When you find a guy that tells you you’re beautiful everyday, buys you flowers “just because”, let’s you drink the last Dr. Pepper, supports your every move, and then asks you to be his wife, what do you do?
You break it off with him. At least, that’s what I did.
Before you start judging me for being a heartless winch, I must tell you, he did nothing wrong. He didn’t cheat, he never led me to believe he deserved to be dumped, nor did he ever raise a hand at me or call me bad names.
NOW you can judge me for being a heartless winch.
Trust me, I felt that way about myself, and sometimes I still do. Here’s a guy that is hanging on to our relationship by his fingernails, and I am fresh out of college ready to start working and explore new places. We’d been engaged for about 8 months at that point. He asked me to marry him in August of 2015 and I said yes. I was thrilled and overjoyed, to say the least. But I wasn’t done with college. In fact, at that point, college couldn’t end fast enough for me. I had a wedding to plan!
I wanted to enjoy my newfound excitement. Pamper it. Feel it. Live it. He took me on a cruise shortly after me saying yes. I know you’re probably wondering if there’s a catch, but no, there’s not. He’s just a really good guy and for some reason he really loved me, of all the assholes in the world, he chose me.
We enjoyed our pre-honeymoon phase for the duration of the cruise, and then reality set in. Fall semester started for me the day after we got back and there was no time for anything, including wedding planning. This was my senior year, my final bow. And I practically forgot that we were engaged, somewhere along the way.
I wanted to have the wedding back home which was three hours away. I couldn’t afford to even make that drive as often as I needed to in order to successfully plan the wedding for the date we had set (October 15, 2016). I kind of got to where I let other people take over all of the planning, and eventually I lost interest. My fiance would always ask me about certain things pertaining to the wedding so that we could keep the ball rolling, but I always made excuses to not participate. I became overwhelmed in a short amount of time and I simply wasn’t interested in seeing this wedding through anymore, and I knew it.
When I went to pick out my dress, it didn’t even feel right and I ended up with the first dress I tried on because it was well within my budget and I didn’t really want to be there in the first place. I let the people around me influence me into getting the dress just so I could get the heck out of there.
When it came time to order Save the Dates, I basically told my fiance to design them himself, which he did.
They never did get sent out.
In June of 2016, I had just graduated college and my fiance and I moved back home to my farm in Wichita Falls. I had had enough of school, enough of wedding planning, and enough of being dirt poor and trying to pay for this wedding I wanted no part of. I started to resent my fiance and everyone around me that was basically planning my wedding for me. I resented them because I was miserable, and no one knew it but me. I wanted to just get a job and move, with or without anyone. I needed some independence. I have never heavily relied on others for much, so at that point I got myself an internship and made arrangements to move to Fort Worth…without my fiance. That’s where the walls came crumbling down.
I felt like nothing else was getting done because everyone was so worried about the wedding and I just had other things on my mind, so I made a run for it. My fiance was able to move to Fort Worth also, but I didn’t ask him to. I liked the idea of spending more time by myself. Unfortunately, his bachelor party was fast approaching. I didn’t want to ruin his time, so I just told him to have fun. When he got back, I had to break it to him that it really was over for me. I was so empty. I was being selfish, but you can’t make yourself feel something your heart just won’t feel. All of that resentment and stress had been built up over a long time and I took it out on him. That became my norm. Turning my back on people who cared about me, just to get some alone time, became normal for me. I was constantly bombarded with questions, comments and concerns when really I just wanted to call it all off, which is what I ultimately did.
The truth is, I wasn’t ready for this. I didn’t want the wedding everyone around me wanted. I didn’t know I was suppose to pick out colors for my wedding and have a cake ordered in advance. I didn’t know and I didn’t care. Also, I couldn’t afford it, but that was just about the least of my worries. I fell into a deep depression. Really deep. I called it all off, the wedding, my relationship, the whole nine yards. I was spent. It didn’t make me any happier, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved. Three years together, gone in the blink of an eye. I wanted to cry, not because I was sad, but because I hurt someone who didn’t deserve to be hurt. He would have rather be run over by a truck than endure what I had put him through, and the only reason I know that is because I have been there. I’ve lost the stress weight from not being able to eat, I’ve felt the sting of having no one to share your day with, and I’ve turned off the radio when I hear a song that reminds me of the very person that was responsible for making me feel so down and out to begin with. I have felt helpless, hopeless, pitiful, and embarrassed, all in the name of love. Choosing your feelings over someone else’s isn’t always easy, but it is necessary. Having to tell someone, who thinks you hung the moon, that you’re not in love with them is the equivalent of watching someone put their blood, sweat and tears into something they’re passionate about, just to tell them they suck and they’ll never make the cut. It was rough, and I know I was the bad guy.
I did what I thought was best for me at the time, and as strange as this may sound, I actually don’t regret it one bit (bear with me here). For a while, we stopped speaking. I figured it would be easier if we kept it that way, and so did he. But eventually things would pop up like phone bill and how to get on separate plans, other accounts, dogs, etc. It was just impossible not to talk. On top of it all, we had all the same friends.
