36 People Spill The Tea About Why They Called Off Their Wedding
When you think of your dream wedding, you probably have a very clear picture in your head about how things will turn out. You likely know what you’ll wear, what the band will be playing, what the cake will taste like, and how you’ll look into your soulmate’s eyes and say, ‘I do!’ However… not everyone gets that happily ever after they’ve been daydreaming of for years.
Sometimes, things simply don’t work out and the relationship ends. Dashed to pieces. We’ve collected some of the most powerful and heartbreaking stories about why people called off their weddings from these two candid threads on r/AskReddit here and here. Scroll down to read their stories.
Dating and relationship expert Dan Bacon, the founder of The Modern Man, shared his thoughts with us about what forms the foundations of a strong relationship and how someone can tell if there are genuine issues before getting married or if they've simply got cold feet. You'll find Bored Panda's full interview with the expert below.
#1Got engaged to my pregnant girlfriend. 4 months before the wedding, she calls it off saying she doesn't feel the love anymore. A week after that, I came home early from my second job to surprise her and see if we can work things out and found her in bed with the guy who would have been my best man. Turns out they've been shacking up for 6 months and she planned to leave me for him as soon as he broke things off with his wife (who was to be her maid of honor). I decided to speed up the process by telling his wife what I found and instead of leaving her, the guy ditches my fiancee to try to salvage his marriage.
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#2She started hanging out with an old group of high school friends and just changed. She became extremely nasty over wedding plans, telling me we had to have the exact same number of guests on both sides. If I had one more guest than she did, she made me remove someone from my side. I knew if I moved forward it would have ended in divorce, so I just ended it before it got to that.
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#3She fell in love with my best friend. We went on a trip to visit him, and at the end of it I caught them making out in her car. They ended up getting married a few months later and had a child shortly thereafter. They just recently finalized their divorce. I ran into my old "friend" and met their kid. I asked what happened and he said, "Same thing as what happened to you, man."
If they'll cheat with you, they'll cheat on you.
Image credits: poofacedlemur
According to dating expert Dan, from The Modern Man, genuine mutual attraction, respect, and love all help create the foundation for a long-lasting relationship.
"If only one person has genuine feelings, the relationship will be unbalanced, problematic, and unfulfilling for both of them. Some couples will put up with a relationship like that for a while, but it eventually reaches a point where one of them cheats, or ends the relationship," he stressed how important it is that those feelings are mutual.
Bored Panda wanted to get Dan's thoughts on how people can tell if there are real issues with their relationship rather than just them dealing with some nerves right before the wedding.
"People know when something isn't right. You can sense it. It's just that people sometimes try to ignore it, so they can go through with a wedding and hopefully impress family or friends, or secure the other person into a legally binding commitment that they will struggle to get out of," he warned.
#4Came home for lunch one day to surprise her. Surprise was on me as she was in the middle of f*****g her co-worker on my couch.
I loved that couch.
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#5He started reading the bible and believed he was the second coming of Jesus Christ. Not joking.
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#6We got engaged without fully discussing what would happen after I graduated from college and we could stop being long-distance. As it turns out, he was not much of a city guy, and I didn't want to move to the boonies and be a stay-at-home wife immediately after graduation.
Whoops! It worked out for the best for both of us.
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"When a couple is truly in love and genuine about their commitment to each other, there is no question about whether they want to be together. Marriage is simply the next step in the process of being together for life as a couple. It's not a mandatory step, but somehow, it feels like the right step because both people genuinely don't want to be with anyone else. "
The expert told Bored Panda that you simply know that you don't want to be with anyone else. You know that you genuinely love, respect, and feel attracted to your significant other and that they feel the same way.
"Of course, sometimes a person has commitment issues due to previously being cheated on or broken up with. As a result, they might worry about committing to the point of marriage and then having to live worried about potentially being cheated on or left at some point," the founder of The Modern Man told us.
"Being nervous or worried about that is a lot different from not genuinely feeling attracted to, or feeling like you're in love with the other person you're intending to marry. If it's the latter, there's no point in getting married because it won't be fulfilling for either person and will most likely end in a divorce.
