I’ve been in a long-term relationship for the past 14 years and we’re finally getting married. I have some issues that I just can’t seem to work out on my own. I’ve been to counseling and it hasn’t really helped because my intended is a bull-headed, stubborn chavinistic controlling bossy man (mental health counselor) who is under the impression that he knows everything and no one can tell him anything.I have a teenaged son from a previous relationship that I’ve had to basically remove from my home and send to my parents because the two men in my life don’t get along. To make matters worse, my family doesn’t really care for this person. Not that he’s been a saint through all of this, we’ve had our share of problems like any other couple.There has been a physical altercation between my intended and some of my family members over my intended’s handling of my son. As a result, my intended has become bitter and controlling when it comes to me doing things with my family. Here’s me caught in the middle.I’ve basically limited my contact with my family in order to appease him and of course he’s doing everything he desires with his family. To further complicate things, we have a beautiful daughter who is missing out on her relationship with her maternal family because of her father ‘s stubbornness.I want to do whatever I can to remedy this situation, but I really don’t know what to do at this point. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated and welcomed.
You are are allowing yourself to be bullied and held hostage by your fiance. What’s more, you reward his tyranny by giving him what he wants (your not having contact with your family and depriving your daughter of that same contact). What’s wrong with this picture?I read your laundry list of his faults and I couldn’t help but ask the question why are you marrying a guy who is, ‘bull-headed, stubborn, chauvinistic, controlling, and bossy.’ If I had to guess I would say that you are right at home with him. Your own family member got into a physical fight with your intended, so it sounds like you grew up with people who act out their rage.It is terrifying to grow up in a family in which people act out their rage. Witnessing raging grown ups is so scary for a little kid. A child learns to sacrifice the self in order to be safe. Sacrifice can take many forms, such as not saying your true thoughts, feelings, needs, wishes, and by being obedient, and passive in order to placate the monster. This pattern continues into adulthood. As you can see, you are still placating the monster.You need to be clear on why you continue to make such unhealthy sacrifices, in this case to lose your family. Are you doing so because you are afraid that he will turn his rage on you? Are you doing this because you hope that he will love you for taking his side? Are you afraid that he will abandon you if you don’t give him what he wants?What you need to see is that you have rewarded his tyranny by giving in to his tantrums. He doesn’t want you to see his family, so you comply, and he learns that he can get what he wants by bullying you.What would happen if you told him that you aren’t willing to stop seeing your family? I imagine he would throw a fit. Now what if you ignored his fit, just the way you ignore a two year old having a tantrum? Let your fear play out and imagine the worst. Would he hurt you? Leave you? You need to predict the worst and then face your fear.Ultimately you aren’t going to feel all right in your own skin if you continue to allow him or anyone else to bully you into compliance. He isn’t the problem. He’s just a bully who’s been allowed to get away with murder.The real problem is that you are willing to annihilate yourself in order to appease the other. Self-annihilation is akin to suicide.I have given you a lot to think about and work on. You may need the help of a therapist to help you resolve the blocks to putting your foot down. Above all, be sure that you are prepared to handle the fallout before you put your foot down. He won’t stop bullying you until he knows that you are ready, willing, and able to walk.If he senses that you are frightened of his threats, you will lose all leverage. The bottom line is you are going to need to heal the frightened child inside yourself. When you do, you will be able to set your own limits, come what may.