Eventually, we agreed to meet up and have dinner. We had another falling out shortly thereafter. He had gone through my phone, worried about who I was talking to. I can’t say I blame him at this point, but I think I was more shocked than anything. If there was ever one thing I pride myself on as a companion it is the fact that no matter what, I will not touch someone else’s phone. If I feel the need to look through a guys phone, that’s the only answer I’m looking for in the first place. So when I found him going through my phone, any pity or rekindled feelings I felt turned directly into rage. He was immediately sorry, and obviously distressed. I was too unnerved to care, though. In my mind, that act in and of itself justified my leaving him. Of course, I was overreacting, and he didn’t find anything he was looking for. But I can’t blame him for not trusting me. I wasn’t seeing other people, the thought alone exhausted me. But to be fair, he wasn’t wrong for wondering. He was just wrong for violating my personal property which temporarily sent me over a small ledge.
Again, I tried to stay clear of any and all contact, but it just wasn’t going to happen. It was hard to stop talking to someone who had been there for you for years, I just didn’t know how to feel some days. But I wasn’t going to drag him along on my emotional roller coaster of a storm. I had to use our time apart to evaluate what went wrong and why. I hadn’t allowed myself to ponder the details of our failed engagement, nor had I reflected on my own selfishness.
I can’t put my finger on when, but things started to pivot towards the light. When I moved on from being an intern to being a full-time employee at my job, and Clint got a job working for a great company, things started to settle down. We were no longer playing cat-and-mouse. I didn’t feel the need to be away from him. There was significantly less pressure on us due to the wedding being called off, and I finally had a little money to save. After figuring out what had gotten into me for me to call off my wedding, it became apparent that I was afraid of living a small life. I was terrified of being complacent with mediocrity. I wasn’t communicating any of this to Clint at the time, I just felt it and ran with it. I thought that a marriage would end so many possibilities. I’m young, I still want to travel. I’m obviously still selfish. I got beyond annoyed with people pestering me about kids. I just wanted to be independently happy with my person, and I felt like I couldn’t even have that.
People told me, “when you get married you gotta stop thinking about yourself so much”, or “what are ya’ll going to name your kids, your not just going to have dogs forever, are you?”, and my personal favorite, “don’t do this at your wedding, do this instead. How much are you spending? You can’t put a price on a beautiful wedding! That’s too many bridesmaids. Why didn’t you include wutzerface? Is she mad?”. I mean I could go on and on. I let every last bit of it get to me. I literally wanted to shout “LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE” from the top of my lungs…at everyone. And poor Clint never knew any of this because I didn’t bother to communicate it to him, even though he would have undoubtedly understood and would have gone out of his way to reach a feasible solution.
I did finally talk to him, though. I told him everything. I cried most of the time, I was ashamed that I hurt him. I literally got cold feet of the worst kind and apparently I thought the only way to warm them up was to run. Clint forgave me and only God knows why. I swallowed my pride and started taking baby steps to improve myself as a partner. I communicate more, no matter what I’m feeling. I pray more. I relax more. I listen more, but not where it may influence me in a negative way. I still don’t think it’s anyone’s place to tell me where I can and can’t go as a married woman, or when I should have kids. I have also communicated this to Clint, because he knows all about my love for the open road and he wouldn’t dream of caging the free spirit inside of me. When I am ready, I will think about having kids. If I’m never ready, I never will have kids. I was put on this earth to do more than pay bills and multiply. That’s never been a huge dream of mine. Right now, I’m still a little selfish and I want to enjoy my soon-to-be-husband for as long as I please. I want to sleep in on Saturdays, taking in the little things that make me blissfully happy, like drinking coffee in bed, spending time with my chickens, or taking a weekend road trip with my man.
Again, I don’t regret having called off my wedding. It was necessary. If I would have married my fiance in October of 2016, I have a terrible feeling that we would have divorced soon thereafter. I actually think, contrary to how hard it was to do, that calling off my wedding was one of the best decisions I ever did make. We are so much happier than we’ve ever been. It’s been this way for a while, and we are going to officially tie the knot in May (for real this time)! I have wedding fever in the worst way and have actively been planning for months now. It’s getting down to the wire, so it’s getting a little stressful, but nothing a mimosa can’t fix. I’m engaged (literally) in all of the decision making, and not once have I been accused of being a bridezilla, but God knows that’s subject to change at any minute.
I love my fiance and the life we have started building together. Our hiatus taught me a lot that I needed to know before jumping headlong into a life-long commitment. I realized that he was my person, and the only person in the world that would ever understand me for who I am. Most importantly, he accepts me. He accepts everything about me, good and bad. I am a firm believer in the mantra that everything happens for a reason. I once heard someone say that whatever your gut feeling is, that’s the voice of God. That is the voice you need to listen to. I could have blown off all of the emotions that I was feeling at the time and married Clint in October, but it would have been unfair to him because my heart wasn’t in it.
Taking a step back made me realize so much. I still have a hard time forgiving myself for breaking the heart of someone who just wanted to love me, but that will come with time I suppose. That small incident was just a chapter of my life. On May 20, 2017, I get to rewrite my entire story.