It was his birthday weekend, I had just ended our engagement, and I felt terrible. On top of that, we had tickets to fly to Houston for his birthday weekend and clearly we weren’t going.
We reconciled on Monday with the intention of seeking couples counseling. We understood that we did not know how to communicate with each other nor understand how to resolve issues. We have been slowly trying to get back to normal, but today we hit another rock. He told me, “When your birthday comes around, I’ll be going to New Orleans like we planned… but I don’t want to travel with you. You can stay here and do whatever you want with your friends, but I don’t want to go anywhere with you anytime soon.” I asked him if he was saying this out of spite, or as punishment, and he said, “Well, you ruined my birthday, I don’t want to be near you for yours.”
I was literally in tears when he said these words. He constantly says he’s not “Out to hurt/punish me,” but something doesn’t sit right with me. I don’t know if I could marry someone who could talk that way to his spouse.
I am in this for the long run and I was willing to work on “us,” but I don’t know how much longer I can endure this punishment. When I told him how he hurt me feelings, he simply responded by saying, “Too bad.”
Am I wasting my time? Please help. I desperately need some sound, solid, and direct advice. — Punished By Fiancé
Yes, you’re wasting your time. Just a year and a half in, and so early in your engagement, you should not be experiencing the kinds of issues and behavior you’re describing. While sometimes stressful, an engagement should be a time of joy, and it sounds like you’re experiencing anything but that. You and your boyfriend can’t communicate. Worse, you both punish each other instead of expressing your feelings. While your own reaction was immediate (returning your engagement ring, etc.), your boyfriend’s punishment is thought-out/ pre-meditated. In short: he’s an asshole. He’s telling you to stay home while he enjoys what should be YOUR birthday weekend? And his reasoning is that you ruined his birthday so he’s going to ruin yours?
This is not what love looks like. This is not healthy. This is not the kind of marriage you want or man you want as your husband. (And that’s not even considering whatever issues exist between and among your parents, which sounds like another nightmare). Thank your lucky stars that you are seeing all of this before you make the mistake of marrying this man and that you can get out now before investing the time and expense and emotional energy into planning a wedding and legally committing yourself to this douchebag.
Give the engagement ring back and, this time, make it a permanent return. And then, instead of going to couples counseling, go to individual counseling and learn some coping tools for your breakup and some healthy communication tools for your next relationship.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.