Can’t get over an old love

Dear Meredith,

I am 30 years old and engaged to a man who adores me. During my freshman year in college, I met a wonderful man who was an active duty Marine (I'll call him ADM). At the time, I was living in Massachusetts and he was hours away. He was easy to talk to, funny, caring, honest, and very charming. We would arrange to visit each other every chance we had. Even when he was deployed numerous times, we still kept in touch. A year later, I had a miscarriage – I did not know I was pregnant. I called him that night, not knowing how to tell him (he was overseas). He knew something was wrong, so I told him the bad news. He did what was expected – he asked all your typical supportive questions ... Are you alright ... I want to be there for you ... What can I do? We said good night and hung up. The next day I expected him to call and check in, but he did not. I tried to call but there was no answer. I was worried something happened to him overseas. A year went by and I heard nothing at all from him. It pained me for months and months. Though I was hurting, I had to stay focused on my education.

During my junior year of college, I met the man who is now my fiancé. He is a wonderful, sweet man. My fiancé knows I used to date an ADM and about the miscarriage. A few months after my graduation, ADM contacted me through Facebook apologizing and asking for forgiveness. I replied, "I hope all is well for you and thank you." That was our only communication in 2009.

In May of 2015, he found me on Google Plus. He messaged me, "What's up, buddy? How everything going?" (Here we go again). From May until a week ago we talked several times a day. I am engaged and he is married with two children. But we still had strong chemistry. We talked as if nine years hadn't gone by. He again apologized and said he wished he had married me. He told me he's thought about leaving his wife a few times (not because of me, but because she wasn't supportive, etc.). We both knew that our  communication was wrong on every level. We ended it, but a week later we were talking again. I knew it was wrong, but we wanted to see each other. We made a plan but he cancelled because of "work." Then he started keeping his distance. So I texted him one night, "This is it?" He replied, "Yes." All I wanted was to see him one last time. I sent him a nasty text saying I was a fool to have for fallen for him. An hour later I texted him wishing him nothing but the best. He did not reply. I still can't stop thinking about ADM. What is wrong with me? Do my feelings have something to do with the miscarriage? How do I move on with my life? I am hurting still and I am engaged. I love my fiancé and ADM.

-What’s Wrong With Me


Your feelings are all about erasing old pain. They're about wanting to change the narrative. If ADM is wonderful now, you can say, "After so many years, it all worked out. He was a good man." You won't have to feel so bad about how things went down years ago.

But the reality is, you can't change the story. There's nothing romantic about ADM or his intentions. Even if you can forgive his behavior after the miscarriage, you can't give him a pass for how he's behaved as an adult. He's an ex who contacted you through Google Plus by asking, "What's up, buddy?" You should have responded with an eye roll as opposed to a string of flirty messages.

Instead of thinking about ADM, who has not been kind or reliable, focus on how you feel about your fiancé. Did you interact with ADM because you're not ready to settle down with your real partner? Is there something lacking in the relationship or was your present-day connection to ADM more about tying up a loose end? If you obsess about anything, it should be the relationship you're in. If you're not ready to take the next step with your fiancé, you have to say something soon.

Readers? Is this about what happened years ago or about her relationship with her fiancé? Why is she thinking about ADM?

– Meredith