It’s Okay Not To Go Through With Your Wedding

Okay, I am aware that the title of this post might be met with a lot of shocked faces and disbelief. So before anyone starts thinking that I must be some sort of fake-wedding planner to be saying such heinous things, let me start by telling you why I decided to write this blog post in the first place. It all started when (it’s December so I’m allowed to begin this like a cheesy Christmas film) I came across a post in a wedding forum that went a little something like this:

I found out that my future husband is messaging a girl behind my back. I know who she is because they once met at a party and swapped numbers even though he was dating me at the time. We sorted it out, or so I thought. Last night I was checking on his phone that he had set the alarm for us to get up the next morning. Whilst I was setting it, I saw her name flash up with a text. Obviously I looked to see what the message said, and they have been messaging for ages. She’s sent him pictures of herself, and he’s asked whether she’s single. I’m so hurt and I don’t know what to do about the wedding now…

I felt so heartbroken for the poor woman who had written this post. I felt crushed for her, and could only imagine what it must have felt like to discover the man she thought she would marry had done this to her. But it was the last bit that really caught my attention. “I don’t know what to do now about the wedding…” Well surely the answer is obvious isn’t it?! You call off the wedding and break up with him. But I can’t say that I’m surprised she’s deliberating about what to do, and I can imagine that had she not been engaged to this guy then the decision would be a lot easier to make.

There’s something about planning a wedding and having an engagement ring on your finger that makes a lot of women, and men, think that whatever problems they now come across that they still have to get married. But guys, an engagement ring is not some form of shackle or handcuff. It’s not an unbreakable vow like in Harry Potter. It’s just a symbol, and the thing with symbols is that they only mean what you want them to mean. To most of the world this is a symbol that you have decided to take the next stage in your relationship and someone wants to spend their life with you. But that does not enforce you to have to do it if your partner doesn’t treat you right, or you simply change your mind. Until the signing of the register you can back out at any time, and I honestly know people who have done it.

I’ve heard a lot of comments from people who are second-guessing their marriage prior to the wedding, and I’ve heard even more from people who second-guessed their marriage, went through with it because all of the plans had been made, and then they ended up divorcing anyway ( a la Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries). And really, this is the root of the problem. As humans, we are programmed to want approval from people. We all do it; that’s how we make friends, smash job interviews, and find someone to fall in love with. Because on some level we have worked out what people approve of in these different types of relationship and put our best foot forward based on this. And so, when everyone’s invitations have been sent out,  your parents have spent the best part of £20,000 on your wedding, and your dress has been tailored exactly to fit your body, we convince ourselves that it’s better to go through with a marriage we’re not happy with. For one day of making everyone else happy.

Most people say you don’t really know someone until you live with them. But, I would argue that you actually don’t really know someone until you start a planning a wedding with them. Months of making decisions about things which until this point seemed quite trivial, and now seem holy-grail-important, really show sides of your partner that you weren’t aware of. As happy a time as an engagement is, it can really show any feelings of resentment, anger, or parental issues that your partner harbours. Feelings that until the cusp of this major life change, have been hidden from your view.

You may even get to the point where you feel like, because your partner isn’t as flawless as you once thought they were, now you’re questioning whether in fact you can really be with this person for the rest of your life. Because in all honesty, if you find them hard to deal with amidst the stress of planning a wedding, or your partner doesn’t treat you with the appropriate respect, how are you going to manage if they get made redundant or contract a serious illness? How are you going to be able to count on them? I’m not meaning to scare you, or make you freak out that weddings aren’t fantastic and amazing, because they are. But if you haven’t thought about how you as a couple would handle problems in life together before you get married then you really need to.

If your partner is messaging another person before you even walk down the aisle, then marriage isn’t going to change him for the better. Shakespeare once said “expectation is the root of all heartache” and to some extent he’s right. A lot of people believe that just because a man becomes a husband, or a woman a wife, that they will miraculously suddenly stop doing all of the annoying stuff that they did before, and now do everything you expected a husband or wife to be able to do. Marriage isn’t a magic fix to your problems. In fact, it works in quite the opposite way. Things that bugged you before you were Mr and Mrs will only bug you more after the wedding. And 5 years down the line will probably grind on you to the point where you start wondering whether this is what you really want.

If you are getting married to someone, and you want it to work out, you have to be fully convinced that you love your partner despite all of their flaws (hey, we’re all human), and you can communicate about any problems you are having effectively. Only this will determine that your marriage will survive the rollercoaster of emotions that await for you on the other side of that honeymoon. And if you’re not sure that you will love your partner for the next 50+ years because of their faults and flaws, then call the wedding off. It’s okay, I promise. The world will continue spinning and you will both find someone who is more suited to you, who annoys the hell out of you, and you love anyway.

So just remember, it’s a lot braver to pull out of a marriage that you’re not entirely happy with than to go through with a wedding to make everyone else approve. And to anyone who is messaging someone else behind their fiance’s back, then maybe you should be brave and end it too. If you were that happy, you wouldn’t need to sext anyone else. No judgement, just do the right thing and make everyone a little bit happier.

Charlotte xoxox