Engaged to Mr. Wrong

truth-whispersI’m a Brave Girl

…and this is a piece of my story…

(I’ve chosen to remain anonymous to protect the tender feelings of those I love and have loved.)

This story starts like lots of others…with a boy and a girl.  We were both about 23 when we met at a party…he was fun and witty and I found myself making excuses to get to talk to him throughout the night.  Before I left, I did something I’d never done before…I wrote my number on a piece of paper and gave it to him.  I really hoped he’d call.  He did.

It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with him.  He was everything I’d seen at that party and more.  We soon became inseparable.  We didn’t live together, but he came to my house after work more often that he went to his.  I could hardly focus on anything else…I was only ever at work half-way…I was always daydreaming about him.

When we met I had recently returned to the city where we lived after several years away.  That doesn’t have anything to do with him except that all the people I had known when I lived there before had moved away.  I didn’t really know anyone there anymore.  As this boy and I traveled further and further on a path together, our lives became entangled.  His friends became my only friends.  His family was like my family.

I remember very distinctly one day when he came to my house after work.  I can’t remember what he was wearing.  In my mind he was all dressed up in a suit, which doesn’t make sense because I think he worked as a painter at the time.  Weird what minds do.  All I know for sure is that he was very handsome that day and I loved him with a love that filled me up from the bottoms of my feet to the top of my head.  The kind that makes your soul feel like it’s going to burst.  I remember saying to him that day, “I don’t think I’m going to get to keep you.”  I didn’t know why I felt that way.  I didn’t know what could possibly separate us, but that was the very strong feeling I had.

Things went really really well for a while.  We never did anything spectacular, we just loved being together.  He was caring and thoughtful and treated me well.  He was also ridiculously funny.  We took care of each other.  He brought me flowers and slow danced with me in the kitchen.  I made him dinner I knew he’d love and we did the dishes together.  You couldn’t have crafted a better love story if you tried.

But in my heart something felt wrong.

When you were a kid, did you ever try walking outside while looking up?  It’s sort of disorienting and you feel like your mind is spinning around and at the same time you get sick to your stomach.  That’s what it felt like.  What the feeling said very clearly to my mind was, “this person is not for you and you are not for him”.

Like we so often do when things feel uncomfortable or we don’t want to face them, I shoved those feelings down.  I did everything I could to ignore them.  The only time I failed was in my bed at night.  I fell asleep to that feeling and I woke up to that feeling.  Every day during the daytime I kept myself busy to cover it up.  I worked really hard at my job and after work I got to be with him, and when I was with him nothing could bother me.  Oh how I loved him.

But that feeling was there every morning and again every night…nagging…quietly begging me to walk in a different path…

I don’t know if I couldn’t make sense of that feeling or I didn’t want to.  Either way I didn’t and we were soon engaged.  He proposed with the most beautiful ring, and I was so proud to wear it.

We began planning our wedding and that feeling just kept getting stronger and stronger.  It was silent…on the outside I looked happy, but on the inside my stomach was constantly in knots.  I couldn’t figure out what it was.  He was a good man.  He treated me well and I loved him.  Why did if feel so impossible to be engaged to him?  Why did it feel so wrong?  And I couldn’t keep the wedding from getting closer and closer.  It felt being in a small room that just kept getting smaller.

I tried to reason with my feelings…I kept telling myself, “anyone can make it…we love each other and we’ll make it”.  Then fear tried to steal my truth by telling me, “he might be the only one…” and “if you end it with him, you’ll be alone forever”.

I think my family could sense my feelings.   I got loving, but firm phone calls from my parents and my sister.  My dad doesn’t mince words, he’d say things like, “he’s not the right one for you” and “you just don’t match” and “he is not the kind of man I pictured you with”.  Which made me mad but he said it anyway.

My mother was supportive (she told me later it was because she didn’t want to lose me if I chose him), but she was awfully vocal about making choices carefully and prayerfully.  My sister always seemed worried about me.

