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Ask Eleanor, Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience:  Marriage & Family Therapist with 20 Years Experience
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I have a male relative who looks to me for advice and I am

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I have a male relative who looks to me for advice and I am at a loss how to help this person. This person is in their mid-30's and engaged to be married. Shortly after this person got engaged the future mother in law started being obnoxious, bossing him around, being rude, in essence treating this person like she treats her whole family. To top it off now the fiance is acting the same as her mother but also hoarding her money, expecting the male relative to pay for everything, do all the chores, etc. And she doesn't work! All she does is sit at home all day and eat in front of the TV. She doesn't cook, clean, do laundry, etc.
Occasionally the male relative will call her on it and she will do a litle bit
for awhile. So the actual main problem is that because of of this he has lost romantic interest in his fiance and also just realized from living with her that even though he has a high IQ she can't do basic math, read basic recipes or discuss anything. She looks at life only from her own needs and bosses people around not taking into consideration anybody else's needs but her own. So this male relative went to a therapist who basically said he needs to follow his gut instinct and not marry this person. He has called me twice a day for the past 3 months and one day he says maybe it can work and then says he is going to break it off.
My only advice up to this point is to tell him he needs to postpone the wedding until he is sure because it is not right to go into something with these many doubts. And still he is engaged! Do you think I need to stop talking to him or what? Thanks.
Hello, I know you must be getting very weary from his indecision. You do not have to stop talking with him, but you can stop talking with him about this dilemma. There is an excellent communication model you can use to draw this boundary with him. It has 3 Steps. Step 1) Tell him that you understand how he feels, i.e., I know that you are having a very difficult time ending your engagement to _______ and rely on me for emotional support while you try to decide what to do. Step 2) Tell him how you feel, i.e., But I am getting worn out from all of this and am getting more and more impatient with you. Step 3) Ask for what you want/need to happen, i.e., So I need you to stop talking to me about what to do. The decision has to be yours, no one can make it for you. I love and care about you, but I can no longer support your indecision. I hope this helps. Chat back if you have questions. Take care, Eleanor
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your great insight. Just as I finished typing this to you I

got a call that he and his fiance have decided to postpone the wedding

indefinitely. I am predicting much fewer phone calls and I will talk about other things instead. Thanks.

You are very welcome. Good news! Enjoy the peace and quiet, Eleanor