The Hardest Thing I Ever Went Through

I broke off my wedding engagement two  years ago because I realized that my fiance was not the one for me. Since we were together for five years, I already felt like we were married. The decision to end that relationship was the hardest thing I ever had to do. It felt like a divorce. I ended up falling into a deep depression for an entire year. During that year, I didn't want to socialize, eat, participate in hobbies, etc. Although I was the one that ended the relationship, the pain that I felt was so intense and unbearable.

Today, two years later, I am much stronger and am able to live a normal life again. Looking back, I didn't think I'd ever be able to come out of the depression. There are still days where I feel sad about it and miss him, but most days I am feeling pretty good about things. I know deep in my heart that our relationship would have never lasted, and that we were together for the wrong reasons. I still haven't met anyone else, but I feel like there is some other destiny for me. I wanted to share my story for anyone that is contemplating a break up, or is struggling through the grief and pain of any kind of breakup.

Six months after writing this story....some days are difficult. Not so much because I miss the person, but because of the scars of the pain of the breakup. I'm afraid of commitment and scared of getting attached again. I feel emotionally fragile most of the time and cringe at the thought of settling down. I want some peace in my life. Like the warm feeling that everything is going to be okay. 

16 months after writing this story....I almost never think about him or the breakup. Not because I didn't care or didn't love, but because I have healed. It has been three years since we broke up. The feeling of wanting to attach to someone is back. Although commitment is scary on many levels, I think that fear would greatly subside with the right person. The feeling resurfaced because awhile back I met someone that gave me those feelings that were missing in the previous relationship. Unfortunately, it didn't work out, but he made me realize that I could feel good about attaching to someone again.

reeny417 reeny417
31-35, F
16 Responses Apr 21, 2010

I too broke up with my fiance after 5 years of being together...I know exactly how you feel. I could have settled and been comfortable with him, but in my heart of hearts I knew also that it was not the path for me or for him. It is really tough at times, but I agree that I am more confident in my decision than I am regretful, so that has to mean I did the right thing..:0(

Carnationwhite: I think you bring up a valid point. It's easy to run away from our problems or get scared or think that the grass is greener on the other side. I will admit that getting older made me more aware of what it was that I really wanted. Also, love is more than safety and stability. I feel "safe" with a lot of people but there are those that I would give my life to. There are guys that I felt a unique, maybe even spiritual spark with. My relationship was clearly not a good fit for me. I feel 100% confident about my decision, but it took about a year or two to get to that point. How long have you felt regret?

I will admit that right after the breakup I felt incredibly lonely. I missed the safety and stability but also didn't feel like I was in love at any point. I guess for me, I would rather be alone than miserable or mediocre with someone else. Being alone isn't a joyride, but neither is being in a relationship that you know is not authentic. It's one thing if you're 75, but if you're in your 20's or 30's you want passion and a connection.

People, before you break off an engagement think about yourself, think twice before saying good bye. Everyone cheers those who had the courage to break up. Well, do you have the courage to continue the relationship? You could be marrying him for the wrong reasons and you could be breaking off for the wrong reasons too. You value too much your singlelife? Cannot give up looking for the next cute guy that may appear around the corner? You havebeen with him for too long and dont feel butterflies in yourstomach anymore? Love is no fairytale. Love is safety, stability, acceptance,assurance....i broke off an engagement for all the wrong reasons and i wish someone had told me this. Now it is the biggest regret of my life. He was a great guy, those you dont find everyday. Please think well before breaking off an engagement

I have the same experience as well. I broke off my engagement for no good reasons. Now i regret what all i did. Still am in love with my ex. In next couple of months am getting married with some other guy. I dont love him. Not even a single percent. I wish i could get back my old time. One thing i knw that no other person will be able to handle me love me the way he does.

I have the same experience as well. I broke off my engagement for no good reasons. Now i regret what all i did. Still am in love with my ex. In next couple of months am getting married with some other guy. I dont love him. Not even a single percent. I wish i could get back my old time. One thing i knw that no other person will be able to handle me love me the way he does.

