My wedding cold feet were the real thing

September 5, 2016

Everyone gets cold feet before a wedding, apparently. But what if the cold feet are a serious sign that you are doing the wrong thing and you don’t know the difference?

You’ve heard of a perfect storm? In a nutshell, it is when a really bad event or situation is caused by a combination of not-so-good things all happening at once! Before my wedding day, there was a perfect storm and it was building for months – it was the product of years of relationships.

The perfect storm that led to me marrying

The problem was I couldn’t distinguish the difference from pre-wedding nerves versus ‘I’m doing the wrong thing’ because my life had reached the perfect storm stage:

  • I had come out of a bad relationship—one of those full-on passionate ones that are full of love and pain—and now, I had found a lovely man. We were good together, calm, supportive of each other. He loved me intensely, I loved him but not with a passion … just a good solid love;
  • My new man’s background and beliefs were similar to mine;
  • I had learned along the way that no relationship was perfect, there was always something you had to take or leave, you just had to decided what you were prepared to take and leave and I decided to lose the drama for stability;
  • I was 29; I wanted to be married and I wanted to have children before it was too late (mind you I still wasn’t ready but I knew about the biological clock); and,
  • Despite how ‘modern’ we say we are, we still fear being left on the shelf. I think it is easy to say you are divorced than single. If only Taylor Swift or Beyonce would make the word ‘spinister’ trendy.

When he proposed …

I knew it wasn’t a great love, but what was wrong with me? I’d had ‘great’ loves and they were a disaster. This man and I were a perfect, happy, a compatible fit. We shared the same values and upbringing, same outlooks. It would be a perfect union.

So great love or not, I knew it was right, I thought it was right. I said ‘yes’.

When is it too late to pull out of the whole thing?

I wasn’t unhappy and I loved him. Besides I didn’t want to hurt him.

I tried to convince myself that what I had with him was more than enough for anyone. How lucky I was.

But as the wedding day got closer I knew I wanted out. But I couldn’t do it. Invitations were sent, the venue booked, the dress chosen, bridesmaids’ dresses completed. It was just cold feet.

But it wasn’t cold feet.

It ended

Several years later I felt trapped … I wanted to travel, he didn’t. I wanted to move interstate and try something new, he didn’t.

I would panic thinking this was my life forever. At night in bed, my legs would ache, like they wanted to run away but couldn’t move.

And so it ended. It ended with the same dignity and friendship that it started with and now, a new husband and a decade later I can’t help but wonder if we did the right thing calling it quits.

Should I have stayed and worked harder at it? In the ‘old’ days, marriages like this survived for their friendship qualities.

I wish I was brave enough to call if off before the wedding. I’m still not sure I’m brave enough to do that to this day, even having learnt the lesson the hard way.

What would you do? Did you experience any doubts?

Amy Rowlings

Amy Rowlings is a 42-year-old organic hippie who was a former spinster, then wife, now divorced and is living in sin. She also has several furry children – two cats named Et tu and Brutus.


During the day Amy is an accountant because she likes it when things add up. After hours she vents her creative side and plays guitar in a band with her boyfriend.