- This topic has 31 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 3 weeks, 5 days ago by HeartsMum.
From a LW:
“I’m engaged to be married in a few months.
Over the Christmas holidays, my fiance and I spent a few days staying with his father. Background: the father was physically abusive to their mother for years, had multiple children from affairs outside the marriage, and has a drug & drinking problem. The rest of the family (including future MIL and brother in law) have estranged themselves from him, but my fiance remained close to his dad.
On the final night that we were there, I was cooking dinner, pulled a pan out of the oven and burnt myself. It was relatively serious (it’s blistered) but I didn’t panic, I just turned the cold tap on and put my finger underneath the running water to treat the burn.
A few minutes later my fiance came in, and said what was I doing and why was I running the tap, turn it off. I said I’d burnt myself and I was running it under cold water to treat it. He turned the tap off and said turn it off, you’re wasting water and my dad’s going to get angry
I said no I have to put it under cold running water, that’s basic first aid 101, he yelled at me and said I don’t need to.
Then his dad came in and yelled at me what’s going on, I said I burnt myself, he said it was because I was careless and reading books at the same time as cooking (not true, I had been reading while I was waiting for the food to cook, but obviously I’d put the book down when it was time to take it out of the oven)
I said I need to run it under cold water, they yelled at me and said I wasn’t allowed to waste water, so I ran outside cos there is a beach not far from his house and I thought at least I could put my hand in the cold sea water. It was still burning and painful. His dad yelled at me, pointed at his head and told me I was nuts and had something wrong with me, I didn’t reply, I just ran to get my hand under cold water as quickly as possible.
About ten minutes later my fiance came and told me to come back, I was still pretty upset and didn’t want to come back and said no I was still trying to treat my burn. I also felt scared to go near his father.
Eventually he convinced me to come back to the house with him, at which point his father told him that he loves HIM but he doesn’t want THAT (pointing at me) in his house.
After this my fiance said ok were leaving, FIL said good, and we left. It was nine o’clock at night and a five hour drive to get back home. Except that it took longer because after an hour, he realised he’s left his wallet at his dad’s house, so we had to go back to get it, which added 2 hours extra driving, and at 2am he finally pulled over for a nap (I was begging him to do this for some time prior as he was so tired and kept nodding off).
I am really, really upset right now.
I am having serious doubts about whether I should marry him or not, but I don’t know.
He’s been really apologetic on the way home, but he’s also told me not to tell anyone, because he said it makes him look bad.
I promise I hadn’t done anything wrong at his dad’s house prior to this, at least I don’t think I had.”AnonymousseJanuary 5, 2024 at 2:40 pm #1127499
I wouldn’t stay with a man like this. He wouldn’t render you basic first aid and cares more about his relationship with his incredibly still abusive father.
You need to look for a man who will defend you against other people, bare minimum. That’s not a big ask.
His father is a mess, and I hate to say this but he most likely needs therapy to deal with this type of trauma, or I’d be concerned about future tensions, abuses, how he span does stress and perceived waste of water? Seriously, you had a burn and were cooking for THEM.
They can go eff themselves. I don’t care how apologetic he is now about it, unless he’s also booking an appointment with a therapist I would walk away. He respects his abusive father over anything else, that’s a huge issue. Even his own fiancé, even his own comfort. This is a serious issue.KateJanuary 5, 2024 at 3:04 pm #1127501
Oh my God. Code red, get out right now.
This is terrifying. It’s already a red flag that your fiancé was the only one not to cut contact with his dad (and not only not cut contact but goes to stay with him). But that episode was a cut and run moment. You’ve got to get out.
Normal response would be like, “oh babe are you okay?!” Cold water, burn cream, take you to the urgent care if needed.
I think this was God or the Universe giving you the strongest sign possible to get out.
Also, all abusers apologize and act sweet after. I’m sure his dad probably did too. This guy hasn’t denounced his dad and has had this unacceptable behavior modeled for him. It’s just… you absolutely cannot. You’ve got to tell him that you had a realization after that trip that this isn’t going to work.AnonymousseJanuary 5, 2024 at 3:21 pm #1127502
Honestly, what wouldn’t he do for his dad?
Please take this seriously. He didn’t hurt you, but he didn’t help you when you were hurt, either.AnonymousseJanuary 5, 2024 at 3:26 pm #1127503
He told me not to tell anyone because it makes him look bad.
