Engagement in Big Trouble!

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WharfHouseBride Posts : 514 Registered: 7/3/07
Re: Engagement in Big Trouble!
Posted: Oct 23, 2007 5:41 PM Go to message in response to: Allison369

Aha, just as I suspected. Your FH does sound an awful lot like my father. My father was unwilling to get help all those years ago. It was almost like he would build up enough energy to be social- to woo my mom and have some semblence of a relationship, and then he would retreat again because the effort of it was too much for him. When you marry someone with a disorder, you are marrying the disorder. He's been enabled up to this point by his parents, and chances are he's going to expect this from you. My father forced my mom to live like he did; she could not go out and do things when he was feeling anti-social or that made him uncomfortable. Nowadays, there are some effective treatments for social avoidance and depression, but he has to be willing to get help. Also, he needs to move out of his parents' house, because the mothers of the mentally ill are notorious enablers. I hope that he is receptive; if not, walk away. 


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Engagement in Big Trouble!
Posted: Oct 23, 2007 5:52 PM Go to message in response to: Allison369

Dear Allison,

"after the torture that his disappearances cause. "


Honey, imagine being home alone with small children while he disappears. Then you'll learn a deeper meaning of torture.

Furthermore: Imagine giving birth to a child who has inherited similar characterisitcs. Now it's Dad and Junior who go off doing who knows what. You can divorce Dad. You can't divorce Junior.

If ever I saw a relationship with red flags, this is it.


MrsWilliams2008 Posts : 1,431 Registered: 7/19/07
Re: Engagement in Big Trouble!
Posted: Oct 23, 2007 7:05 PM Go to message in response to: Allison369

I realize I'm on the outside looking in but you did ask for help. The one question I have is why did you accept a proposal from this man when he's known to do this? Personally I'd be terrified to make such a serious commitment to him.

I'm not judging or criticizing, it's an honest question and I'm just curious.

I'm AM terribly sorry you're going through this. Good luck sweetie.


bride4life Posts : 499 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Engagement in Big Trouble!
Posted: Oct 23, 2007 7:09 PM Go to message in response to: Allison369


Re: Engagement in Big Trouble!
Posted: Oct 23, 2007 10:23 PM Go to message in response to: Allison369


so sorry to hear about this...here is what i think.

1. maybe afriad of commitment?  do you feel that he was pressured into proposing at all?

2. anything from his past he can not let go?

3. communication. keep it open between the two of you. make him talk. if you need counseling to help, do that.

good luck-



bostonterrierbr... Posts : 129 Registered: 11/8/06
Re: Engagement in Big Trouble!
Posted: Oct 23, 2007 11:56 PM Go to message in response to: Allison369

These boards were pretty quiet all weekend long....go figure.

I feel the need to weigh in on this situation as someone with a little experience with it. In college, there was a time when my FH began to get very, very angry and sad for short periods of time (days or a week), and he refused to discuss it with me. He pretended like it just wasn't happening and, like your FH, just didn't give me any answers. I told him, flat out, I was leaving if he didn't get help and then I packed my bags, and after some counseling we got to the bottom of his issues, which were actually surfacing feelings about some family problems.

All I can tell you is that you FH is NOT going to stop this behavior as long as he has no consequences from you. Why would he? He can leave and do whatever he wants and still come back to a girlfriend who'll stay with him and everything is the same. He can have his cake and eat it, too. And, no matter how much you don't want to believe it, the fact that it hurts you just doesn't matter enough to make a difference. Believe me, I've been there. My FH realized the path he was going down and we overcame it before it was a larger issue, but I can't imagine where I'd be if I'd let it go on for years....or the type of person FH would have become. FH became a better person, boyfriend, and family member as a result of getting to the bottom of his issues, and now that whole time is a distant memory for us, but only because he was willing to commit to getting the help.

I know how scary it is to think about separating from someone you've been with for so long. I know the feeling of having families involved, and having to tell coworkers, family, and friends that you've broken you're engagement. Believe me, I thought all of that over. I played the scenarios over in my head; the embarassment, the gossip. But in the end I had to do what was right for me, and that was get him some help or get the hell out. You need to do that too, and honestly I don't know that your situation will turn out like mine because your FH has been enabled for so long, but you'll be better for it in the end. Your FH is doing this because you love him, not in spite of it. He's taking advantage of the fact that you care about him so much that you're willing to take his neglect. He realizes what he's doing but he just doesn't care, and hoping he'll have some sort of revelation when you tell him how much it hurts you will never, ever work. It sounds like everyone around him is enabling him, and has been for a long time, and he's not going to magically change. I'm not going to tell you to leave or stay, I just wanted to share my story and some of hard truths I've learned in counseling. The bottom line is you need to make yourself happy, and it seems like this guy is preventing that, so it's time to reconsider your relationship.  

