Dear Rachel,

I am engaged to be married yet recently reached the conclusion that I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with this man. It is not a case of cold feet, it is a situation where our goals and desires in life are just so different. Even when I got engaged I knew it was a mistake. I know I need to end this, but for some reason I find that every time I try I just can’t bring myself to do it. Also, the invitations are already out and so much money has been put into the wedding. But even more importantly, I really do care for him and love him and don’t want to hurt him. What should I do?


Dear Overwhelmed,

There is no question that breaking off an engagement, especially when it is so close to the wedding, is a very difficult thing to do. At the same time, you sound pretty convinced that you have legitimate reasons for wanting to, and it sounds as if you got engaged for the same reason that you could potentially marry this man, which is fear of ending the relationship.

Assuming that it really is in your best interest to end this, then not only should you for your sake, but for his as well. Would you want him to marry you if he felt about you the way you do about him? While you may feel that you are doing him a favor, it is no favor at all, and quite a disservice. In truth, if you care about him and love him as you say, do not let him marry a woman who knows she doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life with him.

You cannot marry a man out of guilt, responsibility or fear of letting him or anyone else down. When you marry a person, it must be with the belief that this is your soul mate and the person you want to spend your life with. Marriage is not easy, it is an incredible amount of work, but an essential ingredient is that you are both heading in the same direction in life and have the same end goals. Therefore, if he is not right for you, then ultimately you cannot be right for him either.

Another important thing to remember is that he does not need to be a horrible person to be the wrong person for you. If anything, he could be a great guy, just a great guy for someone else. You have to be honest with yourself and with him and discuss how you are feeling. If your relationship really does have a future, then this will give you an opportunity to discuss what can be done and how you both feel about one another and this potential marriage. However, if that is not the case, then you will give him the opportunity to make his own decision once he is aware of the entire situation.

In terms of invitations being out and money having been spent, while perhaps uncomfortable, that has nothing to do with a decision regarding the rest of your life. The only way you can marry this person is with the strong conviction that this is your soul mate. Anything less, and you are being terribly unfair to the both of you. I assume you would not want him marrying you to avoid letting down a florist and hall! Now is the time, before you are married, to truly think about what lies ahead and then to discuss it with your fiancé. It could very well be that because you care about one another, you will recognize that this marriage may very well be a big mistake.

Much luck and may you be blessed with clarity and to very soon marry your true soulmate, whomever he may be.