Patricia Redlich

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fumbling Fiancé

6th December, 2009


I'm engaged to a nice man, but am having a few problems lately. A few weeks ago he booked a weekend away, a lovely hotel in beautiful park-land. I was looking forward in particular to a romantic walk through the gardens. He was two hours late picking me up, it was dark when we arrived, and the grounds were shrouded in darkness. The evening meal was nice, and I then watched the X-factor in the bedroom while he watched the match in the bar. When I went down to join him, we took a short walk in the pitch dark, he bought me one drink but wouldn't wait for me to have it in the bar, so I sipped it in bed while he quickly fell asleep, snoring. I felt so alone. My romantic weekend was a disaster. Why did he bother taking me away just to lock me in the bedroom? Am I expecting too much? Are my dreams unrealistic? What is he going to be like when we get married? Things can't get any worse - or can they? Will I be a prisoner if I marry this man? I think he gets jealous if I talk to anyone, male or female, yet he can talk to anyone he likes. I am so disappointed that he ruined my weekend.

One disaster of a weekend with your fiancé and you're considering calling it all off. Why? Every couple has disasters, and lots of them. Or is this weekend symptomatic of the way your relationship runs? Because then, of course, you're in trouble, although not necessarily because of your boyfriend.

From where I'm sitting you had a silent row. I don't know where it began. Maybe you'd been nagging him about romance, so he reluctantly organised a weekend, you know, being all passive and angry, doing what you 'demanded' of him without wanting to, and then sabotaging it. In that scenario the real row started long before lift-off. Or maybe he half-broke his neck trying to get things right, and you went into a silent punishment routine when he arrived late, which got seriously up his nose. Whatever, by the time you drove through the dark parkland there was a row going on.

Why do you do silent rows? What's all that passivity about? Your boyfriend didn't lock you in your bedroom. You went there to watch the X-factor, either because you couldn't bear to miss it, or because you were angry he was watching the match, or just generally angry at him. And why did you go for the walk in the dark, where you could see nothing? Did you suggest it to punish him about missing your romantic stroll in daylight because he'd been late picking you up? Or did you, in silent anger, trail slightly behind him while he marched you through your bloody parkland?
You get the picture.

Couples who succeed say their piece, and then move on to make things work out. Passive angry silence kills intimacy, and hence kills love. So does going on too long about something. His being late should have been dealt with when he arrived, and then let go, while you whistled your way through the dark. Wisdom is necessary too. If you can't miss the X factor and he can't miss the match, then don't go away on a Saturday nights. It's simple. And go easy on the romantic weekends. They are mine-fields, too much expectation, too many potential pitfalls, failure rate rather high.
Irish based professional therapist and journalist. Website By : Deise Design