Having second thoughts about saying I do? 6 reasons to call the whole thing off

Having Second Thoughts About Marriage - Having second thoughts about saying I do? 6 reasons to call the whole thing off

Having doubts about saying I do?

People will tell you it’s only natural. I don’t agree.

Let’s rewind a few years. I had been in a four-year relationship and to be honest the concept of marriage had only ever briefly crossed my mind. We were 22 years old when we met. He was south american and I was sceptical (as always) Needless to say, we fell in love. 4 years of fabulous later and the questions started coming.

When are you two going to get married? When are you going to start a family?

I loved this man. I loved him more than I ever thought possible, but regardless of this love, I knew it wasn’t right. Yet I said yes.

But I had questions.

1. Was he the one?
2. Why wasn’t I totally and ridiculously excited about marrying this man?
3. Why wasn’t his substantial  income, good looks and incredible personality enough to seal the deal?

His ambition and positivity will always inspire me, but at the time it simply wasnt enough. Was I being unreasonable? Unrealistic? A selfish biarch? Nope. He just wasn’t the one.

I will never regret the 6 years we spent together. We worked together, travelled the world together, conquered great things together.

Saying goodbye was hard. Not only for me, but my friends and family also. In fact it really, REALLY sucked.

But in the back of my mind, there was a niggle. So I ended it after 6 years together, and after two years of being engaged. While at the time I seriously felt like the world was going to end (even worse when you are the one to break it off) I knew it was for the greater good. I wasn’t strong. I lost mutual friends. There were reunions of sort, regrets voiced and promises made, yet I stuck to my guns. Because life is way too short.

And here I am years later happily married to the absolute man of my dreams (I am in no way saying he is perfect… yet neither am I) Over five years have gone by and there is no doubt, not even a niggle. Good times or bad I absolutely adore him, even when he drives me batshit crazy. We have different interests (some the same) and often spend our free time doing our own thing, but it works for us.

When comparing my thoughts and behaviour in both relationships, and a little research on unsuccessful relationships had by friends, you might want to reconsider saying ‘I do’ if…

Having second thoughts about saying I do? 6 reasons to call the whole thing off.

1. You bag out your loved one to your family and friends

This doesn’t include general mocking of men and their ridiculous antics or a little friendly banter between you and our partner. But if you wouldn’t say it when he is there, then why are you saying it at all? No one is perfect but there is usually an underlying reason. You don’t respect him? You are seeking negative reassurance from friends and family to make yourself feel better? or maybe you are just being nasty (in which case don’t expect him to act like your prince)

Either way this is a sure sign that things are NOT OK.

Having second thoughts about saying I do? 6 reasons to call the whole thing off.

2. You are suffering from FOMO

Fear of missing out. Your friends are getting married, you want the ring, you want something to look forward to, and you would revel in all the extra attention. That doesn’t make you a bad person, but the buzz surrounding all things wedding is only short-term compared to a life time of commitment.

Don’t let the idea of the most amazing party ever get in the way of your true love for the person you are with. It’s a lot of money to be spent on a whim, so if you are with your soul mate, then what’s the hurry! ?

Having second thoughts about saying I do? 6 reasons to call the whole thing off.

3. The proposal was the result of an ultimatum

Marry me or it’s over. I don’t think I need to go into all the reasons why this is so wrong, but people this is NOT the way to begin a marriage. When you hold a man’s heart at gunpoint it is going to end in disaster. Not only will he resent you for it in the future, but you are essentially manipulating him into commitment.

If he doesn’t want to get married, find out why through good old fashion talking. He talks, you listen. Marriage means different things to different people so a lack of proposal does not necessarily mean a lack of love. Either way step away from the ultimatum.

Having second thoughts about saying I do? 6 reasons to call the whole thing off.

4. You believe the little piece of paper will give you emotional security

WRONG. Introducing my man as my husband gives me warm fuzzies every time. Why? I am proud to be married to him because he makes me happy, and being married makes us feel more like a team. It’s that simple. But if you think that piece of paper will be your permission slip to control and manipulate your husband, then you need to rethink your relationship.

According to statistics New Zealand, half of all marriages end in divorce. Is this proof that a piece of paper means forever? I wouldn’t think so. A piece of paper will not stop your man from checking out other woman, flirting or even cheating. If you are already dealing with trust and jealousy issues in your relationship, then you need to work it out NOW.

