Break Off an Engagement: How to Break Up With Your Fiance and Avoid a Marriage You Don’t Want

A marriage can be a beautiful thing.

But…if you’re on the path to marriage, and a part of your brain is yelling, “This isn’t what I want!,” you may want to reconsider.   Sometimes we get caught up in the expectations of our partner, our family, our partner’s family, or society (“We’ve been dating for 2 years, so I guess I have to…”).

A relationship is a choice to build something.  If you’re on the verge of proposing — or you’re already engaged –  and you have a sense that it’s not truly what you want…you may be setting both of you up for a difficult life.

By the time you have the courage to pursue a life you want, you may have kids, financial obligations, and a whole list of reasons why you can’t leave.

But if you’re not married, you don’t have those obligations.  You still have a choice.

Unfortunately, most of us have a talent for creating excuses for staying:

  • “He’ll go berserk if I leave.”
  • “I’m really close with his family.”
  • “She’s already started planning the wedding.”
  • “I gave her my word (and a ring).”

Regarding the last point, yes, keeping promises is important, but fulfilling a promise of marriage is the wrong choice if you’re experiencing strong doubt.  If you made that promise in error, you must let her know sooner rather than later.

The bottom line is this: If you’re having strong second thoughts (not just cold feet) about your engagement, or you never felt truly committed to the idea in the first place, you may be destined for:

1) A lifetime of disappointment

2) A difficult divorce

You need to make a decision now, and act on it, so you don’t waste BOTH your lives.

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70 Responses to “Break Off an Engagement: How to Break Up With Your Fiance and Avoid a Marriage You Don’t Want”

  • Sarah says:

    So I’m currently engaged and I want to break it off. But let me tell you what’s going on. His mom introduced me to him seven months ago. We dated for a month, and at that time I thought I liked him. We got engaged a month later. It’s been seven months now and I don’t feel anything towards him. Our wedding is in three months and we got almost everything finished. I told him and my parents that I don’t want to get married and that I don’t love him. It was too fast and it seemed forced. It was my stupity to keep on going through with it and not saying anything to him or his family before. I am Muslim engaged to a Muslim man. My happiness is that counts even if I have to hurt people during the process. I don’t want to try in this relationship if I can’t look at him in the eye nor don’t want to talk to him.

  • Honey says:

    I cant say how depressed iam. I need sumone’s help or may be advice.My story goes like dis…

    I loved a guy at the age of 19 and thot he is the best for me and there wud be no one i wud love so much. We dated for alomost 3 years.It was not exactly dating. We used to meet up sumtimes sumwhr in public places,spend some time chatting.Our relationship grew deep and intense thru SMS.Daily nite we used to test each other and used to romance thru SMS.Since he was best in all means(family relative,educated,good looking,loving,caring etc) i decided to tell this matter to my mom n relatives. Evryone agreed and there was no sign of objection from anyone..I was thinking iam the luckiest grl in dis world…After 3 yesrs of our love,i got a job and i had to move to another place and even he had to move to yet another far place for his job.I insited that i want to get engaged with him before i leave and everyone agreed for that even.Since he cannot come back from his new job place before 2 years..We decided to get engaged and get married after 2 years..We both were so excited,but sad that we have to stay far for 2 years…

    First few days were very sad and unbearable.Was feeling like seeing him and used to speak over phone for hours,used to chat etc…At this time,at my new place,i had a couple of frnds who work wth me in my ofc both boys and gals.Even though evryone were new to me,i was able to adjust wth them n very soon we became very close frnds.We used to gather for each n ecry occasion and spend lots of time.This is wen my Bee(dats wat i call him) became close to me..Out of all,i n bee started became very close frnds.He knew dat i was engaged and even i used to maintain a distance..Gradually we started developing feelings for each other,but i nvr showed him,since i know its not possible… We used to roam around in d weekends in his bike,spend lots of time speaking,we started speaking in the nite over phone,but our relationship nvr crossed limits..But i started noticing that he hated me speaking over phone wth my fiancee..He used to get angry wenever my phone rings..

    one day we had a big fight and he had to say sorry to me and we returned from office together to his room.He hugged me n said sorry.Then it bacame a habit that without hugging we both wudnt leave..time went on,we became more close..We shared evrything and we started living like husband and wife..I realized life was perfect..I realized this is life,where he never lets me do things alone,he never allows me to go out alone..he always cares me,he calls me baby,gave me compliments saying u luking gorgeous,never made me sad.

