The Engagement is Broken. How Do You Fix the Heart?

Hey, Sarah.  How are you?  

I have a question. I am having trouble dealing with my breakup from my fiancée. It was almost two whole months
ago. The thing is, before we got together we were friends for like ten years.  That is why I think it’s bothering me. She wants to remain friends. I’m not sure I can though. I’ve tried, but it kind of feels like she just wants to be friends to have somebody to come to in case her new life doesn’t work out. I don’t let women walk all over me. How do I tell if she’s sincere about being friends and how do I get it off my mind? It is always on my mind.  I was married before and it hurt really bad when i got divorced. This time I was only engaged and it feels worse though and I don’t know why.  Help, please!!! 



I’m sure she really is being sincere about wanting to remain friends, and of course she wants to have you around for back-up – she trusts you.
However, it’s a little unfair to you, and right now it’s way too early for that anyway.  You’re not allowing yourself any time to heal from the breakup of your engagement. You can’t just push the rewind button and simply go back to being friends like you were before the proposal.

I don’t want to make this about me, but it’s the easiest way to explain it all.  In my experience of going through a divorce (without children), it really was easier than simply breaking up with someone that I loved.  Years and years ago I dated a guy for a very short time.  I was head over heels for him.  That’s not true.  I was heart and soul over any rational thinking for him.  It was a very short, six-month relationship, but one that even eleven years later, still likes to make an appearance in my thoughts.  (My loving, amazing husband is very well aware and understanding of this, Whistle Blowers.)  The reason these thoughts still linger is because there was never truly an end to it.  For many reasons, we couldn’t be together anymore.  Our ages, our lifestyles and outside influences weren’t allowing it to be.  But, even after it was over, there was still so much love.

The difference between that relationship and my divorce is that my divorce had absolute and complete finalization.  It was over, we signed the papers, and I washed my hands of it with the strongest antibacterial soap money could buy.  Divorce is a long process and one that forces you to come to grips with everything that was wrong.  I can still consider my ex-husband a friend, but a friend with whom I shared a lengthy past, and no more.

I suggest you really take a look at the reasons this engagement has been broken and let them sink in.  Of all things, engagements particularly aren’t called off “just because”.  That’s a pretty huge deal, and must have been gut-wrenching on one or both sides.  Something very special made you guys fall in love after ten years of friendship, so that feeling is going to continue sneaking up into your thoughts and disguising all of the real reasons that made you guys break up.  So, at this delicate time, hanging out with her, talking with her, or just knowing that she’s always around the corner is like constantly pulling the stitches out of an open wound.  How can it ever heal?  It won’t be easy, and it may take a while, but you should give yourself some time away from her.  This means cutting off all communication.  If she really wants to remain friends, she’ll respect that you need temporary separation from her in order to move on and live a life where YOU are back in 1st place.  Of course, you are going to have to decide how long temporary is.  You’ll know when that nagging wound has finally closed.


Does anyone else have any thoughts for my friend here?


  1. Spaaaaace !! You both need time apart from each other 100% No contact, no emails, no late night txts, no friendly lunches.. nothing. Time is needed so you can both sort yourself out, realize that there are other people in the world other than each other and that life does go on

  2. I agree. Even though relationships may not end on a good note, I do think it’s possible to at least mend them in a way where the anger over the break up doesn’t sit on your conscience. I told someone this just yesterday…Even if I know I’m not necesarily in the wrong, I’ll still do my part to fix the situation so it’s at least off my mind. The other person can do what they want with my apology. Fortunately, in my situation, my ex-husband was also a really great guy, so that made it easier.

  3. I haven’t been able to stay friends with any of my exes and especially my ex-wife. Maybe it’s because me and my ex wife broke up on pretty bad terms. It would probably be a nice thing not to have her as enemy since we were together for a long time. I say if you do get a chance to stay friends sometime that’s pretty cool.

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