#7She was controlling, manipulative, and abusive. She was like this before we got engaged, but since it was my first relationship, I didn't know any better. She got worse after the engagement. I wasn't allowed to have any friends or access the internet. I couldn't watch TV, go to movies, or read any books without her permission first. She had to know where I was every moment of the day. As far as she was concerned, my sole reason for existence was to do whatever she wanted.
One day, I got fed up with something she wanted me to do and told her no. She said that she couldn't marry me if I wasn't willing to do what she asked. She broke off the engagement a few days later.
A few months later, she called me to try to get back together with me. She didn't think that the breakup would be permanent. She just thought that I would be so unhappy without her that I would go crawling back to her. We had broken up a couple of times before our engagement, and this was apparently her strategy those times as well. By this time, I recognized this as the manipulative tactic is was, so I refused to get back together with her. Looking back on it, I would have been miserable with her, so it was the best decision I could have made.
#8She cheated and eventually chose him instead. And it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Went back to school, got a career, and met a wonderful person to spend my life with.
#9We were together for 9.5 years. Set to be married on our 10 year anniversary. He started hanging out at work a lot more than normal (happy hour, company outings, etc). He started to develop a friendship with a female coworker. Ive had platonic male friends my entire life so nbd. But one time my best friend and i were playfully teasing that this female friend was his girlfriend... and he got real mad almost instantly. After that i knew they were together but didnt want to admit it. I went on a weekend beach vacation with my best friend, and he went camping with her and a gay couple. Im sure they slept together that weekend if they already hadnt. About a month later he went to a work event and purposefully made it difficult for me to attend, to the point of saying 'i dont really want you to go'. She posted a status on Facebook and tagged him in it and i went ballistic. Called him and demanded he come home. We talked, and he admitted that hes in love with her and doesnt want to be with me anymore. 8 months before the wedding. 3 years engaged. I moved out three weeks later. Took the dog and cat.
He tries to text me every so often. I dont respond.
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There’s a ton of pressure that comes with getting married. Pretty much everyone from your family and friends to your coworkers and acquaintances will have expectations about how the actual wedding will look. You might have spent a couple of years saving up for the big day. And another year organizing everything to be as close to ‘perfect’ as you can.
It’s then that something dramatic happens, months, weeks, days before the wedding… or even during the ceremony itself!
You might have learned that your partner was unfaithful. You may have realized that you’re simply too incompatible to be together and you’d been lying to yourself for far too long. Or you finally understood that the only reason you were getting married in the first place was that everyone else in your social circle pushed you to do it. And so, with a heavy heart and a lot of anxiety, you call the wedding off.
#10He cheated on my the entire time we were engaged, but being young and dumb I looked the other way. Finally, one weekend he wanted to stay with his friends for a "man get away" and on one of those nights he texted me and broke it off. Yes, I said texted. Came back to our apartment 4 days later and I don't remember all the details, but he moved some of his things out that day. Found out, one of the girls he was cheating on me with had just gotten an apartment at the complex I lived at. He moved in with her and their apartment kitchen window faced my kitchen window, it was great. Eventually his best friend laid it all out and told me how long this had been going on and with how many girls, really heartbreaking honestly. His best friend and I became good friends after this and one night he admitted that he had feelings for me the moment we met and knew my ex would leave me at some point, because I was the 3rd girl he had done this to. So... long story short, my ex married the girl he cheated on me with and eventually she left him, for a woman. His best friend... we've been together for 7 years and we're getting married next Spring and I couldn't have picked a better person to spend eternity with.
#11My buddy was engaged to someone with whom everyone knew wasn't the best fit for him. He was energetic and outgoing while we she very quiet and reserved. They got engaged and had the date set. My wedding came along and she didn't attend but my buddy did. He had an absolute blast and saw how my wife and I were with each other and how we weren't holding each other back the way his fiance was with him. He broke it off with her the week after he got back from my wedding, with the wedding invitations in his car ready to be mailed.
#12Dated for 6 years and finally proposed. It came to light that she had been talking to my soon to be best man and they "fell in love". Losing two of the closest people in your life on the same day f****n sucks but it's not so bad now.
It’s important to focus on the essentials in these situations. You have to be completely open and honest with yourself about the future of your relationship: are you simply dealing with cold feet as the Big Day approaches or are you two fundamentally incompatible and you’ve only been playing along?
