Not ready to be just friends


#1

My boyfriend and I dated for two years, he had promised he wanted to get engaged – in fact he was the one who always brought up the subject of marriage and engagement. I always said not to bring it up unless he was sure, and he told me he had never been so sure of anything in the world. I was so happy with him, but then seemingly out of the blue, he broke up with me. He said he wasn’t sure about God’s will for him, and that he needed to discern and we couldn’t be together while he did that.

The next day he called me asking for the ring he gave me back. I asked him if I could keep it, since he gave it to me, and he said to think whatever I want but he would get it back because he needed the money. He event threatened to call the police if I didn’t give it back…I’d never seen him so cold. :frowning:

Its hard for me to let go of the many promises he broke, and I have to admit I still love him. I think he’s a good guy with a good heart, but he just has a lot of things to figure out in his life. He never apologized, and its only been about four days and he keeps asking me if we can still be friends. I think that hurts more than anything. Eveytime he asks me that it breaks my heart, because I’m not ready to be friends with someone I still love, and I don’t know if I ever will be. And when I tell him that, he says I’m selfish.

I don’t hate him at all. I forgive him for the things he did to hurt me, I knew he didn’t intend it. But I want him to leave me alone and let me move on and try to be happy. How can I make him see this? Should I just ignore him? That just seems really mean.


#2

Ignore him. Move on. Cut contact for a year [at the very least]. Pray for him. Focus on your life.


#3

Yes, you should ignore him. I know it seems mean, but it’s not. He is the one who broke up with you; now he needs to respect the fact that you need distance from him.

I would also give him the ring back. Was it an engagement ring, or something else? Either way, I think a good step in letting him go would be to get rid of it. Maybe it was a gift, but there is really no point in you keeping it.

It sounds like you know what you need at this point- no contact- and have communicated that to him and he is not being respectful of that. So you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands and just ignore him. Tell him that maybe someday you can be friends, but certainly not now, and that you will not be responding to any phone calls/emails/texts in the immediate future.

It is good that he told you he isn’t sure, at least he didn’t string you along. I’m not sure why he is acting out of character, but let him go figure out what he needs to figure out, and take care of yourself. You’re being smart, not selfish. Don’t let him make you think otherwise.


#4

i dont mean to be blunt but to suddenly change so drastically could be a sign that he has somebody else…maybe he wanted the ring to give to her? i think if he’s causing you that much pain then move on…if you do want to be friends then set a rule of no talking about anything to do with romance and relationships between the two of you cos if that subject arises then it will end up in tears or an arguement over what he did to you

good luck:thumbsup:


#5

He sounds pretty messed up…
First he says, "he wasn’t sure about God’s will for him, and that he needed to discern and we couldn’t be together while he did that."
Then - within four days, “…he keeps asking me if we can still be friends…”

As to the whole “ring” issue, legally since he gave you the ring it is yours. He has no claim on it. However - given the hurt he has given you, I see no reason to keep the ring and I would suggest returning it so that he has no further excuse to contact you.

My advice is this. Sit down and write him a letter explaining that he has hurt you deeply, but that you respect his need to seperate and discern God’s will for him. With that deisre in mind and heart, you are returning his ring so that you both may move on to whatever God has in mind for each of you.
Then explain that you desire no further communication from him and that you will not respond to any communication from him.

Peace
James


#6

And, yet, it’s time to let him go.

A good guy, with a good heart, doesn’t threaten to call the police on his just-jilted fiancee.

The answer is no.

The “we can be friends” idea is a big lie. You have feeling for him. You cannot be “just” his friend. And, to try will be to harm yourself emotionally. Move on.

Honey, be glad he showed his true colors before you walked down the aisle. Tell him to quit pestering you or YOU will be the one calling the police. Seriously, cut the contact and don’t respond to him.

Yes, ignore him. Don’t take his calls, emails, or whatever. Change your numbers/contact info if necessary. Defriend on facebook. Whatever it takes.