Having second thoughts about saying I do? 6 reasons to call the whole thing off.

5. You’re not riding the same wave

You want kids, he doesn’t. Maybe he wants kids and you don’t. You like to spend all your extra cash on fabulous clothes, he likes to save for a rainy day. You have always dreamed of a luxury beach holiday in Tahiti, yet neither leaving the country or a beach holiday is on his wishlist. He likes to be active on his days off, you like to couch surf with a bottle of wine.

Hear me out. A great marriage does not in any way mean being on the same wave length about every little thing, and from my experience one of the key factors to a successful marriage is having your own separate interests and hobbies. BUT when it comes to kids, money, health and travel you might need a little common ground. Compromise is always key (it’s ok to have a more fabulous wardrobe than your man) but these four factors are huge when it comes to making a marriage work.

If you don’t already know how your partner feels about all four, now is the time to ask. If you do, and it has already caused tantrums or tears, then maybe marriage is not the solution.

Having second thoughts about saying I do? 6 reasons to call the whole thing off.

6. The gut feeling

The niggle. Don’t ignore it. If it doesn’t feel right, then it’s not. If the person you are about to marry doesn’t bring out the best in you, and you don’t bring out the best in them, then do the right thing.


Marriage is not all unicorns and candyfloss.

It takes honesty, understanding and ongoing compromise. People change, life happens and sometimes even after you gave it your all, staying together is not the solution. But, if you have not even started on this journey we call marriage then now is the time to think about what you want, what he wants, and if this is what you want together.

Admitting you have doubts does not make you weak. It makes you in tune with your head and you heart. And now is the time to listen to both. If you are having second thoughts and are not ready to discuss it with your significant other, or have made your decision and are struggling to cope I would recommend seeking professional help. xox


I highly recommend reading this book Men Made Easy: How To Capture His Heart Forever. It looks (and sounds) super cheesy and some of it is a little ‘old school’ but overall it is BRILLIANT and WILL change your relationship for the better, I promise!!! xx




  1. Jax

    May 21, 2016

    If you are having second thoughts and are not ready to discuss it with your significant other, or have made your decision and are struggling to cope I would recommend seeking professional help. xox

  2. Jax

    May 21, 2016

    Hi Andrea, thank you so much for sharing your story and being so honest. You mad a massive decision and it cant have been easy, but I promise it does get easier. I hope you are doing well, travel is the best way ever to experience life, especially for us restless souls (I was one of those too and can honestly say it took me 35 years to finally feel settled!!!) xxoxoox

  3. Andrea

    April 19, 2016

    Hi Jax, I hope you will get my message.. I am going through the same exact thing. I have been with my fiancé for 5 1/2 years, we met when I was 22 and got engaged when I was 26. I always pictured my life with him because we have been together for so long and marriage was something we talked about through our whole relationship. We got engaged this past October and I started feeling anxious and I didn’t know why (I thought maybe its my job or my recently dyed hair). A few months ago I started feeling maybe it was my relationship and knowing I was going to be married and then start having kids. Most people would call me a restless soul and there were things I wanted to do before marriage and kids like travel. My fiancé has a daughter and he couldn’t fulfill my dreams and then I started feeling like I was selling myself short. I ended up canceling my engagement this past month and felt a weight lift off my shoulders but now I am scared and feel alone and wanted to ask you if this was normal? And if so how long will I feel this way for?

  4. Jax Sutton

    June 11, 2015

    I feel for you Lady A! BUT If you openly admit that he is not right for you and are thinking about your ex, then call if off NOW out of respect for him and you. If he is incredibly kind and caring then you owe it to him to do the right thing. Talk to him about how you are feeling and do what is right NOW!!! Yes it will hurt like hell for the both of you, but trust me it will be worth it down the track. (when you are with a great guy it makes it all the harder so don’t beat yourself up, but you know if your gut what you need to do) xoxoxox

  5. Jax Sutton

    June 11, 2015

    You still have time Maria. Talk to him about how you are feeling (you never know, he might be feeling the same) and then do the right thing for the both of you. (you will know in your gut) xox

