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NWR: FI doesn't want to compromise. (Long-ish)

FI and I are a year away from our wedding date and, though I love him, I don't even want to be around him right now.

A little background information...

I'm 23 and I went from living with my mom, to living in a dorm at an out-of-state college, to moving into my FI's apartment with him. (We now have a townhouse together). So, I've never technically lived on my own (in a house or apartment). My FI takes this to mean that I have no idea how to pay bills, manage money, or anything like that (yet I'm good enough to cook, clean, and do laundry). I have a job and I help with paying bills (at my last job I was making $500 more a month than he was, but he was taking a portion of my checks for bills and I could spend the rest however I wanted), but I feel like I'm not treated as an equal partner in our relationship. In fact, I feel like he treats me like a child because he never includes me in household decisions. (In fact, he even told me how much we can put toward our wedding each month when it's my money, too).

He claims it's because he grew up in a very traditional household where his step-father worked and his mom was a stay-at-home mom, so that's what he's used to. Well, that's fine, but I grew up with a single mom who worked full-time.

I just feel like he is unwilling to compromise with me on anything. (He's a very 'my way or the high way' type person, as his mother said his father was). He refuses to even compromise with me on when to buy a house or have kids. I want kids in the next few years and he said he's not going to be ready then. So, because I'm so frustrated, I told him that I want my first child by the time I'm 30 or I'm leaving (and that would be in seven years). (Note: There is nothing wrong with having kids after 30, I would just start now if I could). He called that 'emotional blackmail.' Maybe it is, but I really have no idea how else to get through to him and to prove that I'm serious because talking to him hasn't worked. (I realize that saying I'm going to leave in seven years is crazy, but I'm just hoping he will get on the same page as me eventually).

Also, my dad died two months ago and that's when FI claimed I started changing. (He also says that's why I've been 'pushing' him to have a baby - that and because I'm bored with my life - which isn't true at all... I've always wanted to have kids relatively young). He says I've been taking my anger out on him, but he's just been irritating me. Maybe it has something to do with my dad's death or maybe I'm just fed up - I don't know. But he told me last night that he didn't want kids unless I went to my grief support group (which I was debating about continuing to attend after the last meeting) and learned to 'manage' my grief. I think I've been managing my grief well - no one else seems to have any issues with me (that I know of). Anyway, we're already in pre-marital counseling, which seems to help, but I feel it hasn't lately because I feel like he doesn't listen to me (and he doesn't take any responsibility for his actions).

I spoke with FI's best friend of thirteen years (he has a psychology degree, though he doesn't practice) to get his opinion from a professional and personal standpoint and he said 'you need to decide if these are things you can live with because he's never going to change.' (Hopeful, right?)

I love my FI and I really don't want to leave, but I have no idea what to do. Any advice would be appreciated. TIA.

Re: NWR: FI doesn't want to compromise. (Long-ish)

  • I think some grief counselling for you and some couples counselling for both of you is in order.
  • edited September 2012

    Take it from someone who is on her 3rd marriage, you are lucky you learned these things now, as opposed to later.

    I think you need to get couples counseling before I would even worry about a wedding. And not counseling with his friends. All people have deal breakers, but they shouldnt have to settle for things just because thats the way he is.

    Maybe you should be on your own. Sometimes alone is better then putting up with this behavior forever. And if you have these issues going in and dont deal with it now, you'll be resentful later.

    ETA: Let me say at 23, you have plenty of time to work this out.

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  • Agree.

    You should consider counselling asap. I've always felt that the 'he's always been that way and isn't going to change' line is a crock. If he WANTS to change, then he will, but it doesn't sound like he does.

    Your post reminds me a lot of my parents, actually. They just passed their 42nd anniversary and they hate each other. I'm not kidding. My dad has been telling my mom what to do forever, and she resents it, and he expects her to obey. They really hate each other, and people think I'm kidding when I say it, but as someone on the inside circle, I see the bits that no one else does. He's mean to her, and she takes it. Her logic now is that she's too old to leave.

    Is that how you want to spend your life?

    FYI - I left my marriage and an abusive relationship after that and am now in love with a wonderful man who adores me and treats me like a queen. My mom is where she is, and I have a sister who I haven't spoken with in almost three years, because her very abusive husband likes it that way.

    It's your life. You get to choose your destiny. I know that I took a hard road to happiness, but every hard decision was worth it.

    Good luck.
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  • Do not marry this man without intense counseling for the two of you.  He is treating you as a subordinate rather than an equal.  How about YOU tell him what YOU are going to do with YOUR money instead of him telling you how much you may have and how much YOU can put toward the wedding?

    My first instinct is to say run as fast you can, but I would try couples counseling first.
  • This man is not going to change. He's stuck in the 50's and has made it quite clear that he intends to be the 'man of the house,' and if you follow through on marrying him, that is what you're signing up for. I know it's not what you want to hear, but you need to dump him. You deserve an equal partner, not a master.
  • Thanks, everyone.

    I think I want to suggest a couple counselor to him because, right now, we're just going to a pastorial counselor.
  • Wow, lots going on here.

    You should be able to compromise on money. It's a must.

    Also, don't push him to have kids. If that's a deal-breaker for you to have kids by X date, then I guess you shouldn't be together. But nothing will change your life more than having a child. If he says he's not ready for that then you need to respect that. It doesn't mean he doesn't love you, he's just on a different page. You don't want him resenting you and/or future children because you pushed him.

