I’ve been in a six-year relationship with a wonderful man who emigrated here. We live near each other and see each other frequently through the week.
On weekends, he stays with me and my daughter at my place.
Now, his mother and niece are coming to visit from his birth country and they’ll stay with him. He gets very stressed when his mother visits.
I asked him if I’ll be joining them when they’re “hanging out” there for any length of time (i.e. a Friday evening).
His response concerned me greatly: “Of course not, we wouldn’t fit” (his apartment is small).
He added that we’ll be going out all together so no need to discuss being at his place with his mother.
I don’t understand why I couldn’t be there with him. When his mother visited last year, it was the first time that it hit me that I was dropping them off at his place but wasn’t invited/welcomed to join.
It took me a long time to get over that and now I’m facing this again.
He recently proposed marriage to me. Are my feelings of not being included valid? His decision has been made about not including me and discussing it further with him will only make things worse.
NOT discussing it will definitely make things worse, because you’ll build greater resentment.
His proposal is your talking point: Ask him if and where he envisions you two living together when married.
Then ask where he expects his mother (and other relatives) to stay when they visit?
If he believes your marriage will include hosting guests at your place or a new home, then lack of space in his apartment really is the issue for him (augmented by his personal discomfort around his mother).
But there’s a different issue for you - your acceptance that his decisions cannot be challenged or (it’ll) “only make things worse.”
That’s a more serious red flag. Think about the big picture here for your sake and your daughter’s.
Last month, at a local library, I noticed a woman wearing a very pretty, feminine dress.
I wanted to compliment her on how pretty she looked to me.
I also noticed that she was wearing a slip underneath her dress with beautiful lace peeking out.
I felt so protective of her. I really love all women very much and want to look out for all of them.
The woman left before I had a chance to compliment her, but I see her there weekly.
Is it okay for a man to tell a woman that her dress or skirt looks so pretty and also say that her slip is showing?
I didn't want her to feel embarrassed by a man telling her this but I thought she might feel even more embarrassed if she walked around all day like that.
Also, is it too personal to compliment her on the beauty of her slip?
A Very Loving, Protective Man
You could easily be misunderstood. Though you may be the nicest, gentlest person to know, even your longer, more effusive email question to me comes on way too strong.
Sure, women like to hear that they’re pretty. But when a random man comments about her looks and her under-things, most women get the signal: Stranger Danger.
A bit of slip won’t embarrass her when she gets home. But your comments could make her wary of you and even cause her to avoid the library.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the international student, now 29, whose boyfriend from a different background dumped her (September 26):
“In many cultures, it’s unacceptable to have a relationship with someone of the opposite sex without a “promise” (to marry one day).
“But as long as he wasn't doing it in his own country, where he would’ve disgraced his family, it was okay (for him).
“I suspect that his parents never intended to let him marry her. In many cultures, parents still make that decision.
“Perhaps if she’d researched his culture's background, traditions, etc. she would’ve understood that from the beginning... but, love is blind.
“She now feels (with reason) that she’s wasted a big chunk of her youthfulness with this chump.
“It’s her feeling of being used/duped that’s still eating at her. Rather than being mad at him, she’s doubting herself. She hasn't processed her anger yet, but until she does, she won't be able to move on.”
Tip of the day:
When you can’t discuss a partner’s decision, that’s a serious red flag.