My fiancé’s son—I’ll call him “Jack”—just returned from Europe. He visited a country I’ve always dreamed of visiting. Jack called his Dad about getting together and I asked if I could come along. The answer was no. My fiancé said he hadn’t seen his son for a while and wanted to visit alone. I feel hurt and left out. After our previous discussions about a future together, I’m wondering if a future together is possible. I don’t want to feel like an outsider and I don’t want to be treated poorly. What is your take on this?
Disappointment is difficult to bear. Often when couples grow stronger in their commitment and begin to imagine a forever future with each other, one or both unconsciously start to unpack their greatest worries and biggest fears. Of course, I don’t think your man is doing this, but you are. One of your fears is that you don’t belong. So the problem is not that your man refused to include you in the post-vacation-photo-viewing-and-storytelling session with his son. It’s that, at the core of your being, you fear never being fully accepted by anyone you love.
Your belief that you don’t fit in is likely rooted in some childhood experience. But it doesn’t help that all humans have a sense of this discrimination. It’s like emotional DNA handed down from our common tribal ancestors who wandered the wilds, and hoped to be welcomed, not killed or enslaved by whoever they encountered. The desire to belong and the fear of being outcast run deep.
Another reason for your discomfort over this situation is the deferred dream. Your fiancé’s son enjoyed a country you long to visit. How many of your dreams exist without a foundation and structure to support their transition to reality? Channel your disappointment into a commitment to establish a travel account at your bank and begin saving for your own adventure. Then invite your fiancé’s son over for dinner to help you plan your own European holiday.