#63 Don't reward your partner's honesty with an insulting overreaction / Sickness appropriate reaction
USA Weekend: RelationTips, by Dennie Hughes
Q: My fiancé just went to a bachelor party, and the stories he told me about all the sexual goings-on made me sick. I told him a few days later that instead of us having separate parties, I wanted a big coed one for both of us. We've been fighting ever since. C. F. Georgia
A; Actually, the person who is "making this such an issue" is you.
I appreciate the disgust you feel about offensive behavior at the party. (Why do guys and girls persist in awful stripper rituals, etc., at bachelor and bachelorette parties?) But that doesn't justify your reaction, which is unfair and insulting to your fiancé. If you don't ease up, it could jeopardize your relationship.
Let's break down what happened:
Your fiancé was honest enough with you about something that was supposed to be between him and the guys. As a reward for sharing, you decide, with no discussion, that he cannot have a party with his friends.
Insisting on a coed party has sent the message that (a) you don't trust his judgment and (b) perhaps he should start editing what he tells you. Your unwillingness to hear his side may make him rethink this relationship. Does he really want to marry a woman who refuses to listen?
Instead of fighting, find an open mind. Think about your concerns about the bachelor party scenario and share them with your intended. If you reacted badly because you felt he was more amused than appalled let him know. Finally, make sure he knows your offer still stands—as an offer, not a dictate. If he chooses to have a guys-only affair, I'm betting this discussion will go a long way toward his keeping it a cards-and-cigar evening. —Dennie Hughes
Hi C.F. Stick with your initial experiential gut reaction; that was your integrity. If anything I suspect that you unconsciously suppressed "sick." Had you vomited, and then commanded him, "Please leave. Don't say a word. I need to be alone" (without make-wrong in your voice). And then, had not let him speak a word until he read your letter calling off the engagement, he might have gotten, (recreated) his creation. The realization of the hurt (the psychological abuse) he had done to you would have sunk in and caused him to grieve at his treatment of you, knowing full well he had revealed his need for therapy and the inappropriateness (the unethicalness) of him conning you into marrying him. He'd know that he had lost you. In doing so you would have earned his respect.
In other words, he set you up to support him in restoring his integrity. He needs extensive therapy before he marries anyone. His participation in such a sexist ritual was at best an insult to you and the relationship. How dare he dump such things in your space? He hasn't a clue as to who you are and what a privilege and honor it is to be having a relationship with you. Without you in his life he will succumb to more grossness. Look at his friends!
Nuff said about him. Let's look at what this is about for you, that you would create such a mess right now.
I'll begin by saying that I predict that you will, against my advice, marry him. This will reveal your need for an equal amount of therapy.
Once married you will begin accumulating more things, more differences having to do with tastes, values, attitudes, issues of condescension and sexism, and then you will divorce him. I say this because your integrity is so out that even though you could see that he's been this way all along, you had no choice but to continue dating him.
It's your karma that attracted such problems into your life. He merely mirrors you.
For example: Where did he get the idea that you would approve of/support his kind of bachelor party? From you, that's who. You communicated it nonverbally and he got it. If he totally respected you it would be unthinkable for him to even entertain such an idea. It's even worse than that. Because of your integrity you attracted a man who has such friends who naturally invite him to such parties. As an example, at the extreme end, few pastors about to get married go to such a bachelor's party. It's simply understood that such behavior is not even in the realm of decency. Lovers inspire each other to be their higher selves.
In brief, you are addicted to abusing and to being abused. That you can't see that his behavior was abusive to your spirit and that you remained engaged long enough to write this letter says it all. It hasn't gotten bad enough yet for you to see the effects of your leadership-communication model. Your letter is simply something that people who are addicted to abuse do—you set it up for him to abuse you and then you make him wrong (here in your letter) and you continue relating with him, despite advice to the contrary. Such is your addiction. Every abused spouse reading this reply will confirm this advice yet you have no choice but to ignore it—they know this also.
BTW: No amount of therapy will heal him as long as he continues to relate with you. You inspire him to abuse you and then reward him with sex and more of your company.
Next time around tell your date upfront your thoughts about certain kinds of bachelor parties. Check out the must-have conversations with your steady/fiancé.
I say "call off," until he has completed 25 hours of therapy/counseling. No interactions/communications at all till then. If he dishonors your ultimatum, contacting you before completing the 25 hours, insist upon an additional 25 hours, else you'll compound his disrespect of you in that to talk with him will be proof that you don't mean what you say. It will lead to issues of infidelity.
Yours is a great letter; lots of couples will see themselves. Thank you, Gabby