Re: Engagement in Big Trouble!
Posted: Oct 24, 2007 1:01 AM Go to message in response to: Allison369

Not to say this is whats going on but something similar. I know of a couple that have children and the husband has lived a big lie by having children marryign the second time around and constantly lies to his wife about his whereabouts and who he hangs out with and talks to and why he doesnt want to have sex anymore. She suspects hes gay causes shes found gay porn so to prove her wrong he started sleeping with her again to shut her up and got her pregnant and now that shes to preoccupied with two lil ones hes off being secretive once again and this time she has the proof hes gay but hes promised her a big wedding,a honeymoon, another child, a larger home but denies being gay when the evedince is all there. Now his thing is that he fears hes depressed. so is he hiding something ...you best believe he is!!!


Dont go into a marriage without trust the truth will later come out and it will just be a waste of time and effort and will hurt you even more and kids if you have any by then. Trust your gut.


good luck!



myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Engagement in Big Trouble!
Posted: Oct 24, 2007 2:02 AM Go to message in response to: Allison369

There seems to be universal agreement here, that whatever is going on, it's not good, and that you need to get out. No disagreement here.

But you seem to be clinging to the hope that you will get a full explanation of what's going on--I guess you could call it "closure." Well, maybe you'll find out, and maybe you won't. Even if he sat down with you and fully "confessed," would you necessarily believe him? And, even if you did, you still really can't know that you're getting the truth. You say that you "know" that he's not cheating, "know" that he's not into drugs. Really--how do you really know?

And, in the end, does it matter? It's a very bad situation, it's making you miserable, and even if he changes for the time being and you go through with the wedding, you still can't know that this will not happen again.

So, I'd suggest that the person you really need to get to know is yourself. You should go into some srious therapy (and, no, reading books is not the same thing) and find out why you've put up with this crap for as long as you have, why you have such low self esteem, and most of all, what you can do about it so clinging to this type of destructive relationship will never happen to you again. I wish you well and know that you will find your way through this mess.

myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

Re: Engagement in Big Trouble!
Posted: Oct 24, 2007 9:46 AM Go to message in response to: myra

Allison, So many other people on here have given you WONDERFUL advice. It truly does sound like you FH may have a mental problem. And his family DOES enable him! That is not ok. He needs help. You both need to talk to a therapist. I feel for you. Here's a little personal story that is a bit similar. I dated someone for a year and a half before FH. He was WONDERFUL to me, but he would pull the same shit on me that your FH is. Except he wasn't living at home. He would disappear for 3 or 4 days every once in awhile. I had no idea what was going on with him. I let it go on for MUCH longer than I should have. Part of it was I didn't have time to meet anyone new and the sex was awesome! I did care about him alot and he did care about me, but not enough to pick up the phone those times he would disappear. The last time I went over there I gave him an ultimatium and said I was done with the games. I deserved better and if he wanted to stop disappearing we could try to start over. He couldn't bring himself to be truthful. Still to this day I don't know what he was doing. I know he wasn't on any drugs. I've seen enough people who do them that I know many of the smaller signs. (one of my best friends in high school did them, and worked at a bar forever). It was horrible to have to walk away. I felt like I was leaving a part of me when I walked out the door that last time. I cried the whole way home and thought about our time together. But, about 6 months later I met my FH. I can now say I am truly happy. Yes we have our issues that need to be worked out, but we do exactly that. Work through things. You WILL find someone who cares about you and your feelings and needs. It won't be tommorow, it may not be for a year, but you will find the right person! So if your FH can't come clean, walk away. It will hurt more in the future than it possibly could now. And if there are children involved it gets even more complicated. I do not imagine you would want to start a family with someone you can't count on. Best wishes! Let us know how it goes.



TheeFutureMrsH Posts : 15 Registered: 4/30/07
Re: Engagement in Big Trouble!
Posted: Oct 24, 2007 9:47 AM Go to message in response to: Allison369

I'm sorry to read about ur difficult time I undertand it can be stressfull. Have u been able to talk to ur FMIL? Perhaps she can help u better understand why her son takes such drastic actions. She probably already knows he has this issue & maybe u can both try to work on seeking professional help for ur FH. I would be quite worried myself I mean if he's not over his parents' house or a relatives house... where does he go? who does he stay with? how long does it take for him to come back? what is his state when he does return? (is he happy, indifferent, sad, moody) u stated that "he continues going to work and honors his other commitments" but what happens if he gets too depressed & can no longer continue to work etc.. & being alone is probably not in his best interest when he "disappears". I don't really think he's cheating on u but i agree with u that he needs help & fast. Not to mention it would probably do u some good to got to counseling to help u cope with this issue... I can only imagine the stress u go through I think as long as ur both willing to help sort out his issues & work together to prevent new issues from arising u will both be successful & happy that everything is out in the open & that u can both tackle anything that comes ur way.....

