Post # 1
My FH has a very enmeshed relationship with his parents. It has caused problems for our relationship in the past. FH never wants to disappoint them, nor me, so he ends up in the middle of an unhealthy, unrealistic balancing act. And, I often feel frustrated that they have too much influence/power in our relationship. However, over the last few years we’ve been working in couples therapy and on our own and have made a lot of progress with all of our relationships – including his relationships w his parents.
When we got engaged, we decided to pay for our own wedding. It’s a lot of money, and not something we feel is essential to spend money on – but ultimately decided it would be an investment in our marriage to be able to have the wedding we want to celebrate the relationship that we’ve worked so hard to have without dealing with his parents using money as a means to control or pass judgment.
So tonight FH was talking about other parent-issues and how he gets insanely mixed messages from them and once again today, ended up feeling judged by them. Within that conversation he mentioned that the other day his father asked him how much our venue was charging per head. FH told him and said his father’s reaction made him feel guilty and judged. I almost crawled out of my own skin. Now, I never explicitly asked him not to tell his Dad what we spent on different parts of the wedding — but I didn’t think I had to! The whole point of us spending our own money on this highly over-budget wedding was to avoid involving his parents in these types of decisions to avoid their attempt to influence and to avoid their judgment! Am I totally overreacting? I haven’t said anything to FH bc he was already feeling upset about the relationship with his parents and he can’t undo this. On the other hand, part of me REALLY wants him to tell his Dad that that is private personal info and he would like dad to respect that and not bitch about how much we’re spending to the rest of the family. And, on the other other hand, I’m just pissed and don’t know if I can contain my frustration!!
Do I need to get a grip? Or, is my reaction reasonable?
Post # 3
I think calm discussion is in order. You cannot change what has happened, nor did he do this TO you, he just did it, period. What you can do at this point is tell him your feelings in plain simple English – that you feel he should not to discuss any more aspects of [insert here] with [insert here].
You got yourself into this by doing the whole “assume he knows the boundaries” thing that so many of us women do (myself included). Can’t blame a guy for crossing an invisible line, no matter how obvious that line was to you after all of your counseling, etc.
Post # 4
Well, right now I think you should support your Fiance through what he’s feeling. Like you said, it’s too late now, he answered his father’s question. You feel like you shouldn’t have to explain to him not to tell about budget and I understand that and while I agree, I can also say that us women tend to take these things for granted, but men don’t. If there is something, anything very important to you, you have to tell him exactly what you expect – they can’t guess!
But do come up with a strong game plan together: what to tell / not tell in the future; what reason to give for not telling, etc.
Post # 5
- Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas
I would wait until you have calmed down a little, and then tell your fiance that in the future, you think it’d be best if you don’t discuss specifics about how much you’re spending with anyone (don’t just single out his parents as people not to discuss it with). Tell him that you’re uncomfortable having people know what you’re spending, and you’d rather leave it between the two of you!
Post # 6
Just make sure you talk to your fiance and tell him that this is what you expect in the future. Maybe he just didn’t realize that financial issues like that were meant to be kept between you two. Just make sure he knows that for the future you’d like those matters kept private.
Post # 7
I think @christalynn nailed it on the head…using the “that you feel he should not to discuss any more aspects of [insert here] with [insert here]” line will clearly demonstrate your concerns to him without (hopefully) making him feel any more guilty. If your Fiance asks how he should do that, suggest that he just be a little vague (not lie or ignore), just not give any details…or if asked a pointed question, suggest that he tell them you (both) have it under control & will take care of it.
Post # 8
i understand where you’re coming from, since you’re fi is having issues with his parents it is a different situation for you. but that does seem like a normal question that someone would discuss with their parents during the wedding planning process. if it is something that you wouldn’t want him to talk about, i would discuss the specifics with him.
Post # 9
You sound like you’re in the mental health profession. 🙂 “Enmeshed” isn’t a word I hear much outside of work!
But on a serious note… I don’t think your reaction is unreasonable. I also don’t think you should say anything to your future in-laws, given that the conversation took place with your fiance and his father, and it’s an opportunity for your fiance to have a “healing moment” with his dad, or, in the absence of that, a moment of growth and learning for himself.
However, I would recommend having a chat with your fiance. Given that he seems a bit fragile at the moment, maybe just a very simple, very gentle reminder that it would probably be best that you two collectively not share financial wedding information with other people, especially his parents.
Post # 10
This is wonderful advice. Thanks so much for the support.! (And yes, eurkeaanchovies- I do work in mental health!)