{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Is my fiancé abusive? I mentioned that my father always comes first and he got hurt by this. I wasn’t aware he was so upset about it until I brought it up because he didn’t show any affection and I was wondering what’s bothering him. He didn’t say anything but avoided me, didn’t hug or kiss me and kinda went to sleep without saying good night.", "post_id": "6281bd9932c093002aaf4f2c", "reply_count": 89, "vote_count": 9, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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Is my fiancé abusive? I mentioned that my father always comes first and he got hurt by this. I wasn’t aware he was so upset about it until I brought it up because he didn’t show any affection and I was wondering what’s bothering him. He didn’t say anything but avoided me, didn’t hug or kiss me and kinda went to sleep without saying good night.

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Married woman here. Both my husband and I knew before we got married that our union was more important than anything but that we would both put both of our parents ( all 4 of them ) first as long as they are alive. And by needs we refer to taking care of them when sick, seeing them often, travelling with them, etc. And so for me, what you said is completely normal. Aging parents, who sacrificed everything for me and have a great healthy bond with them, will come first.
We still discuss everything with my husband regarding parents and both of us take care/spend time with of all 4 of our parents :) i would say it actually created a very strong bond between us. Seeing him go out for coffee with my dad, or him watching me making plans with his mom def made us closer.

All this to say - this is sometjing we discussed a lot before we got married and were aligned on. Maybe you need to sit down with him and find an approach that works for you that would not make him feel mad or unloved. Maybe its explaining to him what your parents did for you and why you have this need to payback, maybe its how you’d want to encourage him to so the same with his mom/dad and how youre willing to help him. Compromise, kindness, compassion is key here in the conversation!

Good luck

likesmart

I get where you’re coming from and dont agree with a lot of people here too. I think its cultural and also family-specific. Putting parents first doesnt mean neglecting husband or standing with them over him if they mess up. Hell, no! If my parents mess up, ill sure as hell stand with him. But being there with them and giving back to them is in my opinion the least i could do.
One thing i’d say that might trigger some people : parents are irreplaceable. You could get a new husband but never new parents if they die. Thats how I think about it. Love my husband and dont ever want to be apart from him but the probability is there (divorce, death…)
And maybe what Id suggest tou doing is trying to understand qhere he is coming from. Why is he reacting this way? Why was he hurt by it? Does he have a strong bond with his parents? What is your life together and relationships wih both parents going to look like?
I thunk you need to be more compassionate when talking to him and he needs to be more receptive to what you have to say
Feel free to DM me if you need to talk about this more.

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It is normal to put your fiancée/spouse first. You are starting your own family unit with this person. You will build your own traditions and memories that are separate from your parents. You two will have your own struggles that you need to work through together & that takes trust that your partner is your ride-or-die person. This doesn’t mean you don’t love your parents or that you don’t have gratitude for all they have done for you.

The inciting incident is surprising on its face. People in secure relationships wouldn’t care at all that someone else was offered a bit of food first. My guess is this was just another way where he feels deprioritized compared to your dad and he was hurt when you said he wasn’t a priority out loud.

This view that dad comes first sounds very immature and it clearly upsets your fiancée. Family is important and but when you get married they are not your primary relationship. It doesn’t sound like you feel that or truly get that yet. As others have suggested- go to a couples counselor to work this out. It’s a deeper issue than it seems on the surface.

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Think about what you’re saying with something else:

“Once we are having our own family and went through all these big milestones that I <won’t hit my wife anymore>, I believe my mindset or feeling will change. I can truly imagine that having children together can impact your marriage very much”

Or try other more innocuous: <will clean up more around the house>, <will put in more effort with their family>, <care more about their job>, <go to bed earlier>, <be more invested in religion> etc etc

Saying you will change into anything else but who you are now when you have kids, and also expecting him to place a bet on you changing only once you have kids is IMO not a relationship I would be willing to sign up for. If my relationship isn’t where it needs to be when I’m engaged after 7 yrs of dating, I am definitely not waiting around for kids to hope the person will actually follow through with something they think will change in their life.

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Your fiancé? I would think it’s more “abusive” to say to someone who you’re building a life with that someone else will always come before him. I wouldn’t want a husband to tell me he will always put his mother first, that’s not the life partnership I want. Marriage should come first.

It’s not like you are being asked to save someone’s life over the other. But when it comes to life decisions, you make those with your life partner. Make sure you are ready for the marriage commitment, and discuss expectations with your fiancé so you both have a way out now, if you’re not on the same page.

likesmartuplifting

No not Indian. I’m Vietnamese/Chinese…

Without any context this just seems like normal, if a little immature, behavior by someone with hurt feelings.

likesmart

Let’s say if my husband said this to me (whether or not it was true) I would be concerned. It’s kinda feels unnecessary to even say...like why even say it? It’s not something that would make anyone feel good. At the end of the day he would never allow anything bad to happen to me and he would also do the same to protect his mom and family. These two things don’t need to be at odds. But I also know that he prioritizes my feelings and well being because I am a priority in his life and while they are too, it is less so, naturally because him and I are everyday partners

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He doesn’t sound “abusive” but it’s definitely toxic to immediately label someone as “abusive” for justifiably giving you the cold shoulder… I agree with everyone else saying you need to talk to him and maybe work on developing some empathy.

likehelpful

Should add - literally no shade thrown here - my husband and I have been to couples counseling multiple times in our 15 year relationship (including before marriage). It has made an incredible difference 💕

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I would be incredibly concerned if someone I was going to marry told me they would always put their parents before me. He doesn’t sound abusive from this story. He sounds like he’s understanding what you just told him and likely heartbroken by it.