  6. Lady a

    June 11, 2015

    help! 3 months to go until I marry. and all I can day to my friends and family is how I don’t think he is right for me. he’s incredibly kind caring and supportive which is why I went for it coming from a unstable family. but there was never any spark. I have started smoking because I’m so anxious. I feel the pressure of what will happen if I call it all off. my ex keeps contacting me and I can’t forget him and I meet people all the time I like. It’s awful and I feel like I’m on a train track to disaster or lifelong regret. I have a house and dog with him.
    what should I do. I never wanted to hurt anyone all I want is to run back to my ex (who left me) but now is desperate to make amends. (yeah right)
    help! helpless bride

  7. maria

    May 13, 2015

    I’m currently engaged and about to get married in 9 months. My fiance and I are okay but I’m having these thoughts and questions in my head. 🙁 We have settled everything and have already started planning out. Paid a few vendors for the wedding and we are just waiting for the day of the wedding. But as the days go by my zillion excitement is starting to fade away. I don’t know why.

  8. Jax Sutton

    April 12, 2015

    Hi Ms Henderson, thank you so much for sharing your story with us and your complete honesty. I am so happy to hear it was all worth it and you have found yourself again (and someone special!) xoxoxo

  9. Ms Henderson

    April 7, 2015

    Such an interesting article. I married my childhood sweetheart (15 and 16 when we started dating). We were together for 9 years before we were married. We bought a house, we bought a dog, we tried to have kids (that’s a whole extra story) and then last year after 13 years he decided it wasn’t for him anymore. I was nearly 30, my marriage over, no kids and I was devastated. 10 months on I am a new person. I never realised how many things were wrong with our life. We were boring, stressed, always comparing ourselves to our friends, always buying things not memories and always niggling at each other. Of course I hate the fact that I am 30 and halfway to a divorce but at least I have the chance to start again, my friends, family and new partner have helped me ‘find myself’ (surely there is a better way of saying that) I have become self employed, I have learnt new skills, I have backed myself. I have cried about failing more times than I ever felt possible but I have learned that it is so much better to put my chin up, my head high and know I have the chance now to live my best life possible. Don’t be afraid of relationships ending (whether you are the ‘ender’ or the ‘endie’)

  10. Jax Sutton

    April 7, 2015

    Hey hun, I really feel for you and know exactly what you are going through.

    Ultimately you already know what you need to do and yes it will be awful like your whole world is falling down, and you are going to have doubts and feel like the worst person on earth BUT you will be doing the right thing by him and you. One day he will thank you for it (maybe not literally but he will be thankful for your honesty after you have both moved on) Have you ever talked to him about how you are feeling? He might be having doubts himself and might have noticed a change in you towards him. Either way you need to sit down and be honest with him.

    You are also still so young so better to do what you know is right now than spend the rest of your life with the wrong person! Trust me, one day you will be so glad you had the courage to do the right thing xox

  11. Emma

    March 31, 2015

    Well I realize this post was written years ago now, but I’m looking for advise. Reading this article and the comments makes me see I’m not the only one. He purposed June 10, 2014. Our date is supposed to be June 11, 2016 . I’m 21 and he’s 24.

    When he purposed – I was in love and ready to take that step with him no matter what.
    But now, it feels wrong. I feel like it’s crumbling before my eyes and I don’t know how to stop it.

    So, I have this ring on my finger. How do I tell him I don’t want to marry him anymore? How do I say “Sorry you aren’t the one”? He will be heart broken, hate me forever, and I don’t know if I can handle that. But I’m almost 99% positive I can’t deal with his shit for the rest of my life.

  12. paper and lace

    November 28, 2013

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I really feel for you and although I know how stressful it is to feel trapped in that situation, it must be even harder with kids involved. And so difficult when your husband is an amazing Dad, husband, provider, friend. Damn that’s tricky.

    Have you ever talked to him about how you are feeling? I know it sounds insane (and please feel free to ignore my advice) but when you are feeling so trapped moving forward in any direction good or bad can be liberating. I really feel for you and wish I had the answer. It’s a shitty situation to be in and without knowing you I feel reluctant to give advice out of fear that I should have kept my nose out. I guess that makes me a hypocrite.

