In honor of this being my 90th blog post, I chose to take a personal route today. It seems fitting considering I’m approaching 1 year being single too. So here is my journey with ending an engagement as a First-Gen Latina.
The topic of sharing the story about my previous engagement has been on my mind for quite a while. I suppose it felt like I couldn’t find the proper time to share it but as time keeps passing by, I’ve been feeling called to share it more and more. Mainly because I’ve talked to a couple of friends and IG followers of mine who are currently in an unfulfilling relationship of their own. Feeling like there’s no way out. Like it’s too hard to face everything that comes with ending a relationship.
Since I created this blog with the intention of helping you all evolve, it feels right to share my journey with ending a 7 year relationship and 2 year engagement. In this post I’m going to share how it felt when I realized it was time to take some action steps towards breaking up. I’ll also share the timeline and how I went about it all. Obviously this is all my personal experience, I’m not advising you to follow what I did if it doesn’t feel right to you. My intention behind this post is to help you feel seen with hopes that you find the courage to do what feels right to you after listening to your inner guidance.
I suppose I should start with mentioning that I moved to my current city for the relationship in the fall of 2016. We had dated long distance for almost a year at that point and the relationship seemed very promising. It also helped that I had been wanting to get out of Pennsylvania for a while so it was an easy decision to relocate.
Everything went well and time kept passing by. All of a sudden we reached 2 years together. Then 3, then 4 and so on. Let me backup a bit though, we moved in together a year after I moved to Charlotte. Then 3 years later we got engaged in the fall of 2020 after being together for 4 years.
Always wanting more
After the engagement I was ready for more. I wanted to get a house and a dog. So the following year we did just that. We got the house in April 2021 and our dog in July of the same year. Then we had a huge milestone that probably should’ve happened sooner (lol). Our parents got to meet in person for the first time in October of that year.
The turning point
New Years Eve and my birthday are my favorite holidays. I use both to check in with myself and reset if need be. Turning 35 in November 2021, was the wake up call I didn’t know I needed. At that point we had been together for 5 years (6 years if you count the long distance year). I had already been feeling a little confused here and there but I didn’t want to accept it. There were moments where my intuition would nudge me but I would immediately shut it down and instead focus on the length of time invested in the relationship.
I kept telling myself that it would get better. That my feelings would magically change overtime. That’s what I wanted to believe. But when I turned 35, something hit me. I guess I realized I wasn’t anywhere near where I wanted to be by that age. For as long as I can recall I’ve set goals for myself and I thought I’d be in a different place by age 35. I knew in my heart that I needed to do something about it but I still wasn’t ready to say those thoughts out loud. Plus, our parents had recently met so everything was feeling more real in terms of feeling closer to getting married. (Side note: we never actually took any steps to plan a wedding).
The heavy feelings kept weighing me down each week. I’d continue trying to block them out though to no avail. Finally, I recognized that I needed to get away for a weekend. I booked a last minute trip to visit my sister in Illinois a week before Christmas of that same year (2021).
The stress and anxiety kept taking over during random moments. I felt like an awful person lying not only to him but to myself también. It got to the point where I couldn’t keep it in anymore so I decided to tell someone for the first time. I’m not really sure what I was expecting out of that conversation but with palpable fear and a racing heart, I told my sister that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get married to my fiancé.
I don’t really remember her reaction because I blanked out haha. I’m pretty sure she looked at me in shock and I think she asked me why. That question made it even worse because “on paper” everything seemed fine. We also made a “cute couple” in photos lol. We looked happy together in them anyway. Answering that question was tough because I tended to focus on the positives. He was open minded, smart, didn’t drink much, didn’t abuse me (I had really low standards due to childhood trauma). So I kept thinking that I should just be grateful for finding someone who cared about me. But the heavy feelings wouldn’t go away.
During that same trip, I also disclosed my thoughts of potentially wanting to end the engagement to my 2 primas who are more like little sisters to me. One of them was completely shocked. I felt like there was something wrong with me for having these doubts. Knowing I needed to end the relationship but at that time I still forced myself to remain optimistic thinking my feelings would change. I have to say that I did feel somewhat relieved after saying my concerns out loud. I was no longer holding them in having them weigh me down so much.
My ex and I had great communication during our time together, I do have to add. I actually told him everything once I got home after my Illinois trip. We talked it out and I thought that was that. I thought my feelings would change. I was also grateful that he was understanding and we were going to work on getting on the same page.
