‘He Keeps Leaving Me’
Her fiancé jilted her twice. Should she wait for him?
I was in a great relationship with
Dave* for almost two years. When
he proposed, I accepted. This would
have been my first marriage 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 and refused
to see me. Then, after two difficult
months, we exchanged apologies
and started to rebuild our relationship. But he recently left again,
saying he needed to think. He hasn’t
called. Should I wait for him or forget him? —Dumped and Devastated
ILLUSTRATION BY KAGAN MCLEOD
*Names and identifying details have been changed.
THE CIRCLE SAYS
Response #1 Walk away. You
deserve better than this. It seems his
ex-wife still has a place in his heart,
whether he’s willing to admit it or not.
You don’t erase 25 years of memories
in two short years. Rebound relationships like this are doomed to fail.
So join a dance club or go on a cruise
and meet someone who is truly ready
for a new relationship.
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 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 en-
gaged to a man who just left a 25-year
marriage seems like desperation for
both of you. It may be painful now, but
you control your future. Don’t let him
interfere with your peace of mind.
I finally called Dave. He told me 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,
and he gave me the “I wish you the
best” line. I should have gotten the
message earlier. 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