Soon to be Married & Conflicted

I’m engaged to be married, and my sister thinks that I am being emotionally abused by my fiance. The major things that have concerned her are 1) my fiance telling me that I should only talk to her about our issues (my fiance doesn’t want me talking to my family or a priest about anything between us). 2) When I tell my fiance that she hurts me, she says that my actions caused her to be mean to me. 3) When I told my fiance I was upset that she wanted to use birth control pills instead of NFP, she said that I’ll never find anyone more Catholic than her. My fiance tells me that I’m lucky she puts up with me. 4) My fiance told me, “I wish you were more like my brother and my dad, they do whatever my mom and I tell them to do.” She also believes that wives should be in charge of their husbands. There are other issues, but I want to be concise.

I know that I make mistakes, but I’m not really sure what I do that makes her unhappy. She has not expressed anything specific to me other than she thinks I’m controlling, but I never tell her what to do, I have just voiced my opinion on occasion. I’m just really confused. I try to treat her with respect, make compromises, do nice things for her, try to pray with her, try to do what she prefers.

Is this abuse? Are my actions really what make her act poorly?
My sister says that everyone is responsible for their own actions, is that true?

Yes, of course we’re responsible for our own actions. Nobody can “make” your fiance be mean to you.

Could you clarify? Your name is Joanna, but you refer to your fiance as “she?”


my sister is letting me post this on her account because I don’t want one of my own. I wanted to get some input from people who don’t know us, so that I could be sure they weren’t taking my side just because they’re my friends, and I wanted Catholics to answer so they wouldn’t laugh at me for wanting to do NFP.

Your sister has some valid concerns. No one can “make” your fiancee be mean to you. That is entirely her decision and her responsibility.
She has no right to tell you what you can or can’t discuss with a priest.
She knows she’s violating Catholic teaching about birth control.
She told you flat-out that she expects to control you.
If someone told me I was lucky they out up with me, I’d tell them that they don’t “have to” any more, we’re done.

You need to really think about whether you want to spend the rest of your life with a woman who treats you with so much disrespect.


Please do not do this. Create your own account, it is not difficult to do. It is anonymous and nobody needs to know. Do not use other people account because there may be implication.


It’s fair to say extended family members should not be brought into marital issues, unless all other interventions have been exhausted and it’s a last resort. But no one should forbid you from talking to a priest.

This is narcissistic and emotionally abusive.

Extremely narcissistic and emotionally abusive.

Huge, HUGE red flag right here. One spouse is not “in charge” of the other spouse, and neither spouse is obliged to just do whatever the other spouse tells them to do without question. And she has grown up with this being “normal”. She is used to commanding around her brother and father and has witnessed her mother do the same for many years. It’s ingrained in her, and she is going to do the same to you. Your life as her husband is going to be miserable.

There’s more?!?!?!?!?!?

No, SHE is controlling.

Narcissists have a way of making you feel that way.



Listen to your sister.


As a rule, it is not a good idea to talk to your family about your fiancée/wife telling details about arguments/disagreements, flaws, complaints, annoyances, etc. No, that will create tension and set your wife up as the bad guy and also is a violation of her trust.

Your priest in marriage prep and/or confidential counseling, that is acceptable.

That is a HUGE red flag. It indicates a large degree of immaturity on her part. At a minimum it’s a sign of disregard for your feelings and inability to accept responsibility and reflect on her own actions, to communicate and solve problems constructively. At the far end of the spectrum it’s a sign of narcissism.

This is something to be extremely concerned about.

Except for all the women who do want to use NFP and follow Church teaching.

At this point she would no longer be my fiancée, would officially be kicked to the curb, and I’d be popping a champagne cork and celebrating how close I came to hitching myself permanently to an awful person.

Starting to look more like narcissism the more you describe the situation.

Bu-bye and good luck finding a sucker who will sign up for that, lady.

If you marry her, you are crazy.

You aren’t going to win here, because frankly she’s cray-cray.

Um, yeah.

No. She is responsible for her actions.

Yes and you will be responsible for your own misery if you marry this woman.

I cannot stress enough that you should get some individual counseling to get to the bottom of why you would accept this sort of behavior as normal.

Do not proceed with marriage with anyone who tells you that their bad behavior is YOUR fault.


I would say don’t marry this person. She sounds immature and manipulative.


Are you very young? It sounds like you don’t have much experience with relating to other people.
Your fiance’s behavior is not normal, it is controlling and abusive. As others have said, get counseling before committing yourself to this person for the long term.
If you marry her, you will be back on this board in a couple of years asking about an annulment, or reporting the miserable life you have gotten yourself into.,


Friend, if you don’t recognize that this is abuse, then you are not mature enough to marry anyone.

You sound like a male who is still more of a boy than a man, and this woman has deliberately selected you so she can dominate. It will get even worse if you marry her, as she will rule you with an iron fist. IMO, it is likely that she will expect some very weird, deviant sex from you.

Get out this very moment if you haven’t already. Don’t worry about her; she’ll find someone else to dominate.

Consider working with a counselor to help you develop your mature male personality traits. You will probably always be a gentle-type man, and there are plenty of gentle-type women who would dearly love to meet you and fall in love with you. :slight_smile:


I agree.
To be honest I always think a major red flag is when a person says things to the effect of: You won’t find anyone else who’ll love you or is as catholic as me.

There are several massive red flags here and I think the OP should consider callling off the wedding at least until some issues are resolved.


Sounds like the brother and the dad are whipped.

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I’m 26. I’m struggling with blaming myself. I’ve been wondering if the times I’ve been selfish, immature, or possibly even manipulative caused her to act this way. I also feel like it’s unfair that she doesn’t get to share her side of the story.

I’d also like to add that she’s very polite, timid in public, and small, so it’s hard for other people to understand.

While the OP does sound young, I don’t think this is entirely fair. Many people in abusive situations can clearly see there abusive situations of others but have trouble seeing their own.


No. No. No. The fact that you’ve made mistakes – like every other person on the planet, including your fiancee – does not excuse her abuse of you.

One more time: she is responsible for her own actions.


Are you in some kind of marriage prep? Has she ever said why she wants to marry you?

There are huge red flags in what you have shared here. And I wouldn’t expect things to be better after marriage. I would strongly encourage you to consider if this is how you want to live your life.


Go to counseling. Put wedding plans on hold. After your family, and anonymous people on this board, have indicated all of this behavior is a big red flag you are trying to defend her, blame yourself, and seem to want to continue this abuse. That is a recipe for disaster.

One of my friends had such a wife. In private, she physically abused him by punching, kicking, hitting, and throwing things at him. He was a big guy, and of course no one thought he could be physically abused by a tiny little thing who was so sweet and cute.

He’s still damaged 30 years later from that marriage and divorce.

Don’t be that guy.






Best advice in this thread.


You are not lucky to get ‘someone like her’ or however she says it. It sounds as if this is your first (or, one of your earliest) dating experiences. This woman is bad news, and, as she is a small woman, might make you look like the abuser. I’d say…run!!!

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