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I Am Still Mad After Our Explosive Fight


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My fiancé and I had an explosive fight last night. I can't believe it got to where it went and I'm still not over it. He acts like I'm to blame but I feel like we both have the fault in this.


What happened:


We were with friends at a BBQ. His one friend, Brian* (changed name for anonymity), has always been aggressive. He was overly aggressive and outright mean the entire night to everyone (except me because he knows better -- this isn't his first time doing this). Throughout the night, everyone was calling him out about how mean he was being, and he wasn't listening. It got to a point where he asked my fiancé who he's choosing for a best man, to which my fiancé explained he couldn't choose because it was stuck between four people, Brian included. Brian proceeded to berate each one of his choices, to which I felt it wasn't my place to step in because the majority of the choices were in the room and decided not to defend themselves. It was when he got to my soon to be brother-in-law that I lost it. He started to rate my fiance's relationship with his brother, rate how good my BIL is at his job, how my BIL treated him, etc. I lost it -- I told him he needed to step down and that he needs to check himself because jokes or not he doesn't have the right to rate my fiance's choices in best man. My fiancé yelled at me to go outside, and we fought outside. I took his car and went home, as he said he'd rather walk home (the BBQ was two blocks away).


My fiancé got back twenty minutes after I did, and immediately the fight began. I told him I was defending him, and he told me that's just "how they joke." I said it wasn't cool (Brian used to be my fiance's bully when he was in middle school, which makes me more mad that he thinks he can talk to my fiancé like that).


We were fighting and suddenly my fiancé drops the bomb on me that he went through my phone and looked through the texts with my mother and read our conversations talking about my issues with my in laws. I stated I didn't like my in laws in a text, but my mother and I have spoken about it aloud before, so she understands that I don't because of how they treat him. He rightfully felt hurt and angry because of my feelings about his parents, BUT I felt BETRAYED because he went through a private conversation with my mother. He knew when we began dating that my mother and I are VERY close -- I frequently call her my best friend -- due to some circumstances we've gone through together. I felt violated, I felt betrayed, and I felt naked, like nothing I own is sacred anymore, like I can't even text my mother about MY issues. He got mad that I didn't tell him about my issues with his parents, to which I said that it wasn't logical -- why would I tell you I don't like them straight out? I never wanted him to feel like he was in the middle, and so I said nothing about it. Don't get me wrong -- I was vocal about things they do to him multiple time, to which he would brush off.



Then we began the kitchen sink effect. He kept bringing around to his parents, to which I said he had no right to talk about considering he went snooping to find something to be mad about. He kept needling me to talk about it, so I broke down exactly WHY I didn't like them and my take on it, because he wanted to hear it so badly.


He proceeded to get so mad, saying I was "putting him against his parents" and suddenly punches and breaks his nightstand. I immediately got up and started packing -- I wasn't going to deal with that. Because his mom heard the sound of the nightstand, she decided to barge into the room in the middle of our heated argument. She had been knocking every ten minutes and asking us what was going on throughout the entire fight, so when she barged in without knocking, I lost it. I screamed at her to get out twice because she wouldn't leave. I felt like she wasn't respecting our space, that she wasn't allowing us to fight. I understand now her fear of not knowing what was going on once she heard the nightstand breaking, but the fight was not explosive prior and she's known to constantly ask questions and find her way to get in the middle of things to try to neutralize it no matter how inappropriate. I suffer from anxiety and I tend to black out when it's at it's worst, so I lost it and when I came to I realized I punched the wall -- Im very aggressive when Im going through an attack and that's why I was trying not to get it to escalate. We ended up screaming at the top of our lungs, and he was fighting me off the door so I couldn't leave. The rest of the fight was us going in circles about the same topics, and me going through the remaining phases of my attack. I even took off my engagement ring at a certain point and now he's more hurt because of it.


Now it's the next day. I have to apologize to his mother, no matter how I feel about how she threw herself into our situation. I also now have to find a way to fix the wall -- and my anger issues when I'm getting an attack. I still feel betrayed. I still feel mad. I don't know what to do or how to approach this because I know it's just going to go in circles. I feel like everything is hopeless and that it's beyond repair. I feel like this destroyed our relationship, the last thing I wanted. All because I'm the idiot who defended his fiancé. What should I do?

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What should you do ? This relationship is now abusive. When people are breaking nightstands and punching walls it is time to end it before someone gets killed.


Believe me I have no love for my in-laws I get it , BUT if you guys are in their house breaking things and punching walls I would be upset too . And I would kick you out , both of you. And I would never stand for someone attacking my child ,ever . Whether they were grown up or not.

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If it were me, I'd give it space for about a week. From everyone, your fiancé included. Then I'd approach his mother and tell her you are sorry for being so angry and yelling, but explain firmly that she needs to stay out of arguments between you and your fiancé.


Then I'd approach fiance and tell him that you no longer want to be around Brian, he sounds like a pretty terrible person anyways. Apologize for standing up for him, although you thought you were doing the right thing you now understand that fiance didn't want the confrontation. Then explain to him firmly that it's not okay that he went through your phone, you've put a password on it, and that your opinions of people are your own business. You were trying to keep him from being put in the middle but he went and put himself there. Also tell him that when an argument escalates into a fight, it's best that you leave to avoid an anxiety attack and he needs to respect that PERIOD. No standing in your way, trying to stop you, or smashing tables.


I have a hunch that fiance had been drinking the night of the fight?? Which doesn't help matters. If that's the case, I would also ask him to back off on drinking. But again, this is just me guessing.


I'm sorry you're in this situation, OP. It doesn't sound to me like fiance has any right to be mad, so don't let him turn anything around on you. Apologize for standing up for him and assure him you won't in the future but the rest is on him.

