(Closed) Heartbroken – engagement called off

posted 5 years ago in Emotional
Post # 16
124 posts
Blushing bee

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KBelle12:  Yeah I never get this fear of marriage. Honestly, if a couple has been living together for 5 years aren’t they already common-law? Legally the same as marriage…if you want to be with the person for life, and are financially stable enough to get married/move in together, then why the hold up?

I understand if he’s worried because his parents didn’t have the greatest relationship, but if you’re already living together, then what will marriage change? (That would be my question to him)

Post # 17
34 posts
  • Wedding: November 2014

Please dont move out! Carry on as normal. Wear your ring. 

Moving out y8u are telling him he has lost you and that this is a deal breaker. If you want to be with him so much you have to give him as much as he is giving you. He is trying to put his fears aside to please you. 

Trust me, being a child in a messy divorce is like abuse. Some parents use the children to get back at the other parent. And holidays, dont even get me started on the challenges holidays pose! Spending special days with parent and feeling guilty for the other… 

You are demanding he just put all this aside to meet your desire to be married. And then telling him that him dealing with it all and you wont be there to support him. He is now like a drug addict admitting he has a problem and asking you to help him, and you are walking out. If you want to be with him forever, you have to support him now. It took a lot of courage to tell you now about his fear, that walking out now when it gets tough is showing him his fear is valid, that you may not be there for him always. 

If you want to save it, at all, save it now. 

Post # 18
4239 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

This is low.  REALLY low.  So he calls off engagement but still wants to be your boyfriend……do you realize how ridiculous that is?  He is stringing you along by saying he doesn’t want to commit to you but yet he still wants to be with you.  He knows this is important to you.  I mean I get it, his parents went through a tough divorce…but their relationship isn’t YOUR relationship.  What they went through isn’t what necessarily what HE will go through.  He needs to separate his feelings of his parents’ relationship with his feelings about his own relationship.

Marriage is obviously a pretty major commitment but at the same time if you love your partner and are committed to them without the marriage certificate, it really is simply a formality.  Don’t get me wrong, marriage is absolutely wonderful and of course it is a big deal, but if he’s so sure he wants to be with you forever, why is he afraid of committing to you?  That’s my question.  By taking back this engagement he has changed your relationship, and not for the better.  He has broken trust with you.  He has broken a promise of marrying you.  No matter how much he wants things to be as they used to be, they won’t be the same as they were, and not in a positive way.

If I were in your shoes I would do some major soul searching.  Would you be ok being with him and not being married to him?  If so, then by all means keep him as your SO.  If not…well…it’s time to determine if it is worth it.  There is no guarantee that he will change his mind on marriage.

Post # 19
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

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ozgirlie:  put it better then I ever could! Marriage sits differently in everyone’s mind due to the experiences they have had with it.  I was terrified to get married or engaged even after 7 years and that’s part of why were having an almost two year engagement.  We both come from divorced families so we are taking the leap together.

Talk to him about what worries him about getting married, I agree if you hadn’t set a date yet then just don’t set one until you are ready. My cousin has been engaged for five years and has no plans as of yet, and they are great! 

Post # 20
341 posts
Helper bee

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rfs23:  Hi, don’t want to derail the thread, just wanted to say this is a really beautiful way to describe marriage.


Post # 21
109 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2016 - Talus Rock Retreat

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ozgirlie:  I was the exact same way! Everyone needs their own time to become ok with the idea of marriage. Sometimes people let go of a wonderful thing just because marriage isn’t on the table and I think it’s ridiculous. The idea of divorce is scarier for some than others. I never really got the idea of marriage and why it was so important as long as you are with the person you love. It took me 7 years, but now I’m finally ready to get married and my fiance was amazingly patient with me and now he knows I really want it and most importantly now I know I really want it too. I would have regretted it the rest of my life if I had gotten married too soon when I wasn’t ready. 

Post # 24
8 posts
  • Wedding: May 2015

I’m wishing you the best, alonebee! Feeling for you.

The only thing I wanted to add to the discussion is that when I would feel anxiety about getting married, I always asked myself, are these doubts about my Fiance, or doubts about myself? They were always doubts about myself, my “readiness” for marriage, my standing in life, my control over things, etc. I never doubted that my Fiance was the person for me– I just doubted if I was “Ready”.

I mention this because I thought it might be a helpful way to frame things for your boyfriend. If the doubts are about himself, then that doesn’t have to stop him from marrying you. He doesn’t have to wait until all of his ducks are in a row to get married– they probably never will be really, no one’s will. I really believe the whole “I need to break up with you so I can find myself” idea is a fallacy created by TV shows who needed an easy way to keep the drama going. In real life, if you are with the right person, they make it easier for you to find yourself and build the life you want for yourself.

Maybe he won’t agree with me, but that’s the way I thought about things to get over my fear of getting married. And regardless I think that is the key question to be asking– is he doubting the relationship, or is he doubting the stability of his life outside of the relationship?

