A letter writer and her fiancé don’t always agree on politics, but he’s really upset her this time. Should she be having second thoughts?
Our elder gives it to her straight.
My fiancé and I do not always agree politically. This normally is not an issue. I am left-leaning; he is right leaning. I enjoy hearing different perspectives and do not need to date someone with my copy of views on the world. I have noticed lately that he seems to have inconsistent ways of getting upset by people. When my mother called him a ‘fragile white male with privilege’, he got very upset. I was empathetic to this because I do not believe in attacking anyone based on their skin tone and/or gender. He makes somewhat racist jokes (which I cringe at and politely ask he not say) with one of his edgier friends. This said edgy friend came by a few nights ago and showed a full-on propaganda/conspiracy theory/white nationalist video to us. It had everything. “Jews are dangerous”, “Black people are inferior”, “Preserve the white race”… you get the picture. My fiancé himself is ethnically Jewish and to his credit did argue against all these points in the video to his friend, but it did not upset him the same way my mother mentioning his ‘white privilege’ did. I was fairly horrified and cried quite a bit that night. He was sympathetic but somewhat dismissive. Later I got upset because he was watching a political commentator who insulted a male feminist by comparing him to someone with autism. This hit close for a home to me as I do not believe that anyone is inferior just because they have a mental disorder and that just saying, “Are you autistic?’ is not a valid argument. He then said I was just acting autistic by getting all ‘triggered’ over a simple schoolyard insult and would not let me speak and just shouted over me. This was my main issue — I hate being dismissed and insulted by someone I love.
Afterwards, I completely overreacted and turned the wifi/his computer off while he was watching it. That was petty and awful of me; I apologized and admitted my mistake. I really love this man. He has helped me out and been supportive for me through thick and thin. This is an unusual experience for us, and I feel awful. I made him coffee this morning, gave it to him in bed, and said nothing. He has said nothing as well. I am having second thoughts about getting married/continuing the relationship. Not gigantic thoughts, but they are there, which is unusual. I want this relationship to continue almost more than anything, but only if it is healthy for both of us.
I’m going to give it to you straight and say to you what your mother has not verbalized out of respect for you but most likely wants to. When you say, “I really love this man”, that is your prerogative. However, your mother hit the nail smack on the head when she called him what he really is and that’s a white nationalist.
As I said it’s your prerogative to love him because you are an adult and get to make that choice. I’m simply pointing out to you who the man you love is. If the word “white” is getting in the way, block it out for the sake of argument (even though it feeds his identity unlike it does yours and it skews his view of anyone who is not white as being inferior to him because he is white). I get that you took what your mother said as offensive, but you have to see that she did so because he considers his skin tone a badge of superiority. For the sake of discussion, however, let’s set that identifying word aside.
Now you have the word “Nationalist” and he’s been using the old Nationalist trope of calling you a snowflake when he says something which is 1000x more repugnant than what your mother said, making you the intolerant one when you voice objections but meanwhile demeaning minority groups and others who don’t pass the “Nationalist” purity test. His being Jewish is beside the point. His identity is not in his Jewishness; it’s in his Nationalist ideology, which trumps his ethnicity.
You are trying to be tolerant and understanding of him, giving him time to modify his views. But look what he’s doing in return: he’s belittling you and violating your political views as well as your comfort zone by inviting one of his “Nationalist” buddies over to view that offensive piece of sh*#t that they watched. He makes disparaging remarks about those with autism and then tells you to lighten up. He’s so far up his own a** that he can’t even see that it’s offensive.
And just to show how he’s playing with your mind, this morning you were the one apologizing with a cup of coffee delivered to his bed not the other way around. His response: crickets. Why would he offer an “I’m sorry for last night. I won’t let that garbage in our house again” when he doesn’t see where he did anything wrong? BTW, “privileged” people, white or purple, never do.
You write, “I am having second thoughts about getting married/ continuing the relationship.” Really? Only second thoughts? If I were you, depending on who owns where you are living (or whose name’s on the lease) I would either pack his things and throw him out or pack your things and go to your mother’s until you can figure out your next move. Either way, I would be done with him because he obviously doesn’t love you as much as you love him. If he did, he would do none of this because he knows it offends you even if he doesn’t see his views as offensive.
As I said in the beginning, the choice is always yours to continue to love him or not. I know, for me, it would be “or not” and I’d end this relationship like yesterday. I think you know your mother would agree. Now you have to decide.
I hope my advice, as tough as it sounds, helps. You wrote to EWC for an outsider’s view on what’s been going on. You ended your email with “I want this relationship to continue almost more than anything, but only if it is healthy for both of us.” His mind is not healthy. This is never going to be healthy for you.
You may want to share my response with your mother and she then may open up with what she really thinks and she may give you the support you need to make the best decision for yourself even if it’s not one you want to make. And please feel welcome to contact EWC again if you have additional questions. We are all volunteers who are here for you to help you through difficult times like you are experiencing right now.
Letter #: 442833