We recently wrote posts here and here where brides revealed why they called off their marriage on — or right before — their wedding day. In the comments, grooms also shared their stories of why they suddenly called off their weddings. Here are the shocking results:
1."I'm a groom who called off the marriage. The bride told me three things the day of our marriage: 1) She wanted a limo, 2) she didn't want to have sex with one person the rest of her life, and 3) she thought she might be a lesbian."
—53, New Jersey
2."We had been together for three years and were in our late 20s. Looking back, we both had serious communication issues and undiagnosed mental health issues (anxiety for me and depression for her). Not long after we got engaged, she suddenly lost her job. She struggled to find work, but she was determined. However, it started to take a toll on her mentally and financially. I wasn’t making much, but I helped her where I could. Add to that the stress of wedding planning and a growing guest list (she came from a big family, and I was looking at work friends to fill the gap on my side), and things started to go downhill. Soon she started hanging out with new friends, and a few months before, I found out she'd kissed another man."
"I was devastated, but we both said we would go through with it. Then, about a month before the wedding, we got into a big fight. Her family wanted to invite some family friends to the rehearsal dinner, which had already grown into a full-blown deal, as all the aunts and uncles on both sides wanted to come. It was at that point I decided to call it off. It was so embarrassing and painful, but my parents were supportive. We tried to stay together, but it was definitely over."
—45, Washington, DC
3."My dad was engaged to this woman who came from a very wealthy family. He proposed because she gave him an ultimatum after she tried to make him jealous by flirting with his friends. He was Catholic, and his church required them to go to counseling before the wedding. He slowly realized they had absolutely nothing in common, and called off the wedding three days before. He was at her parents' house for a wedding shower three days before the ceremony and told her he didn't think they should get married. She didn't take it too well and flipped out and refused to let him leave the room."
"He slammed the wall with his fist, and she stepped aside. My dad went downstairs, where her mother and the other women were, picked up his hamster (I have no idea why my dad would bring his pet hamster to a wedding shower), told her mom she might need to go upstairs and check on her daughter, and walked out of the house carrying the hamster under his arm. A few months later, he met my mom, and they've been married for over 30 years."
4."My boyfriend's father joined the Navy and left on a ship to avoid his wedding day. His bride-to-be had lied to him about being pregnant to guilt him into marriage. As the big day approached, she admitted she was not pregnant at all. She felt comfortable saying this because her father had ties to the mob, and she knew he would be significantly hurt if he left Daddy's little girl at the altar. He joined the Navy to get away and dumped her as he was going to training."
"He ran into her decades later, and she acted as if they were old friends."
5."I called off the wedding because I realized we weren't ready to make a marriage work. There are a number of skills that a couple needs to have before they can really succeed in a relationship that's meant to last a lifetime. These skills are pretty obvious: compromise, forgiveness, sacrifice, and an acceptance of the things you don't like but can never change. Shortly before the wedding, I realized that we didn't have those skills. That made me extremely uncomfortable with the prospect of going through with it. And ultimately, I couldn't bring myself to start something that I knew couldn't last forever."
"The mistake we made was getting engaged before we knew we had those skills — before we were ready. We gave ourselves a long engagement with the idea that we'd have time to figure out those skills before the big day finally came. But we didn't realize that it put a timer on our relationship, which essentially turned it into a time bomb. When the day came, we were either going to be ready or we were going to have a very bad time."
6."A couple of weeks ago, I went paintballing for a bachelor party, a week before the wedding. When I arrived, I found the groom and said, 'I get the feeling this will be the last time I ever see you.' He replied, 'Don't count on it, the wedding's off.' I laughed. He didn't."
"To be fair, I think it was probably a good thing. The guy had gotten engaged after a year of dating, given up meat for his fiancé, and pretty much dropped off the face of the Earth since he started dating her. Whenever I suggested that rushing into getting married was a bad idea, he would tell me, 'Sometimes when you know, you just know.' I guess sometimes when you know, you still don't know."
7."I realized that she was more in love with getting married than she was with me. I was her avenue to marriage, and she felt that I'd be a loyal husband and good father. But she didn't care about me more than a friend."
8."An old friend of mine called off his wedding because he found out she'd slept with some dude at her bachelorette party the weekend before. He waited until the day of the wedding to call it off because he wanted her to have to explain it to her family — most of whom had flown into town for the wedding."