The last thing you want to do is go through with the wedding only because your nearest and dearest are pressuring you to. Set aside your parents’ and grandparents’ expectations. Ignore, for a moment, how much time, money, and effort everyone’s put into organizing the celebration of love. Don’t think about the caterers, vendors, and designers.
Wedding costs are absolutely astronomical. A study done by The Knot looked at 12,000 couples who got married in 2022 and found that the average cost of a wedding in the United States was $30,000.
However big the costs might be, ignore them. Focus on you and your partner. At the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters.
#13Not me but two of my coworkers got engaged (made a big, big deal out of it), started fighting about every detail of everything and broke it off. Five years later they quietly got engaged again and had a small wedding. Happily married 10 years later.
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#14My ex fiance and I kept disagreeing about stuff for the wedding. She comes from a wealthy family and I didn't have the money to have the type of wedding she wanted. My family offered to help out on some things and she agreed to give a little ground. I found out a week later that she and her mom had completely change everything without telling me. Most of these changes I couldn't afford. When I confronted her about it, she asked me where I had heard that. I told her my sister had told me. She told me that I needed to choose between her and my family. It didn't take me but a few seconds to tell her that she could get all her s**t put the house as soon as possible.
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#15Apparently once we got engaged he decided he had me on lockdown and started cheating in me with multiple women. Since we were only engaged everything was still in my name only (he had s**t credit) so it was real easy to boot his a*s out.
If you’re having massive doubts because you’ve seen your SO in a drastically different light, then committing to each other ‘till death do you part’ might not be the best course of action. Why get married if you’ll only get divorced a few months down the line?
What you need is to voice your thoughts to your partner. Have a proper conversation about how both of you are feeling. If you have any relatives or friends whom you can 100% trust to be objective, supportive, and unjudgmental, get a hold of them and talk to them about your concerns. Let them help you figure out whether you’re simply dealing with a bad case of cold feet or if your gut is telling you that something’s wrong because it is.
According to ‘Divorce,’ the United States has the sixth highest rate of divorce around the globe. A whopping 40% to 50% of married couples end up filing for a divorce.
The more times a person has been married, the more likely they are to get divorced. For instance, the divorce rate for second marriages is 60%. Meanwhile, the rate is 73% for third marriages.
#16He called me during his bachelor party. To apologize for f***ing a stripper... while still f***ing the stripper. That was the end of that.
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#17One of my friends got engaged and her fiancé became really controlling about the wedding. They fell in love with a venue but the only date available was in like 4 months. My friend wanted to think it over because she wanted to see if her family and bridal party was even available on the that specific day. He proceeded to go behind her back, pay the deposit to hold the date without telling her, and then demanding her parents pay for the rest of the bill. Thank god she finally ended it.
#18He went off camping with his brothers and did some mushrooms. Decided then our city was just too much city for him and a life of going to work and coming home was just too mundane. We were to close on our house (which I got since I had put down my entire savings on the deposit) in 3 days and get married in 2 weeks. That was when he had his "epiphany" that the life we were going to have just wasn't good enough (yes, being married and having a stable job and house are just terrible). He had already cheated on me and we had moved on from that (I thought), so to lose it all again really wounded me.
Jokes on him. He still has a job here in this city he hates so much. I have a beautiful house and he's living with his brother in a college campus apartment. D**k.
#19Together for 8 years, engaged for most of that. We were high school sweethearts. We were happy, bought a house together but eventually just grew apart. It was an amicable break up and we're still friends. It just became apparent that we wanted very different things in life.
#20Engaged for a year where we only saw each other on weekends and that was fine. Next year she goes to same college as me and we are seeing each other everyday. Suddenly we're not feeling the same way about each other. Talked about it a lot and decided we should take a break (more her idea than mine as I wanted to keep working on it). A couple weeks later we talk on the phone where she reveals she went on a date with an old friend from back home. That one hurt. But that was about 4 years ago and looking back I learned so much from that relationship. Married with a 13 month old now and my family means everything to me.
#21Deep down, I knew I didn't want to marry her before I even proposed. We had a lot of problems, and I guess I was just hoping that proposing would fix them. It didn't, so I left.
#22He was cheating on me with a girl from his job. I helped him get a better job since he was making minimum wage at mcdonalds before. He was also very immature and I realize now that him cheating on me was the best thing that could have happened.
