Post # 31
kat5 : “When my Fiance gets upset, I just need to let him be upset and stay calm. I hate that it has to be that way, but I can’t change his reactions.” — This is really self-aware, bee, and truly a step in the right direction. You can not change his family’s behavior or his behavior, but you can change your own. In addition to this being the only thing you are in control of, it also models healthy behavior to your fiance. How can you expect him to learn to say no to his family if you are not able to say no to him? Telling him no and sticking with it even if he whines and complains shows him that it’s possible. He will see that if you can do it, when he’s ready to, he can too.
Also, you don’t have to say no EVERY time. If they suggest something last minute and you happen to be available and think it sounds fun, there is nothing wrong with saying yes to that. Whatever rule or boundary you put into place should be based on you, not them. Rather than something like “I’m not coming if you don’t give at least 3 days’ notice” try something like “I’m not coming if I already have other plans (and binge-watching netflix, playing Candy Crush, or napping all count as other plans)”.
Good on you. It might be tough the first few times, but I hope your fiance catches on quickly that you mean it and that he should take a lesson from your playbook.
Post # 32
Daisy_Mae : In addition to this being the only thing you are in control of, it also models healthy behavior to your fiance.
This is a great point and was so effective in my own situation (in which I was playing the role of OP’s fi). Seeing my husband calmly choose to go against my family’s wishes in the case of not sleeping on grandma’s couch — as opposed to giving in out of fear of their disapproval — was very eye opening to me. I’d spent my entire life walking on eggshells out of fear of upsetting them, and as a 30 yr old woman it was time to see how ridic that was. Liberating even!
FWIW, I am still very close to my family! We live out of state due to work (2 hr flight away) but see them 6-7x a year and I facetime with them almost every day. I’m not at all against having a super close relationship with one’s fam but it needs to be on your terms.
Post # 33
Your fiancé and yourself need to sit down and set boundaries amongst each other. Example: plans with family will only be accepted with a 24 hour notice. AND STICK TO IT. Then you guys (or just fiancée) need to sit down with HIS family and lay out the same boundaries AND STICK TO IT. If they start guilt tripping, blackhole the calls and texts. Do not engage, do not JADE. And maybe make him read Codependant No More. kat5 :
Post # 34
Thanks again everyone for the replies. I think some people aren’t really reading all of my posts, but I’m going to stop responding to things that are implying that I am keeping my Fiance from his family or need to stand up for myself just as I’m going to stop respond to my Fiance being upset when I say no!
When I have felt attacked in the past when he argues with me not wanting to go, I have always stood my ground. If I don’t want to go, I don’t go. If he won’t go without me, that’s his problem. But I’ve done it in a somewhat aggressive way that adds to the fight. I honestly never thought about the fact that I could just… leave the room. Refuse to talk about it. This shouldn’t be so mind blowing, but it really is. I hope it works, and I really think it will. Thanks all!
Post # 35
tiffanybruiser : All o fhis! I can relate to this so much- with me in your husband’s place and my Darling Husband in yours. OP’s fiance’s family will need to learn – likely over muliple issues- that they aren’t in charge of OP and her fiance.
OP, your fiance shouldn’t be pressuring you because they’re pressuring him. He’s willing to argue with you to cater to them and that’s not right. And not giving a shit if other’s are talking about you is SO liberating. Seriously, it’s truly freeing. Admittedly I still have to work at not giving a shit occasionally, but it’s much better than catering to people who always want to get their own way.
Post # 36
kat5 : good luck bee and keep us posted on how it goes! I hope by refusing to participate in further fights about this with your fi, the situation will be remedied.
Post # 37
Its definitely an issue but the two of you are making a bigger deal of this than what is necessary to the point where it can impact your own relations. Communicate, come to a compromise, deal with it and move on. Family, money, kids: these few things are always going to throw out spanners that you have to catch and release.
Cant believe you are doing a merry go around on this one topic for one and half YEARS. This should have been done and dusted with to a point where BOTH have a say and are relatively happy with the result. The important thing is both feel heard and whats important to one should also be important to the other. You dont like last minute plans – unless you’re the president of some country or a famous singer I have no idea why this is such a big deal but ok – and he wants to spend time with his family. Both these things are important. How you deal with this is what makes a marriage work or lurch from one argument to the next.
Good luck. Stop fighting.
