When Mark called off his engagement, he had to move out of the apartment he shared with his fiancé. Mark’s sister let him crash on the couch until he was able to find another rental apartment. Mark’s sister was his safety net.

“It just wasn’t right,” says Mark, about his engagement. “I found myself in the terrible position of realizing it wasn’t a good, healthy relationship, and having to decide what to do about it.”

Mark and his fiancé had been together for three years, with lots of ups and downs, before they got engaged. But, after they got engaged and moved in together, that’s when he realized it just wasn’t going to work. “We were fighting all the time,” he says. “It got to the point where I actually dreaded coming home.”

The situation was complicated by the fact that the apartment they had moved into belonged to her family. “We had gotten an amazing deal on this apartment, because it was owned by her uncle,” explains Mark.

Despite the complication, and the challenge involved, he knew what he had to do. So, when an opportunity presented itself to talk about it with her, the conversation inevitably led to the conclusion that it was best for them to part ways. “It was the hardest talk I have ever had to have,” he says. “This was the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. Then all of a sudden ‘poof!’ I knew it was the right thing to do, but it was still so hard.”

After they talked, she insisted that he move out immediately, which, while understandable, didn’t give him much time to figure out an alternative plan. “I hated to make this call, but I really felt I had no choice,” says Mark. “I called my sister.”

Mark’s older sister, who is married with two young children and has a house a few neighbourhoods away, told him to come right away. She put sheets on the couch that very night. “I hated imposing, but she was really warm and welcoming to me,” says Mark, who ended up staying with his sister’s family for almost two months, while he looked for an apartment.

“We had our moments, to be sure,” says Mark. “But I am really happy for the time I spent there, connecting with my nephews, and so grateful to my sister for stepping up when the chips were down. Thank you, sis, for being my safety net!”

*Mark’s name and photo have been changed to protect his identity

Be a safety net

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