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Your fiancee is way out of line for going throigh your phone. Theres no question about that. Rhats a serious breach of trust and you need to find out WHY he felt the need to do that...how long has he not trusted you? What has caused the breakdown of trust?


Fix the wall: Home depot > mesh, plaster, paint.


Why are you living with your in laws?


Your fiance's friend sounds like a giant a**h*** but if no one wants to defend themselves, you cant put your relationship at risk to do it. Just walk away when Brian does Brian. You could also tell your fiance how upset you get when Brian insults him and his friends and ask him what he thinks you should do when that happens. Try to get him to see your POV. What would he do if someone was insulting you and all of your close friends? Thats a bizarre dynamic between your SO and Brian the Bully. He coukd do with some therapy sessions just for that one alone imo.


You definitely need to apologize for taking your ring off. Seems like you both felt trapped in the fight. He should never have barred you from leaving. That was the best thing to do. Walk away when it gets too heated before something bad happens.


As far as your MIL goes, youll have to apologize.


You're not an idiot for defending him. But be more thoughtful of what youre doing - can starting a fight with Brian EVER end well for anyone. Doesnt seem like it. Walking away and talking to your fiance later would be more productive. Maybe you shouldnt go to parties Brian is at. Your heart was in the right place but you have to think more than one move ahead. Promise your fiance you will not start a fight at a party again and follow through on that.


You cannot control anything or anyone but yourself. Focus on that and do that to the best of your ability.

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Just curious: Brian really is still a miserable bully. Why is your fiance still friends with him? I already said this but that's a very odd relationship. Doesnt sound like Brian has turned over a new leaf or anything....why be friends? How did that even come about?

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1. You both need anger management. Breaking things and punching holes in walls is bad.


2. Should you continue the relationship, couples therapy should be a top priority.


3. Your fiance did in fact invade your privacy going through your phone. His mother, on the other hand, did not. You don't get to toxify someone else's home with violent arguments and damage their property with impunity.


4. Don't "defend" people in this kind of situation, particularly if a person is arguing with someone whom they're more familiar with and who they're likely going to know better how to handle without escalating things so greatly. It might sound disrespectful to your partner not to, but you're doing no one any favors bringing your own gallon of gas to the house fire.


I'd be in full-on damage control mode right now. Leave a sincerely apologetic note for his parents and check into a 1-star motel. Let him be the one who exclusively speaks to his parents on the matter. Honestly, it may even be best not to talk with each other about the matter without a couples counselor present. I don't know. That's overcoming some pretty heavy odds for the relationship to persevere. You've got that sinking feeling because your instinct's telling you right. Start looking into your immediate well-being and security, having a couch available somewhere.


About the only other thing I can add is just... "wow."

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Honestly, in my experience once an argument reaches a certain level of anger and aggression, you need to treat it like a very serious matter and not attempt to patch things up or rationalise the behaviour. Relationships too often get into very bad patterns which can worsen over time, and I think in order to avoid that you need to take the time and space to acknowledge the seriousness of this argument. If you simply try and forgive/forget, next time things get heated (there's always a next time), you are both significantly more likely to resort to the same tactics or worse as a means of expressing or venting your frustration.


Rather than feeling hurt and frustrated and wasting your time figuring out how the argument started, I would be focusing my energy on trying to understand what triggered the violence and the dynamics in your relationship that led to this. Arguments happen, you can't avoid them. You may have overstepped the line by what you said to Brian (that's a matter of opinion), but your partner was already harbouring some feeling about your lack of openness about important relationship issues. There is a little damage done here, but these points can be dealt with if you have healthy problem-solving strategies in your relationship. At the moment, you do not. I would be very concerned about furniture that's been broken and what it represents about your relationship, as well as the wide-ranging effect this argument has on your families and social circles. It's not the content of the argument, but the way that it was handled. You need to make some decisions about how things are going to look moving forward - something is going to have to change dramatically because this cannot happen again.

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This sounds like a very unhealthy relationship where neither of you respects the boundaries of the other.


I totally understand that you want to stick up for your guy, but you need to trust that he is capable of making his own judgments about his 'friend'. He is choosing to be friends with this a-hole, but that's his business and not yours. As it was, you may have thought you were doing him a favour - but in reality you were insulting his intelligence and telling him that you know best... and that's one of the reasons he got so angry.


He had no right to go through your phone, let alone punish you for the content of what he read. If you have issues with his parents but remain polite and considerate to them, then your private feelings are your business and not his.


But when his mother came in because was worried about the fighting, you had no right to tell her to get out. You may think she was invading YOUR space, but this is her house and not yours, and she's entitled to know what's going on in it. You're right that you need to apologise, and do that as soon as you possibly can.


As for the rest of it... I agree about getting away from the place, and giving yourself a week's space in a neutral setting. You both have issues which preclude any kind of healthy relationship; you need some time to reflect on how you're going to handle your future, whether it's together or apart.

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Are you in therapy for your anxiety, Op? If you're not, I think the first thing you should do is get yourself started on that and then tell your fiancé that you're working on your issue in the hopes of you getting it under control so that things don't escalate like that again. Then tell him that you are putting a pass code on your phone so that your private conversations with your mother can't be 'ease-dropped' on again which will resolve THAT problem. Then finally, apologise to his mom for the disrespect in her house and that you understand that when she hears that kind of violent arguing, it's understandable that she would want to intervene.


Really, if my son was arguing like that with his fiancé, I'd be counseling him to postpone the nuptial until you both got anger management courses under your belts, learned about personal boundaries and you got into counselling to help with your general anxiety so that when you were having a panic attack, you didn't end up blacking out and really hurting yourself or my son.


Pre-marital counselling would also be a good bet if you can actually get over this latest debacle.

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