Recurring Fight and FI Not Keeping His Word

posted 4 months ago in Relationships
Post # 2
5321 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

Do you think he is struggling to keep his word because he thinks your requests are irrational and he doesn’t know how to tell you that? Why do you need to know two weeks in advance if some of his family are maybe going to grab dinner? Either you are free and want to go or you don’t, but maybe you should be clear enough at those times when you don’t want to go to actually say that to him. It seems you have a really strict idea of how family interactions should go and you aren’t willing to budge either.  

You need to own when to don’t want to attend something, tell your partner and stick to that. In response he needs to accept that if you find out the day before that you might be busy and not able to go with him.

How often do you do things with his family and how many times is too much for you? 


Post # 4
793 posts
Busy bee

kat5 :  I’m confused by your fear of being controlled. You don’t have to attend every family gathering with him. He can go alone. 

To suggest he seek therapy for this seems strange. Maybe it’s not an issue of not being able to say no. Maybe he WANTS to see and spend time with them, but lives in fear of telling you he enjoys their company more than he enjoys fighting with you. Maybe he’s escaping to what feels normal–escaping the bickering. 

My fiance and I both have parents who live close by. When one invites us over last minute, once a week or so, we look forward to it. We both love our families, and love spending time with them. I can’t imagine arguing over it. If we’re too tired, or have other plans, we pass on the invite, or invite them to hang with us. And we both often see our families alone. 

Post # 5
160 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Honestly it sounds like he’s still really young and struggling how to respect himself and his wants, whether that’s to go or to not go to family things at short notice. 

You don’t have to go if he gives short notice, I wouldn’t. If you want to go then fine but maybe let him decide if he wants to go on his own or not. 

I think he needs to be more honest with himself and everyone else about what he wants. He also needs to be more assertive and if he has decided he doesn’t want to go then he doesn’t, regardless of what other people think. 

He needs to tell his brother to lay off the guilt tripping or stop answering calls when it’s because he’s chosen not to attend something.

My husband used to be a little like this and it was a huge struggle for him to be assertive with both me and his family. He still struggles with it sometimes. This will probably be an ongoing issue and you’ll need to be supportive to a point but also don’t bend to his changing plans. You need to decide for yourself if you’re going or not and stick to your guns. 

Another piece of advice is to still go to some events with him, even if they’re at short notice when you can. Not all the time, but you need to be more flexible about not needing 2 weeks notice and also be more steadfast when you’ve already said no to your partner. 

It can be a real drain, but you need to start being a team and that means accepting that he finds all this hard but also not accepting the guilt trips. Helping him work on assertiveness (even with you) will be a good start. 

Post # 7
948 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2019 - City, State

I am sorry but I think the issue is his family. If you don’t go they will get upset and say MEAN things about you not being there? What kind of family is that? That’s problary the real reason why he want’s you to go so bad so he doesn’t have to hear mean things his family is saying about you. That’s terrible. Does he ever stick up for you and say that you had already made plans seeing how they just told him on short notice? He needs a back bone. If he isn’t willing to change and it’s obvious because he skipped out on counseling, than you need to hold your ground and not go to these events that he gets a one day notice of. He will eventually get the picture that you are serious about it. He is a sucker for his family and doesn’t know how to say no.

Post # 9
669 posts
Busy bee

kat5 :  

I agree that it sounds like he doesn’t have strong boundaries with his family, but at the same time, you don’t have strong boundaries with him. Getting into a fight and losing your cool over this is not the way to go. Setting an example of how you want things to go with your actions would be much better and more effective.

You may be engaged to him, but you are still an individual adult, and you are still free to turn down invitations if you feel they are too last-minute and you don’t want to go or cannot go because of your schedule. Your fiance’s lack of boundaries with his family do not have to impact you to that extent. Your fiance is free to whine and try to cajole you into going because it’s “super important” but it’s still your choice. Make up your own mind what you feel is a reasonable number of family occasions for you to attend and which ones are important and which are not, and which ones you want to go to and which ones you don’t, and stand your ground. Perhaps hearing you say “Little Jimmy’s post wisdom teeth removal dinner is not a vital event for me to attend, honey” and you not going will be the jolt he needs to make up his own mind about agreeing to and organising plans in advance.

Essentially, you do have some obligation to his family because the two of you are engaged and you are a couple, and hs family are important to him. However, these obligations should be reasonable (birthdays, important holidays, visits at certain intervals) and not excessive. Anything which is not reasonable and which unduly interferes with other things you have to do does not need to be accepted, in my opinion. There’s no need to get angry or emotional or shout or lose your cool. Just say you can’t go. Smile, be calm. Personally, if I were fulfilling my reasonable obligations to my in-laws, I would not feel guilty about this.

