- 6 years ago
I am going anon because I am so devastated, and part of me just doesn’t want to believe this is real. But I have to call off my engagement and cancel my wedding, and start a whole new life over and I am so scared, confused and terrified. I am 32 years old, moving back in with my parents and starting completly over from scratch. Talk about overwhelming.
So here’s the looonng story: My Fiance and I have been together for over 5 years, engaged for over 1 year – to be married this March. I will admit, our relationship has had MANY bumps in the road. For one, my Fiance has had a very traumatic past including losing his father and best friends in a horrific accident (that he was also in) and was the sole survivor. So he suffers from PTSD, survivor guilt, along with medical issues from this accident. I never held any of that against him because of course, none of it was his fault – it was just a horrific tragedy. Anyway, his accident was over 10 years ago, but he clearly still has a lot of emotional instabilty (angry outbursts), has struggled on and off with pain medications, and continues to have health problems. But again, I never held any of that against him because none of that was his fault. I am a patient and compassionate person….and I just loved him. And I felt if you truly loved someone, you will stand by them no matter what. When we first met, he seriously made me feel so loved, like I was the most amazing woman on earth. His love and devotion to me was obvious and our friends and family saw it. Everyone was in awe and jealous of the “great guy” I was able to snag. Everyone adored him! He sent me flowers all the time, cooked me dinners, wrote me love letters, little thoughtful gifts, the whole nine. So of course I thought I found myself a winner, with a little history of trauma and emotional baggage along the way, but I felt like it was worth it, and the pros definitly outweighed the cons.
But then he started to lie. And to me, truth and fidelity is the basis and foundation of a relationship. If you don’t have that, you don’t have anything. On our very first date, he admitted to me that he had been engaged before but “broke it off.” I was a little shocked at the time, but I was like hey, everyone has a past, I appreciated him letting me know so early on and for his honesty. Or so I thought. Six months into our relationship, after we were already established as a true couple and had already said “I love you” for the first time, he admitted to me he was married before. WHAT?? You told me you were engaged and broke it off? And here’s where it first started to get suspiscious — he swore up and down he never told me that! He told me I must have remembered that conversation wrong. I said, “Bob! (not real name) where would I make something like that up if you never told me that?” and he swore he never said it. Later, he claims he was honest with me and that by saying, “I was engaged before and broke it off” – he wasn’t actually lying because he was infact engaged, and he did in fact “break it off” -i.e. getting divorced. Somehow he didn’t think it was lying by omitting the fact that inbetween the “engagement” and “breaking it off” he was married. See how he lies by either omission or playing around and twisting his words. It was all about symantics with him. I should have known right there this was a huge red flag.
Eventually I was able to get over that inital hurt and shock, and we continued our relationship. He seemed so loving and devoted to me, I figured he made a mistake by lying (because he was embarressed he had a failed marriage) and he liked me so much he cracked under pressure. Then two years into our relationship, by the fate of the universe, I discovered that he was emotionally cheating on me with some random girl he met in Atlantic City. I found this completely on accident (I wasn’t snooping) and even when I showed him the concrete proof, he continued to lie and tell outlandish stories that didn’t make sense, the type of stories that don’t sit well with you and your gut is telling you “something just isn’t right here.” So I decided to play detective. I went to the phone company and got records of who he called and texted. Boom. It was all there. He lied again faking some incredibly ridiculous story how her phone # got into his phone (If i remember correctly, the outlandish story involved she got hurt at a casino, he was there to help, and to flle the police report, he had to put her number in his phone. Riiiiiiiiight). I left him after I found that out. I moved back in with my parents and just tried to deal with the broken heart I had. But the tenacious one that he is, just had to get me back. He finally admitted to “emotionally cheating” and he just liked talking to her (as we were going through a difficult time in our relationship at that point). I never fully believed him, but after 6 months of him going to therapy, writing me letters, quitting drinking (the whole 9) he slowly won me back and I ended up back in a relationship with him. It was full transparancy this time, he had to promise not to delete text messages or emails, give me all his passwords etc etc. And while he did all that, it was truly exhausting and not the type of relationship I wanted to be in. But we moved on because I had hope things would get better.
Then his paranoid jealousy started. He used to start fights with me saying I was looking at other guys when we were out and I was disrespecting him. I’m like, “um am I not allowed to look at people?” and not to mention, I’m only looking, I’m not even talking to them — you’re the one who actually gets their phone numbers and cheats!! The hypocracy is not lost on me. And this continued to happen on and off (happening maybe once every 6 months or so). It was getting exhausting and he started to think I was cheating on him!! I never did and never gave him a reason to think I was. It was getting exhausting and when these fights would happen, I found myself not telling my friends or family anymore because I was embarressed.
We started going to therapy and tried to work on these issues. It helped for a while, and for a while things felt like they were getting back to normal. I felt like I could finally start being happy again and not feel like I was always walking on egg shells when his next angry outburst would happen, or when he would accuse me of looking at guys. We got engaged last year and I felt like he was finally straightening out all his emotional issues and we could just be happy like a normal couple.