And, if he keeps bothering you, or starts showing up uninvited, you do need to get law enforcement involved.


#7

I would send the ring back to him by certified and insured mail, return receipt requested, and say nothing further to him. That will give you documentation that you in fact returned the ring.

I know that sounds incredibly cold. However, when he asked for his ring back and you were reluctant to do so, he threatened to call the police on you. In my life experience, friends don’t threaten to call the police on friends.

He gave the reason that he wanted the ring back as being that he needed the money. If you just give him the ring back without a receipt, who’s to say that he might not turn around, claim that you didn’t give the ring back, and sue you for the value of the ring? His current mixed messages indicate to me that he is capable of any sort of behavior.

The certified and insured mail receipt will demonstrate that you did return the ring (someone has to sign for the package.) And sending it back rather than returning it in person will spare you any traumatic emotional scenes. Sending it back in this way will also communicate your message that you do not want any contact at this time in no uncertain terms. The insurance receipt that you get will list the contents of the package along with the value of the insurance. That way there is no question that you did return it per his expressed wishes.

You can use caller ID on your phone (or even a blocking feature) to screen out phone calls. You can set up your e-mail filter to screen out e-mails from him.

There is a big difference between selfishness and stupidity. Keeping on torturing yourself by contact and musing about what might have been is just plain self-imposed misery. You’re not being selfish. You’re acting out of enlightened self-interest, which means having some dignity and refusing to place yourself in a situation where you are likely to be manipulated. God doesn’t demand that when we forgive someone, we place ourselves in a position of having to endure behaviors that are toxic to our emotional health, or dangerous to our salvation!

It sounds to me like this guy wants the best of both worlds–he wants his freedom and he wants to be able to have contact with you and perhaps try to get some “friendship with benefits,” which I believe is the current euphemism for a romantic relationship without strings or responsibility attached. That just plain don’t fly, on any level. It’s immature and irresponsible on his part, and an attempt to play on your sympathies and emotions. Don’t let him get away with it.

Pray for his soul, look back over the relationship and try to discern what lesson God was presenting to you during the course of it, and discern what can be applied in the future. Then move on in faith and hope that God has your best interests at heart, and wants you to live in Christian joy.

This relationship clearly wasn’t the way He wanted you to try to do that!

And yes, I would also get on my knees and thank Jesus that He showed you what this guy’s true colors are like before you ended up getting married. God has done you a tremendous favor, even though it doesn’t feel that way right now. Imagine a future with someone who is so thoroughly unreliable that he can change directions in midstream, leaving you to clean up the mess and deal with the consequences of a previous “good idea at the time.” Imagine a future where you are not only joined in love, but joined in all the responsibilities that marriage brings, and being joined to someone who has demonstrated his mercurial bent. You would have to shoulder all the responsibilities while he just skips through life. That isn’t a recipe for happiness.

God just did you a great favor. Go thank Him in prayer. Keep thanking Him, until you feel thankful that you were just spared a life of incredible misery and unnecessary hard work.


#8

give the ring back, why would you even want to keep such a reminder?
It does not sound like it was ever meant to be since you both wavered and held back at different times.


#9

Get on your knees and thank God for sparing you a possibly miserable marriage.
Return the ring. It breaks the engagement completely.
If you really, and truly want him to leave you alone call him up and explain that you respect his wishes to discern his own future but that he must respect your wishes to move on as well. In clear, crisp language tell him not to contact you anymore by phone, email, etc. and then wish him a happy future.

It is easier to endure an emotional break if you remove all physical contact with the other person.


#10

Generally, protocol is if you broke off the engagement, you should give the ring back. If he broke it off, it’s yours.

