Dear Brides-and-Grooms-To-Be: Just Because You Said ‘Yes’ Doesn’t Mean You Have to Say “I Do”

Brides and Grooms to be: Just Because You Said 'Yes' Doesn't Mean You Have to Say "I Do"Many a happy bride and groom to-be are counting down to their June wedding. But there are some that, as the date approaches, wonder if they’re doing the right thing. Some that have grave misgivings. You may be saying: “but the flowers have been ordered, the invitations sent, and gifts have arrived – so I can’t back out now.” But maybe you should.

How do you tell the difference between wedding jitters and that internal niggling that you should not go through with the wedding? Can you pinpoint specific concerns about the person or behavior of your soon-to-be spouse?

Scenario: She has shared with you that her last boyfriend cheated on her and she has trust issues. She has accused you a few times of being interested in someone else while seeing her. You aren’t and you have assured her several times that you only have eyes for her. Yet you find her snooping through the text messages on your phone – again. Do you think a marriage license will make her trust issues  disappear?

Scenario: He’s gotten a little pushy with you a few times in the past – but only after he’s been drinking. He apologized afterwards and there hasn’t been such an episode in months. You see him having a drink. You immediately tense up and think to yourself: I hope he doesn’t overdo it. Your concerns are not wedding jitters.

Concerns about any of the following are more than ‘wedding jitters’ and should not be ignored:

  • Once-flattering possessiveness that seems a little heavy-handed
  • A dependency on you to frequently bolster his/her self-esteem
  • Frequent overdoing of, or addiction to, drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping, or other vices
  • Increasing arguments as the wedding date gets closer or about wedding issues that start with “You always . . ” or “You never . . . ” which expose hidden resentments

Emotionally unhealthy people cannot create a healthy marriage.

Fill in the blank in this statement: When I’m with my mate, I get very concerned and hold my breath whenever ___________________.

If you were able to fill in that blank, you have some thinking to do. The quicker the answer came to you, the stronger the indication that you should be questioning the wisdom of getting married at this point. If your love could not change the behavior you are concerned about, marriage won’t either.

Too many of us ignore the red flags that wave boldly – warning us against marrying this person at this time – as the wedding nears. Embarrassment tied to cancelling so close to the event (what will people think?) or concern about angering loved ones who have spent money for the wedding (or have their own expectations) clog our thinking. Such fleeting emotions should not have more weight than doing what is best for your entire future.

Cancelling a wedding that is days away and dealing with the repercussions from doing so is hard. But not nearly as hard as living with the long-term repercussions of marrying someone that you should not have married.


Shel Harrington

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