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Altar Falter: What's next when the bride or groom says "I don't"?


What Happened?
Going through with a marriage you're uncertain about is way worse than skipping the "I dos," no matter how many people you've invited to the wedding.
Going through with a marriage you're uncertain about is way worse than skipping the "I dos," no matter how many people you've invited to the wedding.
Stuart McClymont/Getty Images

It would be great if all engagement-breakers could be cast as moustache-twirling villains, but that's not always the case. Sure, there are plenty of guys and gals who just get spooked by "forever" as it approaches, but often the situation isn't that clear-cut. Sometimes, major issues come to light after engagements are made, like a disagreement on whether or not to have children, causing major relationship friction. In other cases, the engagement was initiated or accepted because it seemed like the right thing to do. This can be caused by anything from an unplanned pregnancy to the belief that marriage is the natural next step in a long-term relationship.

Consider the pre-wedding plight of Danielle (name changed for obvious reasons), who thought about cancelling her nuptials more than 10 years ago at age 21. Barely out of college at the time, Danielle consulted her mother, who expressed embarrassment about cancelling bridal showers and the lavish event. Danielle ended up going through with the wedding despite the fact that she was regularly waking up in cold sweats in apprehension of her impending vows.

"Even my body was telling me to wait!" said Danielle. "So, I would say it would be better to break off an engagement when you're 21 and just out of college and not ready to settle down yet, as opposed to following someone else's dreams and being miserable for a while. I would have hated to have left him at the altar, though, since it would have been awful for him."

Although she's currently happy in her union, Danielle's decision to go through with her wedding hasn't come without a price. Despite a decade of marriage and a couple of beautiful kids, she still wishes that she'd held off on getting so serious at such a young age.


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