Engaged but stuck in the past

posted 4 months ago in Relationships
Post # 61
525 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

raindrops :  If you decided to break it off, I totally get that it would be hard to find the words to do it. I would be truthful, apologetic, and focus on his feelings. I’d also be prepared for him to say some harsh things back. It would be natural for him to feel defensive and lash out. Hope you find your hapiness, girl!

Post # 64
1579 posts
Bumble bee

raindrops :  I kind of understand what you are going through with regards to your ex. I had a few long term relationships but when I met X, it was just like…I can’t even explain it. I just knew in my heart that he was the one for me. I loved him more passionately than I have ever loved anyone in my life. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a healthy relationship. He didn’t communicate with me, he dumped me at least once a year for what reasons I never knew, he prioritized everyone else over me. I was so in love with him that I completely lost myself, I just lived for him. If you had asked me what things I liked or what I wanted to do, I wouldn’t have known. He eventually cheated on me, dragged me through counseling for 6 months, proposed, and then ditched me a short time later. And I kept sleeping with him, kept being there for him even though he was dating other women because I just couldn’t imagine a life without him. I had never, ever wanted anything so much. I’m not much of a romantic – more a realist, and I never really ‘got’ romantic tragedies but for the first time it was just crystal clear. I sank into a deep depression. I wanted to die. Life was meaningless. I kept on, but I was like a shell of myself, walking around, for 8 YEARS. I spent those years pushing every other man away, comparing everyone to him, thinking of him every.single.day, while he moved on. I was so destroyed that I thought I would never get over it. I thought I was completely broken. 

But then one day the clouds parted. I finally truly understood that he was wrong for me, and that part of my passion for him was rooted in the constant drama, the fights, the challenge of ‘winning him’. Looking back, even though I loved him just an insane amount I don’t know that I was really HAPPY. I didn’t feel secure, I didn’t trust him, I didn’t feel loved enough in return. And then we got back in contact and he was flirting with me and I just felt GLAD I didn’t marry him, because he’s got a wife and 3 kids and that’s just gross. 

I think there are some people we just ‘click’ with, but that doesn’t mean we should marry them. I know I will never love any other man the way I loved X. But you know what, I think that’s probably a good thing. That level of love just wasn’t healthy for me. And it takes more than love to make a partnership. He was a weak man and I have no respect for him. If he came crawling back, I know I wouldn’t ever be happy with him. I love my fiance very, very much, but for a long time I wouldn’t date him because I constantly compared him to X. But if I take that comparison a bit further…my fiance is strong willed, moral, loving, kind, patient, affectionate, and a respectful partner. I may not have the same all-encompassing passion for him that I did for X, but I am a hell of a lot happier than I ever was with him. I am my own person, and he is his, and we come together as a team. It feels healthy and right. It feels like a marriage that can LAST. 

So this is where my advice for you comes in. It’s two-fold. First, REALLY consider what was going on with your ex and all the fighting. Look at your relationship for what it actually was, and try to separate your emotion from it. Was it really a healthy relationship? Was he really a good partner? You need more than love to form a successful marriage, so really consider whether or not you are romanticizing the past. You don’t want to go back to him and find out that you actually aren’t that compatible after all. 

Second, consider the worst case scenario – you and your fiance break up and it’s awful, everyone hates you, you reach out to your ex, and he actually doesn’t want anything to do with you. Could you live with that? Would that be preferable to you than where you are now? If so, you need to break up with your fiance and take that chance. If however, you would be happy with your fiance if this ex wasn’t in the picture for you, then you might want to really consider whether or not you are REALLY ok with potentially losing everything. 

