For a variety of reasons, many couples who get engaged don't always make it to the altar. The following AskReddit users share why they never made it to their "I do" moments.
Source list available at the end.
She started hanging out with an old group of high school friends and just changed. She became extremely nasty over our wedding plans and would tell me that we had to have the exact same number of guests on both sides. If I had one more guest than she did, then she would make me remove someone from my side. I knew that if I were to move forward with it, it would have just ended in a divorce. So, I just ended it before it got to that point.
He was cheating on me with a girl from his job. I helped him get a better job since he was making minimum wage at McDonald’s before. He was also very immature, and I realize now that him cheating on me was the best thing that could have ever happened.
We had dated for 6 years when I finally proposed. It came to light that she had been talking to my soon-to-be best man, and they “fell in love.” I lost two of the closest people in my life on the very same day. It sucks, but it’s not as bad now.
Bigger And Better Things
She cheated and (eventually) chose him instead. It was the best thing that could ever happen to me. I went back to school, got a career, and met a wonderful person to spend the rest of my life with.
One of my friends got engaged and her fiancé became really controlling about the wedding. They fell in love with a venue, but the only date available was in 4 months. My friend wanted to think it over because she wanted to see if her family and the bridal party was even available on that specific day. He proceeded to go behind her back, pay the deposit to hold the date without telling her, and then demanded that her parents pay for the rest of the bill. Thank god she finally ended it.
I was getting ready for work. She walked into our room and gave me the ring. It sucked. I mean it still sucks. It was loads of things, but I think inevitably she just needed to work on some stuff in her own head before she could be with someone else and not be selfish.
Taken Advantage Off
Not me, but my buddy got engaged to this girl that he had been living with. She stopped taking her BC and told him that she wanted to be pregnant for their wedding. She caused a bunch of fights over him not “loving” her enough because he didn’t want to get her pregnant before their wedding.
He eventually recognized the red flags and called it off the Sunday before the wedding, but then he continued dating her for 6 more months until she signed a new apartment lease and signed his name to that lease without him agreeing to it. “But we talked about it,” she said.
The final straw was when he had to deal with some bad debt/credit, after learning post breakup, that she had made a credit card in his name without telling him and was using it to pay for her half of the bills since he had called off the wedding, but before they had actually broken up.
We got engaged without fully discussing what would happen after I graduated from college and we could stop being long distance. As it turns out, he was not much of a city guy and I didn’t want to move out to the boonies and be a stay-at-home wife immediately after graduation. Whoops! Anyway, it worked out for the best- for both of us.
My ex-fiancé and I kept on disagreeing about stuff for the wedding. She came from a wealthy family, and I didn’t have that kind of money to have the type of wedding that she wanted. My family offered to help out on some things, and she agreed to give a little ground. I found out a week later that she and her mom had gone and completely change everything without telling me, and most of these changes were things that I couldn’t afford. When I confronted her about it, she asked me where I had heard that. I told her that my sister had told me. She told me that I needed to choose between her or my family. It didn’t take me but a few seconds to tell her that she could get all of her stuff out of the house as soon as possible.
I thought he was joking when he proposed to me. He had no ring, and he was also very drunk. I was all eye-rolling and like, “Okay, yeah suuure.” I found out later that he was dead serious when his mother called saying congratulations.
I proposed in July 2009. My daughter was born in October that year, and she left me in November when I asked her to stop texting this guy while we were out eating dinner (for the first time since my little girl was born). Apparently, this made me an overbearing control freak. Four days later, she broke up with me via voicemail and told me that I would never see my daughter again.
Learned So Much
I was engaged for a year, but we only saw each other on weekends and that was fine. Next year, she went to the same college as me, and we saw each other every day. Suddenly, we were not feeling the same way about each other. We talked about it a lot, and we decided that we should take a break (more her idea than mine, but I wanted to keep working on it). A couple of weeks later, we spoke on the phone where she revealed that she had gone on a date with an old friend from back home. It hurt but that was about 4 years ago. Looking back, I learned so much from that relationship. I’m married to a 13-month-old now, and my family means everything to me.
Worked Through It
We got engaged Christmas 2012. At this point, we had already been together for 4 years and were living together. I already knew that she was going to say yes. I’m not very romantic, so I just rolled over, woke her up, told her that we were getting married, and put the ring on finger. She then rolled back over and went to bed. I got ready for work. The engagement lasted for about 3 months, but there was still some kind of a weird stress that seemed to be created by it. We decided to break off the engagement, but we stayed together to try and figure things out. After about 6 months, we got engaged again. It was more of a discussion this time around, and we were to be wed within a month. We found out that my fear of commitment was what was causing the stress, and by speeding up the wedding, I wouldn’t get cold feet again. We have now been married for almost 4 years and together for 9.
A Cult Love Story
I joined a cult, which is where I met her. I developed feelings, but she was dating the cult leader at the time. Then she left the cult but maintained their beliefs, so they broke up. She started talking to me, confessed her feelings, jumped on board, and we started dating for a few months. I proposed, but then she got arrested the next day. I paid her bond, and we stayed together for a few more months. She blew up in front of family, so my family started voicing their disapproval and concerns over her. I started questioning the relationship as well and the cult beliefs. I also acknowledged that I had some buried emotions, so I broke up with her and dropped all of my cult beliefs. She told me to, “Burn in hell.” It was a fun time.