We were set to get married this coming March. The engagement and wedding planning process is supposed to be one of the happiest times in a couples life. But it just never felt like that. I had to push him to do everything – look at venues, to book any vendors, it felt like pulling teeth. It just never felt fun. To save money, we moved in with family which we knew was going to be a hard transition, but we felt it was the best decision in the long run because we wanted to save money for a house. On top of that, I got laid off from work, and he got a new job, so there were a lot of changes happening very quickly. Soon, I found myself in his families house always home alone (trying to job search, but we know being unemployed can make you feel depressed) and he worked looooooong hours in the city. I’m talking leaves at 7am and doesn’t come home until 9pm (at the earliest). So I was very lonely and felt very disconnected with him for the past 6 months, simply because we literally never see each other. But the past few days we was coming home VERY LATE (like midnight, 2:30am etc) and I was starting to get that suspicious gut feeling again. He would then provide me with these outlandish stories of how he missed his train so then he had to take a cab, but the cab driver realized he picked up the wrong person so he made him get out at a random gas station) –see how crazy this already sounds? etc etc. I never believe him anymore when he tells stories. I was so annoyed with him that night we both just went to bed and I didn’t even have the energy to argue. The next night he came home earlier than usual, but I saw him sitting in his parked car in the driveway, and he hadn’t come into the house for like 10 minutes. He’s done this before when finishing a phone conversation with his mom or friend, so I wasn’t too suspicious, but just made a mental note. I then decided to take our dog out and see what he was still doing in his car. When I went outside into the driveway, he immediately got out of his car, almost as if he was pretending he just arrived. I asked him what he was doing in his car, and he simply said he was just gathering all this things to come inside. LIES. He comes inside, just acting cold and distant, heats up his dinner, takes it to the couch, and ends up falling asleep with the plate of food sitting in his lap.
Trusting my gut, I knew I had to look through his things to figure out what was going on. With his history of emotional cheating, lying until he’s blue in the face when he gets caught, and deleting text messages to hide things, I knew I had to look in his ipad, not his phone to go through his text messages. Low and behold, some old female co-worker of his was texting him selfies they took together the night before, which from the background looked like they were at some bar. He told me he was at a work meeting that ran late. He responded to the pictures with “wow babe you look hot as hell.” The rest of the conversation was very brief and innocuous, but I’m sorry, isn’t that considered cheating…….again?!?! When I confronted him, he swore up and down this old co-worker is a lesbian, and he thought the comment was innocent because she doesn’t like men. Okkkkkkkkk. And then I tell him it’s still inappropriate to talk like that to anyone when you are ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED, and he then tells me that I’ve told our mutual gay guy friend he was hot and that because I did it, he thought it was ok. I have never told our mutual gay friend he was hot, but he insists I did and tells me my memory is bad. And now I feel like he is just lying, twisting and manipulating again. To top it all off, there was another text from an unknown # not programmed in his phone where the person (i’m assuming is a woman) simply said “hey I’m in Georgia right now babes” and he replies with “ok let me know when you’re back.” Ummmmm……someone calling you “babes” is not ok. When I confront him about this, he claims it is a current co-worker and it means nothing, that’s just how people talk in corporate. Everyone calls each other hunny, sweetheart, babes,……totally normal. I’m sorry, I have never once called my co-workers or boss “babes.” Never. In no world is that appropriate. So clearly he is lying, AGAIN.
I then flipped out and left. He swore to me up and down those texts were innocent and he never cheated. Part of me believes him, but again with the way he likes to twist his words and symantics, he probably just didnt cheat on me, YET. He thinks I’m crazy for wanting to call off our engagement and wedding and is somehow blaming this all on me and saying that I’m “walking out and quitting on us.” Am I crazy here? Even though I don’t have any proof he cheated, I think I’ve seen enough lying and red flags. I don’t want to marry him just because we are too far into our wedding planning just to get divorced.
I’m sorry this post is so long, I feel like I’m ramlbling but my head is just all over the place. I don’t even know if I’m looking for advice, or validation, or just others perspectives, but I feel like deep down his behavior is not ok. Even though I don’t have concrete proof he physically cheated. Right now he is constantly texting me and saying “why am I doing this to us, why am I walking out our soon to marriage over silly text messages that mean nothing” and he is somehow turning this around on ME!! And then he plays on my compassionate and loving nature by saying this like, “I’ve lost my dad and my best friends in the accident, but losing you is the worst pain I’ve ever felt. I can’t bare the thought of losing another person I love in my life.” I feel like him saying that is so unfair and it’s like he’s guilting me into staying or something. Playing into his tragic past and using it as a “get out of jail free” card or something. I don’t know. But I am lost, humiliated, angry, sad and scared. Why does he continue to do these things to me?
I know deep in my gut I have to end it, but I’m so scared. It’s scary knowing the person I thought was my soul mate, simply is not. It’s humilating I have to cancel our wedding and call all our vendors and cancel contracts. It’s humilating and embaressing that I have to let all my friends and family know, just after our save the dates went out a few weeks ago. I feel like a failure. I’m 32 years old and I am moving back home with my parents (where I currently am) and I have to figure out a new life. I have no job right now because I was laid off so things are just shitty. All of my friends are married with kids, or in serious relationships so I don’t really have any singles friends to help me through this.
Bees, please help me with some support, advice and encouraging words. Am I doing the right thing by calling this off? And if so, what do I do next? I haven’t eaten in days because I am so devastated and I just need hope that everything will be ok. How does someone cope in a situation like this?