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anonymous5678 04-19-2009 09:42 PM

Please Help. I am engaged but in love with someone else.
The long and the short of it is - My fiance and I are getting married in 3 months, and I am in love with someone else. I love my fiance...but I am IN love with another. I know the immediate response I will get is - don't get married. But it is not that simple. I could post pages and pages of explanation and my thoughts...but I will try to make it more to the point.

I have been with my fiance for almost 10 years (engaged for 2) and we are in our mid twenties. We have had our ups and downs and even broke up for almost a year when I thought we would be getting engaged. He apparently thought differently. But we made it through that and I never looked back. My fiance is a great guy - one of those genuine guys that are hard to come by. But we have lost all passion for one another over the years. I know that he and I could live relatively happily...more as good friends than of those "good enough" marriages, as they say. I know he will be a great dad and would do anything for me. But there is something huge missing from our relationship - the connection...somewhat physical...somewhat spiritual, etc.

Enter guy #2. I have known him for almost 3 years and we immediately had a connection. There was a time a few years ago when there was definitely an "emotional affair" taking place between us. He always told me he just wanted me to be happy. He said I needed to make a decision about my relationship, independent from my involvement with him. To me, this was impossible. I wouldn't be in the predicament I am in if I hadn't met him. I firmly believe this...there is something about heart aches for is unlike anything I have felt in a long time. I flat-out told him "if you just want me to be happy - what if I said it was you who made me happy, what then?" By that time some months had passed and he was more involved with a girl he had been dating before we ever met. At that point, we went our separate ways and talked here and there for brief moments. I continued to plan my wedding and resigned myself to the fact that the passion is going to die out in most relationships, and I'll be happy with someone who cares about me as much as my fiance does.

Fast forward to about 3 months ago when guy #2 slowly creeps back into the picture. That feeling in my heart gets stronger again...I think about him constantly (although a day never went by when I didn't think of him during the time we weren't really speaking)...I have that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach like everything is turning upside-down again. Meanwhile he is still with his girlfriend who he has proclaimed is not the right person for him. It appears we are both really screwed up. It is not the kind of situation where, if I broke off my engagement, we would run into each other's arms and live happily ever after. As messed up as this all sounds - I know he doesn't want to be the reason for breaking up a relationship like this - and I know he hasn't been allowing himself to feel for me as strongly as I do him. I know the potential is there but he has a lot more strength than I do.

There are so many details and seemingly important points I am leaving out - but of course I can't explain everything. I am just looking for some guidance and I know the obvious answer...but like I said, I am engaged to a great guy that I know I COULD be happy with. My family and I have invested tens of thousands of dollars into a fast-approaching wedding. If we had gotten married 3-4 years ago like I had always planned, I think I would be happily married with a few kids by now. It is not as easy as cancelling the wedding for an unknown. No matter what the reason, if I were to even suggest cancelling or postponing the wedding, I feel like my family would hate me.

So many marriages end in divorce and I used to be the girl who would never accept a divorce for myself. This whole situation has changed me in so many ways. I have caught myself accepting the possibility of a future divorce. I don't like myself or my thoughts most of the time. I know I am a good person inside and I am deeply compassionate - which does cloud my judgement at times.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I feel like I'm getting older but really I am still so young... a lost, confused little girl who loves to love and wants to please everyone. Please help...where do I go from here...?

Soibhan 04-19-2009 09:51 PM

Re: Please Help. I am engaged but in love with someone else.
I'm sure your fiance is a great guy, and if so..........don't you think he deserves to be with someone who is truly, and passionately IN LOVE with him? Breaking up would definitely be hurtful now, but in all fairness to this great guy, he deserves happiness. You do too. Even if guy #2 isn't Mr. Right, there IS someone out there for you. With so many doubts I think it would be wise to call it off and get your own life together. A marriage that is simply "good enough" is NEVER the real thing. Love, respect, and committment are the foundations of a lasting relationship. Please don't go into a marriage thinking if it doesn't work out you can just get a divorce. It's never that easy, especially if children are involved. Please, think this over carefully! Good luck to you.