I remember one day my sister called me and said something like, “I’m worried about you…you don’t seem like yourself.  This should be the happiest time of your life!  This is the time that love is the easiest and it doesn’t seem like it’s easy.”  And I lost it.  It was like all the feelings I’d been holding back came crashing down all at once.  They washed over me in a way I couldn’t deny them anymore.  I didn’t understand why he wasn’t the one for me.  I couldn’t even start to think about moving past him, but the truth is the truth….and the only thing I knew was that small truth.

He wasn’t for me.  I wasn’t for him.

Once I knew what I had to do, I still had to figure out how to do it.  I didn’t know how to sit down with him and tell him we had to part ways and once that was done I really didn’t know how to live life without him.  A couple of weeks went by before I got up my nerve.  I was sitting at my desk at work and I looked at the perfect ring he had given me.  The outward symbol of what was supposed to be my eternal devotion to him.  I took it off and promised myself I wouldn’t put it back on again.  I didn’t.


That night when I got home from work, and we were together he noticed that it was gone much sooner than I thought he would.

“Where’s your ring?”  he said.

And my heart sank one thousand feet.

I don’t know how I got the words out…I have no recollection of those words or his words.  All I know is that when we were done talking, he went home and when I closed the door behind him I immediately longed to open it again.

I spent the next weeks grieving.  I grieved him with my whole body.

There is nothing like being with someone every day and then just suddenly not.  And not only him, but all the things we did together and all the people we spent time with.  Social events were suddenly awkward….we were invited to all the same parties and I’m sure he wanted to be with our friends as much as I did, but showing up separately seemed unnatural and too hard to do.

He lived right next door, so I still saw him all the time.  Once in a while we’d end up at something together and we always did the most natural thing…we ended up together.  Sitting together, riding in the car together, talking together, each making the other laugh.  Then without knowing what was happening, we’d be holding hands.  Who knows who grabbed whose hand.  When you’re together for so long and so comfortable, that just happens.

By this time, both of us knew the truth we were ignoring…we loved being together, but this thing was not meant to be.  So we did it all over again…said goodbye again.   This time to make it stick, he moved far away.  No longer next door.  I didn’t see him or hear from him.  I didn’t run into him at parties or at the grocery store.  I didn’t catch his eye on the way to church or accidentally walk home holding his hand anymore.  We were really done and he was gone.

I remember one day I was home alone doing the dishes a few days after he left.  I had 5 roommates, but they were all out.  I was washing a whole sink full of dishes by hand, and all of a sudden grief washed all the way over me.  I sobbed like I had never sobbed before.  I wanted him to come in the door.  I wanted to see him and be with him.  I missed the way he hugged me so tight that everything else in the world disappeared.  I missed the way he smelled.  I missed his laugh and his jokes and the silly songs he sang at the exact right times.  I missed riding in his car and feeling carefree and happy with him.  I missed talking to him about what he was going to do with his life and I hated knowing that I wasn’t going to be there for any of it.

I remember that same thing happening as I drove to my parent’s house a few days later and several other times.  It always hit unexpectedly and with the force of a thousand semi trucks.

Somewhere inside me I knew I’d done the right thing.  But it took a long time for my heart to heal and begin to agree.

It’s such an unlikely end to a love story.  You hear about love stories that end because someone gets mean or because someone gets sick or because someone is unwilling to compromise.  This wasn’t like that.  We treated each other well…we loved each other and we took care of each other.  We deeply cherished each other.  It just wasn’t where we were supposed to end up.

Sitting in that place….at the end of a love story that was beautiful and romantic….is not an easy place to be.  I’d say it’s one of the hardest places I’ve ever been.  I felt so clear about that one thing I was supposed to do and so very unclear about what I was supposed to do after that.

take flight all by yourself

So I did what I knew…I worked, I went to church, I hung out with my roommates, I started to make friends outside of the friends I shared with him and life got really good.  Looking back, that was one of the best times of my life.  I started dating again.  I had fun again.  I found a few more Mr. Wrong-for-Me’s, and then out of nowhere I found Mr. Right-for-Me.  It wasn’t until I found him that everything all of a sudden made sense.

