June 24, 2016 at 12:21 pm #108139dreaming715Participant
My ex-fiance called off our wedding a year and a half ago. It was a heart-breaking experience and to help myself move on I unfollowed social media wedding pages, our wedding vendors, and anyone I knew who was getting married (unless they were a close friend, of course). When I see pictures of couples in engagement announcements or wedding photos it reminds me of what I lost. What I no longer have. I’ve had approximately one year of unsuccessful dating and I feel a little hopeless.
I’m going to be 28-years-old. I have this fear that if and when I actually find someone to marry, I’ll be in my 40’s or 50’s. I won’t look youthful in my wedding pictures with the person I love. My grandparents and older relatives won’t be able to join in the celebration of our marriage because they will have passed on. By the time I actually get married, I don’t know if I’ll even be able to have children.
Today I randomly looked at the Facebook page of one of my favorite local wedding photographers. I got halfway through one of her recently uploaded wedding albums of a couple I didn’t even know and I started crying. You could see the couple’s mutual love for each other. The absolutely stunning decorations they spent time and money putting together. Their happy faces.
Having someone fall in love with me, ask me to marry them, plan a beautiful wedding together… It feels out my reach. I feel like I’m fantasizing about winning the lottery, owning a giant yacht on the ocean, or spending a summer traveling through Europe. Realistically, the likelihood is not in my favor.June 24, 2016 at 4:53 pm #108155anitaParticipant
Most couples who get married in fancy, beautiful wedding ceremonies and celebrations, with all family members in attendance, with flowers and bridesmaids and all accessories end up unhappy shortly after, remain married unhappily or divorced.
And when divorced, looking at those wedding albums is not fun for those whose weddings did go through but later divorced. It can also be embarrassing to see the grandparents so happy in those photos, thinking their granddaughter will live “happily ever after” with her new husband. Everyone smiling in those photos, a smile frozen it time. Smiles are gone and … those money and other gifts of the wedding get to be divided by the two.
So, really, those wedding photos you are avoiding, you have company avoiding those photos. You are in company of millions of women who are avoiding their wedding photos while being unhappily married and during and after their divorce.
So, here I am to rain on your failed fantasy of a fully accessorized wedding followed by living happily ever after. In fact I had a fancy wedding myself when I was 22. I was so young in that white wedding dress. All those photos and video of the wedding. I threw them all. I threw them all in the garbage, dreaming715. I placed them all (so many) in the garbage a couple of decades ago, “negatives” included, so I had and have no way to reproduce those photos.
anitaJune 24, 2016 at 9:06 pm #108173WderlustParticipant
So strange I would stumble upon this thread today… My ex-fiancé left me exactly 1 year ago today. We were not as far into planning as you were, but just the same, I was crushed. My life and the future I had always wanted evaporated. Everything I always wanted – gone. The house, the kids, my life. The man of my life that I love so much had proactively, by his own volition, turned his back on me.
I had always wanted a lovely wedding, a nice dress, a great party with all my loved ones. But then, when you lose everything, you get to a point when you realized that it didn’t really matter what dress I was to wear or which venue we were to book – it was all gone.
Worse of it all, “he” was gone.
So then I finally understood why Big and Carrie ended up in town hall… At the end of day, what really matters? For me, it took me a long time, but the wedding stopped being important.
I still struggle everyday with the huge wound he left when he left. But then I think to myself “the house, the kids, that life: they never existed”
I would insert here all sorts of curses about how someone could pick up and call of an engagement but will try to stay polite.
Fight through it dreaming… It’s hard. It’s an everyday battle.
But as they say “No mud, No lotus”June 24, 2016 at 10:56 pm #108175CourtneyParticipant
Anita: Once again, you put things in perspective. If you aren’t a writer, you should be! While I don’t know your exact situation, I wish you happiness and peace. I hope that is something you’ve already found.
Wderlust: I’m sorry to hear you went through a similar situation. I know one day I’ll forgive him (to let go of negative energy and find inner-peace). I guess I’m just not quite there yet. I related to what you said. I felt like in my mind I had a home, a family, and a future with the person I loved. These things all have me a sense of purpose and something to work toward. But in reality, these things didn’t actually exist. Just the thought of them.
