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'My ex-fiancée wants to catch up after he left me at the altar, how do I proceed?' UPDATED

'My ex-fiancée wants to catch up after he left me at the altar, how do I proceed?' UPDATED

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"Ex-fiancée wants to catch up after he left me at the altar, how do I proceed?"

Well exactly what the title states, also I’m writing this on mobile sorry for any formatting issues.

My (28f) ex-fiancée “Derek” (32m) disappeared the morning of our wedding 2 years ago, evading all attempts to reach him from myself and his family. It was devastating, absolutely soul crushing, the event turned into a party to distract from the pain of the unknown, afterwards I returned to our apartment and slept on the bathroom floor in my wedding dress. It was quite the ugly sight to be honest.

His mother ended up coming to the apartment when she informed me tearfully that Derek had run off with an ex of his, they had apparently reconnected a week prior to wedding and he just couldn’t go through with it opting instead to rekindle his relationship with his ex.

His family was horrified, I didn’t hear from him until 3 months after he left. He called me, apologised and then revealed that his ex had been hiding his child from him that when he found out about, he just wanted to be with them.

That’s pretty much all that was said, I didn’t say much, actually I think I only said “hello”. The whole situation left me numb, I just didn’t care anymore.

Thankfully though my friends were and continue to be there for me, through all of this muck. They encouraged me to seek therapy and work on healing. Which I’ll be honest was terribly difficult, but after year I felt myself again.

Which brings me to today, after the this whole debacle and subsequent self improvement/rebuilding I moved to the UK (originally from Australia) for a change in scenery.

Last night I got a message request on instagram, it was Derek. “Hey 👋🏻, I’ve heard you moved to Wales, that’s so cool, I’m travelling to Cardiff towards of the end of July.

I’m deeply sorry about everything and I want to discuss what happened leading up to the wedding. I hope I'm not overwhelming you, let me know if you’d like to talk over lunch.” Firstly, no idea who told him about my move.

Secondly, I don’t know if I crave closure from him, but I also don’t won’t to decide to decline to only later on regret my decision.

So I turn to you strangers of the internet, what should I think about before reaching a decision? Would be wise to decline or should I humour him and listen to his “reasons”?

Okay minor update: Wow, this garnered far more attention than I anticipated, so bare with as I try to navigate all of your advice. Although the general consensus is quite clear. I have learned that an old mutual friend of ours revealed where I moved, and evidently he’s been stressing that he needs to tell me something.

For the time being I have decided to simply ignore his message, and work through any emerging feelings with my therapist.

Quick update! So, I mentioned previously I decided to not respond to his message. A day after I received another message from him, which I won’t write out in its entirety. To sum it up he apologised for how disingenuous his previous message was and explained why he had reached out to me.

Essentially he wanted to discuss that week, that final week before our wedding and why he left without discussing it. I’ll be honest I’m gonna refrain from going into detail about our whole stories here, but I will say my ex-fiancé (thank you for the correction btw) has been diagnosed with Avoidance PTSD from past experiences.

I feel for him but I told him that I still couldn’t move past being left in a state of limbo for 3 months. Irregardless, ultimately I agreed to meet him, and I don’t regret it. He’s not with his ex, I’ve found she’s actually since passed away, which is part of the reason that she reached out to me, and yes the child is his.

The lunch was short and in the end he handed me an envelope, which contained all of the money we spent preparing for the wedding. In all honesty it was cathartic for me, I’ve often feared that I’m still subconsciously harbouring feelings for him, but the lunch proved I didn’t.

I’ve closed that chapter of my life, with him, with the woman I was and now, now I’m free. Thank you all.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the initial post:

Otherwise-Table1935

I wouldn't bother. You've closed that chapter. Don't open old wounds for yourself. He's selfish AF.

SpookySchatzi

This. He likely wants to talk to assuage something with his conscience. I wouldn’t give him that relief. Let him live with the full consequences of his actions. You’re better off just moving forward.

Fearless-Wishbone924

This. He deserves nothing: not your time, not your energy or effort and certainly not your undivided attention. 'No' is a complete sentence.

iamnoking

There is no excuse in the world good enough to explain away what he did. Here are some of the options he had:

  • Call you, the woman he was going to marry, and TALK to you about the situation.

