Opinion Piece: I Did Not Ask for Your Opinion on My Ex Fiancé

Dear Readership,

The following post is meant mostly in jest. By that I mean I am deadly serious about the content, but want you to imagine it delivered in a humorous tone since tone doesn’t always come across in writing.

Let’s play a game. I’m going to give you four sentences and you have to tell me what they have in common:

“Don’t you think you spend too much time together?”

“I think it would be better if you guys had some space from each other.”

“Won’t it be weird to explain when you start dating other people?”

“Your breakup would be easier if you just stopped talking to each other and moved on.”

Is it:
A) Crappy, entirely unsolicited things people have said about mine and Bryce’s relationship since we called off our engagement
B) Busybodies staying busy
C) Frankly none of anyone’s business
OR
D) All of the frickin’ above!

Now I know what you might be saying right now, “Wowie, Gosh almighty, Jeez Oh Pete, Sierra. Looks like someone took too many passive aggressive pills with breakfast today and is coming on a little strong. Tell us how you really feel, crazy.”

To which I’d say, “Fair enough.”

But to those of you who have wondered (be it rudely, directly, to our faces, behind out backs, with good intentions, as a means of looking for fresh new gossip, out of genuine love and concern, or anywhere in between) HERE is exactly how I really feel – wonder no longer.

I love Bryce. I care about him. He’s important to me and, as a general rule, I like to keep the things I care about close at hand and in my heart. Also let me just go ahead and take a moment to emphasize that I am not concerned about what the the mythical feelings of a currently non-existent future S.O. might be, and I will not let how they may or may not some day feel about mine and Bryce’s relationship dictate my behavior (because, damn! That was exhausting to type, much less live by. Life is too short for that mess).

Further, let it be known that Bryce and I didn’t fall out of love. I say that mostly because I don’t think falling out of love is even possible. If anything, people fade out of love. But as it happens, our love hadn’t faded when we called off our engagement. As previously stated, I still love him. Very much.

But over the last four or five months of our engagement, some fairly serious issues cropped up. We sat down and looked long and hard at the trajectory of our relationship and we didn’t like where it was headed. There were certain things that had to change and certain other things that had to be emotionally dealt with in order for us to have a happy, healthy, marriage and it wasn’t immediately clear that either of those were guaranteed to happen. Could we change? I don’t know, maybe. Could we emotionally process the stuff that needed dealt with? Again, unclear. But both of those things had to happen for us to feel comfortable getting married and both were going to take time.

So we were then faced with a decision — do we postpone our wedding but stay engaged and hope that we can fix what is broken? Or do we break up?

We chose to break up.

We broke up to get clarity and space and remove the time constraint of fixing our problems before a new wedding date. We broke up because we thought it would be the emotionally healthier way to move forward.

We did not break up because we hated each other, or because we wanted to move on from each other, or because we were unhappy. And we did not break up because we wanted to see less of each other.

Bryce didn’t stop being my best friend when we broke up. I didn’t stop wanting to call him whenever something frustrating or funny or exciting or sad happened to me. I didn’t stop wanting to hear his thoughts on the world or stop wanting to lay around and watch TV with him. I didn’t stop missing him when we were apart.

I did, however, stop caring what people thought. Calling off an engagement is agonizingly embarrassing — and that’s coming from someone who has experienced a remarkable amount of social discomfort over the course of her short, awkward, life. Have you ever walked around at work with your skirt tucked in your underwear so that your butt hangs out for god only knows how long before your boss finally tells you? I have. Pretty recently, actually. It was mortifying. NOT as mortifying, however, as having to recontact all of the people who I had just asked for addresses from so I could send them wedding invitations only to then say, “JK! Never mind. We called it off.” I cried from embarrassment. More than once. But it was what was best for us, just like staying an active part of each others’ lives is best for us.

Will we get back together? Um, none of your business. That’s for us to work on and figure out. Maybe. If we can. If we ever reach a point of believing that that is what is the best for both of us and our friendship in the long run. In the meantime, I want him in my life as much as possible.

I broke up with Bryce because I didn’t want to lose him to a bitter marriage. If I cared what people thought, I would have just quietly married him to save face and endured the consequences. Instead, I did the most uncomfortable thing I’ve ever done because I wanted to fight for continued access to a person that I deeply adore. Now, rather than attempt to understand something they haven’t seen before, so many people have had the audacity to criticize it because it doesn’t follow a “traditional breakup narrative” and what they believe is “right” or “normal.”

My goal in life is not to behave in a way that makes sense to people. My goal is to live a life that is full, fulfilled, wild, beautiful, authentic, joyful and uniquely mine. I know without a doubt that Bryce is an integral part of achieving that for me, even if the exact nature of his role is still unclear. Our journey for answers is messy, but it is our own and I cherish that.

Let’s return now then to our original four sentences from the beginning and respond to them the way they deserve to be responded to:

“Don’t you think you spend too much time together?”
On the contrary, we don’t spend nearly enough time together. He gives my life purpose and direction and I can never have enough of that.

“I think it would be better if you guys had some space from each other.” Oh, do you? The day that space from Bryce is better for me is the day that one of us stops breathing… Because, you know, hanging out with a corpse is never good for you, really.

“Won’t it be weird to explain when you start dating other people?” Idk, but that influences literally 0% of my decisions. And we did try to start dating other people. It didn’t really take. For now, we’re happy to work on ourselves and enjoy each other’s company.

“Your breakup would be easier if you just stopped talking to each other and moved on.”
I’m not really looking to do what’s easier, I’m looking to do what’s best for me and Bryce. And as it turns out, we’re actually the best qualifed people to make that decision for ourselves.

I guess what I’m trying to say to the people who have felt inclined to judge what they don’t understand or tried to force us to behave in a way that fits a small minded perspective — in the most loving and gracious way that I can manage — get bent.

Until next time,

Adieu

Published by

Sierra Patterson

I'm nobody with the urge to be somebody and a gift for telling stories. My hope is to use this site to hone my writing for a wider audience than college professors and family friends. So cheers to you, dear reader! Please let me know what you think

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