    WE took leaves together,spend whole day at room,romancing,making love,having food together and life was just awesome.We both like to hangout in the evenings,go for a ride on long roads,whr i hug him and we sing songs and anyone wud feel jealous of our relationship.As days went by,the thot that im gonna marry sumone else was hurting us both.He started getting angry on me n asked me to take a decision.And i was in such a helpless situation that i cud not tell my fiancee to back off from this and neither cud i leave my bee..n yeah,i started hating my fiancee,i used to not speak properly wen he calls,used to get angry for each n evrything he said.nvr used to say him love u wen hanging up his call..I was so frustrated thinking how am i going to handle evrything.

    And the biggest mistake i did is,i told my finacee that im having affair wth my bee and that is wen doubting started.He satrted calling 5-7 times a day to know whr iam.He started spying on me..He wudnt believe me even if i say im out wth my frnds and not with bee..On the other hand,me n my bee decided to go far,since we booth knew it was our mistake since our relationship wud never come to a happy ending..but we never cud go far..Hardly 2 days we stay far wthout calling n meeting,but 3rd day we both become close n end up in having sex..

    Now,the time has come where my marriage is fixed with my fiancee..I n my bee fought and said we are never gonna meet and we wud never keep any contact wth eachother…I cant do anything in favour of my bee,since there are many family problems..If my mom comes to know all these she may shatter.But even then ,i asked my bee if he was ready to accept me now as his wife,but he disagrred saying not at this last time..IT is true wat he said,cuz i shoud think of his parents even..All of a suddedn he cannot tell his parents that i love a grl who has broke up her engagement for my sake.

    I dnt knw wat to do..Now iam with my mom,far from my ofc place and we havnt contacted since 2 days..Iam worried thinking wat he will be doing and im not able to take dis pain..felt like ending my life,since i strongly feel that iam the reason for evrything.I broke my fiancees trust adn also i broke my bee’s trust..I made many ppl unhappy.I became very short tempered nw.I yell at each n evrything..And i have decided to quit my job n not to continue after marriage..Im scared how will i spend my life wth my fiancee,whom i dnt love very much worried of my bee..He has to stay alone wthout me after my marriage and there is no one to comfort him..We always were frnds infront of evryone,so we cannot shre it wth our frnds…Now there is no way other than forgetting my bee and he forgetting me but i dnt think i can..

    Evry sec i feel guilty thinking i should have done sumthing in the beggining itself..NHow there is only 2 months left for my wedding and i will be quitting my job after which i will never meet my bee..He was my evrything n i was his evrything..He loved me like mad even though he knew i will nvr become his.We both had a narrow hope that one day we will be together again..All our dreams are shattered..We dreamt a lot abt our house,children,futture,evrything..Now he complaints me that he became unsucessful because of me..He cudnt not conc on his work,nor he cud save money,nor he cud progress in his carreer.He invested his time for me n now in the end,he is left out wth nothing..

    He was always rite from the beggining..Im feeling very sorry and guilty for spoiling his life.I being a grl shoud have made him understand in the begiing that dis is not gonna work..Wat will i do now? Is it the right thing iam doing wth him? Is it the rite thing iam doing by marrying my fiancee? I feel i have to be punished for all these sins..But truely speaking i want to have a life with my bee and not with my fiancee..I love my bee a lot..:( hope no grl in dis world will have such a worst pain.. :(
    In Tears ….

  • william says:

    i stopped reading after dis…

  • Di'Monique Bradby says:

    Just folow your HEART!!

  • Heather says:

    Don’t marry this fiance of yours! You drifted apart, you found another man to love, and you are not married yet. Don’t do it! Please don’t do it? Why would you marry a man you don’t love anymore? Have the guts to tell him you’ve moved on. I know it will hurt him but it will be far worse to marry a man when you are really in love with Bee. Don’t do it.

