If you’ve ever seen the film Runaway Bride, or watched the first (?) episode of Friends, then you know women can have both good and bad reasons to dump a partner at the altar. In Julia Roberts’ case, it was a crippling fear of commitment (though in actually, she’d never actually been in “true love” until the dashing Richard Gere swung through town.) In Rachel’s case, Barry was a dentist she didn’t really have a future with, and not just because he was cheating on her with BFF Mindy Hunter.
But both of those situations are fictional. If you’re ever curious about the true stories behind the altar-ditching behavior of some women out there, this AskReddit thread is for you:
1. He hated her mother:
Not me, a friend. The day of the wedding we were with her at a beauty centre. She had her wedding ring on. But when we were out she didn’t have it. Don’t know if it was lost or stolen She was definitely sad but not breaking the wedding sad.
When her fiancé found out he went on full beast mode that made her cry. And accused her mother of stealing the ring. He and her mother had troubles before. But no way her mother stole it. He apologized and the wedding went on.
But at the alter he joked about it or something and she couldn’t take it anymore and just walked away. She knew he’d never let it go.
2. An abusive dynamic, fueled by alcohol:
He had been abusive and was an alcoholic. He cheated on me and blamed it on my family and tackled me when I tried to leave. So I played along and agreed we’d get married in and move to another state away from my family.
I was supposed to meet him there and get married the day I arrived. I never got on the plane and changed my phone number and quit my job.
3. Which seems to be more common than you’d think:
My mom left my dad at the altar. I guess she got to the parking lot and just realized what a mistake the whole thing was. I guess he was a super controlling alcoholic, and despite having a good paying job was super cheap.
So she’d paid for her own wedding ring and the entire wedding herself without him contributing anything. She realized it was one thing to put up with that shit herself, but she didn’t want a kid to grow up around that.
She told her best friend to tell everyone to enjoy the catering and the party she’d paid for but she wasn’t going to be there and drove off.
4. This woman’s partner left her…he did her a favor:
I was left two weeks before my wedding, last year. He claimed he was scared and just needed more time. We had been together over four years and engaged for a year and two months. What really happened still blows my mind.
He had been having an affair and even before I found out, which took months, people were coming to me about how he had done this or that during the time we were together.
Like, why tf didn’t you tell me before? I was oblivious and blinded by love and the future we had planned.
Everything caught me off guard and I’m just now starting to recover, 10 months later.
5. This was probably for the best for all involved:
My good friend left her fiancé the night before their wedding. It was Texas in the early 90s, and she was engaged to a (nice enough) man. He’d always told her she was more than welcome to fool around with women as she liked.
They were sitting there the night before they got married and she told him she couldn’t do it because she was a lesbian, she’d always been a lesbian, and she just hadn’t ever been able to accept it.
It was hard on both of them, but in the end better that she finally was able to say it before they actually tied the knot.
6. Sometimes, a partner is secretly cheating:
Happened to a friend of mine: she found out that her would-be husband was cheating on her, on the morning of their wedding day.
The girl he was cheating with was a guest at the wedding, and she saw the preparations and how much the bride loved him, broke down in tears and told the bride. The girl he was cheating with was 19, his friend’s younger sister I think. I have her added on social media, she grew up into a good person.
The bride has moved to a different city and is happy in a relationship with a woman now. I remember the groom being depressed about the whole thing but don’t know what happened to him after that.
7. Being in love with someone else:
My friend did this. We were all in undergrad together. She had a colossal crush on a classmate. He was meh about it, but they were really good friends. She seemed to move on and dated someone else junior and senior year.
Then everyone moved on to grad school, some in different countries, including her crush. She met someone else there and fell in love, they shared hobbies, even had a photography page on Facebook together… The works. They dated for four years and finally decided to get married.
Two months before the wedding, she decides to take a trip all by herself to the US, where her crush was. We find it weird, but her fiance is cool with that, what’s our problem. I meet up with her, she’s tense about the wedding. Having never been anywhere close to an altar, I thought that was what people felt pre-wedding. She leaves on a camping trip with the ex and her college roommate for a week. The next day I’m walking around town and run into the college roommate and I’m like wtf. She was apparently never part of the plan. But the fiance’s cool with it, who am I to judge.
She comes back from the trip and is a little weird and tense. We go shopping for some stuff, and I notice she’s paying with the crush’s credit card. I remember thinking ‘what a nice guy he is, but she’s an investment banker, doesn’t she have her own money?’.
Anyway. She goes back home, posts all the pictures on Facebook, then is posting wedding countdown pictures….
Then one day I want to clip one of the pictures for my tinder profile and look for it on Facebook. It isn’t there. Heck, I can’t even find her on Facebook.
Then I hear from someone else that she walked out on the groom because she was still in love with the crush guy, and he finally reciprocated two days before the wedding.
Now she and crush guy are married and have kids. I really can’t get over the sh*ttiness of stringing the fiance along and publicly embarrassing him by walking out on the wedding day. But well, it’s better than being married to someone and being in love with someone else, I guess.
8. Simply being far too young:
Like most others her, not at the altar but the week of wedding. I waited until he went to work. I packed everything I had into my car. Ran off the the beach with another man. I was 18, my fiancée was 25. I just woke up that morning and decided that I couldn’t do it.
I couldn’t get married when I didn’t even have any idea what I wanted to do with my life. Ten years later and I feel like I broke that man. I’ve moved on. He is still stuck. The last two times I’ve seen him he’s asked me to give him another chance.
9. Sometimes, there is no explanation:
Not at the altar but, my friend was dating this woman and they had planned the wedding a week before the wedding she canceled everything without explaining him anything. Two months later she married another man.
10. Sometimes, there is:
Best friend cousin: She was 35, virgin and into religion, left him just before the wedding night and joined a convent. God won I guess.
My cousin: The next day, the guy was a quite intensive pot smoker and had had a schizophrenia crysis. She freaked out and left him right away. Sad part about it: my cousin’s father is very racist, guy was black. It didn’t help making my cousin’s father change his racist views…
11. And sometimes, marrying somebody won’t help if they don’t know how to help themselves:
It’s been 6 months now and he quit his job and everything . All he wants to do it play video games and pretend to be a victim of life . It’s insane how blinded you can be , when your in the relationship. Now that I’m on the outside, it’s obvious that I dodged a huge bullet.