I also think it is somewhat normal to freak out after making a big commitment. And you just made two, both the house and the engagement. Two steps forward, one step back kind of thing. Humans are wired to be afraid of change and disoriented to a lot of change at once. It might just take him a second to get his bearings again.

If I was in your shoes I would be devastated too, but from what I’ve read here it doesn’t sound to me like everything is over yet. It’s possible that with some time to calm down he could come back around. I think the best thing you can do right now is try to stay calm (I know, easier said than done) and not create a self-fulfilling prophecy about breaking up.

  • This reply was modified 5 years ago by  speckle.
Post # 26
6262 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

He should have been the one to move out, since he is looking to see what his life would be like without you. From what I understand, he wouldn’t have this bouse OR the car, so his life would be very different. Will this really tell him that much?

Post # 27
85 posts
Worker bee

Hang in there, bee!!! I think this is a sucky situation, but it could turn out to be the BEST thing ever. I am in the same situation, though not engaged yet. My SO and I were ring browsing last night…. which worried the hell out of me. I love him and all that, we click as you do with your SO, but something in my mind just doesn’t like the sound of “I’m married” quite yet. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my SO and want to be with him, but mentally, I don’t want to close myself off quite  yet. This in no way means that I’ll be seeing other people and dumping him, it just means that I want to make sure he’s the one I want to commit to. 

This same situation happened to my best friend last year. She had been with her boyfriend all of her life, and they were engaged. She decided to break it off because she felt not confident in the relationship. She wanted her SO to want to be with her, but he hadn’t been with any other woman, and she wanted to make sure she wasn’t his “by default” high school sweetheart, if that makes sense. Long story short, they took a quick break to keep to themselves and try to see others. They are still on a break, but close best friends. I have no doubt they will get re-engaged in the future, they just wanted to make perfectly sure that they were choosing each other, not defaulting. I’m not trying to say you’re a default at all, but just giving some perspective of two occasions where people freaked out about getting married– not because they didn’t love the other person, in both occasions. 

If you and your bf truly click, what’s meant to be will come back into order, and when that happens, this whole situation will make your relationship unstoppable 🙂 Good luck, hang in there. I know this is really sad and hard. Have a talk with your SO as to what to do with the living situation. I wouldn’t move out if I were you. It sounds like your SO will come around quickly if you act as friends for a bit. 

Post # 29
54 posts
Worker bee

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alonebee:  Firstly I want to say I so feel for you having to go through this. There are no words for that kind of heartbreak, do take comfort in your family and friends.

Secondly I want to ask: how much of his feelings focus on how YOU feel? It seems to me from your posts (which are obv all I have to go on) that you are both mostly concerned with him and his feelings and what is best to avoid him getting more upset. While it is says a lot about your giving, kind character that you put him first, it is not good for you. I agree with another bee that you should have been the one to be allowed to stay in your home, seeing as this was his decision. He is terrified of losing you etc – but that is still all about him. Someone who really loves you – and I mean a giving love, not a selfish love (and people can love you immensely in a thoroughly selfish way, and this can be really hard to detect as the love seems so strong until you realise that while they love you, they are primarily concerned with their own needs and how things in the relationship affect them), someone who really loves you will do everything they can to make sure YOU are ok and will look out for your interest and your heart – especially in a situation where they have hurt you so thoroughly.

Just think about how much he really does to make sure you’re ok – I mean, you are paying into the mortgage while you’re away even though you aren’t living there, AND you’re looking at short term accommodation.

Finally, don’t wait around hoping he will change his mind. You said ‘If he is afraid of being left in a marriage I think if he gets used to being alone and gets over the initial pain he might not want to go back.’ – that is not, not, NOT the way to think (and the reasoning is inherently flawed: being left is as hurtful and harrowing whether you are married or not – it sounds to me as though the real reason for the cold feet is whether he wants to be with you at all or not and a marriage cements the first option). If the relationship isn’t stronger than that after years together, then as much as it hurts, it is NOT right. If that’s all it takes, then the foundations are crumbling and you are better off without him because it’s like trying to keep a house of cards up in an ever-increasing wind. You shouldn’t have to anxiously see what he will do, it should not be his decision to make – you have to be stronger than that, for your own sanity’s sake and because you are not doing yourself any favours – YOU are in control of your life. How to make yourself stronger? I have a very good tip that worked for me in times of insecurity:

Order a book on amazon or similar called ‘Why Men Marry B*tches’ – a tongue in cheek title but boy, does it give some accurate tips on how men think. In a nutshell, this pandering to men and their needs will NEVER make a man return to you. Getting on with your life and having fun and being strong will, if he is coming back at all (and whether you really want him to after you’ve read this book – I’m not joking, it’s a life saver in this kind of situation- it basically bashes self-respect and confidence into you). Stay true to yourself and look after yourself. He is not in a position to look after you and you are far too good to sit outside his metaphorical door waiting for scraps.

Big hug to you xx

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