redsoxgirl2418 04-19-2009 09:58 PM

Re: Please Help. I am engaged but in love with someone else.
You said at the end of your post that you want to please everyone...but that's not really the impression I'm getting from the rest of your post. I"m getting more like, you aren't happy but you don't want to face the consequences of your somewhat irresponsible actions of agreeing to marry a guy you don't feel true love for and having an emotional affair with another man. Yes, people are going to be upset at first if you call off this wedding--first and foremost, your fiance, but I'm sure your parents will be a little disappointed--esp. if you are doing a good job of hiding this and it hits them like a runaway train, but again, it is your fault for letting it get this far. You're young--you can hardly even refer to your "relationship" with this guy as 10 years long, you would have been 15! That's not really the time you pick your soul mate. You need to face the music now and end everything. It will NOT NOT NOT be easier to just go through with the wedding and deal with this afterward. You're in your 20's and not even married yet and you are already somewhat involved with someone else, you will surely cheat at some point in this marriage. Honestly, if there was any chance that you wouldn't cheat, you would have made certain to never contact this other man you are in love with. Doing that speaks volumes about your character. Don't play the victim here, because everything that you are afraid to face right now is your fault. Do the honorable thing and end your engagement.

anonymous5678 04-19-2009 10:13 PM

Re: Please Help. I am engaged but in love with someone else.
I know this is my fault and never claimed to be a victim. I was a senior in high school when we started dating and can't say I ever believed in "soul mates" to begin with. I didn't have a choice as to whether or not to have contact with the other person because we work together. Believe me, I never had to seek him out for contact - it is unavoidable.

I will reiterate the fact that I do love my fiance. I feel like this goes both ways because the "spark" has obviously died out on both ends. However, my big question is - say we do break up and move on - who's to say that the same thing won't happen with the next person. I don't know many couples who are passionately in love with one another after decades together - not to say they don't love each other deeply - but I think that passion and spark are not everlasting in most cases.

Larrylou'smom 04-19-2009 10:26 PM

Re: Please Help. I am engaged but in love with someone else.
anonymous - I think your problem is quite common. In fact we've seen it many times on these boards. It's common to be torn between Mr. Security Man, 9 to 5, dependable, reliable, good breadwinner, would make a good provider, a faithful, reliable husband and good father, but the relationship is more like good friends rather than lovers and true soul mates. then there's another guy who has all the passion and romantic love, but with whom a future is less certain. Which you choose depends on what you want more.

I do think that entering into a marriage with the attitude "well, if it doesn't work I can always get a divorce" is not a good idea. Marriage is hard enough without going into it when you're not sure it's really what you want. You say you KNOW you could be happy with your fiance. If you're so sure, then why are you hesitating? I don't think you are that sure. I think you want something more than your fiance will ever be able to give you, and you are afraid of the consequences of breaking the engagement, especially since so much money has already been shelled out for the wedding. But again, this is your life you're talking about. What's money compared to your happiness and well being?

I agree that you can't end your engagement just for this other guy. things may not work out with him. He may decide to stay with the other girl. You have to figure out what you really really want, how do you see your life in 5, 10, 15 years? What would you regret more? Having a nice home and kids with a man you don't really love, having to deal with the highs and lows of everyday life with someone you never really loved, giving up the chance to find someone you can really love, or taking a chance on finding love and maybe not finding it and maybe ending up single and childless? Do some soul searching and know yourself enough to know what is more important to you. Who knows? You could take a risk and end up getting it all. A well known woman we all know of was engaged to someone when she met a man through her work. They were drawn to each other and she broke off her engagement in order to date him. 11 years later, they are by all accounts very happily married still with three lovely girls and they say they know they will be together forever. Wahtever you choose will take courage, maybe more than you want to have, but again, this is your life we're talking about. this is not the time for people pleasing or worrying about how your family will react. Only you know what will make you truly happy, and only you will be unhappy if you don't get it.

p.s. just saw your most recent post - were you ever passionately iIN love with your fiance? You say you 'lost" that spark. Why can't you get it back?

I also think it depends on what the "spark" is based on. I think if it's based on deep compatibility, common goals, values and world view, deep and abiding respect and chemistry, it can last.

