While Men's Vows is all about supporting men who marry, we are also here to support men who decide not to marry.

There is likely no tougher decision to make than to "back down the aisle." Because, to put a stop to many months of planning, to the even many more months of building a relationship and to the newly-admitted, but likely long-lived realization that yours was not a relationship meant-to-be, is an action nothing short of impossible.

However, if you have aligned your feelings with your actions and decide to cancel or post-pone your wedding, here are some recommendations for how to address this difficult decision.

1- Seek help. 

The moment, and we mean the moment, you begin to question whether or not he's "the one," seek out expert help. Clergy, shrink, or coach, any of these individuals can help you explore the reasons behind your beginning to feel insecure in your decision to marry. Often times the reason might be circumstantial and therefore addressable. Other times, it might be something between you that needs to be aired out, but is surmountable. And, yes, it could still be that your decision to wed is no longer the right one. But, let someone guide you through this process. 


2- Bad news can't wait. 

The moment, and we mean the moment, you've gotten clear about your feelings, you need to share them with your significant other. Whether the matter is one that is not a deal-breaking and one that the two of you can work through together, or one that means the end of your relationship, you have to honor your decision, your process and your fiancé. Truth hurts once, while lying hurts forever, so make sure you fully explain why you've made the decision you've made. It might mean sharing even more hurtful facts and feelings, but you owe it to the both of you to come 100% clean. Offer your partner time to consider your decision, yourself and a forum in which to discuss it with an expert, and a process for jointly developing how matters will actually come to an end. 

3- Explain and don't complain. 

For your closest friends and family, especially that of your partner, make your reasons and feelings for breaking up known. Write a letter, visit with each person one-on-one or communicate in which ever manner everyone makes possible for you, and share what happened. Do not vilify your partner, especially to his family and friends, but do make clear your feelings and your plans. Being constructively honest might not win back favor in the short term, but as the saying goes: "the truth shall set you free." 


3- Don't explain and don't complain. 

When telling others, beyond your closest friends and family, keep it short and simple. Make clear that the engagement, wedding and relationship is off by simply stating that fact. If there's enough time, print a card and send it. If there is not, send an electronic missive or have your closest friends and family call all others involved in your events. Those that get nosy, firmly let them know that this is a difficult time and that your attention can only be focused on healing yourselves. 

4- Send it back. 

Everything you received to acknowledge your wedding and even your engagement, should be returned to your guests. Make sure you send a note thanking them for their generosity, both in the form of the gift and in the form of their understanding. And, if you've called off the event after deadlines for refunds or cancellations, make a sincere apology for the inconvenience you've caused those traveling to support your marriage. Should your budget allow, send everyone a gift to help encourage them to still make the most of their travel plans. 

We hope you never have to put any of the above in practice, so let's consider this advice you can now give a friend should needing to break off a wedding come up for him!!