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13 Signs You Should Call Off the Wedding

WhatToGetMy Instructional Article

You might be noticing signs you should call off the wedding but are choosing to ignore them for several reasons. Maybe you are worried about the embarrassment you might face, or losing the investments you’ve made in the wedding and the relationship, or maybe you are just hoping those reservations will go away on their own eventually.

Calling off a wedding will be tough; there’s no doubt about it. But instead of looking at the short term, you need to think more long term. If you have reservations about marrying someone and you go ahead and do it anyway, those reservations might create problems for you in future.

Calling off a wedding will be tough; there’s no doubt about it

Indeed, many people who ended up divorced often speak about how they knew the marriage wasn’t going to work in the first place but went ahead regardless. You don’t want that feeling of regret for yourself; it is better to worry about how to cope with calling off a wedding than to enter into a marriage you wouldn’t be comfortable in.

Remember, you don’t have to call the engagement off simply because you notice one or two of these reasons in your relationship, but they should inspire you to think deeply about wanting to get married.

Check out How to Know if You’re Ready to Get Married.

1. There is some abuse going on

If there were a list of reasons to call off a wedding, this would be the first. Abuse has no place in a healthy relationship, and it most definitely has no place in marriage. It doesn’t matter what type of abuse you are being subjected to, be it physical, emotional, or sexual – abuse is abuse, and marriage is not some magic wand that will stop it from happening.

This is a major red flag, and if you are being abused in the relationship, we not only recommend that you call off the wedding but that you seriously consider leaving the relationship as well. Abuse does not show love; it shows toxicity.

2. Your partner is controlling

Another sign you should call off your wedding is if you have a controlling partner. Sometimes you may not even notice this because it can be concealed as care but, there is a fine line between controlling someone and caring for them. You should watch out for signs of a controlling partner such as them trying to:

  • Isolate you from friends and family.
  • Know where you are all the time.
  • Control how you spend your money.
  • Influence who you relate with.
  • Gaslight and guilt trip you to get their way.

Contributing to a partner’s life by suggesting ways to improve themselves is quite normal, but dialogue should be involved. If you notice the above in your partner, you should consider calling off the engagement because such behaviors only worsen in marriage.

3. Lack of trust

A relationship without trust is like a house of cards – one slight push and it will collapse. Being able to trust your partner is one of the most essential things in a relationship because it fosters peace and growth.

Going into a marriage, you need to trust your partner with your life, goals and dreams, emotions, and even assets, and if you can’t do these there is bound to be conflict.

If you notice that the trust in your relationship could use some work, you don’t need to start deciding on when to call off the wedding off the bat, you can instead try out some counseling to help the relationship through it.

4. Repeated infidelity

The percentage of engagements called off due to infidelity is significant and why not? Marriage is a test of a person’s willpower to commit, and here they are already failing in the testing stages.

Reasons for Divorce

If your partner is one such person, you have every right to call off the engagement. Maybe they cheated once and you forgave them – kudos to you because it really could just have been a one-time thing. If it has happened more than twice however then it has the makings of a pattern and that is something you don’t want going into marriage with infidelity being one of the top reasons for divorce according to It’s Over Easy.

5. You believe getting married will solve relationship problems

Some people have this belief that taking their relationship a step further into marriage will solve some or all the problems they have in the relationship. Experts say that they couldn’t be more wrong. The relationship is the foundation on which the marriage will be built and if it is faulty, the marriage will be faulty as well.

Marriage doesn’t change the people who were fighting so the same problems they had in the relationship, will come up in the marriage. A sign you should call off the wedding, therefore, is simply getting married to solve relationship problems.

6. You are not financially compatible

You are not wrong in asking yourself, “should I call off the wedding?” if you don’t share the same views as your partner in terms of finances. Money is a big issue in marriage and a lack of compatibility in this area has been cited as one of the main reasons for divorce.

If you have different financial goals from your partner or feel that they spend recklessly, you might want to take a step back to reevaluate your engagement and sort out this issue; it is a ticking time bomb that must be defused.

Check out How Do Married Couples Handle Finances.

7. Your views on child-rearing aren’t compatible

More often than not, marriage will lead to kids being made. You both need to be on the same page for that way before it happens because this right here is the king of deal-breakers if you aren’t.

If, for instance, you don’t want kids, but your partner does, one of you will keep trying to convince the other of their stance when you get married. Eventually, your partner might agree not to have kids but will always harbor feelings of resentment towards you for not giving them kids.

