My girlfriend is trying to stop me traveling for a funeral, and to see family members who are in poor health. How can I get her to understand?
Whoah, that’s controlling, says our elder. Stand up for your beliefs and follow your own heart.
My best friend’s mother (stepmother for 20+ years) is very ill and not long for this world. He let me know today that the situation has taken a turn for the worse and she will most likely be passing in the next few days. When I talked about it with my girlfriend of five years, later in the day, I let her know that I would be going to the funeral. She asked if I would be visiting my family who lives in the neighboring state when I go; to which I replied, “Yes, they are in poor health as well and this highlights how the next time we see a loved one may be the last.” She expressed that I was “making a trip of it” and that she wouldn’t be waiting for me when I got back. I was able to tell her that I didn’t respect her response and excused myself to collect my thoughts. I reflected on our rocky start and my issues with addiction in the first year when I hid things and lied. Even sleeping with an ex-girlfriend shortly after we began dating, and disappearing for hours one night to get blackout drunk. My lack of honesty and her need for control has caused undertones of conflict in much of our relationship. My belief was that we were improving and our ability to communicate respectfully was growing. We are trying to get on the same page, though she thinks I shouldn’t spend the money, that it’s not how other people would do things, that she can’t go due to work, and that she can’t go through me leaving on this trip. Is there a way we can get to a place of mutual understanding?
You have a lot to deal with and I commend you for becoming a more honest and trustworthy person. Planning to go to your best friend’s mother’s funeral and to visit your family nearby sounds like a mature decision. I am not sure why your girlfriend sees it as a threat. Is it mainly a money issue or are there reasons for her to be against you seeing your best friend and family? To me, her response does not sound sympathetic or supportive. You do mention her need to be in control, but she shouldn’t be allowed to control these sorts of personal decisions, which are based on very long-standing connections with friends and family.
My advice is to tell her you plan to go (more firmly this time) and that you are sorry she does not support you. Share your feelings with her so that she knows you are being genuine and honest. While you are gone, she might evaluate the situation and become more understanding. If so, there is hope for your relationship. If not, I am afraid there cannot be any mutual understanding, and you will need to begin to look elsewhere for people who are on your side.
Going to see family members who are in poor health is a good thing. You are right that you never know when it will be the last time to see someone. Several times I have gone to see someone who was ill and going downhill in my hometown (which meant buying a plane ticket). In each case, I am glad I went to see them one last time because they died soon after I saw them.
You sound like a good-hearted person who has been through a lot and has made progress in your life. Stand up for your beliefs and don’t let others tell you what to do when you are following your heart.
Letter #: 443799