There's no guarantee that the "spark" won't fade with someone new, but again, I think it depends on what it's based on and how willing both parties are to work at keeping it alive.

negot 04-20-2009 12:29 AM

Re: Please Help. I am engaged but in love with someone else.
What stand out in you post is that you aren't even married yet and you already talk about possible divorce. Married life can be hard enough but it is very hard if you enter the marriage thinking about divorce. Divorce isn't something you just decide, It is often very hard emotionally for both people and not to mention if you have children. Please think hard and long before you get married. Money and what people will say is secondary compared to the pain of future divorce.
Another thing that stands out in your post and which is even more important than the first one is that your post sound selfish. It is all about you and how you feel. What about your fiance? How would he feel if he read your post? Why don't you think that he deserves somebody who loves him? Do you think that he wants to marry somebody who thinks about another man? You have already cheated on your fiance, you cheated emotionally. Did you tell your fiance about the other guy and how you told the other guy that he may be able to make you happy? Please be nice to your fiance and break up with him.

pendulum 04-20-2009 06:15 AM

Re: Please Help. I am engaged but in love with someone else.
Yes, I think your main problem is your thinking your family will hate you. You don't want to be the bad girl who breaks up a promising relationship and somehow brings disgrace to both families. That is too heavy a load for you to carry.

I'd like to have more personal information about you, such as: are you an only child? how far did you go with your schooling and education? do you have a job? etc

Since I don't have the information, I'll give some general advice, as you are asking for.

I'm no authority on marriages. I've only had two marriages so far, but I wouldn't be very wrong to tell you that it doesn't really matter whom you marry in the long run; you're going to have some kind of clash along the road. All married couples do, but of course problems can be more or less difficult to solve depending on the partners, and possibly more so, the younger they are.

Being in love with someone is no guarantee that marrying them will be totally successful. On the other hand, that the spark is gone doesn't mean that you can't have it back. There are ways to make it happen, but again the ways may not be 100% successful.

You're confused. In this case, you should not marry this guy. Forget about the other guy. He is just like smoke for the time being. You hardly know him well enough. Talk to your mother first. You don't have to mention the other guy. Tell her that you don't want to marry now because you are not sure any more. You want to focus on another area of your life. You don't mean to hurt anyone, although you probably will, but this is very important for your mental and physical health. You want to pursue your education, follow a career, reach economic independence, before settling down. You are aware of the risks of your decision, but you know you can't simply forget about your future as an independent human being. Then talk to your fiancÚ. By this time, I hope you'll have the emotional support of your mother at least.

They may be angry with you for a while (and they are entitled to it, you know), but as soon as they realize that you are getting involved with educational or professional projects for your future, the anger is likely to subside. Be firm and consistent with your intentions.

While I am of the opinion that a woman is the foundation of a family, I also believe that in modern times it's essential for most women to achieve a relative economic independence both from their parents and husbands. So that's what I think you have to do.

In the meantime it's better to avoid getting in contact with the other guy. Put him on the backburner, so to say, until you can talk to him from a more stable position.

trystme 04-20-2009 06:56 AM

Re: Please Help. I am engaged but in love with someone else.
Ugh, this is a really hard place that you are in right now. A friend of mine went through something similar. She knew straight up that she didn't want to marry her high-school sweetheart but felt that since all of the arrangements had been made she had to go through with it. They were divorced within the year. There were no children involved. She met her now husband while she was still married to her first husband. It was love at first sight/soul mate, the things that dreams are made of. They are still married 20 years later with 3 kids.

I was with my high-school sweetheart on and off for 13 years. I didn't break up with him until I met my now husband. Once we broke up, a older male friend of mine said that he was a firm believer that you can't be grown up with a person that you grew up with. He said that he could see staying with my bf all those years was holding me back, keeping me in highschool on an emotional and spiritual level. Looking back I could see that he was right.

I think that you are settling. You say that all realationships die out and the passion goes away, but I disagree completely. I love my husband (we have been together 11 years) more and more every day in ways that I never thought possible and in ways that were never possible with my hs bf.

Do the hard thing and call off the wedding now or do the harder thing later and get a divorce. Those are your two choices.

brokenhearted83 04-20-2009 07:31 AM

Re: Please Help. I am engaged but in love with someone else.
If you marry your finance you will only leave him when you come across someone else who will have you. Then you will feel enough security to leave.

This other guy is not giving you that security in leaving your finance.

End the engagement...this relationship with your long term partner is not working. You will leave him in the future if not now.

He doesn't deserve that. Nor do you.

pendulum 04-20-2009 08:19 AM

Re: Please Help. I am engaged but in love with someone else.
One more thing...

