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You Asked: My Ex Is Engaged

DearSugar
I recently found out from a mutual friend that my ex, whom I dated for about two years, got engaged. I'd be lying if I said I didn't care, but the problem is I don't understand why I am so upset. Here's the scoop in the short version.

When my ex and I met, we instantly fell in love and he often talked about us getting married. We had a great relationship for the most part. At times he was controlling and after about a year, he cheated on me a few times and I caught him in a few lies. I ended it with him right after, which was the hardest thing to do. About 4 months later, we tried to work things out but the trust was gone and the relationship couldn't be saved. We've been broken up for almost 3 years, and my question is . . . why am I still so upset to hear he got engaged? -- Hung-up Heidi

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Hung-up Heidi --

Getting over a serious relationship is never easy, and it can painful when a ex appears to have fallen in love with someone else, no matter the experience of the relationship. You broke up with this man for many very, very good reasons: he wasn't treating you with love or respect; he was lying; and you didn't want a future with someone who betrayed you and who controlled you, so I implore you to focus on the facts of the past instead of any fantasy of his present life or future. You did the best thing, the hard thing and the right thing, Heidi. There is no other version of this story, and I suspect some of your pain comes from that truth.

I'm concerned you might be imagining that your ex is treating his fiance differently than the way he treated you, Hung-up Heidi. Most men with serious controlling behaviors don't change, or they don't change without dedicated effort and counseling. In fact, his actions could have been the beginning stages of an abusive relationship. We can't say who he is now or what he's like, but you know -- and still know -- that a decent relationship with him was impossible for you. Marriage and love do not guarantee fidelity, integrity or commitment; character does.

As time passes, some people find themselves romanticizing past relationships. They highlight the good memories and downplay the bad ones; in this way, they forget the cost and actual details of their experience. This can be a way to distance one's self from the pain; it can also be a way to manage other difficult feelings, like anger or fear. Connect with the truth of that relationship again, Hung-up Heidi. Please remember yourself and trust yourself. The decision you made was the right one. I want there to be comfort in that for you, more comfort than whatever temporary upset you might be feeling now.

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Jeny Jeny 8 years
I DEFINITELY understand.. I was with my ex fiance for 2 1/2 years and broke it off for the same reasons.. cheating, lieing, even some abuse.. And after the one again off again few months after, I finally left him alone and one year later, he's married! With a baby on the way! I was a bit bothered but I thank my lucky stars everyday that I'm not the girl stuck in a marriage with a baby who's father is an abusive cheater!
Marci Marci 9 years
Very well said, Valeri. And I think your first sentence nails it.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
because it feels like he won. he's the one in a permenant relationship ridding off into the sunset and you're still alone. you were the injuried party and he got the prize. but it only looks that way now. people don't change, so in reality this poor woman is marrying someone with a history of lying and cheating on their partner who will likey continue to do so. not much of a prize do you think? i was in the same position you are before i met my husband. about a year and a half after he was married (and had a kid) he came to see me (i had since moved out of state). seriously, if things with your ex were what they seem to be it would be worth being upset, but they aren't. be glad you got out of that relationship, commitment only means something if both partners follow the rules, your ex doesn't. better things are ahead for you :) "heh-hu-ha-hu-heh-he-ha-hu; that's the woody wood pecker song"
nycgirl nycgirl 9 years
I think it's perfectly normal for you to be upset. 2 of my ex's are married, and even though I am engaged, when I found out, it really threw me for a loop too, and I was sad. I think the most impactful part: you realize that you were not 'the one' for him despite having talked marriage (I did too), and you need to avoid feeling the negative fallout of that-- like maybe you weren't good enough, maybe you were too pushy/naggy/etc... Don't think of those things at all!!! You'll hurt because you loved him very much, and even though you're not in love with him anymore, of course you'll always care. You can't just STOP feeling anything for someone you cared so much about. So it's normal, acknowledge that it's normal, and don't focus on the negativity. Instead think, you know what, if he can find someone who will marry him, with all his problems, I definitely can!!! For me, each sickening realization that my ex was married now lasted probably 3 wks, and I got over it. Focus on your life and happiness, and it will help you get over it :)
Marci Marci 9 years
Not to minimize your feelings, but I think this is a common reaction when hearing about the engagement of someone we were intimately involved in. I think your feelings are normal. DS is right that we romanticize our past; those bad memories tend to be hazier as time passes. But there was lying and cheating in your relationship with this guy....so, there's no question you made the right decision. Let someone else deal with those issues with him. You're better off where you are now.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 9 years
Dear has some good advise, I don't think you miss being with him, I think you miss the idea of being with who you wished he could be. Now that he is engaged you are obviously thinking that if things had gone differently that it would be you engaged instead of the other girl. But in reality you know you did the right thing by leaving the relationship when you did. That is NOT the type of guy you want to spend the rest of your life with! You should feel sorry for the other woman, not yourself, you know what she has gotten herself into and it's not a good thing! Be happy that you are now free to find a wonderful man who will value and respect you and your relationship. I think your thoughts and feelings are normal, but realistically, I think you know things worked out in your best interest.
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