DEAR JOHN: Fiancé’s behaviour upsetting me
I am a young woman in my early 20s. I am deeply in love with my fiancé who has just entered his 30s.
He has recently finished his first degree and is planning to start professional studies shortly. I am hoping we can be married in June 2015 and I have begun making wedding plans.
However my uncle, my deceased father’s brother, and his wife are telling me that I need to take more time before I decide to marry this guy. They say he is showing all the signs of an immature and insecure young man who does not know how to treat a woman.
They point out that recently when one of my colleagues, a former school classmate of mine dropped me home from work my fiancé behaved badly and accused me of having an affair. On another occasion he took me to the airport and he quarrelled because he saw me hugging a man who had just returned from England.
John, this was my first cousin who I had not seen for almost ten years. My fiancé then instructed me to shake hands only and not to hug or embrace any males whether they are family or not.
I know he is a little jealous but I think this is because he loves me and does not want anyone close to me. Please, John, do you think something as simple and silly as this should prevent me from marrying this guy? What should I do?
SLIGHTLY CONFUSED YOUNG WOMAN
DEAR SLIGHTLY CONFUSED,
Your uncle and his wife mean well and they have your best interest at heart. Perhaps you may wish to consider the following:
(1) Immaturity and insecurity are two of the most disastrous contributors to the breakup of most relationships. While as a newspaper columnist I cannot and will not advise you to marry or not to marry, I would want you to try to be as objective as possible in your assessment of whether your fiancé is capable of making the necessary psychological adjustments in his response to you and your social behaviour.
(2) Invite your fiancé to join you for some serious professional counselling; this is extremely important. When a woman marries she does not suddenly become a chattel owned by a man. Your fiancé will need to be taught that as a woman you are an individual who must have interaction with family and friends. He must learn to trust and respect you as a person if you are going to be a wife and possibly a mother.
(3) Do not begin your marriage with your future husband giving you instructions on social behaviour. If your future husband does not want his wife to hug any males then you and he must work out together how you both are going to behave socially. Nothing is wrong with this; but he may have to agree to a policy of shaking hands and not hugging females. Good for the gander good also for the goose.
(4) If you are not to accept transport home from male colleagues then he should agree not to provide or offer transport to any females, colleagues or not. If he is seriously going to impose rules and give directives, he should be prepared to live by the same principles. Sit and discuss these things with him and come to a mutually satisfying position on all major issues.
Husband and wife should develop a code of behaviour which will serve them well as they create an environment in which they seek to bring up a family and to relate to the broader society. Good luck and may God bless your relationship.