Another issue that needs resolving is your views on how to raise a child. Maybe one of you believes in spanking a child, and the other doesn’t – what then? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie showed us that this could lead to divorce so this should be taken seriously.

8. Romantic feelings for others abound

It might not seem like a good thing when a bride or groom calls off their wedding because they have feelings for someone else, but it is. They have saved their partner a lifetime of hurt and feelings of inadequacy. Why? Because when you go into marriage while having feelings for someone else, you simply cannot commit fully to that marriage. The doors to infidelity will be opened and even if you never walk through them, those feelings of regret and “what-ifs” will probably linger and make both you and your spouse miserable.

9. Issues with the In-laws

Marriage doesn’t only join you to your partner, it also joins two families – yours and theirs. Your family needs to get along with your partner and you need to get along with theirs; if it is any other way, there is bound to be conflict.

Family can be pretty influential, so if you get the feeling that you’re not very liked by your partner’s family, stop and consider your options because this is a serious bump in the road.

Of course, there is a chance that either of you won’t mind what your families say and if that’s the case, bravo. If, however, either of you doesn’t want the isolation that comes with this, try your best to resolve it before you get married. Should you be unable to, cater for your peace of mind by seriously considering how to call off an engagement.

10. Lot of unhealthy conflict in marriage

The other day I was browsing a news site and came across the headline, “Fiance Calls Off Wedding.” Apparently, the guy had gotten so fed up with the constant arguments and fights with his partner that he just had to quit.

He did the right thing because marriage is long-term and if you find that there is unhealthy conflict in your relationship, you need to address the root cause of it or it will continue into marriage.

Signs of unhealthy conflict include name-calling during arguments, bringing up old faults, yelling angrily, and giving each other the silent treatment for days afterwards.

If this describes your relationship then you need to hold off that engagement until you resolve your issues.

11. Friends and Family recommend it

Sometimes we can be so invested in a relationship that we are blinded to the negative effects it has on us. Friends and family don’t have the same impediment and will see those things we don’t.

One or two friends telling you that you shouldn’t get married can be explained off but if several friends (and family) tell you the same thing, you need to pump the brakes and think about their reasons.

Those same friends can also be turned to for help on how to call off the wedding if you decide that they were right.

12. You were pressured into getting married

We can’t tell you what percentage of engagements are called off by people who felt they were pressured into marriage but we can tell you that whatever percentage it is should be higher.

Some people get into marriage because they face pressure from their family, their partner’s family, or even their partners themselves; others didn’t want to disappoint people and maybe felt they had spent so much time in the relationship that they simply had to get married.

Then there are those who have a child together and feel this is reason enough to get married. If any of these scenarios describes your situation, you need to remember that marriage is between you, your partner, and no one else. It should be your choice to get married and no one else’s because going into marriage willingly gives it a greater chance of survival.

13. You simply aren’t feeling it.

There is no smoke without fire, and if your gut is telling you that you shouldn’t be getting married, it probably has a reason that you need to find out.

You know your gut is against your marriage if you can’t help but feel uncomfortable when your wedding is brought up, and if you can’t shake the feeling that you shouldn’t have gotten engaged.

Assuming that you are experiencing these feelings, you should look out for other signs to call off the wedding and find out how to call off a wedding last minute just in case.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What percent of weddings get called off?

Various studies show that between 10% and 20% of engagements are called off before they end up in marriage. However these numbers are mostly based on figures from the United States so might not be true if you are from a different part of the world.

2. Why would you call off a wedding?

 You could call off a wedding because:

  • You are getting abused.
  • You aren’t compatible with your partner financially.
  • There is a lack of trust.
  • Your partner keeps trying to control you.
  • You have different views on children.
  • There is an infidelity problem.
  • You have romantic feelings for others.

3. How do you gracefully call off a wedding?

  • Do it as soon as you can.
  • Tell relevant members of your family such as your parents, first.
  • Send out emails to invited guests explaining that the wedding will not hold.
  • Assign someone else to call people if calls need to be made.
  • Inform the vendors and other contracted services.
  • Don’t give out too much information to guests.

All in All

Once the engagement is announced, there will be immense pressure to get married. The people coming for the wedding are not getting married though; you are. You therefore need to be sure that marriage is what you want before you make a commitment that you will find very hard to keep.

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