We decided that we would get married after he finished his physics degree. Instead we moved in together and started planning a future. Everything was running smoothly, of course, we still had fights over this and that, but it was never anything serious. I was a very organized guy, who liked to keep track of everything and tried to save as much as we could so that we could afford everything that we wanted (both of us worked, but I’m an IT professional, and he was working for his parents’ business) and tried to cut corners. I started using my bike to save on gas and doing little things here and there to save a bit more. As any sensitive mature person would do when they have plans. Suddenly, one week after New Year’s, we started to fight a lot. I asked him to sit down so that we could talk. Out of the blue, I find out that he was feeling bored. He needed to “enjoy life.” It seems like building a future together was not exciting enough for him and my saving techniques, which meant a movie at home while eating a homemade meal, were dull. So yeah, we broke it off and don’t even speak anymore.
In the Presence of True Love
My buddy was engaged to someone whom everyone else knew wasn’t the best fit for him. He was energetic and outgoing while she very quiet and reserved. They got engaged and had the date set. My wedding came along. She didn’t attend, but my buddy did. He had an absolute blast and saw how my wife and I were with each other and how we weren’t holding each other back in the way that his fiancé was with him. He broke it off with her the week after he got back from my wedding. He had had the wedding invitations in his car ready to be mailed.
He ended up getting arrested for some admittedly minor things (wasn’t on the drug dealing or felony level), but I still realized the road that he was headed on. Even though I loved him, I hated who he was becoming. I also realized that I didn’t know enough about myself to know what I really wanted.
My high school boyfriend proposed and I said no. We were too young. I also pointed out that he was leaving for basic training, and I was starting college in a few months. I suggested that we should wait before making any other major life decisions until we were both back together. He threw a hysteric fit. I seriously should’ve just left him then, but I didn’t. I wanted to date him at the time, I just didn’t want to get married. He tried to make it an “either-or” situation. Either we were moving towards a future together or we weren’t. So, I accepted the ring. We weren’t even engaged for 2 months, and he wanted to start planning wedding details. I broke up with him via a ‘Dear John’ letter (I know it’s a horrible thing to do) while he was finishing his army training. I just couldn’t face all of the pressure that he was putting me under.
Timing Or Meeting The Right Person
My cousin (who didn’t want to get married) got proposed to on her 30th birthday. For some reason, she said yes. She was dead serious too.
She discussed it with her fiancé. About 6 months before the wedding, they ended up having to call it off. Turns out, he didn’t want to get married. They knew that beforehand.
A year later, he is married and now has a kid with another woman.
For Her Son
She put off finalizing any details for the wedding until she could justify putting it off until the following year. Then she slept with her coworker, who she’s also now dating. I still spend time with her 6-year-old son being that I was a father to him for 4 years. I blame her, but I also forgive her because I didn’t exactly make things easy. She handled it HORRIBLY and felt horrible after. Frankly, she just isn’t capable of expressing her feelings in a healthy manner, and I’m a bit needy while still having my own issues. Damn. That was more cathartic than I expected. It’s been around 10 months, and I have a healthy relationship with her son. I take him to the park and to play basketball. I also teach him how to play the piano every once or twice a week. I kind of have a friendship with her. I’m pretty sure that I just stayed with her for so long because of the bond that I have with her son.
Admitting The Truth
We got engaged really young at 18. While I loved him and didn’t want to lose him, I wasn’t able to admit that I wasn’t ready for that level of commitment. I made a lot of selfish decisions and subconsciously sabotaged the relationship. We struggled to make it work for years, but he got impatient and ended up leaving me for someone else.
I got engaged while I was in university. The wedding was all booked and organized. Three days after my 24th birthday, I was informed that he’d slept with a number of other women. It would usually be when I was working the late shift at one of my two jobs. I ended it there and then.
The Death of Her Daughter
We decided to cancel the wedding after her daughter had passed away at the age of 7. We’re still together, but we just never rescheduled the wedding. Now years later, we’ve actually decided not to get married. Although we did still throw a big party for our family and friends for our 10-year anniversary.
I caught him stealing my prescription medication despite him still knowing that I needed it to get through my days. That and a plethora of other small issues are what led to us breaking off our engagement. I still miss him over a year later.
I was engaged to my pregnant girlfriend. Four months before our wedding, she calls it off saying how she doesn’t feel the love anymore. A week later, I come home early from my second job to surprise her and see if we can work things out. Instead, I find her in bed with the guy who was supposed to be my best man. Turns out, they had been hooking up for six months, and she had planned on leaving me for him as soon as he broke things off with his wife (who also was supposed to be her maid of honor). I decided to speed up the process by telling his wife about them, and instead of leaving her, the guy ditches my fiancé to try and salvage his marriage.
We were together for 8 years and engaged for most of it. We were high school sweethearts. We were happy and even bought a house together, but eventually, we just grew apart. It was an amicable breakup, and we’re still friends. It just became apparent that we wanted very different things in life.