#23First, he changed, big time. He became controlling, jealous, and seemed to really expect that we'd reenact his parents wildly disfunctional marriage. Repeated long talks about it didn't change anything.
There came a point where we were planning the wedding while I was realistically picturing myself as divorced in 5 years. That was stupid, and I ended it. We're both married to other people for over 25 years now, but he was bitter and mean the last time we ran into each other. I dodged such a bullet.
#24i was getting ready for work. she walked into our room and gave me the ring. it sucked. it still sucks.
#25She said yes, and then started getting further and further away from me. Started to go out drinking with her friends, quit her job, stopped talking to me honestly about her feelings. Would get really upset with me when I tried to talk with her about what was going on.
She left me in the middle of my hardest semester and left me heartbroken. I climbed out of that hole, pushed through and did really well that semester. Then I met another girl at college and started to fall for her.
And who should try to come back into my life but the one who left me. She told me she couldn't believe I got over her so fast after almost 5 years, and that I was just using another woman to hide my pain etc. And that I actually still loved her.
Yeahhhhhhhhhhh she was wrong. Through the gauntlet I went through I determined that I did not at all deserve to be unhappy. I treated her amazing for the entirety of our relationship and if she didn't know what she had when she had it, she didn't deserve it. So I moved on. I left her behind with no regrets.
I'm now in a relationship with the new girl I met and extremely happy ☺️ been almost 2 years
I'm guessing some people are going through this right now; my advice is this:
Life is going to move on. It's going to be hard and terrible but you have got to push through and come out stronger on the other side. As sad and as wrong as it sounds there are other people who will love you better and right.
Maybe you've made some mistakes and that's why things didn't work out. Maybe you didn't and the problem rested elsewhere. Regardless, you need to gather yourself and work towards making yourself happy. You deserve happiness.
Your worth and happiness are not defined by a person. They're defined by yourself. Go out and make yourself happy. You can do it
#26I was 17 at the time, and still in high school. Met an alleged Army guy (pre-full swing Internet, so no way to really check), and we hit it off. I was young and fell in "love" with guys really fast, so when he proposed, I was ecstatic.
The red flags were there. He asked my parent for permission. He proposed loudly at a pizza shop (which, socially, would have been too awkward to say no anyway). He didn't have his own place. I never met his family. I never saw any evidence of being in the military.
Cue a few weeks later. We had a fight because he called out his SISTER'S name during sex. He then told me that everything would be fine because he was going to take me to Kentucky to live on an Army base. He also told me he wanted me to be "barefoot and pregnant" most of the time, ha ha ha. We were going to get married and leave the day after I graduated high school.
I did some real soul searching. I became withdrawn and quiet. I was visiting my nana one day and she asked me "are you in love with him or in love with the idea of a wedding?"
And just like that, the bubble burst. I cried and broke it off with him...2 weeks before I graduated.
Apparently, he had already booked the Justice of the Peace. But he got married anyway 3 weeks later...with the same ring he gave me. Poor girl. I wish I knew her so I could warn her.
#27Noticed a few signs she had anger issues before I popped the question, but ignored them.
Waited 6 years for it to change and hopefully get better all the while trying everything I could to help (helped pay her college, let her move in, took her entire family to Hawaii, paid for counseling, etc)
Then my dad died. Nothing hits you harder than knowing I didn't just waste my time, but I wasted his too. He'll never see his grandkids or be at my wedding or be there for all the things he should have been had I manned up and moved on when I knew things weren't going to work like he told me years ago.
It's my biggest regret in life, but something I won't make again. I broke it off and am much happier now and looking for that special someone.
#28I was working in the retention department of DSL company and they changed gears and closed that department at this particular call centre. After the change to taking inbound calls, I started hating myself. I went from having the power to help customers ( the majority of whom were nice people just needing to get a discount reapplied or genuinely disconnect service due to various circumstances) to having to tell people that their bill doubling is supposed to be acceptable.
Because of this, I decided to go back to school and work towards a better career. Fiancé was supportive of this idea. I took a part time job at the school and focused on my studies. Life was great.
Problem was, because of my major reduction in income, he was having to pay for his share of bills that I had previously been paying. He seemed to lose respect for me after this.