Post # 10
7852 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

 But he gets very upset if I don’t want to come with and that is when we fight over it. He won’t go without me because he knows it will upset his family and they will say mean things about me not being there.“

Ok I can relate to this cause my family has a tendency to be the same way…super judgy of anyone who doesn’t act the way they feel is appropriate. It used to stress me out so much when it came to dh cause i was so scared he’d make a “misstep” and they’d disapprove. Fortunately we nipped this in the bud fairly early on and that is entirely thanks to my husband being firm with boundaries and him honestly not giving a shit if my family interpreted a completely benign action of his as being inappropriate or rude. 


Example: before we were married we were not allowed to sleep in the same bed when visiting my parents or grandma (even though we are in our 30s and lived together 🙄🙄🙄). During visits to my grandmas town dh preferred to get a hotel rather than sleep on the couch in the living room. The first time I brought him to my grandmas house everyone flipped a shit when I told them he was getting himself a hotel. My mother literally called me and said the family was “hurt” by this and that it was a horrible snub on the part of dh and so rude of him to get a hotel rather than sleep on the couch at grandmas house. 


Well this stressed me out majorly cause I really wanted my family to like dh! I pressured dh to cancel the hotel and stay with the rest of us at grandmas but he wouldn’t budge. He was like I’m still going with You on this trip and will spend the entire two days with you guys but if I’m sleeping on a couch I’ll be miserable and I’m just not gonna do it!


i had to admit he was being reasonable and I was the one being unreasonable for prioritizing my family’s absurd expectations over my partners comfort and happiness. So, to the hotel he went. Family was initially pissed…but you know what? They got over it …and also learned that they didn’t have control over my husband and me, which was an important lesson! (Which they had to relearn multiple times lol but that’s another story…)

Ok back to you. I think you’ve been enabling your husband by caving and going with him to all these events. Next time something like this comes up just calmly tell him you’re not going to go. If he gets upset and says his parents will talk shit about you, tell him you’re okay with that and you know they’ll get over it. It’s past time that you both stop allowing his parents to dictate these things!

Post # 11
669 posts
Busy bee

kat5 :  

I’ve just seen your update that your fiance and his family don’t take it well and get upset with you if you pass on an invitation. I understand that this is unpleasant for you, but this is part of adult life. We cannot please all of the people all of the time. We can please some people some of the time, and sometimes, we have to please ourselves. The job of other people is to get over this, as long as you are being a reasonable and kind daughter in law and are good to his family and make an effort to go to a reasonable portion of these events.

If it were me, I simply would not feed or indulge the sulks (of either him or his family) when you don’t go to an occasional event. I would give my answer, apologise and be very calm about it, and then not discuss it any further.

They can sulk and whine, but they will get over it.

You simply cannot live your life trying to please everybody all the time. Especially extended family because this is a hiding to nowhere. If you give in to them telling you that you have to attend every dinner, the next thing is they will be telling you how to raise your kids.

Set firm, kind, calm boundaries.

Post # 14
7852 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

kat5 :  I don’t really think the special circumstances about this past weekend change anything. If anything, the fact that you were out of town with only one car makes it even more understandable that you didn’t want to change your plans at the last minute to attend an unexpected gathering at your in-laws home! Particularly given the multiple arguments you’ve had with your fi about this very thing and him not keeping his promise to stop pulling the guilt trips in the future.

I understand the urge to feel like a victim lol…that is human! And I do think it’s your fi who’s in the wrong here, just that you’re not helping the situation by giving into him every time. 

As I said in my first response, your fi needs to stop living in fear of upsetting his family or doing something they disapprove of, and you need to help him in this by standing firm and calmly declining events that you don’t want to go to. If they want to talk shit about you for not attending yet another last minute shindig (when you’re already seeing them multiple times a month), that’s on THEM…it has nothing to do with you two. Your fi needs to let it go and stop panicking if mommy and daddy are upset with him! (I say this as someone who totally used to panic if my mommy and daddy were upset with me, when I was in my 30s – and now understand how unhealthy that was!)

Post # 15
273 posts
Helper bee

Does you fiance not realise he is acting the exact same as his family. He can give out about them all he wants but he treats you the exact same way they treat him. Last minute invites, getting upset if you dont want to go, guilt tripping you by refusing to go without you. He is no better than they are.

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