The holidays came and it felt awful spending Christmas with all of his family. Feeling heavy from the confused feelings. Again, I felt like a fraud, like a liar, smiling and wanting to seem happy as we gathered for the holidays. They are great people so that made it even worse for me.
Many of you might know that I am a huge new year’s resolutions person. I’ve written some down each year since middle school so this year was no different. I decided that I was fed up with waiting for time to continue passing by. One of my 2022 resolutions was that by my birthday in November, we’d progress in our relationship. We’d either be married once and for all or …go our separate ways. The decision was made.
A new year
So 2022 began and I was optimistic. We had talked about starting premarital counseling, something I figured would help us a lot. None of us were taking steps towards making the first appointment though and come March of that year, I visited my parents. Since the feelings were still loud and clear, I had mentally decided to disclose my thoughts of ending my engagement with my mom. Initially, I had decided to tell her at the end of my trip but somehow I blurted it out during my first day with her. It just came out.
I told her not to tell my dad since I wasn’t 100% sure yet but not even an hour later I was called down to have a word with my dad. Feeling like a kid in trouble, I took a deep breath and walked downstairs to face my father. He basically talked me out of it telling me to focus on other things. Fun fact, this is what pushed me to start my coaching business. Instead of ending the engagement, I quit my 9-5 and went all in on my business that spring of 2022.
Trying to make it work
Shortly after returning from visiting my parents my ex and I had a serious talk. I told him all about the conversations with my parents and how I was embarking on a new endeavor starting my business. We also decided to book our first couples therapy appointment. So we attended couples counseling from May 2022 until about September of that same year. It felt like everything was going well until it was time to begin planning the wedding.
Something in me just couldn’t do it. My heart would race. My throat would close. I didn’t have ideas for the wedding I was supposed to want. Instead, I was finding myself feeling sick whenever it was brought up. I guess my nervous system couldn’t take it anymore and it was time to face the truth. Our last session ended with me saying I couldn’t get married.
That wasn’t the end though. We still tried to make it work after that. I went to visit my parents one last time on October 2022 with the intention of telling them I was planning on ending the engagement. I was expecting them to not understand but I was okay with that at that point since my birthday was quickly approaching. Keeping my word and following through with the resolution I had written down back in January was my main focus.
When my mom asked how everything was going, I replied with “igual.” I guess she saw it in my face so she finally told me that my dad and her had talked and wanted me to know that they would support me with my decisions. The relief I felt from her words brought me to tears. I knew I was still going to end the engagement with or without their approval but being a First-Gen Latina, having their support meant the world to me.
End of an era
So I went back home to Charlotte feeling heavier than ever. I guess it did help that my ex and I had multiple conversations up to that point so he wouldn’t be blind sided after the final conversation. It came down to trying to find the “right” time to have that convo at that point. Something that I really had to do lol. I decided I wanted to have that conversation before November 1st so on October 29, I built up the courage to tell him I wanted to end the engagement and our relationship. He moved out the following day.
There was no drama. No arguments. We had a peaceful adult conversation full of understanding. We both gave each other the space to be heard until the conversation felt complete. I do have to note that it wasn’t an easy conversation by any means. I immediately started crying because I felt like I was disappointing him and my parents. The last thing I wanted was to hurt him. We had shared so many years together. But ultimately, I recognized that I was hurting him even more by keeping him from finding the right person for him. As hard as that realization was, it was true. I needed to let him go even if it meant going through a bunch of pain and suffering.
After he moved out I faced the grieving process that comes with ending a 2 year engagement and long term relationship. Now being on the other side, I have no regrets. Well, I guess I do wish I had done it sooner. However, I understand that everything happened the way it needed to. A year later (almost), I feel happier than ever. I’ve been rediscovering myself and falling in love with myself, which has been a beautiful journey.
This is the lightest I’ve felt in my adult life. I’m happy, at peace, healthier and fitter than ever. I’ve also been making a bunch of new like minded amigas which have been the cherry on top. Oh, I forgot to mention that I decided to stay in Charlotte after ending the engagement despite not having a support system here. But a year later, I can say I’ve built a great one that continues to grow.
A final thought I have about ending an engagement is that although it wasn’t easy by any means, it was worth it. You have to choose yourself at the end of the day. No one can tell you what to do. You know what your inner guidance is telling you and it’s up to you to listen to it. I just want to remind you that the longer you silence it, the louder it will get. I hope you never face any of this but if you do, I know you’re strong and courageous enough to do what’s best for you. You got this! (Final thought: here is a separate blog on the takeaways you need to know about my broken engagement).
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