Reader Engaged to a Cynic writes,
I'm really struggling with something with my fiancé and I'd like your input because I appreciate your no BS style. My fiancé has been screwed more than once by women and harbors very jaded views in regards to love, marriage and kids.
Small back story. His first wife cheated on him, took half their savings (she did help earn). He then accidentally got a wretched woman pregnant and now has an amazing son with her but got screwed royally by the court system and pays a crazy amount of child support to her.
Yes, we're engaged. No he doesn't show interest in planning a wedding, picking a date, nothing. In the past six months we tried to get pregnant all of one time (been together three years) and he was physically ill at the thought of it. I want a marriage, I want a family, I want those things with HIM. He wants them too but obviously has a LOT of baggage.
My side- I was also married to a man whom I divorced because he was an abusive alcoholic. In the divorce I (with very little money in the bank) paid for him to move back across country,was faced with having no where to live and no income (I was in nursing school & living off loans). I paid for our divorce. I even helped him pack his crap and pack his trailer and kept in contact with his mother to make sure he made it back to his state.
I don't speak ill of him. I don't blame my fiancé for the torture I've been through at the hand of any man. I take pride in being a strong, independent compassionate person with little baggage. My fiancé has a super pessimistic view and it deeply hurts me because despite the person I feel I am, and strive to be, I get lumped in with his pessimistic view on marriage, kids and divorce.
I realize we aren't even married and we just had an argument about being divorced, not because either of us expect it to happen, however shit happens. I came to him to tell him his pessimistic view hurts me because I don't feel appreciated or seen for who I am. I am not either woman who screwed him over, nor have I ever screwed anyone in my life over. I'm not a saint obviously but I have a high moral character.
I just spent the better part of an hour discussing this topic with him and he refuses to see how "personal" his view really is when he's telling me I'd take him for everything I could if we married and had a child and divorced. I'd take half his pension. I'd take his house. He'd have to fight to see his child.
This is so untrue. I'd never set foot in a court for divorce or child support. I think the whole system is ridiculous and unfair. I'd expect him to have his child pretty much every day he's off work because on my mind I'd go back to working at a hospital and focus my work schedule around his so OUR child wouldn't have to be in daycare, raised by strangers. I would even go as far to say I'd try to continue to share a household to give or child a normal life, even if only while I got on my feet (after presumably being a SAHM) & got back into the workforce to get my own place.
In my entire life I've never taken a dime from anyone to get where I am today. In the past three years I've probably paid out over $5k helping him while he went through court for his son, paying court fees, furnishing a room, toys and clothes for his son and making our home. He couldn't afford to live here anymore if it weren't for our team work at making this life. For me to be lumped in with the majority of women who screw men over disgusts me. And frankly, I feel unappreciated. Am I out of left field and making something of nothing or is this stereotype and lumping me in kinda crappy for lack of a better word/explanation?
You said you liked my no B.S. style so I will give it to you straight. You are no stranger to "damaged" guys who you then try to help and fix. Enter your first husband. I am sure you saw this dynamic as as a child: one messed up person and one enabler. You need to get into therapy immediately. Your "fiancé" (how did he become your fiancé if he's so dead against marriage? I am imagining not too enthusiastically) has deep seated distrust and even hatred of women and marriage.
This is not a healthy situation for you. Imagine you have a daughter with this man. She may end up lumped in with "scheming" and "evil" women too. You are not the only woman who gets caught up in rescuing some negative, life-sucking depressive guy (although I do feel bad for all his problems with his first wife, and his childhood likely was filled with caregivers disappointing him too). Here is a woman who wants to get back with a fiancé who doesn't want her, here is a woman who wants to marry a guy who is basically an ass to her, and here is a woman who stays with a guy who does nothing at all and doesn't even work.
You refer to "team work." This is not team work. You are the whole team. You are carrying this relationship, with a man who is cynical and rude to you about your gender and your own potential behavior as a vicious shrew in the event of divorce. And make no mistake, divorce is likely, since your fiancé is a negativistic guy and who knows how he will act if you can overcome his nausea and conceive a child with him, which you seem hell bent on doing eventually despite that this is The Worst Idea Ever in this current dynamic.
In order to stay in this relationship, I recommend individual therapy for both parties, both focused on linking family of origin issues (there is no way this guy felt cared for by his mom and/or respected her or he'd never think this way about women, no matter what his ex did) with current ways of being within intimate relationships. Then, you guessed it, couples counseling to target this crappy (that word was apt) dynamic where you're basically convincing this guy to trust you by spending your money on him and spending what should be loving, romantic conversations on defending how you wouldn't screw him over in the event of your potential divorce.
Good luck, and till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says, A Partner Who Dislikes Your Gender Is a Big Red Flag.
This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family. Learn about Dr. Rodman's private practice here. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.