One bride-to-be found out her groom had a secret family… so ditched him.
I had been single for nearly three years when Chris quite literally sailed into my life. I was standing on the jetty at Rose Bay waiting for a ferry when a boat full of a boys on a party pulled up and Chris got off.
He was everything I wanted in a partner – tall, athletic, tanned and perpetually smiling. When he approached me to ask for my number, clearly egged on by his drunken mates, I could barely enter the digits into his phone fast enough.
He messaged me later that afternoon and we met for breakfast the next day. From then, we were inseparable. Two weekends later he took me to meet his parents and after three months he'd moved into my apartment.
Everything was perfect so when Chris proposed almost a year to the day since we first met, I was thrilled.
Immediately, we began enthusiastically planning our wedding, which would take place the following August, just nine months away.
In what seemed like no time at all, it was the day of our wedding. I kissed Chris goodbye as he drove to the hotel where he would be getting ready with his groomsmen and went back inside to set up a space for the makeup artist, who was arriving any minute.
When I got back upstairs to our apartment, I saw a folded piece of paper sticking out from under our door.
I thought it was another flyer for carpet steam cleaning or dog walking but that piece of paper ended up changing my life forever.
I still don't know who penned it, but I wish I could thank them. They saved me a lot of heartache.
The note said I should search Facebook for a name – and that I might reconsider my wedding if I did.
Part of me knew, then, that I wasn't walking down the aisle later that day.
I grabbed my laptop and typed in the name which brought up a profile for a man I didn't know, but who looked very familiar. It was Chris. And not only did he have a wife (she turned out to be his ex-wife, but still) I knew nothing about – but they had three children, the youngest of whom was still a baby. I later found out their littlest boy had been born three weeks AFTER we got engaged.
Fortunately, my best friend and matron of honour arrived at that moment, and my other bridesmaids followed soon afterwards. The next few hours were a blur. I called my mum and dad and told them the wedding was off.
Mum headed to the church to tell people to go home but it was only once she got there – just 25 minutes before the wedding was supposed to begin – that she called to say we'd forgotten to tell one very important person the big news – Chris.
I couldn't do it. In the end, dad found the minister and he broke the news. Chris called me about 500 times but I didn't answer. I changed the locks on our apartment and had dad drop Chris' things off at his brother's place.
With my best mate for moral support, I met Chris for coffee. Surprisingly, he didn't deny it. He just said he was waiting for the "right time" to tell me about his complicated family situation but the right time had never materialised.
He was too worried about losing me, he said, and thought I never would have dated him in the first place if I'd known the truth. He's probably right, but that doesn't excuse anything.
He seemed emotionless throughout our meeting, and spent a good deal of it texting. I found out why later, when his new girlfriend started posting photos of them together on Instagram.
She's now pregnant, this new girl. I don't know if she knows about Chris' past, but I hope for her sake she does. Something tells me she doesn't, though. And although I don't know if I will ever recover from what happened, I thank God every day that it all blew up before we had a mortgage, children or other ties that are harder to sever.
This story was originally published on Whimn and is republished with permission.
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