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Author Topic: How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine  (Read 9629 times)

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LadyStormwing

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How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine
« on: July 01, 2014, 06:36:30 PM »
...and Saved her Sanity, if Not Her Life.

Almost three months ago, with 5 months to go before the wedding, I called off my engagement as it became clear that this was Not a Healthy relationship

I'd had a gut feeling that something was off for quite some time, but was also adamant that denial was just a river in Egypt. What it came down to, however, was his family. Whatever his mother and elder brother said, was Law, and darn anyone else. Up to and including me. It was expected that I would just do whatever I was told, like the other wives. Things like:

1. Being responsible for his parents' rent, as well as our own. (If we couldn't afford it, we could move in with them! Four people, including two newlyweds, in a 4-room apartment. FWIW, his mom worked full time and his dad received a pension and SS disability.)

2. Going right back to work when my maternity leave was up if we ever had children, despite my very firm and vocal desire to be a SAHM, because this is what his SIL did with her kids. (Not understanding what works for some mothers does not work for others.)

3. Early in the engagement, his brother talked him into telling me that his SIL had a job offer for me, which was untrue. Apparently the brother wanted to know if I was "serious about moving" out to where fiancee lived (about an hour from where I do now). I will leave you to imagine the argument that followed that revelation.

Finally, it snowballed and I decided (after not sleeping for several nights and losing about 10 lbs because I couldn't eat) that I couldn't live like that. Thinking for myself and making decisions that were the best for ME, not that were decided for me by others, was my way of life. I talked it over with some people I trust immensely and asked my mother to drive me out, where I'm happy to report that I remained quite calm as I explained that it was plain that it was clear we had some fundamental differences in how we thought our lives should be led and I wanted out of the relationship.

I think the most disappointing part was that he didn't even fight for me. Not an "are you sure we can't work this out?", not "can we think about it some more?" ...not even an "I'm sorry." I gave him back the ring, and shipped his things back (a shirt, some books, our wedding rings) later that week. Other than an email to say I could tell my father and brothers to get their money back from the tux rentals, that was it.

So for what it's worth, I have a spine and my self-respect. I also have a wedding dress in my attic that I'm still not sure if I'm going to sell or keep, but I'll figure that out eventually. If anyone else is struggling, use this if you can, because heaven knows there aren't many "I broke off my engagement and lived to tell the tale" stories on the internet. I should know- I looked.

Thanks for listening.

Mel the Redcap

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Re: How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 07:01:40 PM »
*applause*! :-*

Go you! Really, that is awesome. Congratulations on having the strength to make such a hard decision... and *hugs*, because it must have hurt.
"Set aphasia to stun!"

barkingmad

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Re: How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2014, 07:03:14 PM »
Good for you.  I can only imagine the stories you would have had otherwise.

sammycat

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Re: How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2014, 07:18:29 PM »
Awesome! :D

By the sounds of it, you had a very lucky escape.

Out of curiosity, are there any other siblings besides the older brother, and if so, do they kowtow to this nonsense?

Mergatroyd

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Re: How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 07:42:58 PM »
Wow, you really did make a lucky escape. Sounds like your life would no longer have been your own, and not even just because of sharing decisions with your SO. Having my BIL make my decisions would drive me absolutely bonkers!

gramma dishes

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Re: How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 08:06:03 PM »
Wow.  I'm so glad you escaped.  There are so many who know in their souls that something is just not right, but they just can't break off their wedding plans because they feel embarrassed, don't want to disappoint their families and maybe even kind of feel like they failed.  But you didn't fail.  You won!! 

Kudos to you for seeing the issues and actually doing something about it!  No doubt you made the right decision.  It sounds like that would have been a nightmare of a life.   

I know it's hard and you no doubt have a plethora of conflicting emotions, but in the long run you know you made the right decision.  You'll be so much happier being yourself and not letting other people make life's major decisions for you.

Samantha

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Re: How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2014, 04:35:09 AM »
A year ago today, I told my (now ex-)fiance to get the f* out of my house. I'd told him a month prior that I wanted to indefinitely postpone the wedding, and stopped wearing the ring he gave me.

The last year of my life? Has been amazing. I'm happier and more productive at work, I've spent more time with my best friends in the last 12 months than I had in the previous 3.5 years (the entire time I was with my ex). It hasn't ALL been sunshine and roses, but it has been SO much better than it was before (or would have been, had I followed through with the wedding). We were set to get married last October, when I indefinitely postponed the wedding, we had less than six months to go, deposits had been paid, and my dress was stored at my Aunt and Uncle's home (now it is in my basement).

