Happy almost fireworks.
Q: Meredith, I met my ex-fiancé in another state in 2004. We'd been out of college for a few years and working while applying to grad schools. He was accepted to a MPH program in Boston and I agreed to move there with him despite it being very hard to leave my friends and family. We have been living in Boston for a few years and have been doing quite well, though both of us are very busy and not very social. He asked me to marry him last fall and I ecstatically accepted his proposal. We had set a wedding date and had told everyone about it, bridesmaids and groomsmen, the whole nine yards. However, earlier this year I began talking to a man who I see at work. As the months went by we talked a lot just being friendly, him giving me advice on where me and my fiancé could go for our honeymoon, where me and my fiancé could move after we had saved up enough money. However, it was apparent, at least to me that there was this connection.
One day, he said he loved everything about me and that I was his favorite person, but in a platonic way. I was shocked to find he felt the same way about me as I did about him and a few days later I said I felt the same way. From there our talks became almost entirely centered on how great each of us thought the other person was. I was convinced that though there were these feelings, I would never act on them and thus everything would be fine. One weekend when my fiance was out of town, I slept with my "friend." I've slept with him several times since as well. Eventually, I made the decision to break the engagement -- not because my "friend" wanted me to be with him, as my friend was actually very adamant this not be about him and that it would have to be something I would do whether he was around or not -- but out of guilt that I cheated on my fiancé and my feeling that he would be better off without me.
It has been five weeks since we broke up and I moved out. Over the last eight days I have been alone a lot since my "friend" has been out of town, and I am beginning to feel more and more that I have made a huge mistake. My fiancé and I are great together, and though we never had the most passionate of relationships, we do have some passion, and we have been together for five years and worked wonderfully well together until my infidelity. If I try to get back with my fiancé, I feel almost certain he will take me back with some begging, but not if he knows I cheated on him. And if he took me back and somehow found out about my indiscretions he would be hurt again and possibly worse. I also feel that the relationship with my "friend" will never work since it is severely tainted because of the circumstances during which it began.
This whole thing makes me sick and my gut tells me the only way this will end well is if I sever ties with both.
– Wanting my fiancé back, Massachusetts
A: I appreciate that your gut wants to bail on everyone, WMFB. My gut tells me that your gut should probably be alone so that you can do some soul searching.
See how you feel when your "friend" is around more often. You said it yourself -- you started to miss your ex when your "friend" went out of town. Sounds to me like this is a fear of being alone.
If you continue to regret your decision to end the relationship with your ex and you decide you want to do some begging, please come clean about everything -- not just the affair but all of your insecurities. Your relationship might have been great, but quite obviously you weren't ready to commit for the long haul. Talk about the busy schedules. Talk about how life in Boston has changed the relationship.
It might do your ex some good to know the truth. Maybe he'll forgive you, maybe he won't. But he'll probably be relieved to get some answers. I'm sure he's been wondering why you left him. I'm sure he's been struggling to make sense of it all. He might be open to moving on from this with you if he knows and understands what he's moving on from. Make sense? I’m all for coming clean.
Readers? Is this just a fear of being alone? Should she keep the affair to herself and move on from both? What does her affair suggest about her engagement? Is it possible that her relationship with the "friend" could work? Discuss.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.