Perspective challenge as we approach marriage

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
2727 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

All I can tell you is that you will eventually build more resentment over his constant negativity unless steps are taken to correct this issue. This will not resolve or melt away on its own. 

There are many married couples with differing political views who agree to disagree, and their home is a “no politics” zone. The problem here is that it takes two to come to this decision, and your  fiancé seems to really enjoy his politics and other intense subjects. 

If he is steamrolling you into listening to his rants, there needs to be a change. I would tell him very simply: “I understand that it upsets you to admit that we have difficulties in our relationship, but it seems like communication has been lacking on both sides about this particular issue. I would like to dig deeper with the pastor to get clarity on this in the next session, as I don’t want resentment to build in the future.” 

Bee, if his response is anything less than fully on board, you need to consider postponing or canceling the wedding. You can’t enter a marriage knowing that there is an issue your future husband is unwilling to work on with you. Both because his communication skills are lacking, and because the issue itself will grow if not confronted. 

As far as the differences in perspective go, everyone will have differences in perspective or outlook. This is something that should be discussed at length well in advance of the wedding day. Once again—better communication is needed. People with different perspectives can understand and still agree with each other overall, but that has to be done in a respectful way. Your fiancé may or may not be able to fit the mold you expect, or communicate his perspective respectfully, meaning that compromise will be necessary from both of you if you’re to operate well as a couple. This needs more extensive counseling than another session with your pastor, I’m afraid. You need to decide whether it’s worth delaying or canceling the wedding over. 

Post # 3
Member
5169 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

I think there is a balancing act here, how often does he do things or discuss things that you are interested in but he isn’t? 

          If I tell him to move on he feels shut down and resents me. 

You say it is polite, but I can’t think of many polite ways to say “boring, move on”. 

Is he ranting or is it just that you never want to have conversations about politics, news etc? Do you sometimes take the time to discuss topics he is interested in and it just isn’t enough, or do you never want to talk about negative things?

I will say this doesn’t seem like a pre marital problem to be ironed out quickly, more-so a serious character difference. 

I know that I personally couldn’t make the life long commitment to not discuss the news or politics at home because i’m interested and invested in current affairs.  I’m not sure what wanting to be a light in the world has to do with no being interested in those things. I don’t mean to offend you but it seems quite naive to equate the news and politics with negativity and immature to want to block it out of your life. 

How did the conversation go when you brought this up with the pastor?  

Post # 4
Member
2056 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

My fiance and I have opposite political beliefs. When we first dated and I found this out I took the time to separate out all the issues from each other to see what exactly he believed in from his political viewpoint. I was happy to discover that on social issues we did agree and that it was purely financial the reasons he was with one political party. Once I saw that our differing politics wouldn’t be an issue in how we raised our children, i was fine with it. 

He does go into politics now and again, I have a hard time discussing politics in general because I feel like I am always talking half facts with people. I never know where the infomation is coming from, or if it is actually accurate. So knowing that, i don’t enjoy getting into a discussion wondering if there is even a point talking about something where all the facts could be wrong. 

What I do focus on when my fiance talks politics is facts. If we are watching something on tv and he starts talking about it, I focus not on the issue, but instead i ask questions about where the info came from, does it sound biased? Could there be another valid view point? Basically I am encouraging him to not take anything at face value. In general i don’t enjoy talking about politics and do not keep super up to date on what is going on. He knows that, and doesnt’ talk about it often. He has plenty of people in his life he can talk to about it if he needs to. 

OP, I think in your situation you need to apply any challenges or differences into the big picture. For me, I tried to take everything between fiance and I and think about it in terms of how I wanted to raise my children. If there had been anything my fiance wanted to do or teach our future kids that to me would be morally wrong or not a good example than i wouldn’t be marrying him. SO think big picture about your issues, think long term. Not only their impact on you, but on future children. 

Being an introvert is fine, but maybe it is a good idea to talk about support systems. Have the pastor talk to you both about your support systems independent of each other. You should both have one. If your fiance needs to talk about certain topics and it isn’t healthy to do so only to you, than he needs to find a support system that allows him to do so. All you are doing is trying to get his needs met here. That isnt’ a bad thing at all. Come at it like that when you discuss it. How can we meet your needs to discuss these topics without it being with me. 

Post # 5
Member
562 posts
Busy bee

I could be way off base here, but I find myself wondering whether this ranting is recent. Has he been doing this all the time that you have known him? 

I ask because the current political landscape in my country has made me prone to rants in the past three years, and at one point it began to affect my relationship. There is no political gap between my fiance and I, we are totally on the same page, it’s more a question of how we deal with our opinions: He tends to listen objectively and compartmentalize, I tend to get emotionally invested and let the narrative bleed into the rest of my world view. My partner is happy to listen to a certain point, but eventually it became clear that the anxiety I was dealing with was getting bigger than the actual topic at hand. We came to the conclusion that it would be good for me to talk to a third party about my concerns as they were bordering on obsessive. I did, it helped tremendously, and I came to find that SO MANY people (especially women and minorities) have run into the same problem in the last few years. It’s hard to be a light in this kind of darkness 🙁 .

I’m not sure your actual problem with your fiance has to do with differing political opinions (it could, you didn’t specify that though), but rather as you suggested, differing ways of handling those opinions. It sounds like your fiance could benefit from learning some coping strategies to deal with his frustration, preferably from a professional. Ranting is not a political position or world-view, it’s a compulsion. His isolation also concerns me. It might be time for a mental health check-up.

 

Post # 10
Member
10221 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

View original reply
springlilies28 :  

Are you talking about different world views?  Lots of couples find workarounds for this kind of stuff.  I can’t, but many do.

The Warrior Spirit thing I totally get.  But, there is such a thing as a Happy Warrior.  Those are the people who channel their fighting spirit into righteous causes and defending the defenseless.  We need Happy Warriors.

Or, are you talking about a person who just has an overall negative approach to life? That’s a very different matter.  They carry a lot of anger that comes out of their feelings of helplessness. Highly negative people believe that life happens to them. Their locus of control is externalized. They may act as if they feel powerful and may even be bullies, but, it evolves out of that sense of being powerless in the world.

Living with a negative person will chip away at you and wear you down over time until you lose yourself completely.  

Post # 11
Member
2727 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

View original reply
springlilies28 :  Well, the entire purpose of pre-marital counseling is to share details of your relationship. He needs to modify his approach a bit for this to be successful. 

Post # 12
Member
635 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

My DH sounds exactly like your Fiance. I love my husband dearly so I made it a point to work with him on our communication. I had to set ground rules on some of the topics with him because he gets so passionate it becomes more of him talking at me then with me. This was a LONG process because like your Fiance, he was hurt and offended if I showed disinterest, he thought I wanted to just shhh him. I just had to expain how the way he was discussing certain things was affecting me, and why I couldnt keep up with him. After a while he started to understand my side, and I started to understand why he gets so heated. Turns out he has borderline tendency’s and has a hard time reading my reaction and disinterest in certian topics. I have to continually vocalize it to him if I can no longer discuss something, or in some cases, handle the negativity. He in turn makes an effort to hear me when I tell him we should change topics and follow suit.

We have it figured out now but I wont lie, it takes time and work to get there. It is compltely possible and worth it because he is incredibly intelligent and passionate and I by no means wanted to diminish that, but just gear it in a way that wasnt draining. The key is you have to communicate about it. It might hurt his feelings but if you cant discuss key aspects such as this in your relationship then maybe marriage should wait until you both can. 

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