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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1701
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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To refresh your memory, we were supposed to have our first

Customer Question

To refresh your memory, we were supposed to have our first skype/phone session yesterday about another issue (fiancé and I), but my fiance’s father passed and we had to cancel. But another issue has surfaced. My fiance’s family lives in another state (I’ve
never been to his home state, but I have met his parents on several occasions). He got the news that his father passed this past Monday. He flew home the very next day. I expressed that I would come there if he needed me and asked if there was anything that
I could do to please let me know. Well, when Wednesday arrived, I kind of came to the conclusion that I was not invited since the funeral was Friday. I didn’t want to be intrusive or make assumptions that were not valid. I rationalized it all away by saying,
‘well he knows how I feel about funerals’ or ‘he knows my mom is flying in town on Saturday evening’ or ‘maybe he doesn’t want me to see him in an emotional state’. But then on the other hand, I thought ‘he has to know that I my love for him trumps everything
else’, ‘he’s not afraid to be vulnerable in front of me’…he’s the man I will marry. So I swallowed my feelings and sent my condolence gifts to the family. But on Thursday night, I just couldn’t help it…I just had to ask (with kid gloves on). So I sent a text...I
just had to know, ‘why in the darkest moment of your life, you wouldn’t want me to be by your side?’ His response on the morning of the funeral was, ‘I knew your mom was coming to town and you didn’t need an invitation’ and then later responded ‘it’s not too
late’. I digressed and let it go in honor of his dad. The last thing I want to do is for this to become an argument. But I feel gas lighted because there is no way that I could make it under the circumstances…book a same day flight, make arrangements for my
9 year old daughter and my dog in less than 3 hours. I feel like something is fundamentally 'not normal' in our relationship, but I cannot put my finger? On one hand, I feel relieved that my fiance acknowledged his insecurity, but I am so sad that we can’t
get married until I sell because of the landlord/tenant issue with my child’s father. It’s like I’ve been condemned by something that I did out of love years ago with my child’s father and now being judged and punished by my fiancé because of his 'embarrassment'
(his words) of the situation. And now, I don’t understand why in his deepest, saddest moment, he wouldn’t reach out and simply say, ‘I need you’ or ‘when are you coming’. I feel deeply saddened, like an outsider that is not quite good enough or fully accepted
and exhausted. I feel like we’re both in a rowboat, but I’m the only one rowing with him dictating or or just kicking back and enjoying the view. I just need a different perspective on this. Should I have been more direct and ‘bogarted’ my way to the funeral?
Am I over reacting or being there anything in my blind spot that I'm not seeing?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I requested Dr.JackiePHD to answer this question...just in case...FYI. Thanks!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ya know at first I felt sad, but now I feel angry. With him telling me that 'I didn't need an invitation' implies that I'm overreacting and could have been there with I dropped the ball. If I didn't need an invitation, why didn't he ask me what day was I coming instead of saying nothing and waiting for me to ask on Thurs evening when it was virtually impossible for me to come? What angers me is that he simply made a decision on my behalf without giving me the opportunity to say yes or no. We just had this conversation last week...same issue, but different scenario. He is very 'single minded' on things/events that he goes to and often excludes me and rationalizes it away with 'I thought you wouldn't want to go' or 'you could have come'...always after the fact though. Yep, I'm on an emotional roller coaster...can't wait until I get to 'Acceptance'.
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 1 year ago.


First, please accept my sympathies again. What is happening in the big picture does concern me is the big picture. I would like to talk to you together. Can we schedule that? I teach Mon/Wed. evening and am not home until 8:30/9 p.m. those nights. But tonight, Tues., and Thur. I am free. Do any of those work?

I am not sure it is the best time to be planning your wedding given some of these big issues. That is why I would like to talk to both of you.

Second, I don't want to judge him, and I don't know his thought processes. But the grief could be impeding his ability to make sound decisions. He should have invited you--it really was not your place like you said considering you have to plan for your daughter and make those kinds of arrangements. But his normal logical and reasoning abilities could be "off" because many people go through this when grief takes over. Their emotions and not logic or even routines are guiding them. And you know what happens when our emotions guide us.

When he is at a later stage in the grief, past sadness and past anger, we should talk about the two of you being able to discuss and think in terms of BOTH of you and not just like you said, in a "Single minded" way. In marriage, as you know, it is about BOTH of you plus your daughter. And so I truly recommend working on getting to that point before getting married. And this goes back to the whole your ex renting the house, etc.

Do you want me to get you some of those research study references? I have some that I promised. Or do you just want me to share the "objective" findings for couples with similar conflict issues? If you can let me know, I will get back to you later today. And please think about a good time for us to Skype. :)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok..thank you so much! I will wait for his call. I haven't talked to him since Friday morning. I reached out, but I don't think he is ready to talk and I don't want to rock the boat. Please share the objective findings!