I could write pages and pages and pages about Mr. Right.  He is everything times a thousand that I thought I was looking for.  The people around us knew we were going to get married before we did.  They’d say things like, “I’ve never met two people who are more alike than you” and “just get married already”.

Being engaged to him felt easy and perfect like sliding down a slide….like there’s not another choice I could possibly have made.

Was this journey hard?  Absolutely.  It was one of my hardest.  And I would do it over again a million times before I would trade my life with Mr. Right for anything.

You know what else?  The boy who was wrong for me found his Mrs. Right.  They are perfect for each other and they’re happy and have a beautiful family. And I’m sure if you asked him today he’d say the same thing…he wouldn’t trade his Mrs. Right for me for anything in the world.

Sister, if you’re there…in this place…I feel for you.  I know it’s hard.  I know it feels impossible.  Sometimes you just have to take a giant step into the unknown before you get any more light on your path.  If truth tells you to take one step, do it.  One thing I know for sure is that you won’t regret it.  Just take the step.  You are going to be okay…life will be hard for a while and then it will be beautiful again.

Trust the soul-deep longings inside of you…you don’t have to know the second step.  Just take the first step…the end is worth it.


  1. Wow, wow, wow. Thank you so much for sharing this. It is exactly what I needed to hear this week.

  2. Zenalicious Mommy says:

    Beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing this :)

  3. So beautifully written.
    So deep.
    So real.
    So tender.

  4. Lisa says:

    Unbelievable. Thank you so much for sharing this. Your story is so similar to my story except I never left… we got married and after five years (11 years total for the relationship) I could not ignore it anymore and the forcing of things had caused significant deterioration of aspects of our relationship, and I had to face that inner voice of mine, and after another year or so of trying to ‘fix’ it enough to calm that inner voice, well the inner voice spoke her truth. She won. I have two beautiful happy children from this relationship but it was not a relationship that was meant to last forever. And this is all very new and recent. We officially separated one month ago. Thank you so much for sharing your truth with all of us. And for sharing it with me – one tired, sometimes sad, but finally honest with herself mama :)

  5. undeniable says:

    I wish my story lined up with yours so, I could just run with my gut feeling.

    I almost had it up until the very end of your story, unlike yours, everyone around talks about how perfect we are and when will we get married. I can’t turn around any corner even my families without someone telling me he is the one I need to marry him. I just don’t feel that anymore. I’m scared to be fully alone from friends and family if I leave him.

    • Lisa says:

      Oh honey, oh my dear…

      What is right for one person is not necessarily right for another person. He may feel that you are his perfect match, and everyone else may feel that you are his perfect match, but if that is the case then you my dear are the one who needs to agree with it.

      Much like what you say – we all went to highschool together and I am in a small town/city area where everyone knows everyone, we were ‘Trev and Lise’ from the get-go and everyone was utterly shocked to know that we had split up. Our families and our large group of friends thought that we were so in love. But no one knows what goes on behind closed doors, or in a relationship, except for those two people. And no one knows what is inside your heart and your soul except for YOU.

      Honey, if you have doubts, I think it is best you explore them. I can say that right now in this moment I am thankful that I ignored them for so long because if I hadn’t then I would not have the beautiful children that I have, children I cannot imagine life without – I didn’t have the strength to leave years ago (though I tried, and much like you, I feared being alone and I gravely feared hurting someone and when I tried to leave he would tell me that I was wrong and that I was making a big mistake and that I would regret it and that I wouldn’t find what we had elsewhere, and I lacked the strength to do what was trying to do). So I stayed, and I have these boys, but oh my goodness the breaking up is sooooooooooooooo much harder now on everyone than it had been if I had broken up with him when we were in our early twenties.

      My word of advice would be not to listen to what everyone else tells you – there is a beautiful wise voice deep inside of you and THAT is who you need to become intuned with and listen to.

      I feel for you sweetie… I read what you wrote and my stomach filled with knots because I have been in such pain this past week and I read your message as a cry for help, for advice. You remind me of me.

      I am sending you love and strength my dear.

      If you would like to talk via email or on the phone I am here for you. Gosh I feel like I am writing to a 20 year old version of myself. libraesque726@gmail.com

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