You are so welcome. I am new here, this is the first post I read and my heart just broke for you. No bride, no woman, NO PERSON, should have to go through this, but with every life there will be emotional battles. You have to fight them, and even though they’re awful, you can at least say at the end you stood for what you thought was right.
I think first you should sit down and talk to your family and friends. You will need a large support group and even if your parents are fustrated, they will always love you and be there for you if you need them. They are probably not mad, just frustrated and scared for you, because they’re watching their daughter submit herself to the same emotional turmoil (you said you’ve have to reschedule the wedding twice because of this stuff) but they don’t know what to say. If they love you, and see what he is doing, they probably aren’t too happy on you marrying him, but the anger is for the situation, not for you. Get them together, and lay everything out on the table. If they are genuinely upset and mad at you then you’ll have to make the same decision with them as you are with you Fiance. Not willing to support me? Then goodbye. There is understandable annoyance at the planning of the wedding and then no wedding, the time and effort wasted, but all you can do is apologize but explain you need to do this. But I’m sure they will not do that and you say you also have friends to turn to and that is good.
Prepare your security first. Make sure you have a place to go, a friend or family member’s house. You will find someone. Make a private bank account so he, at the behest of his family, can’t drain you financially. Consult a business lawyer about your joint ownership, it may be pricey but worth it in the long run. I know the hardest thing will be the dogs. My furry children are my life and I would rather sleep under a bridge with them than see them in a shelter or taken away from me. The good news is that there are usually amazing animal protection facilities who can help you for little or no cost. My FI’s sister works for the local shelter and those people are kind and understanding. They know how often animals get caught in the middle, or worse, are used as emotional black mail to keep people in line. They will put you in touch with temporary care shelters, housing that allows pets, etc. Also, if they are legally your dogs, you owe him nothing in terms of “visitation”. Make sure everything you do is on the level, so that nothing can come back to bite you in the butt. If things go sour and he wants to keep them, leave and contact the animal authorities. If they are legally your dogs they will go and get them for you. Prepare all of this beforehand
Then once everything is ready, talk to your Fiance. Ask him to let you finish everything you have to say before he chimes in. Calmly and clearly lay it out for him. All of the support I have mentioned is just as a BACK-UP. You don’t have to run out screaming and call animal control!!! 😉 just tell him how you feel, be honest. Then discuss it with him, get his perspective and talk things out. But remain true to yourself. Anything that sounds like an excuse IS an excuse and there isn’t one for not defending you against his family. Be respectful and listen to him, but don’t let him try and weasel out of anything.
If things go well, and he vows to improve, you will have to see. Words are easy but actions are hard. If you do not see him following through with his promises, then leave. If things go better, and of course not everything will be perfect right away, and things will never be 100%, you will have to watch and see but the best thing is that YOU are captain of the ship. YOU decide when you’ve had enough, it’s not getting better, you’re done.
If you leave, it will be hard. Every fiber of your being will want to go back to the status quo just for the feeling of normalcy. Things will get rough, you might lose your business, things could get ugly. But you can rely on your friends, families (and bees!) to see you through if you remain strong. But what’s worse, going through hell now and coming out on the other side with who you are intact, or going down this path and realizing in 10, 20, 30 years the ONE life you get on this earth has been stuck with this man and his family who treat you like dirt?
As for your wedding…because let’s face it, that’s why we’re all here…you will sacrifice this wedding dream if you go. But is it a dream or a nightmare disguised as one? But don’t get married for the wedding, get married for the marriage. Put your precious wedding dream in your heart and save it for someone who DESERVES it. That way, when you finally walk down the aisle, it will be in a room where BOTH sides love you, respect you, your dogs are there, and at the end of the day you’ll be crying from joy, not sorrow.
I really hope this helps, sorry for the marathon post, but like I said, your story breaks my heart and I hope every bride can be happy one day!!!