/u/my_secret_account123 on /r/relationships writes…
“Little bit of background: my [24F] fiancee [23M] was very mentally abused by his mother, and still is. He bows down to her and lives to make her happy. He is totally brainwashed.
So my fiance was threatening suicide this morning (something he does almost weekly, which I know is messed up but that’s a whole other issue I don’t want to talk about). So he was saying why he hasn’t done it, and this was the order: mom, son, me. I pointed out how it seems his mother is more important. He said that it was just the way he said it, but I truly think it was his subconscious saying what really is most important in his eyes.
Am I overthinking?”
Dear My Secret Account 123,
One of the most difficult lessons I have learned in my own personal experience of dating is that you cannot save someone from destroying themselves. The best you can do is to help acknowledge the obvious warning signs, point them toward the general direction of professional help if you can no longer bear the burden of mounting emotional labor, and support them in their own recovery process. It is also within your own reasonable rights to distance yourself and establish some difficult boundaries if you no longer see any progress being made.
You might be right that your fiance has a very toxic and controlling relationship with you future mother-in-law. It definitely sounds like he has a lot of demons hid in his closet that display in form of his depression. It also sounds like there is a lot that I am reading between the lines that indicate that you harbor a lot of animosity toward your future MIL as well. All three of those issues are intense and heavy.
Others have already pointed out that on that list of three reasons why he hasn’t already attempted, he himself is not listed there. Your fiance needs therapy, like he needs to go to a doctor for a broken bone. The broken bone in his brain is not going to automatically fix itself by magic. In addition, he will need to acknowledge on his own or with an unbiased third party therapist’s help that his relationship with his mother is dysfunctional. That is great that you can recognize that. But it will only be when he recognizes it that changes will be implemented. I don’t think the ordering of his reasons is all that important. His complete lack of self in that reason is much more alarming.
You also mentioned son as one of the three reasons he hasn’t attempted. I’m not sure if this is a son from his previous marriage or a child he has with you. But it might also be important to consider and assess what might be the best for the sake of your step/son, especially considering your fiance’s mental well-being. In addition to the son, you will also have to consider your own emotional health. I don’t imagine that this situation with your fiance is doing wonders for your own health. Often in the case of a suicidal partner, the caretaker can often feel trapped or held hostage in their relationship. So please look out for yourself as well.
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