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Carolyn Hax: Her 'anti-marriage' ex is now engaged to another

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dear Carolyn:

Please help me come to terms with the fact that, less than one year after breaking up with me because I wanted to get married and he didn't, my ex is now engaged to someone else. He had spent four years telling me how firmly anti-marriage he was. The worst part is that the fiancee is really insufferable.

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Really? That sounds like the best part.

Think of the possibilities the fiancee's awfulness allows:

It could mean your ex was looking for someone (presumably) very different from you -- which would mean your personality wasn't the problem, his taste in women was.

Or, maybe he's just as anti-marriage as always, but she is a bully, and she has his principles in a jar somewhere in the back of her medicine cabinet.

It could be, too, that his anti-marriage stance was a test to gauge how much of a pushover you were. Now, I don't necessarily believe he did that consciously; that would make him a monster. But I do believe that immature people -- i.e., those looking to get away with something (vs. be good for the sake of it) -- do push their companions to see how compliant they'll be.

Think about it. Your ex just spent four years enjoying your company while making sure you stayed outside the velvet ropes. He saw that he could, and then did, push you around.

And maybe his now-fiancee, when he tried his no-marriage line on her, said, "Suit yourself, but don't bother calling me anymore." Assertiveness could explain why you find her "insufferable" and he finds her attractive.

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