On a practical basis, he took you off of the market for other men. He made a commitment that he would provide for you for the rest of your life. He likely would have caused you to change plans (this would actually have been more dramatic in “the old days”). The token he gave that he was serious about it was that ring. He then broke the contract. In addition to the mental and emotional anguish he’s caused you, he has done real and material harm to you. There could have been somebody else that you could have met and fallen in love with while you were engaged to this guy. Any plans that you have made to merge your household with him would now be for naught. You may have passed up job opportunities, educational opportunities, and so forth because you recognized that you would be getting married and starting a family…

Frankly, if I was you, I’d go sell the ring (especially with gold at $1,500 an ounce)

And if he threatened some type of police action, I’d point out that the only one who is entitled to any legal relief in this situation is you: as he is guilty of breach of contract.

And, for those who think that I’m being uncharitable in my response, Canon Law is on her side:

Can. 1062 §2. A promise to marry does not give rise to an action to seek the celebration of marriage; an action to repair damages, however, does arise if warranted.
Layperson translation: you can’t get an ecclesiastical tribunal to force him to marry you, but you do have the right to approach an ecclesiastical tribunal to recoup material damages suffered as a result of a broken engagement. (Source: Canon Law Society of America, Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, p 1260)


#11

Good advice…But I suggest writing instead of calling for three reasons.

  1. He cannot interupt you while you are saying what you need to say and
  2. You can clearly word and if necessary edit your response before delivery so that you say exactly what you wish to. Plus you can copy it and keep one so you both konwo what you said.
  3. If you send it “receipt requested” (whether by e-mail or snail mail), you know he got it.

Peace
James


#12

I am planning on sending the ring back, it just kind of shocked me that he was so demanding about it I guess.

And thanks for the advice everyone. I know its hard now but as cliché as it sounds I know if it was meant to be it would have worked out. :blush:


#13

[quote="markomalley, post:10, topic:237094"]
On a practical basis, he took you off of the market for other men. He made a commitment that he would provide for you for the rest of your life. He likely would have caused you to change plans (this would actually have been more dramatic in "the old days"). The token he gave that he was serious about it was that ring. He then broke the contract. In addition to the mental and emotional anguish he's caused you, he has done real and material harm to you. There could have been somebody else that you could have met and fallen in love with while you were engaged to this guy. Any plans that you have made to merge your household with him would now be for naught. You may have passed up job opportunities, educational opportunities, and so forth because you recognized that you would be getting married and starting a family...

[/quote]

While I sort of understand what you're saying, an engagement is in no way equivalent to a marriage. While you should not propose to someone unless you intend to marry her, it's possible that this guy really believed it was the right thing, and only recently decided that it wasn't and that he needed some time to think clearly. I am not excusing his actions or the way he went about it, but it's much better for both of them that he figured this out before the wedding. This is the reason engaged couples are required to go through marriage preparation- just because you are engaged does not mean that it is wrong to break it off.

The pain of breaking off an engagement, though very real, is better than getting married to someone you aren't sure about.


#14

[quote="Katie966, post:13, topic:237094"]
While I sort of understand what you're saying, an engagement is in no way equivalent to a marriage. While you should not propose to someone unless you intend to marry her, it's possible that this guy really believed it was the right thing, and only recently decided that it wasn't and that he needed some time to think clearly. I am not excusing his actions or the way he went about it, but it's much better for both of them that he figured this out before the wedding. This is the reason engaged couples are required to go through marriage preparation- just because you are engaged does not mean that it is wrong to break it off.

The pain of breaking off an engagement, though very real, is better than getting married to someone you aren't sure about.

[/quote]

True, it is not even in the same league as the dissolution of a marriage, but it is still very serious. A whole different league than a boyfriend/girlfriend breaking up.

Unfortunately, our society regards it as little more serious than a breakup.

The fact that this is fairly commonplace speaks far more to the degradation of morals in our society than to anything else. We make commitments far too lightly and we break contracts without any sense of remorse.

