My partner and I have been together for 19 months now and we moved to another state and now live together. His father died yesterday and he told me today that he does not want me to go to the funeral because his wife (which he is in the process of a divorce) will be there and will cause a big scene if I show up. He says he doesn't want the drama and wants to protect me. I am appalled, hurt, and confused that he would even suggest that I not attend. I am totally crushed and don't even know what to say. Am I overreacting?
Respect his wishes. I could see it being a particularly volatile situation. The grief and high emotions of losing a loved one are bad enough, but adding divorce drama to the mix can make it explosive. Given that your partner has moved on to someone else (you) before he's even divorced, you can expect "homewrecker" accusations from not just his wife, but other family members as well.
While this is a tough pill to swallow and something that I have been through personally (lost my brother - new boyfriend attended with ex there a well)and NEVER ask my significant other not to attend, I WILL follow your advice and respect his wishes. I am only looking at the situation from my point of view and not seeing his but again, I am ready and willing to follow the advice that I have asked for. Thank you for your reply.
I would recommend you respect his wishes about the funeral.
But the next step is really important and unfortunately we don't really know enough about your story:
If you have a great relationship with his family and count them as friends, then I would ignore the slight.
If -- after 19 months -- you have never been introduced to his family and never attended any family functions, then you are being used as a mistress.
Why is his divorce taking so long? In most states you can get a divorce finalized in less than a year. Is there a chance he doesn't really want to end his marriage? In fact, in some states he can bifurcate. In other words he can end the marriage now, and determine the child custody and property settlements later -- after you get married.