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- This topic has 17 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 month, 1 week ago by ktfran.
How do you end a 3 year relationship when you are engaged. My fiancé is phenomenal to me, yet I have been unfaithful to him. I know I have to end it with him, yet I don’t know how to even bring up the subjectpeggyGuest
Hi. Is your wedding set/planned? Hopefully not,that will make this easier. Do you know why you cheated? To escape commitment or your fiancee specifically?
Because you love someone else?
The sooner you do this the better. Tell him you need to talk. Tell him you have been unfaithful and why if you can. It sounds like you just want out,and not for him to forgive you etc.,so make it clear to him you are done. False hope is unfair. Who knows,he may suspect something and be relieved too.ktfranParticipant
Been there. I was engaged to a pretty perfect guy. I loved him. I loved his family. We got along great. He proposed. I said yes. Then I realized I made a huge mistake and kind of went off the rails. I had an emotional affair that probably started before he proposed. I started seeing a therapist and I postponed the wedding. I finally realized I couldn’t do it and finally, a week before my cousin’s wedding for which we needed to travel for, I called it off. We were eating dinner and I told him I couldn’t do it. This was 15 years ago, so I don’t remember exactly what I said. I did hand him my beautiful ring back.
I moved out and in with a friend.
I’d say rip the bandaid and do it. You actually don’t need to tell him about the cheating if you don’t want to. I didn’t. He probably knew, but we never discussed it. Just tell him what feels right.
I’m now married to another great guy. I love him so much, and vice versa. Everything has always been pretty easy and natural and we have mutual respect, friendship and chemistry. I feel like I hit the jackpot.CopaParticipant
I’ve never been in this position so I feel like the most I can offer up is to do it in person and be kind. Mostly chiming in to say that unless you *have* to tell him about the cheating for some reason, I’d recommend sparing him that pain.AnonymousseGuest
Add me to the chorus of don’t mention the cheating. It will make it harder and more emotional and has no bearing on the why- because it’s not right.
I also almost married the wrong guy. I did the same thing. You don’t need to confess and be the bad guy of this relationship to make it right with the world.peggyGuest
I agree not to hurt him needlessly. I guess I was thinking that if she told him the truth he would not try to talk her into staying/working it out.ktfranParticipant
The only thing I’d add is to Peggy’s original point, figure out why you cheated, learn from it, recognize the signs of what was wrong so you don’t repeat in future relationships.
I can’t tell you how much therapy helped me, both with calling off the engagement and with personal growth.
I’m not proud of my affair, but I am glad it happened prior to marriage. I learned from my mistakes and I’ll never make that one again.AnonymousseGuest
I’m not proud of the way I behaved either, but as far as guilt goes, I actually felt little for that. I beat myself up endlessly for the silliest things, but for me, in that instance, our relationship was so separate (ktfran is right- therapy is great for uncovering why you did that instead of end it) it made total sense to me that I felt neglected and uncared for and sought outside attention. That fiancé, I wouldn’t see all day (product design) and he’d fall asleep eating dinner because he was work obsessed. So glad I’m not doing that anymore.
That relationship and figuring out what happened made me ready for the real deal. Honest communication is the way to go in healthy relationships, but not when you’re breaking off an engagement and want to cut the strings with less emotional pain dealt to him.KateGuest
I think if you’re not going to admit to cheating, to spare the person the pain, then you have to be absolutely committed to breaking things off permanently. You cannot keep the cheating under the rug and then get talked into trying again.
The way to initiate this conversation is to set aside time, without much notice, probably on a weekend, to talk. And then be empathetic but clear when you communicate that although you love them and they are an awesome person, something is missing for you, and you’ve done soul searching and realized that you can’t move forward with a permanent commitment, and that they deserve better. Something like that. Tell them what’s missing for you, if you can articulate it.KateGuest
And honestly, you CAN tell him you cheated. I’m not saying you have to, but you absolutely can. It might be better if he can be angry with you about that and realize that you actually stepped outside the relationship.CopaParticipant
So when I’ve found out about being cheated on, yeah, there was anger. But I also felt incredibly stupid, profoundly inadequate, embarrassed, betrayed. I wondered what I’d done wrong. Maybe it’s different if the person actually tells you instead of finding out in a way that blindsides you, IDK. But if the infidelity is a symptom of a larger relationship issue, which is how I read this letter, I’d sooner focus on that than the cheating. But you can do what feels right to you, LW. Good luck.KateKeymaster
Probably what’s the right thing is to not volunteer it, but tell the truth if he suspects it and asks. You owe him the truth in that case. But again, especially if this was an ongoing thing and not just a one-off, and you don’t tell him, then really be sure this is a breakup. If you were to decide to try again with him for some reason after breaking up, I think you would need to tell him at that point so that he can make an informed decision.