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5 weeks ago I was planning my wedding. Today I am single.
I'd only been engaged for 5 months and the hardest thing is having to explain to people who are still trying to catch up congratulating me / us is that actually we're now not getting married, in fact we're not together at all.
So what went wrong and what I have learned from this awful experience that I can share with others ?
♥ > 4 weeks ago ♥
Les and I met through work about 3 1/2 years ago. He had been married before and was just going through a divorce that hit him badly. I was there for him as a friend when he needed me most and over a period of time we grew closer and closer until our relationship went from being just good friends to something more. To be honest, with hindsight the first 6 months was rocky to say the least - we'd have a brilliant few weeks then he'd start getting all worried that he'd rushed into a new relationship too quickly and blamed himself for his break-up and we'd call things off. Well, for at least a day anyway and then we'd patch things up and off we went again.
They say opposites attract and I have to say that was the only justification for Les and I got together. 12 years older than me, quiet, sporty - he was the total opposite of me and we didn't really have very much in common but somehow we also seemed to make time fly and slowly but surely started to find things we both enjoyed doing and the relationship bloomed.
We did everything together - holidays, watching Liverpool at Anfield, travelling round the country for his triathlons, meals out, in fact we were inseperable.
It is only now looking back that I realise the relationship that bloomed was one of best friends and not of lovers destined to spend the rest of their lives together but I wasn’t able to see that until now...
At the back end of last year we started to chat about marriage. I wanted to make sure we both wanted to same things, and as I couldn't imagine my life without Les in it, it seemed the natural next step. On Valentines day this year Les popped the big question, I said yes and voila - we were engaged and planning the wedding.
So what went wrong ?
♥ 4 weeks ago ♥
Approx 4 weeks ago it hit me. I was about to commit the rest of my life to one man - and it scared the hell out of me. But this wasn't just pre-wedding jitters, this was me realising that I just couldn't go ahead with it. Don't get me wrong; I still loved him and probably more than ever, but only in a 'best friend' kind of way. I loved him in a 'don't ever want anything bad to happen to you, would do anything for you' sort of way.
I didn't know what to do - I told a couple of close friends who all told me it was just natural pre-wedding nerves and not to worry but I knew deep down it was more. I tried to talk to Les a couple of times but he didn't understand and said he was happy with things are they were. Anyway, it all got too much and I spent the next week just drinking heavily every night and trying to forget what was bothering me.
I eventually plucked up the courage to tell my mum - I broke down and it all came tumbling out and I got the reaction I needed. My mum assured me I had done the right thing and that it was better for me to feel like this now than in 15 months time when I would be married. It was at this point that I realised that had I not spoken out, I probably would have married him and regretted that for the rest of my life.
♥ The last week ♥
These last few weeks have been bloody hard. I almost think it would have been easier if I'd found out he'd had an affair and called the wedding off because of that. Don't get me wrong, that news would kill me but at least the decision would have been taken out of my hands - this way I kept wondering whether I had made the right decision, I still loved him yet I was walking away.
As I mentioned at the beginning, people we haven't seen or spoken to in a while are still congratulating us and it's awful having to explain the situation which makes them feel bad and reminds you what a mess you are in. I still keep having to reassure myself that I have done the right thing but it would be so much easier to just carry on as we are - I now have to face being single again, moving back into my own house (which we kept to rent out) and then eventually, facing up to the whole dating thing again. Just doesn't bear thinking about.
Every time I feel myself starting to remember the good times like you do, I have to also be strong and remind myself why I am doing this. I've done all the usual things like listening to 'our favourite songs', trawling through holiday pics but I am determined to be strong and follow my head on this. I truly believe that if you can't imagine spending the rest of your life with someone, they aren't the person for you and you'll only end up getting hurt in the long term.
♥ Today ♥
Today I woke up feeling strong enough to share my last few weeks with you all and to try and offer some advice to people who may be in the same or a similar situation. Not sure why but I did.
I have cried enough for an entire city these last few weeks and I’m sure there will be plenty more tears to come but I know I have made the right decision and I am proud of myself.
It takes guts to do something like I have done and whilst it may appear selfish to some, I have saved us both much heartache in the future. Les and I have split on amicable terms, probably because we genuinely are such good friends, and we will definitely stay in touch. I’m not sure how I’ll feel when he finds someone else but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
To me, the most important thing about a relationship is that you are both happy. If you aren’t, you need to take some time out to sit down and understand why. Relationships are worth fighting for and there aren’t many things that a little time and effort won’t resolve – however, if you know deep down that you with the wrong person, for whatever reason, please make sure you make the right decision for you, however impossible it seems.
Use your family and friends – you’ll need them at times like this. My close friends, sister and mum have been my rocks and I couldn’t have got through this without them. Sometimes it is even easier to talk to someone you are not so close to for an objective opinion – family can be biased when emotions come into play.
I think I am lucky. Les and I will hopefully remain friends and I have saved a lot of people a lot of pain and hurt by not marrying him. I do believe however that had our wedding plans been further down the line, my decision would have been a hell of a lot harder to make. I have read so many stories of women (and men) that change their minds before the big day but go ahead anyway so as not to upset friends, family etc and waste money already spent. Whilst easier said than done, at the end of the day your happiness and sanity is worth much more than a few pounds and upset relatives and not making the biggest decision of your life might prove to be the worst decision of your life.
My advice is think carefully before making big commitments, whether that be moving in with someone, getting married or starting a family. We all get carried away in the heat of the moment but a little time to think things through can save a lot of heartache in the long term.
It’s bloody hard, I’ve felt sick for days on end, and I’ve cried myself to sleep. But I know I have done the right thing and believe me, I would have been much more upset had I said my wedding vows with any doubt in my mind.
Note to Ciao friends – sorry I haven’t been around and hope you now understand why. Big thanks to everyone who left messages – love to you all. If anyone is going through something similar and wants to talk, leave me a message in my private guestbook – I’d love to help.