Hi Reeny, I am so glad I have come across your post. I too am going through what sounds like a similar situation to you.

At the beginning if the year my boyfriend of 4 years proposed. I was over the moon and so happy for about 2 weeks, then the nagging in my head started doubting our relationship.

I suffer with anxiety and at the beginning of the year started a new job which I left 3 weeks later as it made me feel so ill. The proposal came a few weeks later and I thought it would make me feel better, nope I just felt 10 times worse.

My doc put my on anti depressants which over time eased the anxiety and I thought my doubts would ease with it. But no the stronger I felt the more I thought 'I don't think I want to marry you'

My ex was the love of my life, my best friend but something inside was telling me he isn't the one for you. 3 months ago now I made the decision to leave which is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, I can't bear the thought that I have hurt him so badly.

Anyway 3 months on and I still feel so racked with guilt and can't get peace if mind that I have done the right thing as I keep remembering all the good times.

It's really good to read your post and how well u have done and that u are in a much happier place now. I just hope and pray I will get to that place too.

How did things work out for you?

thank u for sharing your story... i feel the same way... i am hoping that someday the hurt will be gone... my story is almost the same as yours... i kept fighting for my feelings for him even though i know that we are not meant for each other...but at the end of the road, he too realized it... we have been together for four years... i know, even its so hard to to admit, this is the best for both of us...

I broke off my engagement a month ago today. We were together for almost five years, and engaged for six months. I have tried to suppress my feelings as much as possible, but in truth I feel devastated. This is not what anyone expected of me, and certainly not what I expected from myself. This wasn't the way things were meant to work out in the fairytale I have dreamt of since I was a little girl. I feel like such a failure. When I say he is an amazing person, I mean it with all my heart. But something wasn't right, and I couldn't carry on pretending that I was as blissfully happy as I made everyone believe. For so long, it has been more important to me that everyone else is happy. The guilt is tremendous. I have broken his heart and I don't think it is possible for anyone to love me the way he does. I don't feel really that I am allowed to mourn, because I am the one who has made this decision. But I feel like the ground has been ripped out from underneath my feet. So many of my friends are getting married, and I am so excited for them. But it breaks my heart to think that this is what I am giving up - for now at least. But I couldn't go through with something of this magnitude without being 100% committed. Although I am devastated, I feel at peace for the first time in a long while.

What ended up happening for you two?

Hi. I'm going through the hell of surviving this and desperately just want to come out on the other side and be 'okay'. i was wondering if there was any way you could look at my story (it's posted in this group) and offer me any advice.

Hey there.I just read your story and I'm sorry to hear that you are going through this. I also read some of the comments on your story, and must say that there was a lot of great, thoughtful advice posted out there. I know it doesn't make it any easier to feel better, but I agree that most of these people are right about your ex and your relationship. You deserve to have someone that can be honest, mature/independent (not still being controlled by his parents) and that mutually needs you.

Of course you still hurt because you loved him and cared for him deeply. 4 months isn't a long time, and there is no real time frame for healing. However, like one of your commenters stated, the healing process doesn't have to drag on forever. It is a journey, and it sounds like you might be getting over one of the biggest hurdles of that journey. You checked yourself into therapy, and although it is challenging, you made the decision to get help. Therapy isn't a miracle, but should help you sort out what issues your are struggling with. Realize that this is a HUGE CHANGE in your life. It is supposed to be difficult but you don't have to suffer.

If you're not getting much relief from the pain, it's possible that you are experiencing clinical depression, and without the right medical intervention, your thoughts and feelings might be distorted and making it harder for you to reason. One thing I can tell you is that although you loved and hurt so much now, the suffering is not an indication of how much you loved him or how perfect he was for you. NO RELATIONSHIP is perfect, and it is possible to love more than one person in our lifetime. He might have been the one for you, but the fact that he is not on the same page is something you can't control. You could cry for months and even years, but if he can't give you what you wanted--a mutual commitment--then you are only hurting yourself.

