So what do you do when you know you want to call off your wedding? Well, it depends on how close you are to the wedding, of course! If you’re like me, you already have booked your wedding vendors, you already have purchased your wedding bands, and you already own a house together and share a bank account. So breaking up ain’t easy.
Step 1: Keep a Roof Over Your Head
For Monsieur P and I, one of the blessings was that we had a 3-bedroom house, and spare bedroom furniture, because we had kept both of our bedroom sets when we moved in together. So after the breakup, we could at least sleep in separate rooms and neither of us was relegated to the couch. But yes, living with someone when you just crushed their world is, you guessed it, preeeeeeeeeeetty awkward. Oh, hey, thanks for ruining my life, are you done in the bathroom yet? Needless to say, I spent as much time as I could with my friends instead of at home in that awkward situation. And actually, even before the breakup I had been feeling pretty uncomfortable when I was at the house, which ruined any positive feelings of home for me. I was anxious to get out and started looking for apartments as soon as I could.
It took almost 2 weeks to find an apartment, but I was able to sign a lease and get my keys the same day, so I moved into my new apartment just 12 days after the breakup. Now, that wouldn’t always be doable in bigger cities, but I was fairly flexible as fair as what I was willing to pay and what kind of place I was looking for. I ended up with a cute good-sized studio apartment that is so “old Pittsburgh” style (it used to be a hotel), and though my rent is higher than my share of the mortgage, I cut out my commute, so I haven’t had to dip into my savings in order to keep a roof over my head. So what does that mean? Monsieur P could cover the mortgage on his own without my contribution, and the market isn’t great for sellers in our area right now, so he kept the house (we refinanced to take my name off of the mortgage). And with the house, he also kept the dog. My adorable little Josie pup, my Frenchie love, the dog that I pined over for months and jumped through hoops to adopt. Yep, he kept her, he won’t let me see her, and I’m not at all bitter about it. </sarcasm>
Step 2: Who Keeps the Ring(s)?
In our case, there was no doubt in my mind that I was giving the engagement ring back to him. Some friends told me “oh no, that’s a gift, you should keep it,” but I knew I would never feel right taking the ring. Besides, what do you do with an engagement ring? Keep it and wear it? Of course not. Trade it in/sell it? I wouldn’t feel right doing that. To boot, I work with a number of lawyers, who told me that technically it’s not a gift, per se, and it’s a representation of a promise… a promise which I voluntarily broke. Good enough rationale for me, since I didn’t want to keep it anyway. So that one was easy: Monsieur P gets the engagement ring. As for our wedding bands, well, those were purchased with his line of credit and paid from our joint account, so he took them back to the jeweler as well. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.