  • emma says:

    Ok so i am a twenty year old woman i just turned twenty and im pregnant and me and my fiance have been together for six months now and there were some issues with his family and so we moved up with mine but before i found out i was pregnant i wanted to break up with him not becuase i didnt love him but becuase i wasnt happy anymore i never really smiled .. even thou i loved him and now were at my parents and were going to be together seven months soon and im still unhappy i still care for him and he is very sweet and is going to be an awsome dad but i dnt think i want to marry him but i dnt know how to tell him i mean he moved to a totally new state with me and i want him to be happy cuz even thou i dnt want to be iwth him i still care about him so i dnt know what to do he never knew what it was like to have a real family and now he loves my family and they like him .. what im asking is what should i do should i stay with him and make him happy or should i leave and try to find some happiness for me too and we have a baby coming what do i do about that. im so confused. if anyone has any advice for this selfish woman please im all ears .. thank you

  • agnes says:

    Have the baby and try staying with him for ur own sake and the baby’s. It’s not time to run away. You’re blessed that this man is a good man. Other circumstances, like his family don’t make you happy i’m sure, but you have your own family helping you in some way. Don’t complicate things more than they are and you’ll see everything will turn out fine in time. Good luck to you, dear! Please talk more with a qualified therapist. But remember, baby is your blessing and your first responsibility at this moment.

  • alefiya says:

    i am 20 yrs old m a student i loved a guy wen i ws 18 it ws ol great but due to sum reasons it din work n v broke up now he is engaged n vry happy in his life but i still love him a lot…my family decided to get me engaged wid a guy i dnt like at ol d guy ios very good under my familys pressure but i dnt like him infact i hate him i curse d day i met him i want to kol it off but cnt cos my familys reputation is involved i want him to back out plsssss help me…

  • tasneem says:

    i am 22 yrs old m a student i loved a guy ol great but due to sum reasons it din work n v broke up now he is engaged n vry happy in his life but i still love him a lot…my family decided to get me engaged wid a guy i dnt like at ol d guy ios very good under my familys pressure but i dnt like him infact i hate him i curse d day i met him i want to kol it off but cnt cos my familys reputation is involved i want him to back out plsssss help me

  • bin says:

    I need advice..I’m engaged to a man who is a match in several ways..but there’s something not right. I cant put my finger on what it is. But every day it gets harder to stay in this. We’ve been together for a long daughter loves him too. I love him..but my heart says this is wrong. How do I get out? What do I say?

  • leelee says:

    okay. i`ve been in a relationship with my fiance for two years. we have broken up a couple of times due to trust issues. the very beginning of our relationship, he was caught messaging (facebook) this girl talking very pervert-detailed , etc. [[i found out 5 months into are relationship]] and that is what started the trust issue. it has been over a year and it is still hard for me to fully 100% trust him. we have broken up due to i cant trust him, arguing fighting frequently. but he always like guilts me , makes me feel like im a horrible person the i take him back “we`ll work on it” then april -2012. i decided i wanted to drink (because i just turned 21) and we was broken up at the time and my parents was in charleston, so he showed up at my house to (protect me). long story short . he took advantage of me… done things i never would have agreed to. the next day i kept questioning him and he kept telling me diferent stories. to this day 8/26/12 he still lies about what all happend.. and that just made the hole trust thing even worse. i`m a good person and i care for him but i just dont see how its going to work out anymore.. things have alredy gotten too deep but im not happy anymore. i really aint. i just want the best way step to step on how! everytime i have it just backfired. now he just takes the (april incident) as a joke! he doesnt understand how badly that hurt me and plus the girl thing. im at my witts end i dont know. he is 29 years old and i am 21.

  • Maria says:

    I have been with my fiance for 3 years. We got engaged after 2 years. I have 9 months until we get married and I don’t know if I want to marry him. I found out through a text he sent to a friend that getting engaged was the biggest mistake he has made. When I confronted him about it he denied saying it. At one point he asked for a break, time for us to spend apart. He needed time to think and to see if he was with me because he was afraid to be alone or with me because he loved me. Less then a day later he called me to tell me he loved me and he wanted to be with me. I was so hurt I stayed away for a month. I went back to him and we remained engaged but my trust for him was broken. We have arguments on and off like any couple does but it seems he’s never happy with the world. I work 2 jobs to pay off my credit card and to pay for a wedding and as of right now between his 2 jobs he might works what would be a part time job. I don’t know what to do with him, i’m naturally a happy person but I seem to be more and more negative the more years i’m with him. I don’t know if I’m with him anymore because I love him or because I’m to financially deep in the wedding. I don’t know what to do anymore, I’m just tired of it all and I don’t know how to get out of it or if I even should get out of it.

