The X Factor

What Would Debbie Do? The X Factor Dear Debbie, I recently became engaged to my boyfriend of 13 years. I waited for so long and went through many life issues, almost living as a married couple. One month after the engagement, a high school sweetheart from the past contacted me. He has expressed apologies, love […]

What Would Debbie Do?

The X Factor

Dear Debbie,

I recently became engaged to my boyfriend of 13 years. I waited for so long and went through many life issues, almost living as a married couple. One month after the engagement, a high school sweetheart from the past contacted me. He has expressed apologies, love and devotion to me and wants to be with me forever. I never realized these things to be true and was under a completely different assumption (he has been looking for me for 17 years). Help? I find myself torn after seeing and communicating with him and have even contacted friends and a therapist for advice.

          —Les

Dear Les,

Thirteen years is a long time to wait. My guess is there’s more to the story than you can convey in a short space. I think your high school sweetie’s return to your life is just a sign that all is not well with your current relationship. And, the fact that you’re asking friends, a therapist — even me — for advice also suggests that you’re unsure of your decision to marry your 13-year guy. I can’t say that I blame you. However, I will caution you that the sweetheart is probably not the fix, at least not now. There’s no telling that all would be perfect if the two of you got together, so don’t exchange one guy for the other. Make a decision about your fiancé based on the years of experience you already have with him. If he’s the one, marry him. If you have doubts, now’s the time to exit stage right. Your sweetheart should not play a role in that decision.

Trust your instincts. I sense they’re probably right on track. Tell your fiancé you need time to figure out if you’re making the right decision. And then do some serious soul- searching. It’s not about the sweetheart…it’s about you and your fiancé. Start there. Once you clear that up, all will make sense. I know it must feel scary after all these years, but you must make the hard decisions now, before it’s too late. Good luck.


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