AARP’s online community is a kind of wisdom circle
that draws on the shared experiences of AARP members.
This column is adapted from an online discussion.
‘Why Does He Keep Leaving Me?’
Her fiancé jilted her twice, and she wonders if she should let go
THE CIRCLE SAYS
Response #1 Walk away.
ILLUSTRATION BY KAGAN MCLEOD
I was in a wonderful relationship with Dave* for almost
two years. When he asked me to marry him, I accepted.
This would have been my first marriage—I’m 58—and his
second. (He divorced his wife two years ago after spending 25 years in what he says was an “unhappy marriage.”)
After he proposed, I wondered whether he was ready for
this next step. Sure enough, he canceled our engagement,
moved out, and refused to see me. Then, after two agonizing months, we exchanged apologies and started to rebuild
our relationship. Though things weren’t as blissful, we were
getting back on track. But he recently left again, saying it
“didn’t feel the same” and he needed to think. He hasn’t
called, and it’s killing me. Should I wait for him, forget him,
or insist on an explanation? —Dumped and Devastated
some time to heal, you’ll
realize he’s done you a big
favor by leaving.
Response #3 I can
imagine how confusing this
seems, but getting engaged
to a man who just left a
25-year marriage seems like
desperation—for both of you.
It may be painful now, but at
least you control your future.
You’ve been successful
on your own all these years.
Don’t let him interfere with
your peace of mind.
*Names and identifying details have been changed.
I finally broke down and called Dave. He said there was no other woman, repeating he “just
didn’t feel the same.” I’ve endured breakups before, but never from a relationship I was so
sure about. It’s been a struggle. About a month later I e-mailed him to see if we could be
friendly, since we travel in the same circles. That’s when I found out he’s seeing someone
else—I guess he’s not struggling—and he gave me the “I wish you the best” line. I should have
gotten the message when he broke our engagement. I’m better now that I know it’s over,
and I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my life. —Adapted by Karen Westerberg Reyes
THE RESOLUTION Response #2 I’ve had
more of these experiences
than I can count, including
four marriages that ended
in divorce. I know things are
hard now and wish I could
tell you a painless way to
overcome it. After you’ve had
HOW TO JOIN
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