I also strongly relate to what you said about Big and Carrie getting married in the court house. Honestly, while a wedding can be a beautiful event- I would rather have a private, simple wedding with the person I love any day. I don’t really care about ring styles, or wedding invitation designs, or any of that… All I want is someone who I can love, someone who loves me back, and a unity where we have a strong partnership and friendship.
I hope that person is out there. I’ve tried so hard to pick up the pieces of my former life, put together a new one, and then put my best foot forward in the dating world. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any luck. But maybe one day. Maybe next week. Maybe next decade. I’ll never know.June 25, 2016 at 6:14 pm #108247AndrewParticipant
Hello and I’m sorry for your pain. I recently went through a breakup (though admittedly not as tough as yours) and I’ve found several books to be helpful. Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” is a great tool to find the meaning and positivity in life’s inevitable suffering and Pia Melody’s “Facing Co-dependence”, though this particular one only applies if you are codependent. The only reason I figure you MIGHT be codependent is because of your apparent lack of self esteem (saying you think finding a partner would be like winning the lottery- no it’s not, you deserve a partner and it will happen!). Low self-esteem is one of the five symptoms of co-dependence.
Perhaps you need more time or perhaps you need to continue working on yourself and finding happiness from within. Frankl suggests a technique called paradoxical intention, or trying the opposite of what you want. Take time and focus on yourself and forget efforts at dating and I bet you will find someone eventually.
These are all suggestions and paraphrasing, of course. I wish the best of luck to you.June 28, 2016 at 9:35 am #108419Mike DiLeoneParticipant
Hi all. I am sorry to hear of all the pain that has resulted. I know it well and have been there myself. I have just a few things to add and I hope that they help in some small way.
First- please don’t ruminate on the past. What happened hurt. It was shocking. It is easy to blame yourself or point fingers or wonder what might have been. Living in the past means your eyes are looking in the rear view…and you’re going to miss what is standing in front of you. Visit the past on occasion if you must. Learn from it. See it from a different angle. Then come back to the present.
Second- it didn’t work out and that is a result of two people. Don’t blame yourself. Instead, figure out why it went wrong and have gratitude for what was and for the fact that it ended when it did. I know that sounds strange and I do not intend for that to sounds harsh. If it ended after years of marriage, shared money and assets, a house, kids, etc, it would be a loss on another level. If the person was not ready, due to their own reasons, then as much as it hurts, it is better to find out now.
Third- I went through two devastating break-ups in my life. After the first, I literally walked 4-7 miles a day for 2 years. Rain, snow or shine. One day, I saw her again as our best friends had married and we were both in the wedding party. For 2 years I did not sleep through the night and all I wanted was to get back together with her. After the wedding we met for dinner and we talked at my apartment afterward. I said things I needed to say for 2 years and I heard things I needed to hear. As she drove off, I vividly recall some 15 years later, I watched the red of her tail lights and felt all of the stress and weight melt off of me. It was surreal. As the lights faded down the road, I said “goodbye” and knew that it was over. Two weeks later she expressed an interest in getting back together and I was not interested. Why? Because I said what I needed to say, heard what I needed to hear. If you need closure- write a letter. Have a conversation in your mind. Write everything that comes out- unfiltered- and then delete it or save it as a draft. But get it all out, that is the key.
Fourth- ask yourself “what is really hurting me?”, then write out the reply, unfiltered. You may be surprised at what you find and you may be surprised to see the direction it takes you.
I met my wife 10-months after my last break-up. I got involved with a sweet girl, but I ignored all of the red flags that were hoisted- clear signs that we were not meant to be. But I really wanted that to work!! Looking back, I tried to force something and that is not going to result in something good. I immediately went back into therapy and worked on myself. I figured out why I am the way I am. I uncovered what I really wanted. I got my “picker” adjusted, got my thoughts and priorities set and met the woman who is now my wife and the mother of my two beautiful, amazing children. My life is not perfect- but its perfect for me. I shudder to think of the “solution” that crossed my mind as I was stuck in another “failure” and didn’t want to feel that pain again. In reality it wasn’t a failure at all. It was an express elevator to one of the greatest successes of my life. To the best relationship I have ever had. Always remember- things do happen for a reason. If you take the time to get to now yourself and resolve any loose ends inside, you WILL come out of this stronger and better than before. It will take some time and the sooner you choose to better yourself, live in the moments and be happy, the sooner you’re going to find out what comes next. Best wishes to you!