(Closed) My fiancee's father is intrusive, overprotective, and controlling

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 17
2009 posts
Buzzing bee

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blaineg :  well ask her if she’d rather be marrying her father because you’re not going to tolerate it any longer. It’s time for her to put on her big girl panties and grow the hell up. Ask if she’s more afraid of “disrespecting” him or losing you—her future husband and father of her child. Also, you should try explaining to her that as a grown ass woman, obedience and respect are NOT the same. She can respectfully disagree and set her own boundaries.


I cannot imagine how frustrating this is for you. How long has it been going on?!

Post # 18
8363 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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blaineg :  “pretty much everyone tells me that fathers of daughters are just that way” — No they aren’t. Intrusive, overprotective, controlling people are that way. My husband was protective of our daughter and our son when they were children who needed protecting. Now that they’re adults, he loves and respects them. That included treating her boyfriend like a human being and welcoming him into the family when they got engaged, then pregnant, then married. I’m sorry that I don’t have much advice since it seems like your fiancee is ok with how her dad treats the two of you. I guess I just wanted you to know that not all dads are like that.

Post # 19
1239 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

She is going to have to chose.  I can’t see how she could chose her racist father when she’s about to have a mixed-race baby, but she does sound very brainwashed.

If she feels that therapy is disrespectful to her father (which really means change and honest discussion is disrespectful to her father) I would say you are in deep trouble with this woman–and shared custody, hard as it is, might be easier than being married to another man’s handmaiden.

Post # 20
118 posts
Blushing bee

Hey there, sorry you are going through this. I was the same way with my father. I was raised with the father being the man of the house, the ultimate in control and always in charge and the final say. It’s not a great environment to grow up in and I was afraid of him for much of my formative years into adulthood. Only now since my mom passed away, have I stood up for myself and set boundaries. I don’t hardly speak to my father, haven’t seen him in months. I feel so much better! He was draining the life out of me and stressing me out with his insane behavior. He was quite controlling and always wanted to be seen as the protector/savior/handler of his daughters. As a kid and teen he would literally steer me around with a hand on the back of my neck and would threaten me by squeezing if I didn’t follow, do or act the way I was “expected to”. It was terrifying. 

Since adulthood I’ve learned that I don’t need him, he doesnt have a say in my choices or my lifestyle and I am independent of him and his control. He hates it. It was necessary for my own mental health. Some people never get the strength to set up boundaries and sometimes people have ties like finances, debts, familial obligations that keep them coming back when they would otherwise leave. 

Your fiancé is about to enter motherhood and she needs to decide now how she wants her own family unit to be going forward in the future either with her father in a background capacity with no input and no control (my choice) or let him continue because she can’t or won’t distance herself from him. Have her look up info on narcissists and toxic families and see if she connects to them, there’s a lot of books and websites about it and maybe it would give her concrete reasons to back what she already feels is right. Sometimes people don’t realize how bad it is until they see it from an outside perspective. They don’t realize how good it could be to be out from under another’s control and taking their own power back. I feel stronger, self sufficient, and fiercely independent since I distanced and kept boundaries from my father. I was already those things but a controlling person clouds your judgement and makes you feel small and weak. 

Post # 21
7903 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

She won’t do counseling. She feels that settign boundaries with her father would be disrepectful to him.

She can’t have it both ways. If she decides to make a life with you then she has to agree to put your relationship first. 

Post # 22
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2020 - New York, New York

Relationships are about compromise. Your fiancé doesn’t want to go to counseling and doesn’t think there’s a problem with her relationship with her father. However, the current situation isn’t working for you, so she needs to really listen to your concerns and figure out a solution that will work for BOTH of you.  Right now, she’s completely dismissing your feelings and your perspective because she’s refusing to set boundaries with her dad.

I wouldn’t marry her without significant change on her part. Her relationship with her dad sounds very unhealthy (I wouldn’t be surprised if her dad was the one who taught her not to go to therapy), and your relationship could end in divorce if the father is determined to drive a wedge between the two of you. Right now she’s choosing her dad above you, and it needs to be the other way around, like PP said. 

Post # 25
8674 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

I don’t think there is much you can do then other than let her continue her relationship with her father without you.  It sounds like she has picked being an extension of him over being an independent person. That works okay (I mean.. I guess..) if someone is single but clearly destroys relationships. 

