Whoa. This one’s a little nutty.
Have you seen anything like this? Give us your thoughts.
A reader asks in the forums:
“My fiancée and I have been engaged for almost a year… We have agreed on everything having to do with the wedding… All has been good.
About a month ago is when the problem started. My fiancée has a friend/mentor who has always annoyed me a bit, but overall we haven’t had any problems. [Then] her friend started giving a lot of advice that has negatively impacted our relationship…
It started with her friend advising her that unless we stopped having sex immediately and abstained until the marriage that we would never have a happy marriage. She went on to advise her that if I didn’t like it, that was tough, and that making the decision, even unilaterally would be the best thing for us in the long run.
Now her friend is pregnant and is telling her that she should start thinking about having kids as soon as we get married and quit school and work because being a stay-at-home mom is where it’s at. Again, this goes contrary to everything we had talked about and decided up till now.
Finally, her friend apparently thinks she’s on good enough terms with me that on Sunday, she told me she needed my fiancée to work a health fair with her because she needed “eye candy” but she didn’t need any help from me.
To make things even more awkward, her friend is also one of her dad’s bosses so saying anything, which would have been hard enough before, is even more difficult now. All I want is my fiancée back and not someone who is on autopilot until the wedding on bad advice from someone who really shouldn’t be as involved as she is.
My fiancée keeps telling me that everything will go back to normal after the wedding but if she is taking this type of goofy advice now it makes me wonder what she’s going to do after we’re married.”
That mentor is one crazy-ass bitch. Is she my ex-wife? (Kidding, kidding, I don’t have any ex-wives. That I’m aware of.)
We suggest that your fiancée gives her mentor some new advice. Some advice that’s equally helpful. Why doesn’t she consider:
1) Taking a jog on the interstate. Gets the blood pumping and it’s a hell of a workout.
2) Popping an entire bottle of sleeping pills – we hear it’s great for relaxing!
3) Locking herself in her house in solitude for 3 months with no phone, email, or visitation rights; better than yoga for mediation and introspection.
4) Sneaking inside zoo cages to feed the animals.
5) Minding her own f***ing business.
Obviously only one of these options is really viable–the sleeping pills. On top of that, though, your fiancée needs to suggest the final one.
There are two courses of action; one’s easy and one’s hard. You need to do both.
The easy part
Your fiancée needs to distance herself from the mentor. This doesn’t mean she needs to kick her to the curb (we haven’t forgotten the boss angle), but it means she needs to politely demur. Or, at least, be non-committal. It’s easier than it sounds.
Let’s role-play. Pretend that on Saturday, the mentor gives your fiancée the following awesome advice: “You know, Sally, whenever your husband ticks you off, the best thing to do is to stab his balls with a fork.”
All your fiancée has to do is say, “Hey, thanks, that’s an interesting idea. Let me think about that.”
Done and done. She doesn’t have to follow the advice, she doesn’t have to condone the advice, but she doesn’t have to make a big stink about it, either. She can be casually non-committal.
The hard part
Now here’s where things get tricky. Here’s the more troubling issue: Why is your fiancée going along with this junk?
The advice is patently bad. Rarely is “making a decision unilaterally” the best thing for a relationship “in the long run.” This is the kind of advice given by dictators, not credible relationship coaches. What’s good for Stalin is not, necessarily, good for your marriage.
Has your fiancée acted on this advice? Has she cut out the sex? Is she window-shopping strollers?
(To clarify… we’re not saying that these ideas are inherently evil. If a couple mutually decides to abstain, or to get pregnant right away, or to do the stay-at-home mom thing, cool, there are pros and cons, and that’s for every couple to decide. But it is not for one person to decide. Especially if it’s peddled by an outsider.)
See also: What To Do If – Parents Demand You Wait
One of the core tenets of marriage is that nothing comes between husband and wife. Nothing. You are each other’s #1 adviser. Okay, maybe not in terms of things like Tax Advice or Kitchen Renovation Advice, but certainly in matters of sex, kids, and career.
Yes, she might feel a little pressured by the whole Dad’s-Boss-Thing, but that’s not really an excuse. She should have your back. Always.
So this is where the hard part kicks in. You owe it to yourself, her, and your marriage to discuss this issue. Don’t get angry or vengeful or self-righteous about it, but yeah, it’s fair to share your concern.
This is how you do it in a non-hurtful way: talk about the future. Example: “You’re the most important person in the world to me. I love you. I just want to make sure that, in the future, whenever we’re making decisions together, we’re doing these things together, not unilaterally, and not because of someone else.”
See also: How To – Deal With An Overstressed Bride
It’s not an easy conversation. But relationships aren’t always easy. Sometimes you need to have the hard talks to make sure you’re on solid ground.