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How to Deal When YOU Cancel Your Wedding

October 3, 2012

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.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Find out how you can be the next writer for Simply Solo here!

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.

wet leaves on the ground, rain-soaked leavesKnow 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.

Move on

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.


12 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2012 2:53 pm

    Stacy,
    I just wanted to leave a comment and say that it takes such strength to stand up when something isn’t right. I know a lot of what you went through, and it’s so hard. Trust me, you’ll be happier in the end for making this tough decision. It just takes some pain to get there. Thanks for sharing your advice here :)

    • October 6, 2012 11:49 am

      Thank you, Catherine! Your kind words mean so much. I visited your website a lot when I needed strength during hard times. It helps to know that others can make it, so I hope my words can help someone else like your words helped me.

  2. 2NewBeginnings permalink
    October 6, 2012 4:56 pm

    I have never cancelled a wedding, but I have ended a marriage and I think this is good advice for anyone who has ended a long-term relationship/wedding and it was their choice. I think sometimes we think that making the actual decision to end the relationship is the hardest part/cancelling the wedding, but in my experience ” 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.” this is the hard part. Taking care of yourself, forgiving yourself for wanting something else or thinking you deserve more, GETTING RID OF THE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS and realizing that you will change from this experience and embracing that change….that’s the hard part! Thanks for sharing your story!

    • October 7, 2012 1:50 pm

      Thank you for your comment. At times I felt like ending my long-term relationship and wedding was similar to going through a divorce. I support what you say about getting rid of the negative thoughts and embracing change. It can be a difficult process, but I think we can all be made better from hard times.

  3. October 7, 2012 1:30 am

    Thanks for sharing your story…I can see how hard this must have been for you. I’m very new at wordpress and I came across your blog and I already love it…I’ll definitely be reading more of it to get up to date!

    • October 8, 2012 1:56 pm

      Thanks for your comment. This is a guest post, but please come back to Catherine’s blog and visit mine too.

  4. October 8, 2012 6:29 am

    Although I’ve never canceled a wedding, I’ve had to tell someone after living together and making plans to get married , just after 30 days together that it wasn’t going to work out. You just cringe when you tell them. But you have to be honest with yourself and life does go on.

    • October 8, 2012 1:57 pm

      I can imagine that was very hard. Thank you for sharing. I agree that it’s best to be honest in relationships and yes, life does go on.

  5. October 8, 2012 5:30 pm

    Loved this honest guide through your process. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Nicole permalink
    June 27, 2013 1:50 pm

    Stacy, thank you for this thoughtful reflection. I just cancelled my wedding two days ago (it was set to happen in one month). My fiancé and I are in the middle of the storm, hashing out all the details and even discussing if we should still stay together. I vacillate back and forth between knowing I made the right decision to call it off and fearing that I made a mistake. I’m glad to know that someone else who called off their wedding also feared it was a mistake (this is something I’ve Googled to death); I keep reminding myself that I was desperate to call it off for months and those feelings don’t just disappear, but it’s so hard to walk out on a wonderful guy and a dream wedding. Thank you for your encouragement and reflective post. It helps more than you know.

Trackbacks

  1. How to Cancel a Wedding. | The Bitter Lemon

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