"I was one of his groomsmen, so instead of him saying his vows, we all took him out onto the town while in tuxes. It was still a pretty depressing night out, and he was pretty torn up about it for months."
9."I was going to get married in March 2012 and called it off in January of that year. Basically, it just came down to a disagreement about what we wanted out of life. I was 23 at the time (would've been 24 at the wedding), and she was 27. She wanted kids, like, almost immediately. I told her that we needed to wait on that (I'm still in college, and I wanted to get a job and a home and whatnot first), but she was completely unwilling to compromise on it. She demanded that we have kids before she was 30, so within a year or two of the wedding, and there was no way that I would be ready for kids by 25 or 26, especially while I was in college. This was causing more and more of a divide between us."
"I knew that if we had gotten married, either I would've gotten what I wanted (we would have waited for kids, and she would have resented me), or she would've gotten what she wanted (we would have had kids, and I would have resented her, PLUS we would have a kid or kids that we were unprepared to take care of). I still miss her every day, though, and always wonder if I made the right decision."
10."I went on my first date at the age of 23. Having never been in a relationship before, I thought everything was going well. About three months in, we got pregnant. She had told me that she was on the Pill and it was possible that she couldn't even get pregnant. This was a shock to my system, and we separated briefly following the announcement. We got back together, though, and really tried to make it work. My daughter was born in August, very near our one-year anniversary. My daughter is the greatest person in the world, and she's done more for me than she'll ever know. I've learned so much through her about responsibility and being an adult. Shortly after my daughter's birth, her mother began pushing the marriage issue, and I saved up to buy a ring. I proposed, and for some time it made things better between us."
"The situation was just too difficult, though; we had nothing in common other than our daughter. Before long, she was again verbally and psychologically abusive to me, but having never been treated like that, I didn't understand what I was doing wrong. I began seeing a therapist, who helped me realize that I wasn't in a healthy relationship. Finally, after an argument in which she threatened me with physical violence, I knew that things were just too toxic to continue. I definitely looked like the bad guy, but I had to make the best choice for the futures of all those involved. The most difficult part was coming to the conclusion that having this situation continue around my daughter would actually be worse for her than us being apart."
11."We were together for seven years and were getting married in a few months. We'd already bought a house and started tying our lives together. She was emotionally distant for some time, but I ignored it like a fool in love. Eventually I noticed that she was spending significant time chatting with a guy she'd met on World of Warcraft. She was also taking phone calls 'from a friend' in private. I called her on it, and our wedding was called off the next day."
"We bought our house during the mortgage bubble, and now I'm stuck with an underwater mortgage on a house that's lost 50% of its value. I also still have the ring. It's been almost five years, and I'm still not sure what to do with it."
12."My mom was engaged to a guy who called off their wedding two weeks beforehand. At the time, he said it was because his family didn't support his remarriage. She stuck with him and eventually married him a few years later. Turned out, he had at least two other wives during this time."
"She found this all out when he had a stroke and died, and another wife showed up at the hospital. In the end Mom lost everything, and now she lives with me."
13."Two weeks before the big day, I called off my wedding. It all went down the weekend after her bachelorette party. Speed up to late Monday morning, and I get a phone call from her maid of honor — it may have been the only call I had ever received from her. She tells me, 'You cannot marry this crazy bitch.' She then begins to explain that at the party, all of my fiancé's lies caught up with her. She had about three small, different groups of friends together sharing stories. While they were out and about doing what they do, different stories from different friends started running into each other. One example was when she claimed to have a modeling contract at an agency. Then another friend would say, 'No, she doesn't have a modeling contract, I do with that agency.' Basically, she used her friends' stories as her own."
"After the conversation, I was stunned for a moment. I felt empty but emotionless. The next thing I remember is walking back to my computer on the sales floor and changing passwords to important accounts. I told my manager that I had to leave. My reason? I wasn't getting married anymore, sir. It was good enough. After I got out of there, I went and talked to the priest. Told him the wedding was most likely not going down. Called the reception hall. That guy was pissed because I was supposed to write him a check the next day. Lost the deposit, though.
