Friday, August 13, 2004

Epilogue....Sort Of

August 13th...her father called my parents and left a voicemail for them (while he knew they'd be at work) telling them he and his wife had many concerns and, therefore, were unwilling to make a wedding and were against my fiancee and I marrying. He spoke for about two minutes, suggesting he and his wife had spent lots of time agreeing on the matter, and basically wrapped with "This is our last word on this matter." Then, he said "Have a nice weekend, bye bye." And hung up.

Subsequently, and here goes: I get a phone call from the psycho telling me "Stop harassing my daughter or you'll have to deal with me" (and a hang-up) and I let my fiancee know her father is now out of control and I want my ring back. I can deal with her parents disapproving; but threats to me and my family, no way.

She was very upset and managed to calm me down and I decided not to take back my ring. So....I told my father and my uncle (who had driven me to her apartment to originally pick up my things and to insure, if the psychotic manic-depressive showed up, there wouldn't be a physical altercation), to go home and that my fiancee (sort of) would get me home, wherever I needed to be.

The next day we had a decent day...I still was in limbo -- I love this woman but her family (not just her father but her mother too) exhibit seriously unstable behavior. I was worried about my personal safety going there last Friday night; she admitted to me that she was worried because her parents had her keys as well. Sick, but true. Saturday afternoon comes and goes...we agree her father is sick (clinically) and that he needs help and we will try counseling. Saturday evening, I arrive home and waiting for me is a message from said future father-in-law threatening me, threatening my father and my family. I call my fiancee and tell her I can't continue in this relationship, then I call my parents. I play the message for my fiancee, at her request, twice. She calls her parents, screaming mad, and her father DENIES making the call. She lets him know she heard it with her own ears. I visit the NYPD to file a police report on Sunday against her father. Sunday afternoon, my mother tells me my father is feeling shitty and I decided to just let everyone be. Turns out, we found out Monday morning, my father had a heart attack and is now in the hospital in NYC and we don't know if he will make it. My former fiancee has been supportive regarding my father but otherwise has proven to me that I made the right decision to separate from her and her fucked up family once and for all. I just wish I'd seen this all coming and was secure enough to get out while I could have (without anyone being hurt). I feel badly for my fiancee -- she's allowed her controlling parents to trample and ruin her life (including alcohol abuse, suicidal impulses, eating disorders, insecurity, indecision, depression and mood swings) and I think, in retrospect, she's looked to me to save her from all these factors (namely, her fucked-up, incompetent parents) and I just can't do it. I want to make her well -- not just for she and I to be together, but so she can be a happy person and one day have a normal relationship without them destroying it like they have done everything else they can. I know it's no one's fault (other than my father's diet, lack of exercise and genetics) that my dad's in a hospital bed. Odds are good he'll make it through this. But every morning when I wake up I look in the mirror and I'm reminded that it was my (poor) decision to stay with this woman and her fucked-up parents that might have caused this. I've got so many feelings going through me -- guilt, sadness, fear (of losing my father), loneliness -- I actually called my doctor and asked him for a sedative to make sure I'd live through all of this. I know all of my emotions are relatively normal -- considering the degree of lunacy surrounding all these events -- but I've relegated myself to getting my family back on track first and looking for a woman second. I haven't gotten rid of the ring yet, but I've begun purging myself of everything that reminded me of my former fiancee. I know it's not her fault that any of this is happening (aside from her total denial regarding her parents' overinvolvement and -- frankly -- disgustingly abusive personas, not only to outsiders but to her as well). I just hope that, somehow, this all concludes with my father being in good (or at least decent) health, my family returning to a solid, integrated unit; my fiancee commencing some intense therapy to either rid herself of or redefining her family's control over her; and my meeting someone who I love, respect, trust, believe in and with whom I can't wait to spend an eternity. If I had to settle, I'd pick my Dad's health. The rest are really meaningless; but I figured I'd add those others in there as well.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

My Ex and I -- the night of August 12th, 2004...

My fiancée and I met in May, 2002, and as our relationship grew, we naturally met one another’s parents, and while her mom and I enjoy a good relationship, her father treats me like he does everyone else – he doesn’t make eye contact, rarely shakes my hand or acknowledges me. I got over his behavior quickly, because my fiancée explained that he has some serious issues and I came to realize this is normal for him, not just in connection with her former boyfriends, etc.

Subsequently, as she and I grew closer, it became increasingly apparent that her parents are very traditional and are extremely controlling (coupled with both of them not working) and try to dictate everything in both of their daughters’ lives. Both their daughters are intelligent, driven, motivated young women, yet each has gone through classic signs of parental over-control: eating disorders, addictive personalities, and confidence/drive tinged with excessive insecurity. Where my fiancee (the older daughter) has largely remained close-ish to her parents, her sister has moved away from them (recently from NYC to Maryland) and basically doesn't hide the fact she wants little or nothing to do with them. I did some poking around and the info I found at is eerily accurate and describes that household to the letter. Read at your own risk.

When my fiancee's parents eventually sat me down and “interviewed” me (more like interrogated me), I politely deflected some of their questions relating to money and debt, because I felt (without saying in so many words) that it was none of their business. I have little debt (less than $5,000) and have been completely honest with my fiancée about same, but don’t feel it’s any of their business. In addition, they criticized my career (I work with my father and sister) – instead of seeing that as job security and the future (one day my sister and I will inherit the business), they saw this as a negative (ie a small company versus a large corporation). When I proposed and she accepted, her parents (her mother, at least) was very supportive and excited. That’s when the fun started.

Her parents (either out of ignorance or in an attempt to destroy the relationship) let my parents know, in front of us, that they hoped my parents would contribute financially to the wedding. Eventually, my parents let them know they would like to pay for the flowers and would make the rehearsal dinner and would give my fiancee and I a big gift ($$$) to pay for the honeymoon and to have a good chunk with which to start our life together. Instead of appreciation, their offer was met with a scoff and a complete lack of appreciation. Thereafter, all planning by her parents has been laced with dollar amounts for everything from the amount per person to music to flowers to the photographers. The sole time I went with my fiancée and her parents to look at some places for the wedding, it became so acrimonious her father and mother were screaming at each other (not an unusual occurrence, incidentally) in the car and the father got out and walked a mile down the road. Thankfully, we haven’t been out to look at places since.

At this point, her father alternates between offering to spend $20,000 on our wedding (with the caveat of only allowing my family four guests, including my sister, my parents and I), and telling her he won’t spend anything at all and won’t walk her down the aisle. The problem (if there is only one) is this: she is so tied into her parents’ methods of control, she continues to go back for more. She has told them on occasion that if they don’t want to pay for the wedding that the two of us would go away and get married privately, which (at this point) would be acceptable; but one way or another, they manage to rope her back into this back-and-forth and it’s making her, and me, miserable. In short, is there anything I can or should do short of asking her for my ring and wishing her lots of luck in the future? I care for her and don’t want to lose her, but each time she asks me if I’ll be okay with getting married privately (ie on a cruise), I let her know that the wedding isn’t the problem: eventually we’ll come back and her parents will spend their lives making us miserable and/or trying to drive a wedge between us.