Post # 65
2101 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

raindrops :  don’t wait until 2021 to talk to your fiancé! Soon he’s going to want to start booking things, you’re not able to tell him how you’re feeling, so how do you think that’s going to go? Realistically if you want to get married in 2021, you’re going to start booking places at the end of this year, so just a few months away. If you do wait to have this conversation, you’ll either end up having a huge argument in which you blurt out that you’re still in love with your ex or married to him. You’ve been passive and unable to speak up about the issues in your relationship so far. Someone can perfectly nice, like your fiancé, but not right for you. You don’t need to feel bad for ending a relationship that isn’t right for you. However, you do need to end that relationship sooner rather than later. I’m not naive enough to think that every marriage is a love marriage but in the case when it isn’t, people should be open and honest about what type of marriage it is. I get that you don’t want to hurt him but dragging this out any longer is just going to hurt him more. You won’t be able to find the perfect words to tell your fiancé that you aren’t in love with him. It’s going to hurt him so you just need to start talking.

I say you’ve been passive in your current relationship because you’ve admitted that even if you weren’t thinking of your ex all the time, it’s too soon for you to get married. With your ex, you weren’t ready to get married and at least managed to communicate it but then couldn’t deal with the arguments that followed. This is your life. So you need to speak up about you want out of it. You’ve been swept along with your current partner with what he wants. With your ex, you presumably told him you didn’t want to get married and the arguments started. Who started these arguments? If it’s him, he wasn’t coping well with not having his own way. Where is your say in your life and what you want from it? Your mid-late twenties, you’ve been swept along having men make decisions for your joint life without those things being ok with you.

Exes getting back together can work but it’s often the exception and not the rule. When people go through a breakup, they change. As people age, they change. As people have other relationships, they change. It’s been 3 years since you broke up with your ex. You say you’ve changed and matured in those 3 years. He’s likely changed as well. Just because getting back with an ex worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it will for you. From the bits you’ve said, it seems like communication was an issue in the old relationship. That’s not suddenly going to change, you’re demonstrating now that you still have communication issues. It sounds like he also has communication issues but if he’s not been in any long term relationships since your breakup it’s unlikely that he’s managed to work on those. Going back to your ex, there will be a lot to work through and the tendency is just to pick up where you left off, except clearly you’re ready for marriage now so you get engaged very soon. Then you’re excited about this engagement, get swept up in the planning and find yourself married with huge issues in your relationship. If you go back to your ex, you need to essentially start as if it’s a new relationship if you want it to last.

Post # 66
5859 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

raindrops :  I don’t know what to say to my fiance and I don’t think I should do it immediately

Completely disagree, you should do it immediately. You should have done it before now, you have been pining for your ex during this entire relationship and you got engaged to this guy anyway.  That was incredibly selfish.  It is what it is and if you want to chase your ex then go for it, but the time to tell you fiance has already passed so do not put it off any longer.  It is so unfair to remain engaged to someone you don’t love enough to stay with but just delaying it while you figure yourself out emotionally. 

I have until 2021 as we are not getting married soon

You do not have until 2021, this is a really cruel outlook. 

Post # 68
634 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2005

zzar45 :  This 10000 times!!!! She can waste his time in a relationship that is apparently going no where from her perspective while she selfishly decides whether to chase down the ex or not. My guess is she will make contact with the ex before she actually has a talk with her fiance and breaks it off. 

Post # 68
5859 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

princessanon0125 :  Yep, all the while making it more difficult for her current fiance to recover from the situation.  Having someone break up with you right before the wedding is a lot worse than before or just after engagement.  Both obviously suck but one is objectively way worse. 

My guess is she will make contact with the ex before she actually has a talk with her fiance and breaks it off. 

I agree.

Post # 69
155 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019


I don’t know what to say to my fiance and I don’t think I should do it immediately. I must think carefully whether to say anything and if so, what.

What? You are not in love with your fiancé but you haven’t decided WHETHER to say anything to him? Do you even realize how terrible that is? How would you like it if you were in his shoes? All of your posts are INCREDIBLY selfish. 