Hope this helped u out a bit,... sorry if it didn't 

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Re: Engagement in Big Trouble!
Posted: Oct 24, 2007 9:59 AM Go to message in response to: Allison369


Its very difficult to read all of these pp bcuz I have lived this type of behavior before from my first husband to my son's father. (they are 2 different people) I went from bad to worse! Well to begin I got married at 21 not knowing who he truly was. He had huge insecurity issues and very demanding. I lived through total hell for 11 months. I knew he was like this b4 I got married, but I didn't pay attention to the red flags. I was more focused on the wedding and the embarrasment of telling everyone that I didn't want to get married. I went  through him trying to kill himself and to a point where when I left him, he stalked me for about 6 months! That took a lot of calling the police and restraining orders.

 So I got out that, then later I met my son's father. Everything was great, then I got pg and his bahavior changed. He would leave for hours and money was missing and he would be very depressed. Then there were mood swings, verbal abuse he would get so sick. At one point I was so tired of this and I put my foot down, he said he was addicted to heroin. I loved him so much that I thought I could help him change. We had so many ups and downs, that it wans't healthy anymore, not even for my son. I had a total breaking point, where I had hit rock bottom. From all the abuse.

I know this is not exactly what is happening to you, but I have lived the married life and now the life of abuse and being a mother. Please do not do this to yourself or even to your future children. It took years to finally put closure in my life, and I'm only 30. I made him leave, and to be totallt honest, he was a wonderful person when he wasn't high. Finally, I do not know if you believe in God, but I do, I had to trust in him and pray. He will reveal so many things your heart desires. God would never want anything bad for you. Remember that.

I pray that you will find your answers and if you don't, I pray that you can find closure in your heart. It will take time, but it is never impossible.

Take your time in choosing your mate. I found someone who respects me, loves and cares for me and my child. There is a man out there for you, I just don't think this one is it for you.

Take care of yourself, bcuz at the end you are all you have. Love yourself.


Allison369 Posts : 73 Registered: 10/23/07
Re: Engagement in Big Trouble!
Posted: Oct 24, 2007 10:41 AM Go to message in response to: TheeFutureMrsH

In response to cryssyrose, TheeFutureMrsH, and engineerbride and several other posts.

You all made excellent points. I read through all of them carefully and wanted to write a fuller, more detailed response. I know my first post was short, but let me explain a little further to make the picture more clear.

The good things: he is very loving, affectionate and thoughtful/considerate when we are together and a lot of the time when we are apart. We live far away, so we can't see each other during the week but we talk on the phone. However, not seeing him puts a lot of pressure on me at least. He misses me too, but because of his solitary nature, and need for the established routine/structure at home, I think he doesn't need me as much as I need him. In many ways, what we have is a long distance relationship. He lives with his Dad and step mom. His mom is going through her fourth divorce, his Dad is happily married to his third wife. His mom was abused in one of her marriages (not to the Dad).

When I said that it was a romantic proposal, I mean it was beyond what I had ever imagined. It was a week long - every day I got a line of a poem he had written and a gift that was a clue. He had thought it out and planned it and wanted it to be special. After I accepted, we designed the ring together and threw an engagement party for his friends and family where he dropped on one knee and proposed to me, reciting the poem, in front of everyone. When I asked him why he wanted to do that (I was a bit shy to be in front of all those people), he said he wanted to tell the whole world about how much he loves me and that he is making that commitment. He tells me he loves me all the time, I don't think there has been a weekend in our entire relationship that he has not said it and shown it. He is helpful in the kitchen and otherwise. He listens to me and tries to please me. He cuts me a lot of slack when I get naggy/bitchy or have one of those hormonal days.

I have expressed my concern and told him how much it hurts me what he does. What he does is that he becomes antisocial. He goes to work, goes home, plays his piano, and plays video games and works out a lot. It's a withdrawal of sorts. If I call him, he would probably pick up, but this time I decided not to, because I wanted for him to realize what he is doing and how painful it would be if I did that to him. Finally, he called me and apologized. I didn't pick up, I only heard the message. In general, I need him to call me, to initiate stuff and to not withdraw.

I am doing this (seeking help), because his need for seclusion is very painful, and making me feel insecure and unstable. I do need him to be there all the time, every day, without an exception. I realize that now, and I know that is something I cannot compromise on.

I know he is not cheating on me, or doing drugs (he is not at all the drug type at all, he is crazy about health and going to the gym), and I know he loves me to the best of his ability.

He has had only one relationship before me and that was in high school. I am his first girlfriend, and first many things. I knew when I got into this, I would have to be patient while he learns, which is why I "put up" with this as long as I did. He has learned a lot and changed a LOT and improved, but this withdrawal behavior is still there.

