Why My Husband And I Almost Ran Away Before Our Wedding

Photo: Kaspars Grinvalds via Canva | matspersson0 via Canva
Bride running in two directions, groom loosening his tie, shattered glass

Showing up for my own wedding is one of the biggest regrets of my life, but it taught me to trust my instincts.

I spent the night before my wedding crying and hyperventilating. Sobbing, I repeated two sentences over and over again: "I don’t want to do this. Don’t make me do this."

Of course, the only person making me go through with the wedding was myself.

I called my best friend, and she drove to my apartment late at night with her infant son. She wanted to console me; she did her best.

"Don’t worry," she said. "It will all be over soon."

That’s exactly what I was afraid of.

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All I wanted was the slightest amount of encouragement and validation that I didn’t have to go through with the following day’s nuptials.

I didn’t want to hear that it would all be okay. I didn’t want to hear that it would all be over soon. I wanted to hear that I didn’t have to do it at all.

My best friend gave me the worst answer.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, my soon-to-be groom was having a crisis of his own. 

He and his best friend were tossing back beers and talking about the upcoming wedding, which at that point was less than twenty-four hours away.

Like me, my fiance didn’t want to go through with the wedding.

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Unlike my best friend, his confidante was busy trying to convince him to escape to the north.

"Let’s go to New Hampshire," my husband’s best man told him. "We can hide out until it all blows over."

It was amazing advice, and I wish my husband had taken it. The next five years would have been easier for everyone.

As luck would have it, neither of us decided to call off the wedding.

I arrived early; he arrived late, but we both arrived in time because the justice of the peace, having written the wrong time on his calendar, was hours late to perform the ceremony. It was like the universe did everything possible to make sure we had an escape hatch, and neither of us bothered to climb out of it and escape to freedom. As they say, hindsight is 20/20.

Changing our minds about getting married the night before the wedding was one of the few things my husband and I actually had in common. It’s too bad we didn’t find out about the other’s apprehension until it was too late to do something about it.

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In the end, we both made an effort to stay in a marriage that had started crumbling before we ever said our vows.

Although there were more downs than ups during that five-year period, I will graciously give us both credit for trying to stick it out — even though we shouldn’t have.

Today, I’ve been divorced for many years longer than I was married. I’ve been divorced, in fact, for so long that I frequently forget I’d ever been married at all.

However, I can say that I learned a few things from the experience — the most important of those things being this: If you aren’t one hundred percent sure about getting married, call off the wedding or run off to New Hampshire.

Things will be easier for you in the long run.

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Tracey Folly is a Boston-based writer, podcaster, and frequent contributor to YourTango. She’s had stories featured in Elephant Journal, Medium, NewsBreak, and YourTango, among others.

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.