Friday, November 18, 2011

Part Two: "I don't love him"

“I think I’m making the biggest mistake of my life.”

She said this as most of her belongings were already en route to her new residence: her fiance’s house. 

She had spent the last three months trying to convince me that she was ready to move in with him. As it turns out, she may have been trying to convince herself.

I’ll admit she had me fooled at times. She picked out the paint and scheduled the painters. She got estimates on new carpet and had it installed. She talked in “we” sentences.

“When we settle into the house, we’ll have you over for dinner.”

“When we get new furniture…”

“When we get a Christmas tree…”

Although she changed her relationship status to “engaged” on Facebook (doing this makes everything official, right? *snicker*), I didn’t announce it to family members. I didn’t even tell her sister.

I had always imagined that the announcement of my daughter’s engagement would be festive, like in the movies, where the announcement itself kicks off a series of celebrations, dinners and impromptu wine drinking.

At the very least, I thought it would result in a series of phone calls, text messages and, yes, Facebook updates. 

The first phone call would go to my mom: “He proposed! He went to Jared!”

None of this happened.

Three months later, the words, “I think I’m making the biggest mistake of my life,” are hanging in the air and my heart immediately sinks to my stomach. Panic is setting in, but I can’t freak out on her now and it's not the time for "I told you so." 

She found the courage to tell me. Now she needs help. She needs her mom. 

I take a deep breath and calmly say,  “Then don’t go. Don’t do it.”

“Mom, it’s too late,” she says, tears are swelling in her eyes.

“No, mija, it’s never too late. Never.”

 “I’ve gone too far to back out now,” she says. “Everything is done. My stuff is probably already there. He’s waiting for me. He’s expecting me.”

Then she said what I had already suspected: “I don’t love him.”

I knew we’d reached a pivotal moment in the conversation. It was now up to me to find the right words.

“Listen to your heart, to your gut, to your intuition. All of these things are telling you not to go. Trust what you’re feeling and listen to what you’re telling me. You just looked me in the eyes and admitted that you don’t love him and that you’re making the biggest mistake of your life. You don’t have to do this. It’s not too late. It’s never too late.”

As I pleaded my case, tears were streaming down her face as she sat there, silently listening.

“Mom, it’s too late,” she said again.

She then gathered the last of her laundry, put the dog in the backseat and left.

To be continued…


  1. Oh girlfriend, I really admired the way you've handled the situation! If I were in your shoes, I would probably freak out and be not much of a help. But you, I think you're amazing.

    Remember my reaction when you first told us that your daughter was engaged? Even then I was in awe of how cool you reacted towards the whole thing, even when inside you had your doubts and worries.

    I really hope that your daughter decides on what's right for her at the end. A lot of times, especially for us women, we make wrong decisions just because we worry about what others would think or breaking someone's heart. What you told her, and I truly hope she'd take it to heart, that it's never too late -- was really the best thing we as mothers could do for our daughters. I hope she'd realize soon, dear friend... I truly hope so!


    There are people who feel this on their wedding day and then go on to marry AND HAVE CHILDREN with people they never really loved in the first place. Then, after a divorce, they're frustrated because they had children and are therefore connected with someone they never wanted to connect to in the first place. Oh girl... I hope she listened to you. Or at the very least, if she does move in with him, maybe she will then recognize it is something she doesn't want and can get out then.

    You are one strong mama. You handled this with grace. I hope she thinks about it.

  3. Oh, how I wish I'd had a mom like you. I remember so clearly getting to my wedding day and thinking, "I don't want to do this, but it's too late." I remember finding out about the cheating later and thinking, "I can't leave him, I have nowhere to go and no one I can talk to." I remember swallowing everything that felt so wrong about the relationship in order to make everyone else think it was so right.

    Please keep encouraging her to listen to her heart...and mostly her stomach, which is where a lot of us carry our stress. You are so strong and she needs some of that right now! You can be the mom so many of us needed before we made our biggest mistakes!

  4. Your daughter is so fortunate to have you. You are present and there for you. I hope she realizes this soon. I'm in awe of your parenting!