Yeah, and how is he addressing that other than an apology that is doing nothing for your hurt feelings?
He seems to care a lot about what other people think, not what you feel and experience.
Yeah, you’re absolutely not over reacting at all.
Your fiancee had shown you who he is. He’s more concerned about what his garbage dad thinks than you are.
I don’t know that this is fixable without years of therapy.
Be grateful this happened before the wedding.KateJanuary 5, 2024 at 4:32 pm #1127505
Another passing thought, I had a boyfriend whose dad seemed to have been abusive, not to the extent you’re talking about but he really messed with his kid’s head and would “whup” him.
There was some of this type of shit in our relationship, like he wasn’t sympathetic when I hurt myself, I can think of a time I hurt my shoulder working out and didn’t feel safe driving so asked if he’d mind driving to Cape Cod this once (we went lots of weekends, like a 2-hr drive). We would take my car, but I’d need him to drive. He had a hissy fit all about his long commute which I totally understood and that was why I always drove. He did not give two shits about my shoulder.
We broke up, and I have zero regrets. He’s married and has a kid now but sounds like he’s heading for divorce because he’s been asking some divorced friends super detailed questions about divorce. My guess is his wife wants to leave him.peggyJanuary 5, 2024 at 5:34 pm #1127506
Yes, what everyone has said! Also people that have unsympathetic and or abusive behavior often “relax” more after marriage, and controlling/abusive/odd perspectives on things get worse and their true nature unspools. Plus think of having kids and how he/his dad will react to typical/normal kid behavior…what if you had a child that hurt themselves/got injured. It would be pretty horrific for your kids to endure the weird and awful reaction you experienced to your burn. Please, no second chances, you need to leave/break up.peggyJanuary 5, 2024 at 5:35 pm #1127507
Yes, what everyone has said! Also people that have unsympathetic and or abusive behavior often “relax” more after marriage, and controlling/abusive/odd perspectives on things get worse and their true nature unspools. Plus think of having kids and how he/his dad will react to typical/normal kid behavior…what if you had a child that hurt themselves/got injured. It would be pretty horrific for your kids to endure the weird and awful reaction you experienced to your burn. Please, no second chances, you need to leave/break up.ronJanuary 5, 2024 at 6:01 pm #1127508
Cancel the engagement and break up with this guy. He has revealed how little respect he has for you and how little he cares about your health and safety. You are definitely not safe with the father and possibly not with your bf, since he craves his father’s approval. Your bf interrupted your treatment of your finger in the cool ocean and ordered you back into the house? Why? Because his father wanted the opportunity to throw you out, as it was unacceptable that you would leave of your own volition before the father had finished with you? Quite the power-play the two of them pulled on you. You were injured and neither of them seems to have cared. You had a multiple hour drive back home before being allowed to finish your first-aid self-treatment.
If you stay, you can expect more of the same. He’s not about to give up his father, like the rest of his family did. That suggests he is comfortable with his father’s actions and that after the marriage he will expect his father to be part of your joint lives. If his father’s prior and current actions don’t totally turn him off, is he a candidate for multiple children with multiple women, since this was apparently ok for dad?
It is easier to leave now than after you are married. You will be neither happy nor safe with this guy.
The lame apology, not in the presence of his father, means nothing.golfer.galJanuary 5, 2024 at 9:20 pm #1127509
Leave immediately. If you live together, make sure you have a plan to get out safely i.e. get your things out when he isn’t home, have somewhere safe to go, don’t tell him in person etc. You can always call the national domestic violence hotline and speak to someone who can ask you the right questions to make a comprehensive plan to get you out safely.
Asking you not to tell anyone isn’t just a giant red flag, it’s a test. He wants to see what you do – will you brush his abuse under the rug, protect his reputation over your own safety, etc. This guarantees it will be worse next time, because he’ll know there’s no risk of being exposed. He will beg, he will cry, he will swear up and down to be better and never do it again. But the reality is he will absolutely do it again. If you feel the need, read Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft, but really you should just leave and never look back.golfer.galJanuary 5, 2024 at 9:24 pm #1127510
Also, he doesn’t want you telling anyone because he knows they’ll flag how incredibly awful this situation is and encourage you to leave. He doesn’t want you knowing you have that option. This is particularly sinister. Are there other times he’s exhibited coercive control behavior? Definitely time to leave.