As somebody who has been married for over 20 years, let me assure you that if emotion or "feeling that it was right" was the criterion for maintenance of a relationship, I would have been divorced several times over the years. That is not to say anything about my lovely spouse, but that's just the way it works. It is something proposed and accepted only with the greatest degree of sobriety and gravity.

If you think about it: a proposal is offering a contract to the prospective fiance(e). Accepting that proposal is agreeing to that contract by the prospective fiance(e). NOT A COVENANT...the covenant between the two happens during the sacrament of marriage, but a contract nonetheless.

Would a person sign a contract for financing a car without taking it very, very seriously beforehand? Would a person sign a mortgage on a house without taking very serious stock as to whether he will be able to make 10, 20 or 30 years of payments? Well, how much more is the value of a human life? With a contract to establish a marriage covenant, that is what we are dealing with...human life.

It used to be taken far more seriously when families were intimately involved in the process. While the children may have stars floating in front of their eyes, the families would deal with the hard, cold realities of life. Before the proposal occurred. It used to be that the man would ask the woman's father for his daughter's hand prior to actually proposing to the daughter. The father would, in turn, assess the young man before giving his assent to the engagement. There is a lot of wisdom in that. Wisdom that should still exist today, but sadly doesn't. And that falls on us parents for not raising our children to keep to the 4th commandment properly. And it is correctable.

I fully realize that this is a generalized rant, but there is a point: the young lady OP could teach her former fiance a very valuable life lesson. By not returning the ring, she could teach him that there is a price to breaking his word. And perhaps he might be a little more sober when making a proposition in the future. (And if she feels bad about having the ring, she could sell it and give the money to the poor). And that, in of itself, would be an act of Christian charity: a spiritual work of mercy -- it would be a very vivid instruction to the ignorant. On the other hand, returning the ring provides its own lesson: that there are no consequences to fickleness.

Just something to consider...


#15

:hug1:

That’s the spirit, hun! I know how much your heart must hurt right now. Your healthy attitude is going to go a long way to help with your healing process. I would not contact him any more. It sounds harsh, but it’s best for the both of you! After two years as a couple that you thought was going to result in a marriage, the damage is too great to seek a friendship, at least not for a long time. They say it takes half the time you were with someone to get over them, that means a year of cold turkey zero contact with him.

Besides - he doesn’t deserve it! What a jerk :-/ Asking for a gift back so he can sell it? That’s just ridiculous, no consideration or charity whatsoever! He should freaking pawn his ipod or camera before he asks for a sentimental gift back to sell.

It will take some time, but eventually you will be glad that he is out of your life!

Much love and God bless
M


#16

The pain of breaking off an engagement, though very real, is better than getting married to someone you aren’t sure about.

Just to make it clear, I’m not at all trying to make it sound like a broken engagement is more painful (or messy in every way) than a broken marriage. I can’t imagine what that would be like, and I guess I’m lucky it never came to that…


#17

Detach. This guy has some kind of issues. What they are is his problem and hopefully God will lead him where he needs to go. You can’t. You’re too close to the situation. What you can do is let him go, pray for him but accept that it wasn’t meant to be.

Don’t let his half-baked compromise ideas, or your own hurting heart, cause you to settle for a grey-area in-between state. Grieve, get counseling if you need, but don’t put the relationship on life support in a vegetative state, if you get my meaning. Bury it, mourn, but move on. Find who you are, explore your dreams and talents, and discern where God wants you to be in life. What have you always wanted passionately to do? Find a way to do it or at least have some element of it in your life. Living well is the best revenge. (Not that I’m saying revenge is a good thing in principle, just that you need to feel empowered when you’ve been dumped on, until you feel stronger.)

Take it from one who’s been there done that bought the T-shirt AND who in her refusal to allow the grieving process to proceed made herself way more miserable and hurt a lot of people who had to watch her crash and burn. But, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. I will never let a broken dream have that kind of power to make me miserable ever again, and neither should you.