A year later, we were arguing over everything and he was trying to guilt trip me for having the gall to try to get our bills paid on time. I just couldn't take it anymore.
#29I've waited a very long time to share this. Years ago I was a single mom, working hard but not getting ahead at all. Met a "good guy" type. Architect. Good sense of humor, etc. We dated for about a year, then got engaged. Then the unthinkable happened and this is where I am the a-hole in many people's minds. He was in a horrible car accident. Broke both of his femurs and his back, about 10 months before our wedding. He was a (poorly controlled) diabetic as well so his healing was significantly delayed. He ended up confined to an electric wheelchair and since his legs were in casts from hip to ankle, his legs had to be extended straight out in front of him at all times. I really, really tried to stick by him but he made it f***ing impossible. He did nothing but piss and moan and b***h about every single thing that the doctors told him. Refused physical therapy, would not take his medication correctly, did not cooperate with wound care, wouldn't take his insulin correctly, all the things that make for a horrible patient and even worse person to be around. He managed to get addicted to the narcotics, sleeping pills and xanax as well. Through all this, our wedding planning was still happening- mostly by his family. He was moved from the hospital to a live-in group home where he only declined. Wearing pants was difficult so he wore nothing on his bottom half for months, just happy with a bed sheet over his lap. No matter what. His moods were totally uncontrollable, he became violent and so verbally abusive. One evening he missed a Final Jeopardy question and threw his open urinal at me. Even after the doctors had *insisted* that he HAD to start bending his legs, he absolutely refused. Nope, not gonna do it. Fast forward to my wedding day. The staff at the group home went balls-to-the-wall to decorate the back yard and make this day so special for everyone, it really was lovely. Our families were gathered and seated and the pianist was playing and my dad was by my side. They opened the door for us to start down the aisle and there he sat..with his legs straight out and hospital socks sticking out from under a blanket. I froze. Told my dad I needed to go back in the house. Once we were out of earshot of everyone, I told my dad I couldn't do this, I'm so sorry. My dad simply smiled and said "Thank God". He signaled for my kids to come to the side, loaded them and me up in his car and we drove off. We ended up moving a state away, closer to my family and thriving. The "groom" did end up in and out of several facilities and has never left the wheelchair. I realize fully that he was probably suffering from the type of physical, emotional and mental pain that I will never comprehend but I knew that I could not raise my kids in that type of environment and my first commitment was to them. I went on to finish my own degree and my kids are now adults. No one has thrown urine at me since.
#30I was 16 years old and working at Chess King in the mall when a man (who originally lied about his age saying he was 20, but I shortly found out was 26) came in and was extremely enamored with me. I had some daddy issues, loved the attention and soon thought I was in love. He asked me to marry him 2 weeks later. He had even asked my parents permission and they said yes (I still am upset with them for that). Summer was coming shortly after and he wanted me to move in with him for the summer. I was living in NY at the time and he was living in Maryland (He had been in NY visiting his parents and staying with them till his new job started as a used car salesmen). So I got in his white pick up truck and drove with him to Maryland for the summer. When I got there it was a tiny little apartment in an all black neighborhood (we are both white). He had leased the apartment by phone and had no idea what neighborhood it was in (pre internet). He took his truck to work everyday and I had no transportation so I would just walk around during the day. Everyone would stare at me and no one actually talked to me, I felt extremely out of place despite trying my best to be ok with the situation. He wanted to have sex every day the second he got home from work and would want me to be waiting in the bedroom for him. I hated it and would close my eyes till it was over. After 5 days I was in the apartment while he was at work and I opened the silverware drawer and a big cockroach crawled across the utensils. I don’t know exactly why that was the turning point for me but I just said out loud F THIS. I packed my suitcase and sat on the couch with the suitcase on my lap till he got home from work. The second I saw him I said “Take me home” , he said a lot of s**t, was angry, I said nothing besides that I wanted to go home. Somehow he agreed to drive me back to NY and we left that night. The whole way home he talked about how this doesn’t change anything and that we’ll still be together. I stayed silent. When we pulled in the driveway I took off the ring and set it on the console. I didn’t say anything and booked it into the house and locked the door. He didn’t come after me but proceeded to call constantly for weeks, I refused to answer. I never saw him again. I’m 41 now and have 4 children. My oldest is 18. Only as an adult have I been able to see how disgusting and terrifying what I went through was. For years I was embarrassed to tell that story but now I realize I was a child and it’s him and my parents that should be embarrassed.
