The Ugly Truth About Calling Off An Engagement, According To People Who've Been There

by Candice Jalili

We've all gotten used to the same narrative when it comes to falling in love: You meet someone, and they sweep you off your feet. You fall deeply in love. You decide you want to spend the rest of your lives together. You get engaged. And then, you keep that promise to spend the rest of your lives together. Broken engagement stories aren't typically part of that perfect storyline. But, unfortunately, as most of us have come to learn, real life isn't a fairy tale, and broken engagements are an unfortunate fact of some lives. A recent Reddit thread asked people to share their own stories of broken engagements, whether they were the ones to break it off or the ones with that unimaginable heartbreak done unto them.

Read along and prepare to have your heart broken into about a billion pieces as you learn why these people's engagements were called off and how they coped.

Her fiancé was way too controlling.

I called it off. My fiancé was becoming too demanding. We lived in separate towns, I did all the driving at his request. I had to call him when I got home from work. He didn't like me having male friends, or even commenting about celebrities I thought were hot (Heath Ledger, Bon Jovi). He over shared every aspect of our relationship with his dad, and I was encouraged to talk it out with his father.
I called it off the morning after a fight. We fought over the phone because he was mad that after a long unusual as stressful day at work, I didn't want to drive to see him. He showed up to my house at 7 am the next day to yell at me about the night before. I realized that it needed to end. I couldn't marry him. Well it obviously didn't go as he had planned and was gobsmacked at my anger and frustration. Everything just came bubbling up to the top, and I just let him have it.
He left, I went back to bed. Interestingly, I went for coffee and ran into an old high school friend I hadn't seen in years. We spent some time catching up and visiting off an on. Several years later, I am happily married to him now.


The family overstepped their boundaries.

I had an engagement called off (not by me). Family got way too involved with wedding planning and our relationship. It didn't bug me too much because I either ignored what I didn't like or just went along with something if it didn't matter. Unfortunately my fiance felt differently. On top of all of this he had a major depressive episode and his family convinced him it was all my fault he was depressed. He called off the wedding, but we decided to keep working on our relationship.
We are starting our own company and trying to have a baby. Marriage is back on the table too. He's in a much better place emotionally and I understand his depression better than ever. Took years to get here, but it was worth it.


She was depressed for months following the breakup.

My ex did. We were engaged for a year and a half and then he meet someone else and broke up with me. I didn't eat for two days, got super drunk and had my first hangover. Spent a day literally not speaking to anyone on a family vacation (which was scheduled just a few days after it happened) cried a lot and spiraled into a depression that lasted a couple months before moving home with my parents. Do not recommend.


It was the hardest decision he ever had to make.

Totally, it was a bad break up. I called it off, I'm the male.
I'm about to get married to the real love of my life in 3 it turned out ok!
It hurt like hell though, hardest decision I had to make at the time. I bounced back by drinking.


Her fiancé gave her too many ultimatums.

I did. He was giving me ultimatums with my family that I just couldn't accept, and then gave me an ultimatum for the wedding. We talked about getting back together later, but he kept giving ultimatums so I left. I'm married to someone else now, but for about a year I was a hermit.


She realized marriage wasn't for her.

My first real boyfriend from high school proposed when I was about to turn 18, he was 2 years older and in the Air Force. I said yes, because the fear of feeling like you didn't deserve anyone better was way too strong. It was a bad relationship, but silly teenage hormones make you think love will last forever. He bought me a ring and was hell bent on being that high school sweet heart couple. I had to break up with him a few months after the proposal. I haven't spoken to him since, it's been almost 11 years now. I saw he eventually got married and seemed happy, I know I made the right decision for my life, marriage just isn't part of my plan.


She had to go with her gut.

Just last year. My gut was already a little off at the proposal, but I said yes. Booked the venue, sent out invitations, and 4 months before the wedding, my gut was telling me it wasn't the right time. Our relationship had far too many kinks to sort through and we hadn't matured enough yet. Called it off. It was rough for awhile. I thought that was the end of it, and he was hurt, but we worked through it and have grown so much more and are for real getting married! Trust your gut!


She realized they didn't have enough in common.

Yes. We were together for 2 years when he proposed. After the engagement I realised how different we were. I was 19 and very social, he is 26 and preferred to stay at home on his computer all day. I ended it a year after the engagement (this was 7 years ago). He was a really nice guy and I didn't want to hurt him but he was devastated. Six months later I started dating my now husband, we have three kids and own our on house. From what I have heard about him he has a daughter now, he was engaged but his fiancée left him for another woman and won't move out of his house.


She never thought she'd get over it.

I ended my engagement approximately 1.5 years ago. Luckily, there were no actual wedding plans in place yet. I knew the moment I got engaged that I was making a mistake. The following year was quite difficult. I didn't think I could ever fall in love or bounce back from the loss. But eventually, I started to feel better thanks to the love and support of my family and friends. And 4 months ago, I met a wonderful man who is now my boyfriend. I have never been more happy. He's truly amazing and looking back, it was worth ending the engagement and taking a chance to a happier relationship. When you know you're not happy with someone, you can't settle thinking things will change. That's why I got engaged - I thought my bf would stop cheating on me and emotionally abusing me. But I learned that that wasn't going to happen. The relationship was always rocky. But anyways, the moral of the story is that there is always hope after a broken engagement. You need to grieve the loss, give yourself time and patience, and surround yourself around people that will support you.


The silver lining here? All of these people got through their broken engagements and lived to tell the tale. If you're going through the same thing, rest assured it's not the end of the world.

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