I accepted the proposal because of how much I care about him and because of all the wonderful other qualities he possesses, hoping that with time he will "learn" the things people learn from being in relationships. The thought of breaking this engagement and the pain of not being together is atrocious. But I also know, I am not cut out for waiting this long or waiting for him to get depressed and not initiate contact for days.

After reading through all the posts and talking to my family and friends, I will give him an ultimatum to either get help, alone and together or I am out of the picture - I am still working on the exact wording. I thought I would write back and give you a fuller story after getting such a wonderful response to my plea for help.

Re: Engagement in Big Trouble!
Posted: Oct 24, 2007 10:52 AM Go to message in response to: Allison369

OK a few things...

This dosen't add up for me:

You say that he is depressed and has a serious social disorder......BUT he dropped on one knee and recited a poem in from of a bunch of people (enough to make a "normal" person a "bit shy to be in front of all those people")? That deosne't even make sense to me...does he have a social disorder or not?

I know my mom has panic and anxiety disorders when it comes to driving, stress, crowds....my mom could NEVER EVER read a poem in from of a ton of people without mentally and physically breaking down.

It dosen't add up.

I still think that you have your blinders on...You so badly WANT him to "learn" and you can't want it for him hun.

Second.....You say you are 28, well educated, well traveled...attractive, but with low self esteem - I personally have NEVER heard someone with low self esteem say they were attractive before - but beyond that. What is a 28 year old, independant, well educated, well traveld woman doing accepting a proprosal from a "man" who lives with his parents and frequently "disappears" in the first place???

I am sorry, and I am not trying to be harsh, but I do not understand that at all....

You say "I accepted the proposal because of how much I CARE FOR HIM and because of all the other wonderful qualities he possesses, HOPING that with TIME he will "LEARN" the things people LEARN from being in relationships"....

First off, My DH NEVER had to LEARN that you don't just go off and DISAPPEAR on the woman you love for ANY reason....my DH never had to LEARN that you should RESPECT the woman that you love ALL the time, not just when it is convient for you.

There are some things you are not "taught" in a relationship at all.

Second, you admit...you are hoping, and I am sorry but you are holding onto a FALSE hope. You need to walk away.

You say it's a socail "disorder" and a Pshycological problem that keeps him away from the "woman that he loves".....yet, the man can go to work, go to the gym, be a health nut, play piano, and video games???? He isn't "withdrawing" from his life...he is Withdrawing from YOU!

How old is he? You said you are 28 an dhe is "a few years younger"...whats a "few years younger"???????


kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
Re: Engagement in Big Trouble!
Posted: Oct 24, 2007 11:08 AM Go to message in response to: Guest

OP thank you for further clarifying the situation for us. I think that GIN made some excellent points, and I have to agree with her that this doesnt seem to add up. I have delt with mental disorders before; my brother suffers from depression and many family members on my dads side. Although the behavior of your Fh does sound like he could be antisocial, it doesnt add up because he is being SECRETIVE about it and hiding it from you. That makes no sense to me. He wants to get married to you yet he locks himself in his room away from you every few weeks with little to no communication? If he really knew anything about a relationship and love, he would have opened up to you about this long ago. He would have said, "Listen, I have social anxiety, I tend to get depressed and go into solitary states. Its something Im working on and Im going to need your help." Instead, it sounds like he never even mentions it! This is very odd. A person HAS to be willing to talk and communicate, and it sounds like you know this is something you will not put up with. And thats good. I just see a lot of red flags here ... Yes, he could be a decent guy and could love you in his own way, but it sounds to me like this man is not capable of real adult love. The kind that you marry.

See my Advice Column and Blogs at www.brideorama.com :)


MnMJune28 Posts : 30 Registered: 2/27/07
Re: Engagement in Big Trouble!
Posted: Oct 24, 2007 11:12 AM Go to message in response to: Guest

First off, I'm sorry you are having to deal with this and I know it must be very hard. 

Some PP's have stated this already, but I feel it must be stressed.  If he gives you an excuse (good or bad) as to why he does this, will it really make a difference?  Does it make his behavior any more acceptable if he is building orphanages? 

I got the same impression Gin did when reading your last post.  It sounds more like he's withdrawing from YOU more than anything else.

Is that really someone you want to marry?

Think about your future with this guy.  What if he started withdrawing from your children?  How do you think that would make them feel as well as you?  Is that really something you want to put your kids through as well as yourself? 

Another thing I'd really worry about is budgeting your money.  Assuming you'd have a joint checking account (which IMHO I wouldn't do with this guy if you marry him) how would you budget around his spontaneous week long disappearances?  Especially if you have children to support. 

I hope for your sake he is willing to come clean and seek counseling, but if not-please see that you deserve better than this and move on. 


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