It sounds like this breakup is more about you than him. Meaning that this loss might mean something greater to you than just losing HIM. For example, maybe there is a void in your life that you thought he could fill, are terrified of being alone, or some other UNDERLYING issue. I hope I'm not undermining your situation, but just wanted to throw that out there. It sounds cliche, but you can't control other people. Only yourself.

To get through your pain, it might help to make 2 lists. One list of all of the things that you missed about him and the relationship. The other list about all the things (be honest here) that you didn't like about him or the relationship. Even little things like the way he sneezed, snored, was picky about food, etc. When you're ready, make a third list of what it is you want in a relationship. It might also help to write a "fake" letter to him about why your heart is aching. Dont send it, but get it out on paper.

The point of making the lists and letter is to get out any bottled up feelings, sort out the feelings and give you some HOPE that you can get what you want in a boyfriend/husband.

Also, you need to BELIEVE that you deserve good things in your life. Believe in yourself and your ability to love again and heal and find what you want.

You have the right to feel angry, sad, afraid and sorrowful right now. Let yourself feel all these emotions. It's essential to the healing process.

Another thing, don't worry about where he is in his healing process. You honestly don't know what is going on inside his heart. Guys show their grief in different ways, and they have a tendency to "move on" quicker or jump into another relationship sooner. Their suppressed feelings will eventually come back to haunt them. As women, we tend to push away love and isolate. So please don't compare yourself to his "apparent" progress.

Hi Reeny417~<br />
<br />
I must start off by saying how grateful I am to have found your ihas helped me see things in a different light! I very recently (about 1 month ago) broke off my engagement. We'd been engaged for 1 year, and together for 6. It is the HARDEST thing I've ever had to do! I'm going through all of these sad emotions....regret, fear, loneliness, and a sense of failure. Our wedding was set to be in 2 months, and it's just been very hard.<br />
Like you and some of the others that responded (carriebp, and ksd9) I feel as though I've just lost a dear friend. Our situation however is somewhat different in the fact that we'd had issues for years that I knew weren't being fixed no matter how much we'd say "we'll try" and "it'll get better". I saw the red flags as well, but when you're actually in the situation it's hard to just "quit" or "give up", which is what I felt I would have been doing. We also lived together for 3 years, which I look back now and realize was one of the reasons it was so hard to see our situation clearly. <br />
Once we got engaged however, we both moved back with our parents and I sold the home we were living in. We mainly did it because of my parents, but also figured we'd save up some money as well. I look back and am glad we did because I feel as though it did give us both some space to figure things out. The scariest thing for me was when I realized how much better we got along NOT living together. We didn't argure nearly as much, which was a huge issue in our relationship. Our fights were heartbreaking for me, because they'd start off about one certain issue that I felt we could be adults and just discuss, but they'd turn ugly quick, with him making nasty references to my family, and myself. This built up so much resentment in my heart, that now I realize I put an emotional wall up so that he couldn't hurt me. I began to fear that once we got married and lived together, things would go right back to the way they were. <br />
As the wedding neared, the unresolved issues continued to weigh on me until one day I realized that neither of us was in the right place to walk down the aisle. I, as many of you have also said, feel absolutely horrible, and as though I really let him down. Deep down though I know that it would have been worse to marry him feeling the way that I was. <br />
Since then, we have talked and he as well feels that we needed this. He also realizes that things weren't the way they should have been. It has surprisingly been very civil, which may be because it's still fresh...but it does make it easier. I must admit though, it is hard to "let him go" completely...I think that both of us have some inkling of hope that things will work out for the best, and we'll get back together. I know it's not ideal for us to text each other...but we have been here and's hard after being with him for 6 years, 3 of which we lived togetehr, to not communicate at all. That's what I'm struggling with at the moment. <br />
Your story however definitely gave me some insight...and your inspiring words are very encouraging!! It helps to know I'm not alone in this situation, no matter how lonely I may feel sometimes. Thank you soo much again Reeny!! You were a blessing!

