It seems like a no brainer, but shallow men always ruin the course of someone else's life.
u/Ta12949 laid out the problem:
My [23F] loving dad passed away a while ago. My family cannot afford to get him a proper headstone. I want to pay for it, but my fiancé [24M] doesn't want me too even though we have plenty of money.
My dad and I had a very special bond. He was my everything. He passed away last Father's Day suddenly and in a very traumatic way which (I won't get into.) I'll just say that I held him to the very end. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me and on Father's Day of all days.
My family is very poor so he was creamated and buried. He doesn't have a headstone, just a tiny grave marker, which bothers me a LOT. I loved him so, he deserves a proper memorial because he was truly the most wonderful person I have ever known and he gave me everything.
I recently got my first job as an RN and my fiancé works in the space industry as an engineer. He makes plenty of money for us and happily provides. We keep all our money together. But now since I got a job, I am more able to contribute and save for things I want. I don't have a ton of money since I just started, but the job pays well and I have enough that it would not really affect our financial situation to buy him a headstone.
My fiancé thinks it's not a good use of my money. I have a lot of broken teeth and I have always wanted to get them fixed cosmetically. My fiancé thinks this is a better use of my money, but I disagree. I can live with broken teeth a little while longer and it's not nearly as important to on me as giving my father a proper memorial. I think it would improve my mental status from the trauma of what happened to know he is being remembered properly.
How do I approach this? Thanks.
tl;dr fiancé doesn't want me to buy a headstone for my dad.
Here's some of the advice she got.
So, I was in a similar situation, my father died suddenly and I had crappy teeth. What I'd recommend is getting dental insurance, and starting on fixing your teeth, while also setting money aside for your father's stone. Take the time to decide with your family what you want, gather the deposit, etc. I recommend getting started with the teeth, though, because your smile is important, too. I was ashamed of my teeth, and how bad I let them get, so I wasn't smiling with my teeth showing, etc. Maybe I'm projecting, but I would sit down with your fiance, and see how both goals can be achieved. It shouldn't be one or the other, in my mind, both are important, for your physical and mental health. My condolences for the loss of your father, it sucks and it hurts. But you and yours are the most important memorial to him, don't forget that.
Firstly I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your Father and even more sorry that it was in traumatic circumstances.
" as an engineer "
It's a stereotype, but I do wonder if your husband-to-be suffers from engineer's brain. Sometimes people who excel as engineers do so because they are intensely practical and sometimes they can be lacking in the emotional intelligence department.
I'm raising this because his actions in your OP make him seem somewhat unkind and thoughtless, where in reality it might be that he just doesn't really get how his actions make you feel because he can't see past the practical very well. I find it interesting that he's fixed on your teeth as an issue. Your teeth are a practical problem that he can fix, whereas he can't fix the horrible thing that happened to your family. I wonder if he feels a bit hopeless himself so he's trying to ignore what happened and find something he can resolve?
You haven't raised in your OP that you have any other concerns about your Fiance and you haven't told us that this is anything other then a happy relationship. So with that in mind, I think it's worth trying to explain again just how important this is to you. Explain that you understand that this is a lot of money to spend when the money could be spent elsewhere, but that this is important to you emotionally and that you won't feel right in yourself unless it's done.
I think in every marriage there are things that your partner wants or needs that you don't really 'get'. It could be a hobby, a taste in music, a love for a particular brand or a personal goal that just doesn't hold any fascination for you personally. It's important to give your partner the space to do/achieve/acquire the things that are important to them, even if you can't understand it. Hopefully you can get your fiance to see that while he might not understand your need to provide a headstone for your father, that it's important to you and it's just one of the things he needs to support you on even if it's something he can't understand himself.
I am now 29 and my mother passed away when I was 20, 3months after I graduated from college. I say if this will give you peace of mind, do it. You can still provide for your teeth cosmetics afterall, or it can wait. What's important is this is what's important for you right now. Talk it out again with your fiance. He should understand. You're not throwing away money, you're buying peace of mind which shouldn't be neglected.
I see a lot of people willing to jump on the hate train for the fiance here, honestly without actually knowing enough. Nowhere in the OP does she actually say how much she is wanting to spend. Some quick googling shows that you can easily spend tens of thousands on a fancy headstone. And the tone of OP's post really is suggesting to me that she is wanting something extravagant. Especially when she's comparing the cost to what sounds like full-mouth dental surgery.
So that's the question OP. How much exactly are we talking about? If your fiance is getting bent out of shape over you wanting to spend a few hundred or a couple K on a headstone, then he needs to get over it. Especially when you are an RN and he's an engineer. But if you're wanting to drop something like $10K on this, then you also need to understand why your partner might be less than enthusiastic about the prospect. Because that's the kind of amount that sets life plans back.
I'm a parent. So from this perspective: I'd rather have my child fix her teeth than buy something for my grave that's effectively useless.
Having said this: it's your decision. Not your fiancé's.
If it bothers you, then would suggest getting the headstone. Family and mental health are important and you don't want to have any regrets. Some points to consider though:
Your fiance is probably looking out for you in his own way and providing his opinion. Will this cause a rift/ argument between you two if you do go ahead and get the headstone? It really shouldn't I hope.
Are there any complications involved if you delay your dental treatment? Are there any payment plans that could make you take the treatment sooner rather than later?
Everyone here is so quick to call your partner horrible things when he's just seeing things differently to you.
He may not have a good relationship with his parents, and won't understand truly how you're feeling. He also may place little value in gravestones and other memorials. And as for everyone saying he's trying to "control" your finances, you've said you keep your money together and I don't doubt if he was going to be making a large purchase (which a headstone is), you'd have your say.
All in all, I'd say you need to sit him down, tell him you respect his opinion but this means a lot to you, more than dental surgery ever could. Even if he doesn't agree, he should have the decency to respect your decision
I think it's extremely rude and inconsiderate of your fiancée to try to control YOUR money like this? Firstly, he should have some sympathy and understand why you'd want to do this... if he can't see the importance, I think you should look for a new life partner. You should prioritize YOUR DAD right now and get him the headstone he deserves and screw what your fiancée says. It's YOUR money and YOUR feelings.
Remember that you earn your paycheck and so long as you pay your bills otherwise, you can spend extra money as you see fit. Your fiancé has no say in the matter currently. Once you combine finances (AFTER the wedding), this changes. If it is important to you, you need to move forward with it.
To me, OP, the main issue is that you think it would improve your mental status from the trauma. I don't quite grasp what is a "proper memorial stone". A sizeable one with loving words engraved on it that can be the outward symbol of the love you had for your father? One that you can visit and feel you honored him as best you could?
When I first started typing I was going to suggest that having your broken teeth fixed (both for cosmetic reasons and to save later possible painful issues) should be given prority. But then I realized how important to your mental health this is and that unless you're wanting a Taj Mahal type memorial, it will cost about the same as two tooth repairs.
Note as to my biases : this is my family history, but in the 30's my mother ordered a large, ornate statue style memorial on her mother's grave while her small son, my brother, was suffering from a medical condition they 'couldn't afford to treat.' My bias is toward the living.