It's okay to change your mind about marriage.

I Don't Want to Get Married Anymore

by Jacqueline Basdeo

There is nothing wrong with not wanting to get married anymore. Getting married is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever have to make in life, and if you have the slightest inkling of doubt, you should take time to work out your feelings. Dealing with a few months of distress is much easier than dealing with a lifetime of pain.

1. Tell Your Family

Once you’ve made the decision not to get married, or even if you are just thinking about it, tell the relative to whom you feel closest. The last thing loving parents want is for their child to feel distressed with doubt about the future. Additionally, older members in your family, particularly those who are married, know firsthand how difficult marriage can be and may be willing to share whatever wisdom the've accumulated along the way.

2. Tell Your Fiancé

When you tell your fiancé that you no longer want to marry, be honest with him. Tell him that at this stage of development in your life, you are just not ready to make a lifelong commitment. Tell him that you realize that this is causing him pain, but that you feel that you have to do what is in your heart; that you’re just not ready. He will feel hurt, he may experience shock, and he may get angry, but all of those responses are perfectly normal. As long as you stand in your truth, you’ll weather this storm.

3. Notify Friends

Once your family and fiancé know that there is no longer going to be a wedding, it’s time to tell your friends. Some of your friends may express surprise; others will want to console you. No matter their response, know that they’ll take their cues from you. If you feel like discussing the matter, then do so. If not, politely tell them that you really aren’t up for a late night gabfest and that you’d prefer to spend some time alone to process this huge change in your life. Your real friends will understand and will stand by you. When you are ready to discuss things more fully with them, they will be there.

4. Deal with Registries

If you have your name on a registry, you’ll want to change that. This will not be difficult to do, but it is a necessary, practical step. You’ll also want to take time to update any of your online social profiles to reflect your current status. Along these same lines, if you have already received gifts for the wedding, those will need to be sent back. You can include a thank you note with the gift, expressing your appreciation for the sender's warm thoughts.

5. Cancel Venues and Invites

You will need to cancel any venues you have already rented. Similarly, if you’ve purchased invitations, you should place a stop order on them. Many places will still charge you a fee and you may lose your deposit at several places, but it’s worth it because you’ll know that you’ve done the right thing for you.

6. Take Time to Process

Once all of the nitty-gritty details have been taken care of, take a moment to breathe. You need time to emotionally and mentally process the adjustment that has taken place in your life. You’ll need to come to grips with the fact that your future is very different from the one you recently imagined. Now, however, you have time to imagine a whole new future -- one that is more authentic, and one that reflects the strong and courageous person you have become.

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