Wow you must be going through some tough times. But 6 years is something....just knowing that you both survivded through six years shows that there is commitment. Too many relationships fall apart these days whereas maybe they could be salvaged. Have you guys tried couples therapy?

FaithHelps~I'm really touched by your posting, and am glad that I was able to give you some encouraging insight. Breakups suck.....period! There is really no easy way to get through it, and as they say time is essential to healing. I stopped communication with my ex cold turkey. I think it's helpful to have some distance for awhile to help the healing, because the communication will only slow you down from moving on. Maybe one day you can be friends with your ex, but it might help to have no contact for awhile. I kept my ex's phone number/address/emails/photos in a safe place and deleted and put away all momentos.
I think the most efficient way to grieve is to have a healthy balance between the crying/sadness/sorrow and having good distractions. Gotta let your mind process what happened, but let it rest at times by distracting it.
You will never forget him, but in time you will be able to close that chapter and open yourself up again. There will eventually be days where you won't even think of him.

I forgot to say...good for you breaking the engagement with all the issues you two were having. Definitely a smart thing to step away and clear your head. Like I said in previous posts, if there are dealbreakers or you feel guilty, this is a problem. It's not worth the unhappiness and misery from that relationship.

It really helped me to write out a list of the things I didn't like about him, and then make another list of my ideal partner.

I know you wrote this 2 years ago, but I am currently going through a similar situation. I have been desperately searching the internet for stories that can provide me with some peace. Your story feels so similar to mine and I wanted to know if you have any updates.

Thanks for sharing.
I too am contemplating breaking it off.
Did you get back to together?
Hope all is well.

HI, What ended up happening for you two?

3 More Responses

Hi Reeny, I applaud you for having the courage to walk away!!<br />
Im just wondering whether you had tried to work out through those dealbreaker issues you were having with you ex-fiance? And if yes, how long it took you to realize that those issues wouldnt get resolved and the only way to end it was to walk away?

Hi there.Thank you for your comment! Yes, we did try to work on things, but by that time (2 months before the breakup), I knew in my heart I that the dealbreakers were things that were not fixable. I had doubts throughout the entire relationship, as did he. Getting involved at a young age and not having enough experience contributed to that prolonged relationship. He was a good friend of mine, but that was the extent of my feelings in the relationship. I always thought you were supposed to marry your best friend, but when there are no romantic feelings, I couldn't go through with it. Sadly, he didn't consider me his best friend, so we weren't on the same page anyways.

kubrick9274 and carriebp ~ I think it's easy to dismiss or undervalue relationship problems when you are the one in the relationship. It's always easier for an outsider to make judgments because they don't have a bias--the outsider is not the one in love. We tend to remember and cherish the good things in the relationship, and it's almost as if our mind tricks us into thinking the bad things aren't so bad. We deserve to enjoy the good things, but the challenge is learning to identify red flags. No relationship is perfect, because no individual is perfect and everyone is unique. It's up to us to decide what we can tolerate and what we can't tolerate (dealbreakers). With experience, we learn what we absolutely need from our partner and what we can't stand. I actually disagree with the above comment, in that it took a LOT of courage to walk away from the engagement! Also, nothing is really a waste in life if we learn from our mistakes and become wiser, better people because of it (of course that takes time). Many people would have married out of obligation or fear of being alone. No one should feel ashamed for making decisions out of honesty.

