Q. I have really bad news. I was engaged to a guy who I was with for 20 months. I thought he was in love with me. When we met I was living with my mom who is in her 60′s. Him and I worked together and had the same shift. We spent our lunches together and after work we would spend even more time together. He asked me to marry him after 6 months of dating. I accepted. We found an apartment close by that he moved into and that I would move into when we got married.
He ended up breaking up with me 7 months later after he came back from a religious tent rivival acting like he was a King. I was devastated and confused. At that point, my lease was ending soon and I needed to figure out where my mom and I were going to move since I wasn’t getting married. I found a good deal on a pre-construction home and I was quickly approved. Later my ex fiance wanted to get back together. I accepted his apology and told him about the house purchase. I had to move in with my sister while the house was being built. Four months later we lost the house and the money we put down. During that time my ex fiance financed a new car without telling me and when I found out I was still very supportive with him.
My ex fiance told me that the reason my mom didn’t get the house is because she is not in Jesus Christ. He also said that he was ok with me taking a loss on the down payment my mom and I put down on the house. He said that I needed to find an inexpensive 1 bedroom apartment or a senior assisted living facility for my mom so I wouldn’t have to help her financially.
My mom was so disappointed about the house that I didnt want her to move into an apartment. I found a townhome that was in the same area as the house we lost. I also looked into apartment living and the prices for 1 bedrooms were the same price as the townhome. The townhome included water and cable in the rent. By phone I tried to explain this to my ex fiance the night before I made a decision and he was on the other line with a boy he was preaching to that he only knew for a week. I told him it was important and I asked why he was on the phone so late. My ex fiance started yelling at me just because I asked him a question and he hung up. I called him back and he told me that he was tired and would talk to me the next day. He didn’t even ask why I was calling. That really made me feel terrible.
I really tried to explain to him the options I had before I made my decision. The conversation the night before really made me feel uncomfortable about including him in my decision because of the way he was treating me. That wasn’t the first time he yelled at me. I called him the next day and explained to him the details of the townhome. He asked me if my mom could afford it on her own and I said no I would have to help her with the townhome and even if we were to get a one bedroom I would still have to help her. He told me he would call me back and he never did. I didn’t hear from him the next day when he was supposed to pick me up to take me to church and we had a double date that night. I thought something happened to him. I called our mutual friends and found out he did go to church. I kept calling him and he didnt call back. I finally heard from him a few days later. He told me that I went against everything he told me to do. He didn’t want to speak to me during that time because he was very upset.
I explained to him that when we get married he could move into the townhome when his lease was up or I could move in with him but I would still have to help my mom financially. He was ok with that. A few days later I ended up in the hospital and was very sick. He ended up confessing to me that the day that I moved that night he was with the boy he was preaching to on the phone the other day and ended up having pizza at the boy’s house with 2 females preaching. The boy works with him and is a lot younger then my ex fiance. They started to take their lunch breaks together and would meet each other after work. They would talk on the phone for hours.
I got sick again after I was released from the hospital and my ex fiance didn’t want to take me to the hospital. He told me to stop letting the devil lie to me. He was complaining that I got sick all the time and he was tired of telling the people at work that were concerned about me that I was sick. Later he changed with me and bought me some gifts and gave it to me at the hospital and then we planned to get married in Jan of next year.
To try to make a very long story short, a week later he ended up breaking up with me on my birthday weekend and told me he couldn’t see past me leasing the town home….I explained to him that I would be helping my mom financially and he didnt have to help and he still didnt care. He said that me helping my mom would take away from our income and finances combined if we were married. He said that this was a trap. He told me that he let his love for me get in the way of his choices and that I couldn’t change his mind. That his focus is on the Lord and that I made ungodly choices. He said that me getting the town home cost me our relationship and that he wasn’t going to accept the situation that I am in.
A. You may not see it this way but your ex-fiancé leaving you may have been a blessing in disguise. From a psychological perspective, something seems wrong with his thinking, his behavior toward you and your mother as well as his intense devotion to his religious activities. It does not seem that when it came to important matters within the relationship that he was responsible or nice. He was deceptive and he lied to you. He also seems to have an anger problem, feels that much of your behavior is “ungodly,” disappeared for days and was found to have spent that lost time preaching to a boy about religion, refused to take you to the hospital when you were ill and told people that you were a bother to him for being sick. His behavior is unhealthy and much of it should be unacceptable to you.
He may possess many good qualities but some of the information you have offered about him should be a red flag to you and your mother. With regard to religion I want to be clear. There is nothing wrong with believing in religious ideas and engaging in religious practices on a regular basis. Your fiancé’s involvement with his religion, however, may be considered by some to be unusual.
There is a famous Maya Angelou quote that I think is particularly relevant to your situation. She said that “when people show you who they are, believe them, the first time.” By this she meant that people display their “true colors” very early on in a relationship but too often people do not see them for who they really are. It is quite possible that your ex-fiancé has psychological issues that you did not notice. It may have been for the best that you did not get married.
If you have troubling understanding why your ex fiancé might not have been a suitable mate it might be helpful if you met with a therapist and asked for their objective opinion. Thanks for writing.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Nov 2008
Randle, K. (2008). Fiance Left Me on My Birthday. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 2, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/11/10/fiance-left-me-on-my-birthday/