  • Talk to his parents

  • Make an appointment with a therapist

  • Basically talk to ANYONE he trusted about finding out he had a child, and was thinking of being with his ex.

  • Postpone the wedding while things get figured out.

He chose not to talk to anyone though. Because he knew what he was doing was unbelievably sick and wrong. Not that his feelings were wrong, but the fact that he was going to ABANDON you and embarrass you in front of everyone you both loved and knew.

Let me make this clear. Instead of calling ANYONE, and canceling the wedding. Not even a cowardly text message. He let you get ready, get your makeup done, put on your damn wedding dress, and let you think that day was going to be one of the happiest of your life.

He put your parents in a position see their daughter so high and happy and full of love, then utterly destroyed. He put his family in the position of having all eyes on them, their cowardly son, no where to be seen.

What he is doing now is one of 2 things. One, he realizes he made a mistake and chose the wrong woman all those years ago. He misses you and thinks he can get you back after his unforgivable actions. Two, he is only contacting you to make HIMSELF feel better about being an utter a**hat. Please do not give him the satisfaction.

21 days later, the OP returned with another update:

alavandelatulipe

Hello everyone, I did update in my original post but I've decided to repost it here. So as I mentioned previously I decided to not respond to his message. A day after however, I received another message from him, which I won't write out in it's entirety.

To sum it up for you all though, he apologised for how disingenuous his initial message was and explained why he had reached out to me. Essentially he wanted to discuss that week, that final week before our wedding and the events that led up to him dipping out.

Now I will refrain from entirely delving into my exe's and I's past, but my ex-fiancé was diagnosed with PTSD with avoidant attributions from past experiences. His diagnosis did provide quite a bit of clarity looking back our relationship and his past behaviour, so I truly feel for him in his journey of self-healing.

However, despite his struggles I still told him that couldn't forgive him for his callous act of living me in a perpetual state of limbo for 3 months, unsure of why he had abandoned me. He said he understood.

Now, and some of you will be quite mad with me, but I ultimately agreed to meet him for lunch and I do not regret it. He's not with his ex, actually she passed away 6 months after he left me the alter, which is part of the reason why she reached out to him in the first place.

Since then he has been working on himself through therapy, and navigating single fatherhood. Yes the child is his.

The lunch wasn't too long, but it was all around, cathartic on both sides. At the end of the lunch, he handed over an envelope which contained the all money we spent preparing for the wedding.

Honestly I was dumbfounded, it wasn't a gesture I was expecting on his behalf, and I think he was taken aback when I returned the ring he gave me. It's funny I held onto the ring just in case I needed to sell it if my finances continued to be unstable, but I never had to. Ironic that in the end I did receive money whilst seemingly trading that ring.

He looks better, and not to toot my horn but I feel I do as well. Now that chapter has concluded and I no longer feel rage or remorse, I feel free.

I feared that I might've still harboured feelings for him, but I have since found that I loved him for the man he was in that moment when we were together, and though we're now apart I'm okay with looking back and acknowledging the love I had for him.

I've closed that chapter now, with him, with the woman I was with him. Thank you all so much, any advice on what I should spend the money own? Haha.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after this latest update:

Intelligent_Love4444

Wow I’m not a believer in closure but that is some serious closure.

StefMcDuff

Right? Part of my brain went: 'damn. He apologized, explained what happened (a sh*tty situation for all involved, quite frankly,) gave her money to offset the money spent on the wedding. Sounds like a great guy! They should get mar... Oh wait.' 😂

I feel for both OP and the ex. You're right though about closure. Rarely in life does everything get so packaged up so nicely with a bow.

Username89054

This is a great case where her ex would garner a lot more sympathy if he had communicated. All he had to do was say 'I just found out my ex hid a kid from me for years, we need to hold off on getting married until I sort this out.' Boom, relationship hope is kept alive and you don't completely f*ck the person you're supposed to marry over.

paneerbettermasala

I remember reading the original post amd thinking...the audacity of this guy to reach out like this after what he did. I thought he's reaching out only to rub it in her face more, but I'm glad it kind of ended well for her. Nothing justifies what he did though. But he does seem like a good soul deep down.

If you were in this OP's position, what would you do? Is there anything she can do?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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