Wedding Woes

DTMFA

Dear Prudence,

My partner and I (we’re engaged but not married) are both middle-aged and divorced from our first spouses, with teenage children. As is the case for many women, these past few weeks have brought back memories of an assault I experienced as a teenager. While mine wasn’t as traumatic as some, it was traumatic enough. I never told anyone at the time and just recently started sharing my memories with others, including my partner. I’ve been very upset and angry about the Kavanaugh nomination, and what he is alleged to have done reminds me of what I experienced, as we are around the same age and grew up in the same kind of atmosphere. My partner, who is otherwise a good and decent man, reacted to my anger by saying I needed to get over it and stop talking about it. Then he suggested that I might need some therapy. Then he basically said that he had a history of trying to help “troubled” women and he couldn’t fall into that pattern again. For the record, I am not “troubled.” I am a pretty well-adjusted person with a good job, no substance abuse or anger issues, and two wonderful children, and most people would describe me as pretty level-headed. I’m thinking this might be a deal breaker.

—Am I Overreacting?

Re: DTMFA

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
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    Nope, not overreacting. That guys is a fucking asshole. How do you hear that your loved one has had a traumatic experience, and you tell them you don't want them to talk about it!?

    short+sassySTARMOON44eileenrobVarunaTT
  • Ro041Ro041
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    Drop him.  Fast.

    eileenrobVarunaTT
  • Well, unless she wants to take on the persona of one of those robotic Stepford Wives...happy and smiling all the time, lest she upset her FI with her "troubles"...she's right.  This is a dealbreaker.
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    eileenrobVarunaTT
  • Sounds like he’s the one who is troubled. 
    eileenrobMesmrEweVarunaTT
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    What a fucking asshole. At least LW admitted it was a deal breaker and didn’t try to justify his comments. 


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    eileenrobVarunaTT
  • "Good and decent"? No, sis. No. Raise your standards. 
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    ShesSoColdInLoveInQueensVarunaTT
  • Ro041 said:
    Drop him.  Fast.
    I think this one could easily be mutually beneficial for both parties...

    Given what the LW wrote...  No judgment, but I suspect he's the type of guy with "superman complex" or "fixer" personality in previous relationships and has been burned by a number of women fitting the same personality profile and she had the same characteristics from other relationships but thought she'd "be different this time" only to find out he's literally "dating the same woman"...  He's already out - he's been triggered by his dating relationships of past where he probably held on too long and this time around wants to be the dumper and not the dumpee (and could probably use some chair time himself)...  And was he in the wrong for suggesting she go have some chair time - probably not!  There's a saying "Most people don't know their triggers until they're kicked in the nuts by them!" - LW has something to go have a couple cleanup sessions about, this isn't a bad thing that he suggested she go in, but his delivery probably sucked in being direct about it.  
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  • downtondivadowntondiva
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    edited October 12
    While I do think LW would benefit from therapy, I have a feeling the suggestion did not come from a place of concern and support. It was probably more like "Tell it to a shrink so I don't have to hear about it." 

    Sexual assault is not something you're going to magically get over just because someone says you should. No trauma is, really. If the fiance thinks that's the solution, I find it doubtful that he's really all that "good and decent."
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    charlotte989875short+sassyVarunaTTkalinda2
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK
    2500 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    While I do think LW would benefit from therapy, I have a feeling the suggestion did not come from a place of concern and support. It was probably more like "Tell it to a shrink so I don't have to hear about it." 

    Sexual assault is not something you're going to magically get over just because someone says you should. No trauma is, really. If the fiance thinks that's the solution, I find it doubtful that he's really all that "good and decent."
    Yeah, this is not an 'end of the rope' situation. The LW's  fi would have this litany of things he tried (therapy, couples therapy, group therapy, support groups, talking about it directly, trying new activities, encouraging exercise etc) to try to help her . Instead he was saying 'talk to a therapist because I am not here to help you carry your burden'. Which is horrific to start a marriage with. 

    I can't imagine my H coming to me with a major childhood trauma and me saying 'well, I've got a lot of things on now, so talk to a therapist because I don't want to have to help you deal with this'. 

    Also, major, traumatic things happen in marriages- illnesses, life changing injuries etc. Is he not going to help then?

    He sounds like an insurance company: 'Oh sorry, I'm going to stop you there, this event happened before I agreed to stay with you in good times and in bad, so your fiancé support coverage isn't valid. '
    downtondivacharlotte989875MyNameIsNot


  • He sounds like an insurance company: 'Oh sorry, I'm going to stop you there, this event happened before I agreed to stay with you in good times and in bad, so your fiancé support coverage isn't valid. '
    You win the internet for today! ROFL!  Great metaphor!!!!

    But really - thank the guy for being honest!  He doesn't have the skill/capacity to handle it and wants her to work with someone who does!  
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  • Here's what he didn't say, in case the LW needs more clarity, "For some reason, I'm such a charismatic, strong, caring guy that I attract people who could benefit from my gifts, but over the years, I've come to realize that I really need to focus on myself. What are my needs, and how can my partner meet them?"
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