    Please please please, if you want to chat more about this, email me at [email protected]. I might not be the best person to help you decide, but I am trust worthy and a great listener, and know how much what you are going through sucks (and how hard it is to bring up with friends or family) I am here for you! xox

  13. paper and lace

    November 28, 2013

    Thank you so much lovely lady xox

  14. paper and lace

    November 28, 2013

    Hi Robin,

    Thank you so much for your honesty. It is so important to be clear to each other what you want (if known) from the get go. It can sure saves a lot of heartache down the track.

    So sad to hear you lost a baby but over the moon to hear that both you and your mum have found your match.

    A super inispiring story, thank you for sharing! xox

  15. Nisha Ravji

    November 28, 2013

    You are so well written Jax! What an insightful read and so close to home – thanks for baring your soul x

  16. Now what?

    November 26, 2013

    I’m on the other side of this equation. Married for nearly 8 years, together for 11.
    Before we became engaged I knew he had bought the ring and I asked him to delay proposing. There was a niggle.
    We got married. Two kids. One mortgage.
    And the niggle isn’t a niggle anymore – it’s smacking me in the face. He is perfect on paper – an amazing Dad, husband, provider, friend – but I don’t love him.
    So now I’m in a very distressing place, where what’s right for me isn’t what’s right for him or my kids. It’s awful.
    I don’t regret anything as my kids are the bestest – but I can only agree with your sentiments not to ignore the niggle, before it gets more complicated and your decisions affect more than the two of you.

  17. Robin

    November 22, 2013

    I loved this post what you are saying is soo true! I met my now hubby when I was 15 and we started dating when I was 16 after only 1 real relationship that was horrid!
    I told my now hubby before we became a couple that I wanted to get married and that I wanted to have kids. I said not right away but that is what I want in my life are you in or out?
    Straight forward yes but there is no point entering into a serious relationship if you both don’t want the same things.
    We got engaged when I was 19 we had been living together for 2 years. Got pregnant, lost our baby- I tell you this brought us even closer and reminded me why this is the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with. Had our beautiful daughter and have been married 2 years next April.
    The last 8 years have been amazing, scary, tough at times but I have never doubted where I stand or questioned if he is the right one. I never really cared for the wedding I wanted the Marriage. The wedding is just a day, a beautiful magical day but it is just one day out of your life the person standing next to you for the rest of your life is far more important. I am so pleased that you have found that person. My mum had 2 engagements before she found her match and they were together 10 years before they got engaged and they got married 3 months later 🙂

  18. paper and lace

    November 22, 2013

    Katy, thank you so much for sharing your story. You are so right in saying that engagement can often be an eye opener, it certainly was for me. I can relate to every little bit of your story, and feel so proud of you for calling it quits after 2 months (it took me two years!) Yay for real love and happiness, and for coming out stronger and wiser! I hope this blog has been of some help to you with your planning, let me know if you need any help in finding things/colour inspiration/diy ideas etc! xox

  19. katy

    November 22, 2013

    I went through a similar thing. We were together for nearly 4 years before getting engaged. Hadn’t really thought about how much we shouldn’t of been together until I said yes and my first thought was how am I meant to tell phil (my best friend who I’m marrying in a few months :D) another giveaway was after I said yes he followed up with ‘not now but one day. Just figured it was time to ask cos everyone was telling me too’ :/ in the end it was a good thing we got engaged because it was an eye opener for me. It only lasted another 2 months after that before I broke it off. Those two months I spent super stressed and depressed feeling like I had made the biggest mistake and worrying too much about what everyone else would think if I ended it. Now I couldn’t be happier and my fiance now is such a perfect match that we get told its creepy how alike we are. Now I know what actual love and happiness is I feel so dumb I didn’t notice it was so wrong before 🙂 sorry about the lengthy story!!

  20. paper and lace

    November 22, 2013

    Oh wow Samantha I know EXACTLY what you mean. So glad you were set free to find your one true love. YAY! I feel like I need to do my bit to make sure others are aware that it is NOT normal to have so many doubts… and it is so nice to know that I wasnt the only one going through this. xox

  21. Samantha Mitchell

    November 22, 2013

    I totally agree! This is the second time I have been engaged – he called it off, and although hard I knew from the get go it was the right thing. I bagged him to ANYONE that would listen, I didn’t have a niggle – I had it screaming in my face, I convinced myself that this was what naturally happened to relationships overtime.

    These days, I completely adore my extremely stubborn and grumpy when he hasn’t been fed man.

    Eagerly anticipating our future together.


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