Let me start by saying I love my fiancé. He’s my best friend and partner. We’ve been together for 3 and half years and recently got engaged. His mom has always been overbearing (he’s an only child to a single mom) and until recently his dad was not in the picture. However, his Dad, due to legal issues had to come back to where we live so he could continue to receive food stamps and benefits. Having quickly settled his legal issues, his Dad has recently discovered that he wants to build a relationship with my Fiancé after over 20 years a part. During his life his Dad is abandoned 3 kids, used drugs heavily and has practically lived off handouts from different people and family members. I’m having a really hard time swallowing that he genuinely wants to build a relationship with my Fiancé and it’s looking for something monetary.
My Fiancé, however, wants to build a relationship and has completely forgiven him. I understand that people have a natural need to build a relationship with family members, but I don’t want to walk into something that gets me set up to taking care of his dad. Remember, until now the thought of meeting him was less than likely (if likely at all). On top of this, my fiancé’s mom is now completely supporting his Dad and pushing for the relationship. When expressing my concern I’m told it’s not my business and it doesn’t effect me. But I can’t help but feel like it will and I’m concerned for not only our future together and mine. This is the only thing we fight about and has become a MAJOR issue in our relationship. Is it worth walking away?
It is a great thing that his father is in recovery and wanting to reach out. However, the course of reconnecting does involve you. I would make a point to your fiancé that you want to be part of this. The father isn’t just developing a relationship with his son, he’s reconnecting to his son’s life and that includes you.
You are with this man for three years, and you obviously love him. If you were to leave now and the father bales in a month – what does that say about your relationship?
It sounds like the primary concern is that the father may be doing this in a manipulative way. That is very understandable and my strong suggestion is that whatever happens going forward goes slow. You want to be there for your fiancé so that we can talk about this process. And you want to be there to provide another view when it is necessary. I think if the relationship is going to flourish, then you need to talk about your concerns openly. Don’t be silent but don’t push your fiancé away. Remain skeptical. Your fiancé may be clouded by his father’s desire to connect and you can be there for support as well as be the voice of reason
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Fiancé’s Deadbeat Dad Is in the Picture. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/03/19/fiances-deadbeat-dad-is-in-the-picture/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 19 Mar 2014) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.