I should think that your mother and maybe even your fiancÚ know that this marriage is a mistake. If they don't know it concretely, they have an intuition at least. They may have difficulty accepting the break-up, because they have invested so much, but they innerly know that it's the "better" option here.

Mary83 04-20-2009 09:23 AM

Re: Please Help. I am engaged but in love with someone else.
I do think you should break it off with your fiance. I am one of those people that would never want to settle for a "good enough" marriage. In addition to that, your chances of being unfaithful are very high if you aren't "in love" and passionately happy. That's not fair to your future husband, and although it will break his heart, it's much harder to leave when you're married. I think the only fair thing to do for both yourself and your future husband is to end it with him.

Now, for the other guy, there's a good chance that these feelings you have for him are the "new in love" feelings, and yes, those too may fade if you get into a relationship. It's also possible that you have such strong feelings for him because you know you can't have him. Things always seem so much greater from a distance. But, if you break it off with your fiance, you may have the opportunity to explore those feelings and see if they are real or not. The thing is that all relationships have ups and downs and ins and outs of loves. But that love usually comes back. You won't always have the "new in love" feeling with someone, unfortunately, that fades and never comes back. But, you should still be in love with the person you're going to marry, more than just comfortable. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

Redneon82 04-20-2009 10:35 AM

Re: Please Help. I am engaged but in love with someone else.
I say, please don't marry him. I did marry the guy who was "good enough", because he kind of gave me an ultimatum ("marry me or I'll break up with you") and because the plans had been made, I had a dress, etc. We lasted 12 years and divorced, with one child, and both of us having outside relationships because I wasn't "in love", and he wanted to feel that spark and didn't have it with me, so he looked outside the marriage. If I'd just stuck to my guns we wouldn't have had to go through all that.

I don't completely regret my marriage because I have my son, and he's precious to me, but I could have avoided putting all of us through that pain if I'd just listened to my inner voice.

And you can find that spark with someone else and perhaps not always feel "new relationship giddy", but they can still be that person you look forward to seeing every day.

anonymous5678 04-20-2009 10:36 AM

Re: Please Help. I am engaged but in love with someone else.
Thanks everyone, for the advice. It seems obvious what I have to do, but so hurtful. Despite what some of you may think, I am trying NOT to be selfish here. Of course I want my fiance to have someone who is completely in love with him and not thinking of someone else. However, I know he is not completely in love with me either...but he would never be the one to say anything because we broke up a few years ago and decided we wouldn't get back together unless this was IT. Wrong approach, I know. But the first break-up was so painful that getting back together didn't seem right unless we made this pact.

Pendulum - to answer your questions. No, I am not an only child. I have a sister. But I was adopted as an infant and have always had severe separation anxiety. I have a master's degree and an excellent career. I am financially independent. I don't know if that helps formulate your opinion/advice...

pendulum 04-20-2009 10:54 AM

Re: Please Help. I am engaged but in love with someone else.

Pendulum - to answer your questions. No, I am not an only child. I have a sister. But I was adopted as an infant and have always had severe separation anxiety. I have a master's degree and an excellent career. I am financially independent. I don't know if that helps formulate your opinion/advice...[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the information. I won't touch the fact that you were adopted as an infant, because this is beyond your original question and it doesn't seem to be pertinent here, anyway. Nevertheless, I understand your "separation anxiety" and I think you should do something about it. Have you ever heard about EMDR?

Yes, the fact that you have an excellent career and are financially independent reinforces the opinion I have already given. Yet, it is just an opinion, and you know better than anyone of us.

rudiraven 04-20-2009 11:23 AM

Re: Please Help. I am engaged but in love with someone else.
Your fiance may be thinking the same thing but he would never call it off because he wouldn't want to hurt you and be the "bad guy". Be the brave one and call it off before you both make a mistake, but don't do it for this "other guy". He doesn't want you. His statement "I just want you to be happy" is his way of sounding like he cares. He's just stringing you along because he feels safe since your "engaged" and about to be married. It flatters him that you want him. Watch how fast he's out of the picture when you cancel the wedding. :( It seems you just need more time to decide what you really want. Marriage should be a lifetime commitment and not entered into lightly. Too many broken homes and damaged children because of selfish people. Be strong and do the right thing. :) I wish you the best.

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