A different POV on how to call off your engagement

12 Oct

I read this article about how to call off your engagement on Thought Catalog a few weeks ago and felt a bitter sense of disappointment.  While the person behind the original post delivered the type of heartbreaking blow that I once found myself on the receiving end of, reading about a broken engagement reminded me that, 16 months later, this subject still immediately takes me back to the moments when my own everything changed.  I found myself barely reading the author’s actual words, and instead writing my story in his format  – the story of someone I once knew.  Me.

Here’s how it read:

Wake up early Saturday morning expecting your fiancé to make coffee and run out for the paper.  The usual.  Instead he tells you that he didn’t sleep last night as he kisses your bare shoulder and heads for the shower.  Barely pick your head up from the pillow as he kneels down, brushes your hair from your face and tells you everything is fine.  It’s him, not you.  It’s definitely not “us”.  Of course not.  Close your eyes as he kisses your forehead and says “I love you.”

The scent of his soap still in the air, crawl out of bed contemplating the free afternoon ahead of you.  Go to the gym.  Go for a pedicure.  Run errands.  When he comes home that evening, try not to let your heart drop as he tells you he’s going to stay at a friend’s for the night.  Sleep on the couch.  Try to sleep.  When you wake up, gather all the courage you have.  To call your best friend.

As you walk to the park, try to explain to her what is going on.  Simultaneously try to explain it to yourself.  Cry.  Cry.  Cry.  Spend the day at the park because you can’t force yourself to go home.  She’ll cover for you at a friend’s wedding that evening because clearly you cannot attend.  Receive a heart-wrenching call from him saying he won’t be home again tonight.  Allow that sinking feeling to take over; the source of which you’re not entirely sure…because the idea of what is about to happen is so incredibly impossible to process that it doesn’t even enter your mind.   Sleep on the couch.  Try to sleep.  When you wake up, run to the bathroom just in time to throw up.  Even though there’s nothing in your stomach.

Jump in a cab to a friend’s apartment and spend the afternoon repeating through sobs “Why is he doing this?”  Silently thank god for the painful sunburn you got at the park yesterday; unlike everything else in your life at that moment, at least you can feel it.  Get a BBM that he’ll be home at 6 pm.  Get home in time to shower.  And throw up again.

When he walks through the bedroom door, try not to assume the worst despite the fact that he cannot look you in the eye.  Assume the worst.  Hope that your heart won’t actually beat out of your chest as you watch him sit down on the bedroom steps across from you.  Come to understand that he cannot even sit next to you in this moment.  As though the movie of your life is playing on mute, watch his lips move without hearing anything he says.  Watch him rub his eyes while he tries to get the words out.  God, he looks terrible.  But you probably do too.  Ask him the one thing you need to know: “Why?”  Watch him shake his head; he won’t – or he can’t – tell you why. There’s talk of him getting a few things.  Go to the living room.  You cannot watch this.

Play with your engagement ring while you contemplate giving it back to him.  That’s what they do on TV, your only reference to this type of situation.  Make the sound decision that you are in absolutely no position to make sound decisions.  Call your best friend.  Can she come over?  He’s leaving.  Despite what people will tell you might happen for the next few days, you know this is forever.

When he comes out of the bedroom, he kneels in front of you, wrapping his fingers through yours.  He finally looks you in the eye and tells you he loves you “more than anything”.  Ask him to leave.  He stands at the door looking back at you.  Ask him to leave again.  He closes the door behind him, leaving you in the apartment that belonged to the two of you just moments before, tears running down your face.  A sense of paralysis takes over; you are stuck in that spot, unable to move.  You can’t feel anything but your tears as they land on your bare feet.  Well, tears and that damn sunburn.

Minutes later your best friend rushes through the door as you’re trying to explain what just happened to your mother.  But nothing makes sense.  “He’s gone” is the best you have to offer as you hand the phone to your friend.  Assume plans are being made.  Like a funeral.  Throw yourself across the couch.  Not for dramatic effect but because you are absolutely destroyed and cannot trust your body to support you for another second.

Somehow make it through the night.

Understand just how bad things must be when you look around your apartment and realize that your four closest friends are in the room with you.  At 2:30 pm.  On a Tuesday.

Prepare yourself for just how tough things are about to get.

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4 Responses to “A different POV on how to call off your engagement”

  1. Kristin October 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    I can understand how those moments can replay in your head like it was just minutes ago instead of months ago.. And yet still not quite able to fully understand what the hell happened and why it had to happen. So many people have told me that “things happen for a reason” and most days I truly believe that, but there are still times when I feel like I just want to break down and have a temper tantrum, kicking, screaming, etc until my life starts to make some kind of sense.

    • unweddedblissblog October 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

      I guess there is something to be said about accepting that we’ll never know or understand the whole truth. I’m relieved that I can overwhelmingly go back to these moments with such objectivity; it is something that happened to us, not who we are!

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