She fell in love with my best friend. We went on a trip to visit him, and at the end of it, I caught them making out in her car. They ended up getting married a few months later and had a child shortly thereafter. They just recently finalized their divorce. I ran into my old “friend” and met their kid. I asked him what happened and he said, “Same thing as what happened to you, man.” If they’ll cheat with you, they’ll cheat on you.
Together till the end
We were together for 10 months. She got diagnosed with breast cancer. She had always wanted to get married. I proposed to her as a means of giving her that driving force to beat cancer, and because I wanted to marry her. She loved the idea and it worked for a couple months. She would plan the wedding during treatments as a way to keep her mind off things. The diagnosis went from optimistic to terminal. She passed a few months after that. I never had the courage to take the ring back. She was buried with it and I don’t regret that. I don’t regret any of our time together, nor the engagement.
That gut feeling
We were together for nine and a half years. We were set to be married on our 10-year anniversary. He started hanging out at work a lot more than normal (happy hour, company outings, etc). He started to develop a friendship with a female coworker. I’ve had platonic male friends my entire life so it wasn’t a big deal. But one time my best friend and I were playfully teasing that this female friend was his girlfriend… and he got real mad almost instantly. After that I knew they were together but didn’t want to admit it.
I went on a weekend beach vacation with my best friend, and he went camping with her and a gay couple. I’m sure they slept together that weekend if they already hadn’t. About a month later he went to a work event and purposefully made it difficult for me to attend, to the point of saying “I don’t really want you to go.” She posted a status on Facebook and tagged him in it and I went ballistic. I called him and demanded he come home. We talked, and he admitted that he was in love with her and didn’t want to be with me anymore. He said to this me eight months before the wedding. We were engaged for three years. I moved out three weeks later. and took the dog and cat.
He tries to text me every so often. I don’t respond.
It happened about a month ago. We broke up nine months before our wedding and about a year into serious wedding planning. I had my dress, we had the venue solidified, and we had a meeting with a photographer in January.
He proposed to me after dating for four years and started cheating on me, by having an emotional affair with a co-worker, after our five-year anniversary. Once he started cheating, for a period of about a month he began to regret his decisions and tried to keep me controlled and in the house as much as possible while he went and “stayed with his parents” for days on end, leaving me to just sit at home and get depressed. I started being late to work almost every time he wasn’t home and nearly lost my job. He just kept saying he needed space and wanted to spend time with his family, he didn’t want to break up with me because he “didn’t want to hurt me” or for me to hurt myself (I’ve been self-harm free for about six and a half years now). Eventually, I just got tired of all of it and confronted him and finally asked him if he wanted to break up and he sighed and said yes. A wave of relief and sadness rushed over me in that moment. Sadness because my wedding to who I thought was my best friend wasn’t going to happen and relief because I could finally start to heal and stop being late to work and put my life back on track.
It’s been a month since it happened and there were a lot more things that happened like him not wanting to say “I love you” while we were going through this whole ordeal or the other girl texting him “I love you, baby” and me seeing it a few days before we actually broke up.
After the events of the last two months, I can safely say that I’ve never been happier. I’m living with my parents again and I have a ton of support! My friends and family are the best people around and I’m so grateful for them.
I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.
Leaving an abusive relationship
We were together for a few years. He had a temper on him. He was very controlling and would lose his temper on me if I was five minutes late from work. He was extremely violent but never laid hands on me until he did. I told the landlord what happened and she removed him from the lease. He came home from work one day with the locks changed and all his stuff outside.
So my ex and I had a really rocky relationship. She was controlling and manipulative. My mum got cancer and I was overworked and hit a heavy downward depression spiral. That, on top of her mind games, really changed me for the worse, I became spiteful, bitter and even pushed her a couple of times during a fight. I was awful. We broke up after another fight (they happened weekly if not daily).
Anyway. She got a new boyfriend a week later. I got my head sorted and went to group and solo therapy. Two years later I messaged her saying (basically) “I’m really sorry for all the bad stuff I did wrong.” Ya know, I was thinking she would say sorry and we would go about our lives. I wasn’t looking for a friendship or anything like that. I got SWAMPED with messages by her and her friends about how awful I am. I figured, “Well, I apologized for my bit, and I wasn’t expecting her to say sorry.”
I started seeing my current significant other two years ago (seven years after). My ex, and her ex teamed up to try and split us up. (Her ex stalked her, and wanted to slander me so that my significant other would leave.) So he stalked me, found the one ex I have a bad past with, and messaged her. She happily told him about the spitefulness etc etc I DID do, and then continued about how I sexually assaulted her (my significant other and some closed friends have been through this. I would never, and it really hurt she would lie about that) and how I cheated on her (I have never cheated on anyone). It made me realize what a MASSIVE bullet I dodged and how messed up she really was. To be lying to hurt me after seven years of no contact bar one sentence? Madness.
Oh well. My significant other and I muddle through our ex’s coming together to break us up, and are stronger than ever. Don’t know what I would do without her. She will always be my best friend for life.
Note: Posts are edited for clarity.