At least when your kid is with you they may see what normal parent/child relationships are.. she most likely will continue the cycle.

Post # 26
1998 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

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blaineg :  She ignores a lot of the racist comments because our child will be mostly white and there is a good chance the baby won’t really look black. I’m not that dark myself.  

What the everlovin’ HELL! I’m effing FLOORED!

Dude this alone would make me dump her.  Has she said this herself or are you just guessing at her thoughts?  If this is how she really thinks, she’s a racist as far as I’m concerned and the fact that you haven’t dropped her like a hot potato makes me wonder if you don’t actually agree with that sentiment yourself.     

That poor child is gonna have identity issues.  Being raised to believe he/she has “tainted” blood.  

Post # 27
7224 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

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blaineg :  DUDE. “She ignores most of the racist comments because the baby will be mostly white and … I’m not that dark myself.”

There is so much wrong with the entirety of this comment and thought process for all parties involved.

I have a close friend who is biracial and was raised in a household where casually racist comments were made to and about her regularly. It was extremely damaging and made it hard for her to connect with people of color (because she would often ignorantly and naively repeat those same racist sentiments that she had heard in her household).

My husband, on the other hand, is also biracial, raised in a more open minded part of the country (and also not raised by racist idiots). He is very centered in himself and his identity as a biracial man and also as a black (appearing) man with a white mother (and white sisters).

WHY did you get this chick pregnant?!!! Ugh!

You need to start thinking about a custody arrangement. Now. Just to be clear about what you want. And be prepared for her father/family to try to keep you away from your baby. 

Whatever you do moving forward (honestly, I don’t see this working out long term, under these circumstances), you need to make better choices about who you date. Don’t date women who have a problem (overtly or covertly) with an ENTIRE half of your being. Any bitch letting her father repeatedly say racist shit to you might as well be saying it herself.

This poor baby. WHY did you get her pregnant?!

Post # 28
1 posts
  • Wedding: October 2018

I know people say, you marry into the family but if that was the case i would never get married lol. She needs to be on the same page as you at maybe having an arms distance. And its about you guys, not him. 


Ive also learned to be more selfish as years go on though so yeah.

Post # 29
262 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

Man. At first I was thinking maybe this was something you could work on, but the more I read the more red flags I see. However, being that you are expecting a child with her, this won’t be uncomplicated no matter what you choose to do. I will say that I believe you are incorrect that not marrying her means you’ll have to deal with him less. An overbearing father will most definitely make his voice heard in how he wants his grandchild raised. It may actually mean you have LESS voice because you won’t be her partner, and whatever goes on when you aren’t around will be not only completely out of your control, but your opinion will be disregarded (not saying they are taking you into account now, but it will get worse if you dump his pregnant daughter). I’m not saying that to pressure you into marriage, but it’s something to consider. It’s unfortunate she won’t seek counseling. And it absolutely disturbs me that she looks the other way when he makes racist comments. That is in no way acceptable. I hate to say it, but perhaps this is the entire reason her father doesn’t like you. I come from an area that is deepy racist, and many of the fathers there, unfortunately, would likely behave the same way. It’s wrong, but I suspect that may be the real issue, in which case you will likely never win with him. 


Now, just for a moment concerning your fiance… I too came from a very overbearing family where the man was the head of the house. It can be EXTREMELY difficult to pull yourself away from that, and it doesn’t magically happen the moment you turn 18 (aka an “adult”). It takes time. It does sound positive that she’s beginning to realize it’s wrong, but it will still be a long journey from there. In my experience, there usually has to be some sort of traumatic event at the hands of the controlling person to make you pull away for good and realize how terrible it is. It doesn’t always happen organically. Meaning, your potential father-in-law will probably have to overstep his bounds and do something so offensive that her protective wall over him will be broken because she is so hurt. That loyalty isn’t easily broken. If I might ask.. do you currently have a date set? As in, is there a particular timeline in which you need to figure this out by? Also, it sounds like you two are probably still a bit young since she’s struggling with this so much. I have friends in their 30’s that are still bound by this attitude, but usually something happens along the way to make them wake up. I’m sorry for this being so long, and maybe not even helpful. You do have a lot of thinking to do. But just keep in mind this man will be in your life regardless of whether you marry his daughter. It may actually be worse if you aren’t around to keep him from implanting his ideas into your child. Not motivation to get married, just something to think about. 

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