what he wants in life, for his future have changed. He sat down with you and tried to tell you this but couldn’t handle your reaction and backed down and frankly doesn’t know how to handle it as this point, can’t bring himself to stand by his words and deal with the fallout of them.
4. He regrets what he said but can’t bring himself to discuss it, so his way of trying to deal with it is to be extra nice and loving to you and sweep what happened under the carpet.
Regardless of what is going on here Bee, you have to find out what exactly IS going on, not join him in play-acting that everything’s okay when it quite clearly is not. It seems like this is a learned pattern of his, judging from his mother’s similar way of dealing with things. When she heard your relationship was in trouble, her son was hurting, her impulse was to come to you both, a good impulse I can totally understand as a parent- except when she got there she spent the evening acting like everything was fine, not addressing the situation at all, likely waiting for one of you to bring it up or trying to get up the courage to ask some difficult questions. Perhaps, because the two of you also acted like everything was fine, she chose to delude herself that everything was hunky dory. And your fiance may be doing the same thing, deluding himself that everything is okay just because you and he are pretending it’s okay on the surface.
You also have to watch Bee that you don’t fall into the trap of being afraid to be yourself in your relationship. Have the two of you truly been arguing a lot or does he have an unrealistic expectation that a relationship should be all smooth sailing and anything less than this is a sign it’s not a good relationship? Did his own parents have a superficially never-argued ‘perfect’ marriage and is he expecting the same? (I ask because of his mother’s similar coping style of smiling like everything’s just fine, even when it’s not, and not talking about anything unpleasant). And perhaps this idealized view he has of relationships wasn’t challenged during the earlier ‘honeymoon phase’ of yours? It’s alarming though Bee that you’re already altering your own behaviour to ‘show him what he’s missing’, to play at his game, to be worthy of being someone he can see himself with in the future.
Whether this is a guy who meant what he said but lacks the backbone to follow through on his words, a guy who regrets his words but wants to act like everything’s fine rather than deal with it. or a guy who is dealing with mental health issues……you guys can’t fix this unless you deal with it head on. And at the very least, for yourself, you deserve to know. He can’t say such serious, hurtful, life-changing things to you then talk about a freaking trip in August like you’re still a couple, that would confuse the hell out of anybody. Stand up for yourself Bee and insist on some straight talk whether it makes him uncomfortable or not.