Recurring Fight and FI Not Keeping His Word

posted 3 months ago in Relationships
Post # 17
Member
1883 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

Yeah, my husband and I actually deal with this a lot. His family is local and mine is not, so we see them a lot. And similar to you, they pick a date that works for them, without asking if it works for us. And yes, he catches a lot of crap from his family. And he really struggles with balancing out them and us. But, I always just stand my ground. If I can’t make it or don’t feel like it, I don’t go. He can go by himself, but I won’t be there. He was upset about this at first, but he has learned to deal with it. The other thing is we agreed on an acceptable amount of time to see his family each month. Twice a month plus special events (and truly special – birthdays, anniversary, holidays) we can spend with them. Any more than that and we get stressed out trying to make it work, and its too much on me (his mom and sister are exhausting to be around). So, if it is a last minute thing, he can go if he feels the need to, but I don’t have to if we’ve already seen them twice that month or if we have plans with them for later. 

Bottom line you need to workout with your fiance how often you see his family and you need to stand your ground when you can’t or don’t want to go. If something sounds fun, go. If its not something you need to be there for, don’t go and don’t get upset. If he starts getting upset just respond “I’m truly sorry you are upset right now, but this is a last minute thing that I don’t need to attend. I have planned to do XYZ already, so you can go, but I will be sitting this one out.” 

Post # 18
Member
4542 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

He can go alone. Make your own plans and do whatever you want to do even when he comes up with last minute plans. But if you are both just sitting at home doing nothing all weekend are you sure you’re just not going because you want to get back at him? Compromise is key. Hubby and I usually make plans the day of if nothing was going on.

 

Post # 19
Member
7865 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

kat5 :  Ok, I think you need to address this with him in a calm moment, as opposed to 5 seconds after you’ve received yet another invite that you don’t want to accept and you’re both feeling heated. You need to find your own words to use for this, but basically what it boils down to is that your fi is prioritizing his family’s happiness over yours, and it has to stop. It would be one thing if you were actually doing something inappropriate or rude, like being an asshole to his family or canceling on pre-arranged plans, but you’re not – you just don’t want to be guilt tripped into attending 100% of events they have, which are always sprung on you at the last minute. That is objectively REASONABLE, and your fi needs to have your back on that and stop caring so much if his parents /sibling get upset over an entirely reasonable choice of yours.

It seems like he understands this in theory, but then when a situation actually comes up, he gets flustered and panicked at upsetting his family and all rational thought goes out the window. So talk about it in a calm moment, get him to verbally agree that he will stop doing this, and then if he tries to guilt trip you again in the future, calmly remind him of this agreement you had and excuse yourself from the conversation full stop. 

Post # 21
Member
4542 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

kat5 :  well then that’s not fair. Do you think theyre bullying him to get you to go and that in turn makes him bully you into going? If so then that cycle needs to be broken. You can decide for yourself and he is a grown man- he can go alone and needs to respect you.

Post # 23
Member
7865 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

kat5 :  I’ve tried so many things. I’ve tried getting them to give more notice, getting him to go by himself, tried to assume when they will have a get together and make sure I don’t make conflicting plans.

All these “solutions” are merely addressing the symptoms of the problem, not the underlying problem, which is your fi’s refusal to create appropriate boundraies with his family and your own (completely well-intended) tendency to enable him in that. Honestly I’d have one more discussion with him in a calm moment like I suggested above, and beyond that I would not even engage in future debates about this issue. After your calm discussion, the next time it comes up and he starts guilt tripping you and getting upset, simply say to him “we already discussed this and agreed that you would not be guilt tripping me about this issue in the future; I am not willing to discuss it again.” And leave the room if you have to.

Post # 24
Member
4542 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

kat5 :  are they Italian? Lol. no offense to any italians! Just that 2 of my girlfriend’s are married to Italians and this is similar to their life. 

Post # 25
Member
618 posts
Busy bee

kat5 :  

From where I’m sitting, the problem is that you are trying to anticipate what other people will do and how they will act/react, and then trying to plan your own behaviour accordingly. This is not effective because, as you have discovered, you cannot control what they do and often cannot even predict it. The only person whose choices you can control are your own.

You need to decide for yourself, and without reference to them, what you find to be acceptable and doable for you, and do that. Don’t try to anticipate their actions or responses . It is also up to them to adjust to you to an extent.

You are trying so hard to forestall an argument or anyone being upset that it is stressing you out. I think what we’re trying to say is, let them be upset. They will get over it, and most likely they will recalibrate their reactions in the future if you don’t make a big deal out of it or engage with it or allow it to become drama.

Post # 26
Member
430 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

bearinabeecostume :   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. 

THIS. 

I’ve dealt with this with my husband and although it has gotten 10000x better, we still have our moments. I’m like you OP and don’t always understand the need to go to Every. Single. Family. Function. whether it be dinner or a birthday or a goldfish’s funeral. 

Darling Husband has literally told me a version of what I put in italics and it was a much-needed slap in the face for me (in a reality check way) because I realized I was being kind of unreasonable. Like my husband straight up told me he (obviously) is scared to mention family events to me sometimes because I’ll get upset, he fears how I’ll react and is afraid to mention he wants to go. 

We’ve made leaps and bounds in progress with the advance notice and all that, so I truly get where you are coming from but you and your Fiance need to either try to talk it out or seek outside help to make you both realize you can do family things separately. Learn the word NO and how to not feel remorse or guilt from using it. 

 ETA: I echo a lot of PP’s comments on how to deal with it. Staying stern, telling yourself mentally their reactions are on them, etc. I couldn’t quite put it into words but I agree a lot of the advice here will be helpful. They can boo-hoo all they want if you both can’t go but that’s on them, they should know you two are adults and there will be things that happen where you BOTH cannot go and attend something together, you are a couple but you also are allowed to have separate lives. 

 

Post # 27
Member
6738 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

pocahontas28 :  “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.”

This is exactly right. 

kat5 :  OP, your Fiance has obviously learned how to treat people from his family as he’s treating you the same way that they treat him. 

Post # 29
Member
3762 posts
Honey bee

tiffanybruiser :  excellent example.

kat5 :  

The reason his family leans on him to be present at all these events is because he’s so malleable. If he would say no and make it clear he didn’t want to hear any shit about it, they’d stop. The hard thing to do is actually the easiest thing to over time, because this argument will go on for years if he doesn’t change his response to his family’s demands. In short, he needs to grow up.

Post # 30
Member
5186 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

kat5 :  I actually think you have the exact same problem you are ciritising your fiance for.  You can’t stand up to him and stick to your decision to miss a particular even and you are getting upset that he isn’t doing that to his family either.  Until you can stand your ground with him I don’t think you get to be upset at him for the same thing.  Perhaps if you start to miss things when they don’t suit you and you actually follow through on what you say then your Fiance will see that it is a valid option and feel more comfortable not attending some of the events in future.

However you also need to look at what sort of family dynamic you can work with and whether you and your fiance’s views on family can align or not.  This site is very quick to scream boundaries about anyone who sees their extended family often but having a close relationship with family isn’t a bad thing, but it can be of both partners aren’t on the same page. 

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