How to Deal When YOU Cancel Your Wedding
I’m excited about this week’s Simply Solo Spotlight, considering this topic is (for obvious reasons) close to my heart. After reading and commenting on today’s post, please visit Stacy Austin’s blog, Stacy Laughs, and follow her on Twitter at @stacylaughs.
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How to Deal When YOU Cancel Your Wedding
Once upon a time, I had the perfect boyfriend, we lived in the perfect condo, and we were planning the perfect wedding together. Except, it was only perfect on the outside. For a long time, I knew our relationship had problems that couldn’t be fixed and we shouldn’t get married, but I labeled those feelings as “cold feet” and pushed them aside. It was hard to imagine living any other life other than the one we built together. In my scenario, we grew up in the same hometown and went to the same university together, so we had grown up together and our entire lives were intertwined.
Then came a night when I couldn’t sleep. It was a month before our wedding and I knew that going through with it would ultimately be a mistake. It took all the strength in me to start that conversation with my fiancé. Fortunately, he understood, and he agreed. We both felt like getting married wasn’t the right decision.
Unfortunately, he did not want to cancel the wedding. He fought me tooth and nail. He was embarrassed. “What will other people think?” he asked me. He was scared about our future. “Do you still want to be with me? What are we going to do about the mortgage?”
The questions were endless and overwhelming. For the first time in a long time, the future was unknown. I cried. A lot. I felt terrible about the situation, and the worst thing is that it was my fault. I felt like the stress and anxiety were real entities that were physically crushing my chest. Through the process, afterwards, and to this day, I had feelings that I was an evil person who was hurting everyone by not going through with a wedding that I felt in my heart was wrong. It could easily replace one of the higher circles of hell in Dante’s Inferno!
While Catherine has done an excellent job of providing guidelines of what to do after a canceled wedding, I thought I would provide a special spin for those souls out their in their own special hell of being the one who caused the breakup.
Take charge of the situation
Yes, immediately start canceling that wedding. You will need to multi-task as your significant other is probably reeling from the news. If you ask them for help, definitely follow-up on their completed tasks. Since I felt I was forcing the news on him, I did the brunt of the work. No time to fight about petty things; just get things done.
When unmarried couples break up, there are little laws to protect them and their belongings. Try to be as amicable as possible. Think about what is important to you in the split.
Grieve and heal
After the dust has settled, you are going to feel really, really sad. Yes, being broken up with is extremely painful, and it’s not a contest, but being the first one to say out loud “this relationship isn’t working” opens up a whole new world of heartache and guilt that nothing seems to cure. You will miss him and your old life. Most of all, you will miss the person you used to be. You might look at old photos of you in your old life, and be unsure what to do with those feelings.
I recommend seeking counseling and building a good network of friends and family to reach out to. You will have a lot of conflicting feelings, and may want to go back, but like my mom constantly reminded me, “You can never go back to exactly how things were.” She’s right. You’ll never be able to go back to how things were, and you two will never be the same people again. Also, it didn’t feel right to you for a reason. Are you prepared to try to make it work with all the new baggage you’ve created?
Be prepared for the anger
Even the best ex is going to be angry with you after you break up with them. His anger I could handle, because I vaguely understood it. Sure, I was confused, because why would he want to be with me if he agreed that it also didn’t feel right? Regardless, being broken up with sucks, so yes, I understand he was angry with me. His anger included serving me with legal papers to remove my ownership of his items and immediately removing all traces of my existence in our condo. And it was painful when he asked me to move out from the home we built together, but he was more financially secure to handle the expenses, so I did as I was asked with little resistance.
Know who else is going to be angry? Your ex’s family. Going to my ex’s parents’ house to tell them the news was the most difficult drive of my life. We both sat, parked in the car, in the driveway for what felt like hours. I remember my heart beating so hard (as if it were going to burst from my chest) while my fiancé kept asking me not to do this to him, to us. I felt like my world was in slow motion as I opened the car door and walked to the front door.
His parents perpetually have the television on, and I remember the wedding episode of The Office playing as I tried to have the difficult conversation with them. His dad shook his head while his mom had a mean rebuttal for every reason I gave for canceling the wedding.
“I feel like we’re rushing into this,” I said.
“Rushing? Really? You’ve only been dating for six years,” she spat at me.
I felt like I deserved it. Again, I felt like it was my fault. I started this whole thing. I took my licks and I got out of that house. I knew I would never have to see them again.
Know who else is going to be angry? Your ex’s friends. As a reminder, my ex and I grew up together. We grew up with our circle of friends from the playground to the work force. Since it was assumed (and later known) that canceling the wedding was my doing, I lost some friends. It hurt. A lot. I noticed I wasn’t being invited to annual events, and one by one, I saw I was being unfriended on social media websites. My immediate reaction was to fly into a rage and ask “Why?” Then, I realized that if they weren’t going to be there for me in my greatest time of need, they weren’t good people and not worth my time or deserving of the label as my friend.
Know who else is going to be angry? You. You are going to be so angry with yourself. You will think you made the wrong decision. You will worry that you will never find anyone again or that your life is ruined. It’s easier said than done, but nip those negative feelings in the bud. Life is too short to be angry or unhappy. Take care of yourself. After a long-term relationship, you will need time to find and take care of this new person you’ve become.
When you are ready to date again, you are going to have all sorts of new baggage and trust issues. But dating is so exciting! Be excited about every new moment and sensation. I am confident that if I could live through this experience and become a stronger, happier person, that anyone can. Good luck. You can do it!
Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.