I’ve been engaged for 18 months but due to in-law problems, we delayed wedding planning.
We’ve lived together at my condo for two years because of his schooling. He graduated and is currently working. I’m 31, and working in a hospital.
The original plan when he was single was to take care of his mother, 70, for the rest of her life.
She’s currently living with his sister and her boyfriend.
Last year, his divorced sister, 42, suggested we live together and have kids without marrying.
We are all Asian. His sister married her Caucasian ex-husband during her mid-20s and her mom paid for the wedding.
When they divorced, she lost money on the condo that her mom had bought for her.
His sister asked me bluntly, why don't I pay for the whole wedding! I shockingly reacted, NO! Meanwhile my fiancé said nothing.
He protects her and says that's how she is, he's used to it.
She said the only good thing is that I’m Asian so that our families can communicate.
In my culture, traditionally, the groom's side pays for the wedding and is supposed to pay the bride-price (dowry) to the bride's family.
I’ve told my parents about his sister's comment. They’ve been ranting to extended family, friends, and coworkers.
The sister’s been living with her current boyfriend, who’s the same age as me, with no plans to have children or marry.
I don't know how to deal with her and my gut is giving me second thoughts as to what I could be getting into.
Wary of Future SIL
You need a double-whammy approach to her: 1) Your fiancé tells her that you two don’t agree with her way of thinking; 2) You try to be respectful but avoid such conversations by changing the topic, or saying she already knows that you and her brother think differently.
This plan only works IF you and your fiancé can agree on which traditions you intend to follow, and which ones you don’t.
Also, there’ll likely be interference in your wedding and other plans if his mother is as outspoken and rigidly-opinionated as his sister.
So the conversation between you and him is essential. It’s not about who’s right, but about what you each believe is necessary in your life, and which things you can compromise on.
Last year, I was with a guy I really liked. Loving him was great.
We split after awhile because there a lot was going on in both of our lives.
Recently, I realized that I still love him. My friends all know this, and I think he does too, as we hang out with a lot of the same people and still talk occasionally.
There are signs that he still likes me too, but maybe I'm just hoping for something that’ll never happen.
I don't want to come out and tell him that I still have feelings and learn that he doesn’t feel the same.
Am I chasing after something with false hope? Or should I just let him know?
What’s to lose? By saying nothing, you have no relationship. By saying something, you open a door to possibility.
But first make sure from mutual friends that he’s not already attached. Then, if possible, ask if they know for sure whether he’s not interested or feels you dumped him.
Then speak up. Say that you still have feelings for him and hope he feels the same way, but would rather know for sure if he doesn’t.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man whose wife kept stealing the limelight (April 25):
Reader – “She sounds like someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
“I saw similarity in the behaviours described with my ex-fiancé.
“Therapists found his narcissism evident through extreme self-absorption, lack of empathy for others, a strong need to be seen as special, and hyper-sensitivity to himself.
“He refused to acknowledge his impact on others. I had to break it off.
“Also, I didn't exist as far as he was concerned, except as it aided his various needs.
“He sought help continuously, but only to scapegoat others and focus on his various symptoms of ongoing anxiety and disrupted relationships with everyone in his life.”
Ellie – The writer was specific about his ongoing love for his wife, whom he describes as “Loving, loyal, kind and very sensitive.”
Your own experience, though instructive on NPD, is not that similar.
Tip of the day:
Confront intense family interference with a united front, or it’ll tear you apart.