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Shouldn’t your SO come first? I love my parents but my husband and kids come first

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If I’m about to marry him, then yes. You have committed to him for the rest for your life. He should come first.
I’ve seen many marriages make because one of them prioritizes the parents and their opinions before their own spouse

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No, I don’t think so.

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Not abusive if him in the slightest. Agree with others that I totally see why he’s mad

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Wow. Op. I am also from said type of culture where we value parents, but no your husband and family should come first. If I were your fiancée and knew this about you, and how quick you came to thinking my behavior was “abusive” I’d say there are a lot of red flags about you.

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Not abusive. I would also feel offended by what you said to him. This person is your partner for life, may be the father of your children. Your financial support if you lose your job. Your best friend and caretaker as you get old. The list is endless… To enter a marriage and tell him he comes second or third to your parents is extremely short sighted. It sounds like you both have some maturing to do

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No, don’t think it’s abusive but probably insensitive on your part. If the situation were flipped and you were complaining that your fiancé said his parents would always come first, you’d probably have people saying he’s a mama’s boy and 🚩.

It’s not something that immediately changes when someone gets married, you’ve got to put it in practice and consider your partner’s perspective before making a huge decision.

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Nope, far from it. It sounds like he’s hurt. In my mind the only thing he’s done “wrong” / could have done better is communicating clearly that he is hurt and why instead of exhibiting avoidant behaviors. We don’t know him, maybe he’s being manipulative, but I think it’s more likely that this is his response to feeling hurt.

IMO his hurt is justified. I get your point about SO not coming first until you’re married, but I think if you agreed to marry him then you should really already be in this mindset of him coming first and being your family. Just my two cents, at the end of the day it’s a timing thing and there’s no right answer.

likehelpful

OP - I think it would help this discussion a lot if you share the context you shared in a sub comment above. My first reaction was same as above, but then I saw your comment that this entire reaction is because your offered your dad a first bite at dinner and then offered your fiance? Getting pissed at that is just childish. I don't necessarily see this as abusive of your fiance, but certainly immature enough that it would give me pause. Also depends on whether this is truly the only thing bothering him, or if this was a last straw? If he's gonna get butt hurt about you giving your dad the first bite and that's the entire reason for him getting offended... That's really really childish.

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I guess that’s fair. Maybe I have just been fortunate to have people who have been very understanding. I am not saying I haven’t had such conflicting priorities… but I am yet to find myself where either my husband or parents made a stink about it. My mom totally understands when I haven’t called her one week coz she knows something must have come up. And my husband appreciates that I don’t get nearly enough time with my mom and has never begrudged me time spent with my mom. So yeah some weeks I don’t get to talk to my mom at all while some weeks I spend hours just chatting up about nothing and luckily both my mom and husband are totally cool about it. Maybe I should be more grateful about that.

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Should you maybe ask if you’re the abusive one? In a marriage your husband/partner should come first, not your father. This will always be an issue and his reaction is justified.

likesmart

Exactly

OP, your spouse needs to come first always. Always. If you think that in some situation he would PREVENT you from being there for your father, that should be discussed. But it seems like an inappropriate boundary (or lack thereof) to be there at your dad’s every need over your spouse. I get the comment was off handed at something insignificant but it’s a canary in the coal mine. I would be concerned/hurt if my fiancé said this too.

Abusive? No. Immature? Maybe. Sometimes our culture jumps to conclusions about people’s character without sitting with them first and understanding where they’re coming from as OP is experiencing in this thread.

Stop labeling people/actions as “abusive” or “toxic” when in reality, they might just be struggling to grow up a little. We all have times when we don’t react in the best or most mature way. It *sounds* like the fiancé needs to get a little better at communicating what is bothering them. But it’s not abusive or toxic to want space after your feelings are hurt.

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I’ll just echo what others have said here - my dad is also an immigrant who worked every day to give me a better life. He also had a health scare this year that required a lot of care - so I temporarily moved in with my parents to help out. We are very close.

That being said, my husband is my #1 priority in life. There is no one that comes before him, and protecting our relationship comes before my relationships with my family, our kids, my job, etc. If I were your fiancé, I’d be very hurt that you would put someone else ahead of me. It’s not healthy to compare them, and it’s probably going to contribute to even more resentment in your relationship.

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Seems like you two have opposite personalities.

When things are said, it might come across as abuse to each other but both need to work on your communication.
And by communication I mean talk to the other person in a way that they'd understand, not how you'd talk to yourself.

Follow the lady below - she has some wisdom to help you.

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likehelpful

I find it disturbing how quickly we are to jump to labeling something as “abusive”. Like is he being immature, maybe. Are you being a bit insensitive, maybe. Do you both need to communicate better, yea probably. Are either of you actually ABUSIVE based on what’s been shared here? Far far from it. Let’s work on the issues at hand and not put harmful labels on what seem to be pretty normal relationship kinks.

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Dear author, please accept disturbing as a possible reaction to the comments in response and not you directly. I found the comments rather engaging. Hope there's no real abuse in your relationship or in response to you. I pray that you & your fiancée have continued on to goodness.

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I recommend communicating all of your thoughts and feelings around this topic to your SO. Talk it out with them! Communication is so important, and it’s important to work on finding a communication style or resolution approach that works for your relationship before marriage. Both you and your fiancés reactions seem unproductive based on your message.

I probably had the same thoughts as you before I got married. But once you join and form your own family in marriage, it became obvious to me that I needed to prioritize my family (husband + me) so that I could properly and fully prioritize my parents. It’s powerful when you know you + husband hold the same priorities and when you know that your partner also priorities your parents.

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