- Dr. Love in the Media
Man Whose Fiancee Wants to Kiss Other Men
November 2, 1998 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
I hope you can help me. My fiancee want to make out with other guys. I feel that it would be cheating but she sees nothing wrong with it. She told me I should let her do it now or if I didn't our marrage wouldn't last long. She knows it hurts me deep inside, but she keeps bringing it up. She got the idea from one of her friends whose fiancee lives in arizona. She has been'making out' with people and sugested that my fiancee should do the same thing.
I don't know what to do. I love her very much and I don't want to lose her.
Can you help????
You are being emotionally blackmailed. When your fiancee says, "Either I kiss other men or our marriage won't last," the message to you is: I will do as I please or your "you know what" is grass. How do you expect to have a relationship with someone who doesn't care about how you feel? If she behaves this way before the wedding, brace yourself Brigitte for what you will be put through afterwards! The real problem here is the way she issues commands and threats. If you want to solve the smooching subject, you must first tackle the larger issue--how she hands down edicts. If you don't address this larger issue, she will continue to treat you in the same miserable way around other issues as well. To address this larger issue, you have a couple of choices. One way is to describe her upsetting behavior and then tell her how it lands with you. To do this, you could say, "When you tell me that you are going to kiss others, whether I like it or not, I feel unconsidered." The above approach works with someone who wants to be responsive to you. I don't have the impression that your fiancee fits in that category. And, if you were to use the above approach with her, you would probably be told, "Who cares how you feel; like it or lump it." When dealing with a partner who doesn't seem to care about how you feel, you need to use an approach that helps the other person develop consideration for your feelings. One way to do this is to ask a question that inserts your feeling. For example, "Should I be feeling unconsidered?" or "Should I be feeling threatened--that if I don't put up with what you're doing, you'll be gone?" or "How do you think I feel when you tell me like it or lump it?" These questions are designed to help someone develop some partial identification with another person's feelings. If your partner is emotionally fragile, uncaring or unwilling to see how she comes across, then the above questions will be met with, "I don't care how you feel." If that's the kind of response you think you will receive from her, then the only other option left is confrontation. That is, you need to confront her with a description of her unacceptable behavior. A confrontation sounds like this: "When you tell me that you are going to do as you please, and I can like it or lump it, you are showing no consideration for my feelings." The advantage of the last approach, is that the person cannot argue with the truth (unless he or she is completely off the wall). When you factually describe the upsetting behavior, and explain the message that the behavior communicates, she will be forced to look at herself in the mirror and see the truth. So, those are your options. Bottom line, we need to have your fiancee develop partial identification for your feelings, right now! If she doesn't respond to your attempts, then you have some serious decisions to make regarding whether you want to move forward with this relationship. If she doesn't change now, before you're hitched, you will have a much harder time getting her to respond to you afterwards. I hope, for your sake, that she can become capable of consideration. If that's the kind of response you receive, then the only other option left is confrontation. That is you need to confront the other person with description of their inappropriate behavior. That sounds like this: "When you tell me that you are going to do as you please, and I can like it or lump it, you are showing no consideration for anyone's feelings but your own." The advantage of the last approach, providing a clear behavioral description is that the person cannot argue with the truth (unless he or she is completely off the wall). When you play back the behavior in a factual way, and state what the behavior communicates, the other person is forced to look at himself in the mirror and see the truth. So, those are your options. We need to have your fiancee develop partial identification for your feelings right now! I suspect that you will be forced to use the final approach with her. Bottom line, if she doesn't respond to you, then you have some serious decisions to make regarding whether you want to move forward with this relationship. The time is now. And, if she doesn't change now, before you're hitched, you can forget her changing afterwards. Good luck, I hope she's willing to see what she needs to see.
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