  • alice says:

    Here is how the story goes… a story that is a complete mess, I warn you… I’ve been dating my fionce for a little over six years… and he’s great… he’s caring and thoughtful, and takes good care of me… I met his family recently and they are really nice people… but (there always seems to be a but, I suppose), I don’t think I love him anymore…I care for him… he’s my best friend… and honestly, I don’t think I can make it on my own… you can say that he’s become my safety net in life… to make things worse there is a coworker that I am pretty crazy about (so crazy I finally told him I was absolutely infatuated with him… granted that was before I got engaged)… he basically told me he wasn’t interested and started dating a girl a little after that… obviously, I left him alone, but the feelings are still there… it hurt so bad, I kind of proposed to my boyfriend (now fionce)… and now I am stuck and pretty miserable… doesn’t help that my fionce moved several hundred miles away for work either… I just don’t know what to do…

  • Some girl... says:

    Im twenty-seven and I am engaged to the love of my life, or so I thought. We’ve been together for 5 years now and he proposed on our fifth anniversary. When we first dates, there was spark, butterflies, a lot of happiness. He was physically there for me before and after work. He’d take me home in the morning and pick me up for dinner at night. Physically, verbally, emotionally, he was always there for me. And whenever we argued, we would have bedtime discussions to resolved them all before the night ended. Its only been 6 months after the proposal and those sparks are fizzing away. There are no more butterglies and im constantly depressed. Thats because of his new job, well not new anymore, that required him to arrive earlier than usual, and later than normal. Some days I eat dinner alone and/or already in bed by the the time he’s back. We stopped communicating, our arguments are continuous amd unresolvable, he ignores me or shows he cares me less than himself. He’s just physically and mentally no longer there for me anymore. Our wedding plans have not even begun yet because he doesnt spare the time to help me through planning. I want out, because I feel that he’s changed a lot and that I dont feel needed by him. I need him, because I love him. I still do. However, I cant spend my whole life someone who does not feel the same. How should I break it to him without hurting him?

  • Eneas says:

    I have been in a relationship for just about a year now. At the time we met, she was experiencing difficulties in the then relationship. After a not-so-romantic nite, we got intimate. I disappeared for a while but we got into contact again. All was fun till right before our engagement that we started arguing uncontrollably and the not talking to each other can at times dragg on for days. Something that really frustrates me. Suprisingly, she never mentioned anything about our engagement to her parents for reasons that I still can not get out of her! Its a real shocker to me after all the efforts and my looking forward to her honesty and credibility. My suspecion is that she is either affraid that her mum informs her exbf and father of her son who has the capability to confront her in a physical manner. I also suspect that the two of them meet secretly. Something she totally denies and angers her each time i ask. So, of late, the sex life became a nightmare with no alternative to what we could do about her lack of sex drive and will to communicate amicably about issues that I m not comfortable with in the relationship. She seem to be very comfortable and that hurts me alot to notice that I m not happy as she seem to be. Imagine asking your partner to talk about feelings and emotions and she tells you to give her more time (as if no time was given) to think about it and give you feedback. There has been so many issues that I enquired and told excatly the same thing. It just not gettign to an end and it makes me sick to the gutt that I m with someone that finds it difficult to express or communicate about this issues. Now she thinks i want to leave just because of her low sex drive…what am i suppose to do, wank every second day or week?

    I m ready to end the affairs as much as it hurts me and it has been for a long time now.