Avoid also the trap of a rebound relationship or substance abuse or similar pitfalls. If you have some fantastic supportive girlfriends, spend time with them, they are a treasure. If you don’t have some, try to find some. They can help you not feel like a lone fish out of water and start obsessing about not being “part of a couple.” You can cry and laugh and hopefully if you get in a funk they will lovingly help you get out of it. :grouphug:

If you like animals, consider getting a pet or volunteering at an animal shelter. There is such help in unconditional love from animals to heal a hurting heart.

And of course, pray. Remember Jesus Himself was abandoned by even his close friends but in the end everything worked out. :blessyou:


#18

He seems manipulative if he first threatens to call the police (on the woman he has been so sure about marrying for many months?!) and then asks if you can still be friends… And tells you you’re selfish. And if not manipulative, then at least grossly unstable. Be glad you won’t be married to him.


#19

[quote="beegirl, post:1, topic:237094"]
My boyfriend and I dated for two years, he had promised he wanted to get engaged – in fact he was the one who always brought up the subject of marriage and engagement. I always said not to bring it up unless he was sure, and he told me he had never been so sure of anything in the world. I was so happy with him, but then seemingly out of the blue, he broke up with me. He said he wasn’t sure about God’s will for him, and that he needed to discern and we couldn’t be together while he did that.

The next day he called me asking for the ring he gave me back. I asked him if I could keep it, since he gave it to me, and he said to think whatever I want but he would get it back because he needed the money. He event threatened to call the police if I didn't give it back...I’d never seen him so cold. :(

Its hard for me to let go of the many promises he broke, and I have to admit I still love him. I think he’s a good guy with a good heart, but he just has a lot of things to figure out in his life. He never apologized, and its only been about four days and he keeps asking me if we can still be friends. I think that hurts more than anything. Eveytime he asks me that it breaks my heart, because I’m not ready to be friends with someone I still love, and I don’t know if I ever will be. And when I tell him that, he says I’m selfish.

I don’t hate him at all. I forgive him for the things he did to hurt me, I knew he didn’t intend it. But I want him to leave me alone and let me move on and try to be happy. How can I make him see this? Should I just ignore him? That just seems really mean.

[/quote]

First the ring is a gift so its yours (some states say you have to give it back if you cheated or broke up but that not the case.)

Second
I do not recommend trying to be friends right now or even in the future. You have had an intimacy that is beyond friendship (emotional and spiritual not necessarly physical) so going back is extermely hard.

Third: You need time to mourn. You need to mourn the relationship and all the dreams that you had for this relationship and your vocation path Believe me you will go through the stages of mourning multiple times. Allow yourself to be angry. Get a journal and go to adoration and let it out. Don't hide your emotions. Let them out so you can deal with them.

My fiance and i broke up in August and its still hard dealing with all the feelings these months later. I go through the range of emotions pretty fast but they still pop up and i have to remind myself that I am a different women than i was a year ago and this has taught me a lot. I wish and pray for him daily but completely accept that he is not my future spouse and thats okay. God has some plan and i just have to be patient and listen to his will.

We were good friends before and we still go to the same church and have lots of mutual friends. We will always have some connection due to our friends but i can't imagine ever having a friendship relationship anywhere like we had before we dated and he has no right to my emotions or life now that he chose not to be party of my life.

Remember that he may have made the choice to leave the relationship but that doesn't mean he gets to define your future relationship. He doesn't have all the power. If you don't feel like talking to him just tell him you are healing and right now you need space and that if and when your ready you will contact him. You don't have to be mean when you are honest.

Final: Don't forget that your feelings matter and stop thinking about his first. Put your emotional well being first!


#20

thanks beckers :) that helps.

I've definitly been going to adoration more often. I'm not good at all at talking about my feeling in front of other people...even family. When my friends ask me how i'm doing i tend to make a joke about it or something...but I never have trouble talking to God, because he knows how I'm feeling even if I don't ;)


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