Post # 70
958 posts
Busy bee

Bee, don’t marry your fiancé. It sounds like this is a rebound relationship and you are definitely not over your ex.  Until you are over ex, you won’t be able to be “all in” in any relationships. I’m not going go on about this situation being unfair to your fiancé – you’ve been bashed quite enough for that. But have you considered how unfair this situation is to you? You’re still in the haze of heartbreak because you never fully processed your break-up with your ex and in that haze, you made the decision to marry a guy who you have a “just ok” relationship with. Is that what you want to set yourself up for: a “just ok” marriage and life?

My advice is to end things with your fiancé and spend time being single and process both relationships – the one with your ex and with your fiancé. It’s going to hurt and suck, but once you’re able to fully process them and let go, maybe then you’ll be able to be in a healthy, complete relationship with someone else. 

Good luck, Bee!

Post # 71
196 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I don’t see what meeting with a friend who knew you when you were with your ex will accomplish. You should leave your fiancé because he isn’t the one for you and you aren’t in love with him. You shouldn’t leave him for your ex. You need to battle these issues one at a time. Break it off with your fiancé, not because of the ex, but because this is not the person for you. After that is done, then you can see what may come with the ex. That may not work out either. But you seem to ok with settling in relationships rather than focusing on finding your soulmate. Currently you are just wasting your time and your fiancé’s time by dragging this relationship on for longer than it should. 

Post # 72
8938 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

raindrops :  “I am not trying to self sabotage. I have never had strong feelings or very deep love for my fiance. I didn’t want to get engaged this soon”


You do realise you could have declined his proposal then?! Stringing him along is shameful. Let the poor man go so he can find someone who actually does love him and would be excited to marry him.

Post # 73
252 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

raindrops :  I don’t think there is anything wrong in maturing and realizing that you made a mistake in the past. I also don’t think there is anything wrong with trying to go after your ex again. I do think it’s wrong that you are avoiding breaking up with your fiancé. I was quite shocked when you said you have until 2021. In my opinion, if you wait another year to two years you’re actively, consciously, a bad person.

You’ve said yourself that you aren’t in love with him. It doesn’t sound like you’re trying to figure out if you are, you already know you aren’t. If you aren’t in love with him you 100% should not marry him. You seem to know that but are resistant to breaking up with him. 

I understand that finding the words is tough, and that pulling the trigger is tough but it really seems like you know you’ll have to do it eventually, if you already know then get it over with now and DO NOT be one of those shitty ass people that knowingly strings someone along! That’s just a garbage person thing to do.

A lot of bees here are telling you to just talk to him honestly, I agree to a certain extent. I think you should express that you love him as a person, but you feel like there is something missing in the relationship and you don’t feel in love with him. You know that it can’t be worked on, fixed, or developed, so it’s best for both of you to end the relationship. Tell him that since you love him you know he deserves someone that doesn’t feel like something is missing and that doesn’t have reservations about a future together. Tell him the decision is made, you’re sorry for accepting his proposal when you weren’t positive it was the right decision, but you hope he finds someone amazing and had a wonderful life. I don’t think I would say you’ve been pining after your ex, I don’t think it’s relevant to the break up. 

It will obviously be tough because you know he’s going to be hurt and sad but can you imagine how much more hurt and sad he will be in the future the longer you’ve been together and the more plans you have with each other? 

Stop thinking that you have years to do this when you know right now you aren’t in love. Stop avoiding something uncomfortable because you just don’t want to do it. Considering how you feel this relationship will end at some point. Be a good person and do it when it won’t hurt as much (as in sooner rather than later).

Post # 74
10069 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

Every post you make talks about how little you feel for your fiancé. If you stay with him you are using him. I don’t believe you’ve matured at all based on your responses, I think you’re too insecure to be alone so you won’t leave him unless you have a fallback plan. 

You need to not be with anyone.

Post # 75
9858 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

Don’t tell yourself you have until 2021. It’s not true or fair (to yourself or your fiancé). Dragging this out is just going to make everything harder and more painful. If you are waiting for a time when it will feel easier, it’s not coming. 

You need to end this relationship before worrying about your ex.

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