  • confused girl says:

    I really need advice!! This is how my story goes…. I was 15 when I started dating my fiance (Im 22 now) he was everything I could ask for it was love at first site for me. Over the years I fell more in love with him I was so happy. But my happyness didn’t last long because he wasn’t faithful. we broke up but always remaind friends because I loved him so much I needed him in my life. we ended up getting back together. ( to make the story shorter, he cheated about 4 times over the years and we always broke up and I always forgave him thinking it would be different) its been 2yrs we have been dating without any breakups and we have a 1yr old daughter together and are engaged. Its finally happened where Im just not happy anymore. I know he’s not what I want. There’s no passion no spark. He doesnt make me feel wanted and beautiful anymore. I just don’t know how to go about doing this. I guess Im scared because Im so comfortable with him being with me. The sad part is I don’t even think he realizes how I feel. I don’t feel like a woman he loves I feel like his mother who he can say and treat anyway he wants. I know I deserve better.My family even wants me to leave him thy can see how unhappy I am. How do I break up with a man that I have a child with and have been in love with for so long. I never thought I would stop loving him :/ PLEASE HELP ME

  • Me says:

    I honestly haven’t read all the comments. Though every story will be different and only you know what to do I hope this helps gain perspective.
    I dated a guy for several years, I really liked and loved him but by the end of several years I felt I grew out of love. We reached a point where we were on and off and dated other people in between but always got back together. Yes, I was very confused because I cared greatly for him but I did not know if it was still love. He was a great person who tried to please me, hardworker, etc. Of course he had his flaws just like I did and we did argue a lot sometimes. We got engaged but I broke off the engagement only a month after. I cried a lot for not knowing what to do, I didn’t know if I loved him even though I did care a lot, like I said. After almost a year I ran into him and told him how I didn’t know what made me brake off the engagement (in my mind I wanted to get back together). Well, little did I know that he was already engaged to another girl. He said he was committed to his new relationship, he didn’t say he loved her, and I honestly thought he still loved me. Deep down I felt like I had the upper hand so I could get back together anytime. He married her and they are a happy family (i guess). Me…I’m still single with no serious relationships, it has been years. I regret not marrying him. I guess what I’m trying to say is think twice before you just break off your engagement, sometimes we are waiting for prince charming (that’s what happened to me, i thought there was something better around the corner) and to feel butterflies in our stomach, that’s ok for teenagers, but we should also be realistic about love. I think chick flicks have damaged what real love is. I am not saying we cannot have great passionate love but sometimes love can mean also a feeling of security, deep care for one another, respect, feeling at ease with him, it’s not all about great romance. That is what I have come to understand

  • Birdie says:

    I am a little confused too!
    I am a Christian, newly engaged: just 3 weeks. Being christian, I believe Love is a choice and sacrifice not just a feeling, and marriage is a symbol of sacifice and commitment for Love, in the way Jesus died for us. I see it as a beautiful thing…. but I\’m not sure it is for me! I love my fiance because he loves me…. he has wooed me by putting me first. He fights for us, even though I have always struggled to be in the relationship due to my commitment issues. I am scared to commit… all that forsaking myself is gonna be hard! He is such a good man with a good heart, I would be silly to pass this up but on the other hand, how can I marry when I don\’t feel excited and don\’t dersire to be married!! :S

  • Kris says:

    I’ve been with my fiance for over ten years, two years ago his dad got sick, we both decided it was best for him to be with his family since his father was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. in that time we’ve been in a long distance relationship, we talk everyday, play games online together, and just enjoy each others company. last week my fiance got sick and admitted in the hospital, his family wont’ allow me to know much of what is happening with him other than him being really sick. I’m tired of being away from him but in the time we’ve been together he hasn’t tried to help me to go where he is. I’m not sure if I can withstand being away from him so I’m not sure if I should break up with him now while he’s in the hospital or wait until he gets well and talk it over with him. Heck, I’m not even sure when or if he’ll ever come home as sick as he is. Can someone help me?

  • Denise says:

    I have been engaged to a single father of a 9 year old for 8
    Since the meeting of his son, I have been totally involved.
    His son stays with him every other week, and the last month
    or so we have noticed bed wetting and fecal accidents.
    I have stressed concern about the boys mental and physical
    health. Now all of a sudden, it’s none of my business.
    I do not have children due to a chromosome disorder and I thought
    this would my son too….
    I am breaking off the engagement.

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