I'm also in counseling, working on why I stayed as long as I did and why I allowed him to treat me as he did. He was/is an alcoholic, and had mental health issues. It was not a healthy relationship, by any stretch of the imagination. After I kicked him out, one of my coworkers told me that I looked like a different person... There was a spring in my step and a light in my eyes that they had never seen before (they met me after I'd met my ex). I laugh and smile more now. Had I stayed with him, and followed through on the wedding - I don't know that I'd be here today.

It gets better. It gets easier. Promise.

(C) Get Fuzzy 5.13.07



 


ladyknight1

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Re: How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2014, 09:03:37 AM »
Kudos! It takes courage to examine a relationship and decide it is not working and to end it.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

auntmeegs

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Re: How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2014, 09:15:01 AM »
So proud of you!  You definitely did the right thing, but you already know that :)  I wish I had had the courage to do what you did with my first marriage.  I knew things weren't right but I loved him so much that I convinced myself it would work.  And I was scared, scared to call off the wedding, scared of life withouth him, etc. 
YAY for you!!!!

Lynn2000

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Re: How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2014, 10:06:51 AM »
Good for you! I think a lot of people feel such pressure from friends and family to stay on the path that they have trouble backing out even when they feel inside that it's wrong. Actually a distant relative called off their wedding with a week to go, and you can imagine the grumbling that resulted from that! Granted there were more financial outlays to consider, but still, I say if you don't feel right, better to call it off before than after.
~Lynn2000

mime

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Re: How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2014, 11:12:24 AM »
Good for you, Lady Stormwing and Samantha!

I can only imagine the thought process you had to struggle with to accept that any wonderful future you had imagined for yourself with your respective fiancees just wasn't going to be a reality.

You have my respect for seeing the situation for what it was, taking action, and very likely subjecting yourselves to all kinds of grief or gossip from friends and family who weren't as close to the situation.

Well done.

cicero

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Re: How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2014, 05:40:28 AM »
wow - what an amazing woman you are (and any others who mentioned breaking off an engagement).

It is so important to listen to that inner voice - i got married twice, and both times i felt something wasn't right. when i tried to discuss it,people would say to me "oh, you know, the engagement period can be stressful, just focus on your future". or "everyone fights now and then". and "the first year of a marriage is a huge adjustment period, don't worry".

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green.and.blue

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Re: How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2014, 06:45:49 AM »
As I am watching a good friend go through a divorce in a surprisingly similar situation (her inlaws moved out of the house that she herself owned a full two months after her almost-ex-DH did), I can say how she deeply regrets not having acted on the signs she'd seen. Well done!

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2014, 09:44:01 AM »
Been there too.  After a lot of nights of lying awake beside my ex, I finally told him that I wanted to call off our wedding and that I thought it would be best if we split.  He agreed with no resistance, which stung a bit, but life definitely got better and looking back now, I'm so incredibly glad I called everything off.  My ex was not a bad person but we had some very different ideas about things (he wanted kids really badly, I don't want them at all...he was gone all the time because he had a lot of activities he participated in, but we didn't have much spare money after his pursuits so I generally was just stuck at home alone.  The in-laws, however, were awesome people...it definitely had nothing to do with them!)  If I had married that man, I would be lonely and miserable.  I'm so glad I didn't do it.
"After all this time?"
"Always."

MMHou

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Re: How LadyStormwing Grew a Spine
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2014, 12:41:45 AM »
Wow.  I'm so glad you escaped. There are so many who know in their souls that something is just not right, but they just can't break off their wedding plans because they feel embarrassed, don't want to disappoint their families and maybe even kind of feel like they failed.  But you didn't fail.  You won!! 

Kudos to you for seeing the issues and actually doing something about it!  No doubt you made the right decision.  It sounds like that would have been a nightmare of a life.   

I know it's hard and you no doubt have a plethora of conflicting emotions, but in the long run you know you made the right decision.  You'll be so much happier being yourself and not letting other people make life's major decisions for you.

(Above bolding mine)
That was me in approaching my previous marriage, and I wish I'd ended it before the wedding instead of seven years into it. I'm not sure why I thought things would get better once we were married, but I did.

If I had married that man, I would be lonely and miserable.

And that was me, too. Not only was he gone a lot but when he was home he was emotionally distant. I came to understand that "you don't have to be alone to be lonely."

LadyStormwing, kudos to you for growing your spine and doing this when you did. ((((hugs)))