Post # 38
- Wedding: November 2020 - North Carolina
I sort of get where you’re coming from. I’m not a really social person but I’m willing to do things if I have enough advanced notice to mentally prepare myself. My ex’s family used to have things going on ALL THE TIME. Most times we wouldn’t find out about thing until the day before or the day of. I spoke to him many time about how I felt. If I didn’t go he’d be mad at me because of the way his family was being towards him if I wasn’t there. If I did go it was a mental and emotional drain on me and I wouldn’t be myself for a few days and he’d be mad about that. I loved his family, I’m just extremely introverted.
I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all for you to have advanced notice on things like that. It’s not fair to spring things up on you. I can understand that he doesn’t want to disappoint his family but he should not guilt you into doing anything you don’t want to do because of his own insecurities. Also, he needs to have a sit down with his family to express how he feels. If you’re close to his family then maybe you could tag along. Tell them that if they are planning anything and you both are expected to be there then they need to let you know the plans as soon as they start making them. You could say it’s because you don’t want to make any other plans that may conflict with what they want to do.
Post # 39
Honestly, it sounds like your fear of being controlled, has lead you to be controlling.
You can’t dictate other people’s lives. If it’s not enough notice, just decline or let your hubby go. Tell them you appreciate a little more notice next time.
He isn’t at fault and can’t be expected to pre-empt their plans everytime.
Post # 40
Not really understanding the lack of reading comprehension of some of the bees here. So OP states she doesn’t want to go to FI’s family function and tells Fiance he can go without her, he gets mad and lays guilt trips because he doesn’t want to go without her…argument ensues…..Sounds more like HE is trying to be as controlling to her as his family is being to him. Nope, nope and more nope!
OP do what you already planned to do. I think you’ve got this. Encourage him to continue counseling too.
Post # 41
Yeah, he needs to individuate.
I went through something a bit similar – and while you can’t control or choose his growth for him, and his life with his family is his to manage, being armed with the knowledge that this is a pattern of codependency on his part will help you make your own choices.
He needs to grow up. Whether he can or not is up to him.
Meanwhile, you make the choices that work best for you. And yes, let him have his reaction.
And good for you for filtering bees who think they know it all and enjoy bullying from behind a keyboard. I am sick of them. They even bullied me over my wedding venue, for goodness’ sake. They don’t get a vote once they act like that. Some people are just a complete waste of oxygen, wearing s***-colored goggles and projecting their low world view on everyone but their own mirror where the criticism belongs.
Post # 42
bctoquebec : She isn’t controlling her fiance – did you read her posts? He refuses to go without her and throws a fit when she says he is welcome to go by himself but she’s got other plans. She never suggested that his family must plan everything far in advance, either.
OP, I think you have a good plan to try out. I also like the idea someone else brought up, of having the conversation with your fiance when you’re both calm, not under the fire of a last-minute invite (which is not a summons!) about how you will handle this going forward. You have the right not to be at the beck and call of his family, and he needs to figure out how to a) go without you if he wants to see them and you don’t, and b) turn them down if he doesn’t want to go! Counselling could be really helpful here, as he sounds pretty codependent.
Post # 43
Not controlling the spouse, the attempts at controlling behaviour of inlaws, which isn’t working.
Control your reactions and responses. You will not go unless you have notice. Fiance knows this, ensure they know this, don’t stress about it. Stop engaging about it. It doesn’t need constant discussion and response, detach from the situation.
Post # 44
“I honestly never thought about the fact that I could just… leave the room. Refuse to talk about it. This shouldn’t be so mind blowing, but it really is.”
Not engaging in conflict, preferably even before it begins, is a strategy that will change your life if you work it right. By definition, a person cannot have an argument with himself; it takes two people to engage.
When we engage in an argument, we do so because we think we have something to prove. We want to convince the other person or be heard, bring them round to our point of view. That often does not happen, however, and we just become engaged in a battle of wills.
If you are making a unilateral decision (eg. how to spend your evening) that doesn’t require reference to the other person, there’s no need to engage in conflict, or even discussion, about it. Just state what you’ve chosen and don’t discuss or debate it. Remain calm, and you might be suprised at how quickly you can diffuse the situation.
Post # 45
kat5 : It shouldn’t be this difficult. Let him (and possibly his family) know you won’t go to an event unless you have 2 days notice (or whatever amount is appropriate), as you may have other plans (and even then you don’t have an obligation to accept). The next time you receive short notice, gently remind them of your policy and go have drinks with friends/go to a movie/curl up with a book/etc.