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home : columns : dear harriette November 20, 2018

3/6/2018 8:42:00 AM
Lost engagement ring causes guilt

 DEAR HARRIETTE: My fiance and I just got engaged, and we are excited about our wedding. Unfortunately, I misplaced my engagement ring. I looked for it for weeks, but I finally told my fiance that I lost it. He understood and we replaced the ring, but I still have the guilt of losing the first one. I find myself reassuring him that I won't lose the ring again, but I want to stop doing that. My fiance hasn't shown any resentment, but I think I am punishing myself because of my mistake. I'm afraid it will come up in a future disagreement and he'll hold it against me. Is there a way to prevent him from using the lost engagement ring against me? Should I just get over this? -- Lost Engagement Ring, Jacksonville, Florida 

DEAR LOST ENGAGEMENT RING: It is understandable that you would feel guilty for having lost the initial ring, but what you are doing now is detrimental to the health of your relationship. If you keep dwelling on the lost ring rather than forgiving yourself and moving forward, it will remain a thorn in your side. Your fiance has let it go. Stop talking about it. Stop thinking about it. Focus on the present and the future life that you are building together.  

You cannot prevent your fiance from bringing up the ring in some future hypothetical argument, but you actually increase the chances of that happening if the loss remains top of mind for you. Move on. 

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been single for two years now. I am dating, but nothing is serious yet. I am content and happy focusing on myself, but recently an ex has come back into the picture. This relationship did not end on good terms. Toward the end of our relationship, I found out that he wasn't faithful.  

I had thought we would take bigger steps in our relationship, like moving in together or even marriage. I was deeply in love with him until I found out the truth. After I learned about his unfaithfulness, we broke up, and I haven't spoken to him in two years. He has contacted me on Facebook, looking to mend things. I am not sure if it is the best idea for me. I want to stay happy with who I am now, and I don't want to go back and relive those memories by talking to him. Should I reconnect with him, and if so, how do I stay strong? -- Happier Without Him, Dundalk, Maryland 

DEAR HAPPIER WITHOUT HIM: Trust your instincts on this one. You made the right decision to end the relationship when he proved untrustworthy. You have gotten yourself to a happy place in your life. There is no reason for you to communicate with him anymore. Do not meet or talk with him. Instead, send him a nice note saying you hope his life is good and that he is happy. Tell him you are doing well and that you do not want to reconnect with him. Even if he persists in trying to get you to communicate with him, just say no.   

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.) 

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