Sunday, November 17, 2019

Time to End the Engagement

You know what she should do. I know what she should do. Carolyn Hax knows clearly what she should do. The solution is not in question. The problem is the way people treat each other. In this case an engaged man makes decisions about who does or does not stay in their home without any concern for his fiancee’s opinion. He is a bully and a thug.

Here is the letter the put-upon woman sent to Hax:

My fiance's friend needed a place to stay for a night and I said okay as long as his girlfriend didn't stay. She is a miserable person who does nothing but complain about her life, and they fight all the time.

He stayed one night, and it was okay.

The next week he and his girlfriend stayed a night, which I was very unhappy about. Then two days later my fiance brings the friend over and tells me he needs a place to stay for two months, and my fiance told him yes without even asking me.

He slept on our couch last night and I couldn't even sit in my living room to read or watch TV. Anytime I wanted to get up to go to the kitchen, I had to get fully dressed. When he uses dishes, he just leaves them for me to wash.

I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the girlfriend is staying here.

I told my fiance I don't want him here and he got mad at me. What should I do?

— K.

Of course, it’s her home. She has veto power over anyone staying there. The point should not be subject to discussion or debate.

The solution: end the engagement and exit the premises. Without any further discussion. Hax writes:

Move out, call off the engagement, call yourself lucky he pulled this stunt before you married him. No joke.

There are a lot of problems couples can fix, but they all require listening to each other, caring about each other, and showing respect for each other.

You can’t fix someone who is openly inconsiderate of you and then “got mad at” you for it.

If anything, I am underplaying this. Save yourself. Get through the most painful part of this life upheaval by reminding yourself how much worse it was going to get, living with someone who treats you as if you don’t exist.

By the way, for next time: There’s no “it’s only a matter of time before the girlfriend is staying here.” Your power is in your ability to say no: No, she can’t stay here; no, I won’t live here if she’s moving in; no, I won’t marry or live with someone who makes decisions for me. Never throw your power away.

Of course, she might also have told her fiance’s friend that he was not welcome in their home.  The friend might have noticed how uncomfortable his presence made her. Such an intervention would have precipitated the crisis that she will be avoiding by moving out and ending the engagement.

One suspects that the boyfriend is dangerous and threatening. He has silenced her and probably threatens worse. Time to call off the wedding, without any further discussion.

That means, without giving him an ultimatum, of the sort: your friend moves or I am moving out… not just of the home but of your life.  As Hax suggests the matter requires no negotiation and no conversation. Time to act decisively, and to save herself.


UbuMaccabee said...

And why would he be entitled to sleep on the common sofa? Sleep on the floor on a mat, or a light inflatable. Bums sleep on the sofa. Fiancé is a clod and violates the foundation of a sound marriage: alignment and agreement on core decisions. Dump him with no further explanation required.

Sam L. said...

What did she see in this jerk? One HAS to wonder.

Bizzy Brain said...

It has always been amusing to me that shack jobs call themselves "fiancees."

UbuMaccabee said...

Bizzy, agreed. It's an empty word for "boyfriend over 3 months". It denotes nothing, but it connotes that you can still have sex with someone else if something better comes along.