Dumpster or Dumpstee?

23 Jul

Dear LetterBalm: My fiancée and I broke up a couple of years ago. It was her decision. I had quit my job at a big law firm – which I hated – to go into private practice, and she felt she didn’t “sign on for this.” She said we’d be struggling financially, and she was marrying a lawyer to enjoy a certain standard of living, which I probably wouldn’t be able to give her. I didn’t tell anyone why she broke it off, partly because it’s no one’s business and partly because I didn’t want to badmouth her. I recently met her new fiancé (he’s a partner in a prestigious firm) and, when we were introduced, he greeted me with “oh, you’re the ex-fiancé who dumped Jennifer”, and he was cool to me the rest of the evening. I feel like I should set the record straight. What do I say to people who still bring it up?

–Poorer But Happier

The time to tell people about your breakup was when it happened. Talking about it two years on, you might come across as bitter and defensive, and you don’t want that. In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter. But do consider your ex-fiancée dispassionately because she’s quite a piece of work. She’s a mendacious gold digger with misplaced values, and her new fiancé will have his hands full in the future, mark Ms. L.B.’s words. So, you’re much better off. If you see them socially, always be neutrally kind. If you feel you must respond to unfair comments by others, be polite and noncommittal, something like this:

You can rest assured that Jennifer and I had very good reasons for ending our engagement, which I won’t elaborate. She’s engaged/married to Matt now, and I, for one, wish them happiness.

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