"I met up with the maid of honor, another bridesmaid, and a friend. They took her out to dinner to stall/confront her about everything while I tried to move as much stuff out of the apartment as I could. I had help from a friend. Filled up my car and drove to my parents' house. My mother was shocked but happy because she hated my fiancé. She called when she got back, but I didn't answer. Didn't even talk to her for a few days. In hindsight, I could see all her lies. Some things seemed a little unbelievable, but she was always able to back it up when I started to get curious. I dodged a huge freaking bullet."
14."A friend of mine attended a wedding where the groom waited till his fiancé arrived at the altar, then pulled a huge red fabric letter A out of his pocket, pinned it to the front of her dress, and walked out of the church without a word."
15."I was to be married in June of this year. We had been dating for about four and a half years, living together for almost two. I called it off a few weeks back. There were a lot of issues in our relationship — communication being one of the biggest, along with her violence and anger issues. Instead of things staying the same or getting better after I proposed, things got worse. A LOT worse. Fighting all the time, no sex, and I didn't even want to be around her. It got to the point where I would dread having to go home when I knew she was there. I would find any excuse not to go home, or to stay out later. I went away on vacation for a week without her back in January."
"After a whole week of not thinking about her or missing her in the slightest, I realized that this was not the person I could spend the rest of my life with. She was not my best friend, and a lot of the impetus for both moving in with her and proposing was pressure from her to do so. I still care about her and want her to be happy; I just knew that I couldn't be the one to do so. It was a tough breakup because there was a lot of emotion from her side. She wasn't willing to accept that I wasn't happy in the relationship, and although she offered to work to make things right, I felt the relationship had run its course. I moved out a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn't be happier!"
16."I met a woman, and she seemed great — accepted me and my past as it was and supported me through the tail end of it. She opened up about her past, and I did everything I could to support her through it. After about a year, I proposed, and things were going well. But then it took a dramatic turn for the worse. She became furious at me for hanging out with friends who still smoked, tore a chunk out of me for being late to a dinner at Boston Pizza (nothing special, just regular dinner), and told me I needed new clothes and music taste and had to make at least six figures in order to take care of her. The real kicker was when she tried to get me to stop talking to my family about wedding plans and what I wanted to do career-wise; she said it wasn't any of their business. Things kept getting worse, and I realized how controlling she was."
"She left me a few days after Valentine's Day, saying I wasn't ready because I didn't have my career in order and couldn't be mature enough to stop my hobbies because they were childish (going to concerts, playing darts at the pub with my dad, etc.). I was confused and broken. A few weeks later, she started seeing other guys and going to clubs piss-drunk, but she still tried to convince me there was hope for us once my life 'was on track.' After I came home from a summer job as a camp counselor, I told her that it was completely over (even though she left me first)."
17."Thirty-five years ago, I called off my wedding. I was a young naval officer and set to marry the woman I'd fallen in love with at college. I got cold feet three days before the event and canceled it. It wasn't because I had had second thoughts about her; it was the stupid idea that I thought I could be either a good husband or a good submarine officer — I didn't think I could be both. About nine months later, I got a call from her (about 1,000 miles away) and found out that she had a new boyfriend. It just devastated me. I did everything I could to regain her confidence, but it took almost a year."
"During that year, I was stationed at the submarine base in Bangor, Washington, and she was 2,400 miles away in Cincinnati with that POS rich boyfriend hounding her daily. It really took a toll on me. I had many sleepless nights imagining the worst. I didn't give up, though. A few months before we were scheduled to relocate to Submarine Squadron 1 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, I took a chance and drove to Cincinnati. I convinced her to come back to Bangor with me and made the trip through the Southwest and then back up the California coast along the Pacific. It was as much like a honeymoon as I could make it on my limited salary, and it was memorable. By the time we reached Washington, Mount St. Helens had erupted. We were on the highway about 40 miles from it when it blew. The sky just turned black, and the mud flows washed out the bridges north of us. We were rerouted along the coast and finally made it to Bangor. She had to return to Cincinnati, but this time it was with the plan to return to Washington. When she flew back, we eloped with a justice of the peace. That was almost 33 years ago. We have three sons, and we couldn't be happier. Our boys are all grown up, and I'm not far from retirement. Marrying her was the best, smartest thing I ever did."
Fellow grooms, if you called off your marriage right before the wedding, feel free to share your story of what happened in the comments below.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.