Call off the wedding or save face?

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The invites have been mailed out and everyone has RSVP’d. The wedding is weeks away. Then something happens. Perhaps it’s a really bad fight where you have to wonder if you have what it takes to resolve issues. Perhaps there’s suspicion of cheating. Or your spouse-to-be suddenly reveals a side you find very troubling. Whatever the reason, you have serious doubts about going through with the wedding. But with people coming from different parts of the world, you fear disappointing your family and friends.

The idea of calling off the wedding makes you fear you’ll die of humiliation. What should you do? To say this is a hard dilemma is an understatement.

It’s easy to say a person should call off the wedding, but the weight of this emotional decision would no doubt be crushing. I have no clue what the statistic is, but I can only imagine that most people would go through with the wedding. Calling it off would take a lot of bravery and self-assuredness in the face of the tidal wave of questions and disappointment.


But in my opinion, calling off the wedding would be the smartest thing to do.

If you’re faced with this situation, you have to think not only of the here and now, but the future. Try to imagine what life will be like if you do marry the wrong person.

Yes, calling off the wedding will likely cost thousands of dollars. But what will a divorce cost you in the future?

I have an example for you. A friend of a friend fell for a woman, and they got engaged. She lived in a different country, and that’s where the wedding was going to take place. It wasn’t the first wedding for this male friend, so there was a lot riding on this new union for him. Anyway, when he arrived in this country for the wedding, he learned that his fiancée spent all the money he’d sent for the wedding.

He contemplated calling it off—what kind of woman spends the money for their wedding on herself? She showed him who she was, and he was left wondering if this was a sign of things to come or a one-time issue? His bride-to-be apologized, and he knew that she would have been horribly embarrassed if he called off the wedding. Her family and high profile work colleagues would be there. So this man decided to ask friends to lend him money so that he could go through with the wedding. He ignored his gut and married her anyway.


Fast forward ten years, and he’s now divorcing her. Years of her excessive spending, him having to take out a second and third mortgage on the house, his wife barely lifting a finger to help him out. Now, the divorce is going to cost him not only several thousand in legal fees, but a portion of the house he’d worked so hard for before she came into his life. He’s going to financially lose so much more than what he would have had he cancelled the wedding in the first place. The desire to save either of them embarrassment is going to cost him so much more.

There’s so much that transpired during those years, including what he gave her children, and I feel for him. For his sake, I wish he’d had the courage to end things when he knew he should have.

Dr. Phil says that when people show you who they are, believe them.

His wife showed him that she was more interested in what he could give her than she was in him. She showed him that she would be a chronic spender. Now that he’s leaving her, she’s upset with the settlement he’s offered, which is more than generous. But she wants more.

No matter how hard, and no matter how heartbreaking the thought, I truly believe that if you know before the wedding that you shouldn’t be marrying your fiancé, you shouldn’t go through with the wedding and hope for the best. You need to call it off, and cut your losses. Because no matter how hard the immediate dilemma of calling off the wedding will be, it’ll be infinitely harder to end it after you’ve invested years with the wrong person.

At least, that’s my opinion. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?

Kayla Perrin is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning USA Today and Essence best-selling author, with 46 books in print. Perrin is best described as passionate, fearless, motivated and self-driven to excel at whatever she pursues.

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