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Ending an engagement

Community Member

My fiance and I have recently called off our engagement after 2.5 years of being engaged.

It has finally been a mutual decision, as the relationship was looking to be unviable. I still love him and the grief I am feeling is just like the feeling of a death in the family. All I can think about is how I should have been nicer and showed him more love, been more excited about planning our wedding, how he went out on a limb and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him, and thinking only about the good times - even though there were so many signs we just weren’t roght for each other in too many ways. In reality, though, we failed a few important tests when times got hard.

I feel like I’ll always worry about how he is and that I’ll miss out of experiencing life with him.

I feel so much guilt, that he never got to enjoy planning a wedding with me. He had so much courage to ask me to marry him, and I feel like I didn’t put any effort in.

Does this pain go away? Will I ever want to be with anyone else - because right now I couldn’t think of anything I’d want less, and I feel like it would be disrespectful to my fiance.

What can I do to get on with my life a little quicker? I have booked a holiday for December, but is there anything else you could suggest? I have anxiety sometimes and I have a tendency to reminisce and ruminate about particular memories.

Thanks, if you can offer any suggestions.

Is there anyone amongst you who could speak from experience?

6 Replies 6

Community Member

Hi Gelati,

Its really great that you are reaching out on the beyondblue forum as coming to the end of relationship can be a really difficult time for the best of us. After reading your post I am really confident that you will get through this breakup as you first of all have great insight into how you are feeling and have already started to plan things that will help you get on with your life. Booking a holiday in December and having something to look forward to is a fantastic first step. You might even consider booking into a course that you have been meaning to take or an activity to get you out of the house and concentrating on something even if it is only a few hours a week.

As for your anxiety and ruminating thoughts, this can be tough. I have described the experience similar to sitting in a rocking chair and trying to get to the other side of the room. The thoughts don't get you anywhere and can be exhausting. Giving your mind some rest can be a really important first step and this can often be achieved by trying something like mindfulness. Resting your mind will allow it to be more refreshed. There is a great app called Smiling Mind that a lot of people have used to help practice mindfulness.

Having someone to talk with is also really important - do you have a close friend or family member you trust to talk with about the breakup and your feelings? Reaching out through the forum is great to as many people would have gone through a similar experience. Another option could be to use an online course like MindSpot which has a Wellbeing Course that can help learn skills and strategies to manage anxiety and low mood. Another one that is quite popular is mood gym.



If you are feeling that you can't self manage your symptoms and they start causing you to have insomnia or can't concentrate at all at work or school, it is a good idea to talk with your GP.

Experiencing the loss of a relationship and the other feelings of guilt and worry are really difficult but you are already on the right track towards healing. It is important to try to keep moving forward and by booking activities to look forward to, trying mindfulness, and talking to someone regularly - you will get through this in time.

Wishing you the best possible outcome,

Nurse Jenn

Dear Jenn,

I very much appreciate the time and thought you have put into your suggestions - and they are great ones. Thank you.

The ruminating is not through the roof or interfering with my daily life or work, thankfully. But it’s tempting to do it and remember back to e.g. the day we got engaged when I felt so safe knowing that there was someone by my side who promised to be there for me through thick and thin and the only thing he wantednin the world was me. Sadly it turned out we didn’t make it so easily through some of the more challenging scenarios and perhaps didn’t show the support for each other that we needed to justify spending a life together. The rocking chair analogy is particularly familiar.

But I do take your point about giving my mind a break - and your suggestions are excellent. I particularly like the idea of enrolling in a course.

Gosh I miss him, but at the same time I knew we weren’t quite happy enough together. He was the first person I said “I love you” to, so my heart is feeling fairly battered right now and I’m afraid I drove things to be as bad as they were.

He’s friends with my brother and his wife so I guess I’ll get to hear from time to time whether he’s ok.

Community Member

Hi Gelati,

I can relate. I was engaged for 2 years when my fiance ended it with me. As it was by email, I felt worthless, disregarded and undesirable. I got through it by talking to people about my experience. Often the people who think the clearest and make the most sense, are the ones not inside the box surrounded by emotions and feelings.

I also focused on my future and my plans from there on out. Kept busy, made new friends and tried new things. I even found it helpful to focus on certain things that weren't working in the relationship, or things I won't miss about him.It's hard at first, but it gets easier and you'll feel liberated. Not right now, but soon.

Dear Phantmlvr,

I’m sorry to hear you went through that.

Yes, it’s hard to think of the things that didn’t work for us - something about our human nature must highlight the good things and cloud our judgement, hey? I think I miss the friendship the most, and I’m lonely.

But your tips are wonderful. I’m so grateful for your and Jenn’s responses.

Thanks so much. Hoping you have a lovely week. Best wishes.

Community Member

Hi Gelati,

Just wanted to start by saying that you've done the right thing. It's going to hurt, you're going to feel awful, but you've done the right thing. My husband and I are not right for each other and I ignored all the warning signs that you were able to pay attention too and now I'm struggling with the fact that I want a divorce and have ruined all his dreams. So I know the feelings of guilt and regret that you speak of. We can't help it that we aren't right for the people we once held above all else. Sometimes we have different pathswe must follow. But I understand the pain you must be feeling.

But that pain WILL go away, you WILL get better, you WILL want to be with someone else and so will he. Focus on you. Focus on building yourself up little by little each day. Surround yourself with friends and family, find a hobby you love, pursue your career. I'm finding myself moving on a little more each day, although I have moments of massive guilt and sadness, it gets easier.

I'm sorry I'm not more help, I just wanted to let you know that you've done the right thing. I wish I had had the guts to discuss my feelings and end our engagement before we got married, because although I loved him then, the "this isn't right" is too hard to ignore now.

You were brave, you did the right thing, and you will get better.

Community Member

Hi Jacjack. I’m so sorry I hadn’t seen your post. So this is a very belated thank you. It was so great to hear from someone who has experienced the same dilemma. I am feeling a lot better now. I do still have the occasional slight feeling of sadness for what I have lost but overall I am a happier person. 2019 will be a good year, I’m sure of it 🙂

I’m hoping you are feeling ok now and that you also are gradually recovering.

Best wishes.