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What Drives Some Couples To Call Off Their Wedding?

What Drives Couples Call Off Wedding

However, that didn’t work, leading them to ultimately decide to end things. It seems that having “a little bit of space to process my emotions” gave participants a chance to examine the relationship more objectively. That process revealed a range of lingering major issues such as infidelity, conflict, growing apart, and abuse. Though many interviewees acknowledged that many problems had existed for a while and built up over time, they also noted a culminating event that precipitated the final break-up.

Related: 10 Relationship Red Flags That You Should Not Ignore


Calling off a wedding is a big decision that few want to make, but that people clearly need to make on occasion. Rather than putting yourself through such an unpleasant and difficult experience, it’s much better to take steps in your relationship now that will help prevent such an outcome.  

Here are two key lessons: 

1. Before the relationship gets so serious that you’re considering engagement, take some time to really think about what a future relationship with your partner looks like. Are you truly compatible, not only in your day-to-day living but also in terms of your values? Sit down and picture what your future life will look like with your partner. Envision that relationship both in good times and in bad. Do you like what you see?

2. Take the time to really evaluate the relationship so that you’re aware of potential red flags early on. Don’t get so wrapped up in falling in love that you’re forgiving major issues like constant conflict, emotional abuse, or cheating. See them for who they are now, well before you’re planning a wedding. Compatibility counts… is this the type of relationship you always wanted?

Love relationships? To learn more, see my book Stronger Than You Think: The 10 Blind Spots That Undermine Your Relationship… and How to See Past Them 

Follow me on Twitter, @LewandowskiPhD


Monk, J. K., Kanter, J. B., Jamison, T. B., & Russell, L. T. (2020). Beyond cold feet: Experiences of ending engagements and canceling weddings. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. (Online July 30, 2020)
Stanley, S. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2006). Sliding versus deciding: Inertia and the premarital cohabitation effect. Family Relations, 55(4), 499–509. 1741-3729.2006.00418.x  

Written By Gary W. Lewandowski Jr.
Originally Appeared In Psychology Today

When people call off their wedding, it is not a split-second decision, there might be many things that fester beneath the surface that others have no idea about. What seemed to be a small thing, will turn out to be a huge red flag and something that might eventually end up sending the marriage towards divorce. That is why, before planning to take the plunge, keep in mind these two very important takeaways, and hopefully it will help you make the right decision.

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What Drives Some Couples To Call Off Their Wedding?
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Gary W. Lewandowski Jr.

Dr. Gary W. Lewandowski Jr. is the author of STRONGER THAN YOU THINK: The 10 Blind Spots That Undermine Your Relationship…and How to See Past Them. He is also an award-winning teacher, researcher, relationship expert, and professor at Monmouth University. His work has been featured in outlets such as The Washington Post,, Daily Mail, Business Insider, The New Republic, Time, the New York Times, The Atlantic, VICE, CNN, and NPR. His articles about relationships have been enjoyed by over 3.5 million readers and his TED talk, Break-Ups Don't Have to Leave You Broken, has been viewed by 2 million people. He currently writes the Psychology of Relationships blog on Psychology Today.View Author posts