By Debbie Harrower
You’re engaged. You’ve been planning your wedding for months, possibly even sent out your save-the-date invitations and paid a few of your wedding vendors deposits. It’s full steam ahead. Then, slowly (or suddenly) for whatever reason/s you start feeling like maybe, just maybe, you’re not that into getting married to this person anymore. The doubts get so big in your mind, the feeling so strong in your gut, that you literally can’t ignore them anymore. But, what are you supposed to do, how can you let your partner down, what will friends and family say. What about all the money that’s already been laid out?
Someone close to me and my partner recently decided to leave his fiancé. It came as a big shock to everyone. They’d seemed so happy and excited. Their wedding was only a few months away. It made me think about how quickly life and feelings can change. And, why it’s better to do the right thing (for you and all involved) earlier rather than later.
Rather a called-off wedding than a big, messy divorce down the line when there might be children involved.
It’s obviously not just men who change their minds / get cold feet, women do too – we just take a lot longer to make up our minds. We will analyse things from every angle, seek advice from our closest friends and our parents.
The thing with asking friends and family for advice, is that it will probably leave you feeling even more torn than before. Remember, they were invested in your relationship and wedding too and might try and talk you into ‘sticking it out’, or telling you it’s completely ‘normal’ to feel this way.
I know of women (now divorced) who say that they ‘KNEW’ they were making a mistake but did not want to ‘upset’ anyone.
You should NEVER have to compromise on what feels right for you. Please remember that!
I try to live my life by a simple little something my mom has said since I was a little girl – ‘When in doubt, leave it out’.
The signs have probably been right in front of you all along, maybe even before he proposed. Maybe not. Everyone’s situation is different. Some women are really, deeply in love with their partner at the time of the proposal, but then a few months in they start feeling differently.
Then, on the flip side, you get women who know something is not right with their relationship, but when faced with a gorgeous ring and the promise of forever, they ignore their gut feeling and think that he or things will change once they’re married.
Here are a few warning signs from the VERY serious, to the not so serious but still worth thinking about …
It doesn’t matter if it’s verbal, mental or physical – if your future husband is doing it now, it’s guaranteed he’s going to keep on doing it for as long as you’re married.
He will not change.
Do you really want that kind of life? To raise children with a man who does not truly love and respect their mother. No thank you.
This really should be a no brainer.
You find out he’s into things with which you do not agree
If you happen to find out your future husband likes to take drugs, has a gambling habit or a p*rn addiction, you have two choices. Walk away (wise) or ask him to get help and hope for the best.
I know which route I’d take. It won’t be the easiest one, but I definitely don’t want to be dealing with this sort of thing for the rest of my life. Even if he gets help, the trust will be gone and I will always worry that he’s going to lapse back into his old ways.
You think / feel that he has gay tendencies
This is more common than you think. Unfortunately, humans don’t come with labels.
Just the other day, a friend of mine told me that one of her co-workers found out her husband is gay. I also know a gay personal trainer, who does sports massage, and he told me that the number of ‘straight’ guys that like to ‘fool around’ with other men is staggering.
Some men are able to hide their true identity and desires so well, that their partners don’t even suspect a thing – for years!
Others see subtle signs but think they’re probably crazy and ignore them.
There is nothing wrong with being gay, nothing at all. But you don’t want to be someone’s ‘beard’ do you? A fake relationship? No thanks!
If you have a funny feeling – do your research (internet, books, gay friends) and see if your feelings are validated. Then, you need to do a very brave thing – ask him!
You feel like you’re living in a war-zone
While the occasional argument is not only normal and healthy, constant fighting and arguing is not a good sign at any stage of your relationship, but especially so when it’s during a time when things are supposed to be so happy and exciting.
Wedding stress is a very real thing, and disagreements about this or that should be expected. But, if your fights are getting ugly and too frequent and not just about ‘wedding stuff’, something is not right.
You are not agreeing on the other ‘big things’ for your future
Getting married is a BIG deal. It’s not something you take lightly. So many couples get swept away in the moment of planning a wedding, they forget that your wedding is one day – a marriage is for life. You need to agree on your plans for the future.
If he says he doesn’t want children but you do – don’t think you will change his mind. And, if you’re thinking about ‘just falling pregnant’ – you’re basically signing your divorce papers or a very unhappy life. You should know that you and your future children deserve better than that.
And, what about careers and money. If you had plans of being a stay-at-home wifey and mommy, but he wants you to both work and contribute to your lifestyle, then what? Are you really going to be happy with that or is resentment going to build up over the years.
What if he wants to move and live overseas and you don’t want to leave your family?
Whatever you do, don’t think that a wedding is going to change the fact that you need to both be on the same page, and you need to be happy being there. If one person feels held back in any way, it’s going to cause problems.
You don’t really like or get along with his family
Problems with faulty in-laws do not get better with time. More often than not things get worse. If you know that they have an issue with you / you with them, you really need to think about the fact that you are not just marrying your partner, you’re marrying into his family too.
They are part of the package. Sure, you might think that your love is strong enough to endure, but it’s almost guaranteed that family issues will trickle into your relationship and can cause major problems. Something similar happened in my family and it ended in divorce – three children later. It was not pretty.
You didn’t date for very long before he popped the question
The first few months of nearly all relationships are pure bliss.
You’re both so high-on-love, on your very best behaviour and you’re duped into thinking things will always be this way. It won’t.
If you got engaged a few months into your relationship, and now, some time has passed and you’re starting to think the person has changed and you’re not so sure anymore – trust that.
They have not changed – it’s just that their true colours starting to show.
If you feel like you can’t deal / cope with what you’re feeling and seeing in your relationship / future life partner – you need to reconsider your relationship status
It doesn’t always have to mean ending things for good. It could just be a case of needing to pump the breaks a little bit and extending the engagement until you’re both 100% sure. Like I said earlier, everyone and every relationship is different. You will need to decide how serious any of your doubts / concerns are and how you want to handle things.