How Do I Know If My Fiance Is Getting Cold Feet?

My fiance is going on a trip across the country with a bunch of his guy friends, which is fine except that he wants to go over New Year's! I would understand if he wanted to go away on a normal weekend, but this is a special occasion. Am I wrong for being upset? I believe that couples, especially serious couples, should be together for the holidays. Plus, my mother says that if I let him do this, he will run over me for the rest of our lives. I keep telling myself that if he goes through with this, I will be moved out when he comes back. Please help.

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Brenda Shoshanna

Dr. Shoshanna is a psychologist, therapist and certified divorce and family mediator. She has written five books, including Zen and the... Read more

For many people, the holiday season is a time to evaluate their lives, jobs and relationships and make important decisions about whether to go forward or let go. We usually spend New Year's Eve with the one (or ones) we care about the most. Therefore, the fact that your fiance is choosing to be with a bunch of guy friends instead of you is a clear statement. It sounds like he is running scared. While it may seem that he simply prefers being with them on this outing, the truth may be deeper: He may actually have a hankering to be single again.

During an engagement period, many feelings surface, particularly the fear of being committed for life. People often fluctuate between moving ahead with the relationship and going back to their freedom. Take a good look at your fiance's behavior in general. Do you see the characteristics that you wish to have in a partner for life?

You've let him know it upsets you that he wants to spend New Year's without you, and he is not respecting that. If he chooses to go despite how you feel, you are dealing with a larger problem: that he doesn't take your feelings and needs into account. The foundation of a successful relationship is mutual respect and consideration for one another's feelings. To just take off like this indicates a lack of compassion '- and maturity as well. It might also be a weak way of making you angry enough to call off the engagement because he doesn't have the decency to do it himself.

This is not about red-lighting the trip to prevent him from walking all over you in the future. It's a question of realizing whether he already walks all over you. You don't want a relationship with someone you have to "manage" or threaten by allowing him to do this or that. You want a relationship where there is mutual good will and understanding.

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