Carriebp - If you thought he had 'things to work on' why didn't you communicate these things to him. You wasted a lot of years and energy. Sounds like you aren't brave or being honest least of all with yourself. You'll go onto the next LTR and convince he is the one, then find fault until the day comes when you know it is the last chance saloon and marry for all the reasons of fearing being alone. It takes two to tango.

ksd9~I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this, and that you aren't working. It's like a double whammy. Those are two very major things to deal with and should not be undervalued. It's like grief times two!<br />
<br />
One possible "positive" about the jobless aspect might be the benefit of having some time and space to work through the grief. I only say this because I left my job too--over a year ago actually. Mostly for personal reasons, which included soul searching and processing the feelings from my broken engagement. During this time, I experienced the highs and lows of being unemployed. All of my friends were working full time, happy and loved their jobs. I became bitter about not having anywhere to go in the morning and felt like I had no purpose. I took advantage of the time by signing up for fun classes, volunteering, exercising and beefing up my job credentials. I actually had a really nice balanced schedule for about six months and loved not having to go to a crappy job everyday. <br />
<br />
I'm not a religious person, but sometimes I feel that things happen for a reason. Maybe your destiny lies in some other job or place. Sometimes we just need to accept what has happened and leave it in the past. We may never figure out why some things don't work out, but need to move on and live in the present day and make the best out of what is in the moment. Being a pessimist myself, I realize it's not always easy to think that there will be hope or that things are for the best (easier said than done, right?), but I know that it's best to let go and try your best to move on.<br />
<br />
You will have better days and some harder days, but the thing to know is that in time, there will be less harder days. Part of the key to making it through the days is to be good to yourself and allow yourself to feel your feelings.

carriebp and reeny417 - I just broke off my engagement. What you describe is exactly what I feel. It's so hard and I feel terrible that I hurt him so much. I wish I could just rewind the clock and it would have never happened to either of us. We were only together a year and got engaged quickly. I always heard that little voice that said "this is too fast" but I ignored it. I will never ignore that voice again. He is a great guy but we had lots of disagreements and that little voice just got stronger and stronger. What is also making things even harder is the fact I quit my job and moved with him so now I am back home with my family and jobless. I just wish I could find a job so I could get some routine back. It's so hard sitting around every day and trying to stay positive. I just wanted to write to you and say I'm exactly where you both were. There are feelings of regret, hopelessness, fear, sadness, grief, etc. I know it will get better but right now, it seems a long way off.

Carriebp~I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Your story sounds very similar to mine. I also felt like I had lost my best friend. I think that was the hardest part. He was there for me when I went through some really deep issues. Although I knew I made the right choice for me, I felt like a terrible person for the longest time. I definitely idealized him and thought that he could do no wrong. Looking back two years later, I don't feel like he was all that innocent. There were times that he was selfish and made me feel bad for doubting our relationship. He also offended my family on numerous occassions. I was thankful to have friends and family to lean on me and reassure me that I made the right decision. I also went through therapy to assist in the grief process. It really helped me to journal my feelings and write down why I didn't want to marry him, and what bothered me about him. <br />
<br />
Grief sucks. I can't lie about that. You'll never forget him, but eventually this will become a thing of the past, and the memories will start to fade. Be good to yourself, cry when you need to, sleep and eat well, and make yourself a priority. He will be ok--don't put yourself at fault. You are not responsible for his feelings. You would have only hurt him further if you couldn't love him back in a bad marriage.

I just broke up with my fiance'. We had only been engaged for 6 months, but we had been together for 5 years. He was my bestfriend. I realized some time ago that there were some things he needed to work on, but back then they seemed so small and trivial. I just thought that as he aged he would mature, and find his own way toward being a more responsible, dependable man. I was wrong. As the wedding grew closer I started to see more and more red flags signaling that he wasn't the one. Then today, I just knew. It wasn't going to work. To make matters worse, I got the call saying my wedding dress was being shipped to my house, and should be here by next week. He was the nicest guy that I ever knew. He just wasn't right for me. He had issues with the future, and what failing to plan for the future could mean for our marriage. Anyway, I am miserable, I feel like the scum of the earth, because I just broke my best friend's heart. So now who do I talk to about my pain? I lost my love, my friend, and our wedding all in one day. <br />
I know I will get over this one day, but today is not the day.

HOw did things work out for you both?

Hope you can get throngh this and find your real life. AND BE HAPPY!