#31Not me but my mother.
My mom called off a wedding just weeks before the ceremony date because she found out her fiancé had lied to her about his whereabouts and was partying at a hotel with friends and other women. She caught him in a hot tub at 1am with twin sisters.
Fast forward about 3 years later. She starts dating and later marries the man who is my biological father.
She said meeting the family was especially awkward when she discovered my father had three sisters.. two of which were the twins she caught her ex fiancé with in the hot tub.
#32Engaged twice, never married. Purely me. I'm not happy enough with myself to be a good long term partner.
I'm amazing at the start (first few years) but eventually I can no longer do it (keep them happy) so I destroy it. Ouch, reality is harsh.
#33He was a pilot in the air force and doing a bunch of training. He proposed before he left for officer training. Since we weren't married i couldn't go with him, and he wanted to wait to live together til marriage. We set the 1st wedding date for christmas weekend of that year and he asked to postpone it. We set the next date for thanksgiving weekend of the following year while he would be in pilot school for a year and a half. He asked to postpone that one too, not because of training, but because he "wasn't ready to get married yet". We set the 3rd wedding date for after his training ended. 3 months before the wedding (my dress bought, my bridesmaids dresses bought, stuff booked, save the dates sent, ect) he asks to push it back again.
He wanted to just keep us being engaged, but he was going to be moving to the next base in a few months and would be deploying regularly. In order to stay together without being married and see him i would have had to literally drop everything, call out of work, and drive 6 hours whenever he would happen to be stateside for a few days between missions. It would have been impossible. We had been together for 5 years at this point, and i figured if he still "wasnt ready" to marry me by then, he never would be so i gave him the ring back. I had hoped it would scare him and that he would not want to lose me but he didnt care much. When we broke up I was visiting him half way across the country, and had 2 days left until my flight home. It suuuccckkkeeedddd. He didn't tell anyone what happened, any of our friends who asked he would just ghost. He didn't cancel the dj or anything like that, he made me do everything. I have never had anyone want to buy my old dress so we're stuck with that too.
2 years later he (a 30 year old man) was engaged to a 17 year old he met through his church at his next base. Bullet dodged.
All these years later i realized he never loved me. He loved the attention, love, and support i gave him. He needed a constant ego strike and i gave it to him. The man i wound up marrying is 10,000% more of a real man.
#34Was with my s/o for 3 years before we got engaged. While we were engaged we had our son (unplanned) and it pushed back plans for the wedding because of money troubles.
Her father then was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she started to withdraw from me after finding out the news. I tried to be supportive and help her through it, but we started arguing about small things constantly. Mole hills started to become mountains and we started to fall apart.
Not long after our 4 year anniversary she got the news her father had passed away. On Valentines day no less.
In our 5th year of being together and after a fairly large argument, I left work and grabbed a bottle of wine with flowers to try to signify a "new beginning" for us, but when I got home she had taken my son and all his things, and moved all of her belongings out of the house. She had left the engagement ring on the bed for me to find.
I never did get an explanation, only that she didn't feel love between us anymore. I never felt that way, but perhaps I missed something that she was trying to tell me... Who knows.
Now I see my son 3-4 days a week, have a friendly relationship with my ex, and have moved on as best I can.
I still love her, a part of me always will, but I'm fairly certain we will never reconnect as much as I would love to try again. Sometimes you just have to accept what happened and push on.
#35Not me, my buddy got engaged to the girl he had been living with. She stopped taking her BC and told him she wanted to be pregnant for their wedding. Caused a bunch of fights over him not "loving" her because he didn't want to get her pregnant before the wedding.
He eventually recognized the crazy and called it off the Sunday before the wedding... and then remained dating her for 6 more months until she signed a new apartment lease and signed his name to that lease without him agreeing to it. "But we talked about it" she said.
Was finally the last straw for him to get out of there. He is still dealing with some bad debt/credit after learning post breakup that she got a credit card in his name without telling him and was using that to pay her half of the bills since he had called off the wedding but before they actually broke up.