    This isn't just about him compromising with you on $. You need to compromise with him on kids. Right now it seems like you are both very far away from each other on both subjects. Figure it out BEFORE you get married or don't get married.

    June 16, 2012
  • It really sounds like he doesn't want to change. He's using his upbringing as an excuse for his behavior, and that's not fair. My mother was a stay at home mom with only her HS diploma when I was growing up. That doesn't mean that's the choice I'm going to make.
    Don't worry to much about children yet. You're going through a traumatic time with a less than supportive FI. That should be the least of your concerns right now.
    He really doesn't treat you like an equal and that's both disrespectful and unfair. I'd really see if he's interested in couples counseling. If not, I'd reconsider this engagement.
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  • There is so much going on here.

    First, making household decisions is something that needs to be done together because  It sounds like you're not ok with the way things are.  This is what I would be pushing him on, because you're NOT an equal partner to him right now with the way things are being handled.  IMO, that's far more damning than not being able to get on the same page about kids.

    Second, there's really no such thing as "compromising" about having kids.  Do you really want to have kids with someone who isn't ready to have them?  Think about this.  It will likely cause resentment on all sides (from him because you pressured him to take on the biggest responsibility in the world when he wasn't ready, and from you because he's not going to help the way he should, you know, because he's resentful of you and the kid).  How would you like it if you weren't ready to be pregnant for 9 months and push a baby out your vag and take care of it for 18+ years and someone was pushinig you to do it?  This is a major responsibility and life decision, not something to pressure and compromise on. 

    I feel like your pressure to have kids might be your way out.  If you're not happy, then you're not happy.  You don't need an ultimatum to leave.  You can leave because he refuses to treat you as an equal, earning partner. 

    As far as your grief: different people manage their grief differently.  And while it's entirely possible it's just some weird control excuse for your FI, it's also entirely possible that you're not managing as well as you think you are.  If you truly want to work things out, maybe seeing a grief counselor might be helpful.  If nothing else, it's an outlet for you.  It sounds like you need one.

    Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
  • Couples counseling is a must.  There are too many issues here.  Also, consider that when you do have children, is he going to expect you to be a stay at home mom and is that what you want to do?

  • Marriage is about compromising. If he is not willing to do it now, its certainly not going to change when you are married, it will probably get worse. I definitely think you need to go to a couple counsler, however, if you are having doubts now, that is a huge red flag. I think going into a marriage you need to be relatively on the same page with major issues, like when to have children, how children will be raised, who will be working,finances, etc. Figure this out now or walk away.
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  • I agree with everyone else except on one point - I'm not sure I'd bother with the couples' counseling.  I think it's a great idea in theory but the fact that you're not even married and in need of serious relationship help makes me think that perhaps he's just not the man for you.  I don't think that relationships are ever completely easy, but this should be one of the happiest, most in-love times of your life, and you need serious counseling just to make it to the wedding?  What happens after, when it's a few years down the road and the glow has worn off?  I can see this only getting worse.

    I don't think I'm explaining this properly, but I will say to just trust your gut.  You have serious doubts and there are serious red flags.  Don't ignore that little voice in the back of your mind just because you want to be a young bride and a young mother.
  • OP, I'm curious. What would your FI do if you said no? For instance, if he tells you that only $200 can go to the wedding fund each month, and you decide that no, you're going to put $400 towards the wedding? What would he do? 
  • In Response to Re: NWR: FI doesn't want to compromise. (Long-ish):
    [QUOTE]Why are you both threatening each other with kids? You are out if he doesn't agree to have them by a certain age and he won't agree unless you get counseling? WTF? This is not a good way to decide about bringing a child into your house. If the two of you can't even manage small decisions like how to manage household expenses, how in the hell are you going to deal with tough decisions about how to raise kids? You are putting the horse before the cart here I think. Take a few steps back. Put the wedding on hold and figure out if you want to be with this man forever. If you do, and he is worth compromising for, then see a grief counselor. What's the worst that could happen there? And premarital counseling to help maybe bring him into this century might be a good idea to. Just keep in mind if he is not interested in working together with you there, and only expects you to get used to him calling all the shots, take that for the warning sign it is and get the hell out.
    Posted by Dot Dash[/QUOTE]

    I have never ever agreed more with anything you've ever said.  Spot on. 

    Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
  • I wouldn't marry him.  Deposits be damned, postpone the wedding.  His friend is right that he won't change, yes, but he is also young and COULD change if he matures, but you can't depend on that.  If you are a college educated woman, living a modern enough life where you are living together before marriage, long term you won't be satisfied with the current situation. Stop and ask yourself, are you both just "playing house"  I've been in that relationship , twice, and around the 3 year mark, it goes to hell. 

    The media kind of trains young women to think that getting married by a certain age is important, and i think alot of us stay in relationships we know aren't right because we feel like we are supposed to be at a certain point by a certain age. It's not true. 

    So take more time, you have your doubts. having a deadline won't take the pressure off. If it's going to work it will. I have a friend who lost all his deposits a month before his wedding, 6 months later  they got back together, eloped, and are now very happy.  So you never know how it will go but you can't critically analyze it with the wedding looming. 
  • This exactly:

    This man is not going to change. He's stuck in the 50's and has made it quite clear that he intends to be the 'man of the house,' and if you follow through on marrying him, that is what you're signing up for. I know it's not what you want to hear, but you need to dump him. You deserve an equal partner, not a master.
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