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How Caroline Wozniacki's served up a perfect response to Rory McIlroy's wedding snub

By Sinead Moriarty

It was an unalloyed joy to see Caroline Wozniacki's smiling face as she crossed the finishing line of the New York Marathon on the day she was supposed to be walking up the aisle with the golfer Rory McIlroy.

Being let down before a wedding is painful and humiliating. Being jilted before your wedding and having it splashed all over Twitter must be absolutely excruciating.

The 24-year-old tennis player signed up for the New York Marathon after fiance Rory McIlroy called off their engagement in May, just days after they sent out their invitations.

Not only did Wozniacki complete the marathon, but she did in the impressive time of three hours, 26 minutes and 33 seconds.

Waiting to greet her at the finish line was her good friend, fellow tennis player Serena Williams. Every jilted bride needs a good girlfriend, chocolate, alcohol and tissues.

Wozniacki impressively managed to turn her negative experience into a positive one and ran for children's charity Team for Kids, raising more than £50,000.

Instead of drowning her grief in a vat of vodka, or snorting her sorrow up her nose, she chose to do something that would help others. She truly is an excellent role model for young girls to look up to.

Wozniacki has shown young women that you can bounce back from a broken heart. Life goes on after your fiance dumps you and public humiliation soon becomes yesterday's news.

On the flipside, it is better for the groom to cancel than go ahead with the wedding if he does have doubts.

Truly, it's a lot less complicated to get out of an engagement than a marriage.

But not all feelings of cold feet signal the end of an engagement. Grooms and brides alike must measure the level and severity of their cold feet before jumping to break up.

Cold feet are present in almost all brides and grooms, but very few admit to it. What should be a time of bliss can also feel like a time of loss. You're saying goodbye to your single life and embracing monogamy forever (well, in theory at least).

New York psychotherapist Allison Moir-Smith says that it is only by grieving for the end of single life that you can fully embrace your new married life.

Moir-Smith says: "Not everyone gets cold feet, but an identity shift will happen. If you don't allow it to happen before the wedding, it will catch up with you later."

However, research has shown that it's not so much the grooms we should worry about - it's the shaky bride.

A bride with doubts is the one who will cause real problems further down the line. A study has shown that, if a bride has pre-wedding doubts, the likelihood of the couple getting divorced is more than doubled.

The research - conducted by the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) - included 464 newlyweds, who were interviewed separately every six months until their fourth year of marriage.

The groom having concerns and doubts didn't necessarily mean that the marriage would break up.

For men, marital unhappiness was linked mainly with having a neurotic personality, which led them to worry about most things, not just whether to marry, or to stay married.

The study found that 40% of women and 50% of men reported having had pre-wedding doubts. Two-thirds of the couples included at least one partner who wasn't totally sure about going ahead with the marriage.

Within four years, 12% of the couples had divorced and the chances of a split were higher among couples in which women had had cold feet: 8% of women without pre-wedding doubts had divorced, compared with 19% of women with doubts.

By contrast, 9% of men who had felt confident about getting married ended up divorced, compared with 14% of those who had pre-marital concerns.

"People think everybody has premarital doubts and you don't have to worry about them," says Justin Lavner, a UCLA doctoral candidate in psychology and lead author of the study. "We found they are common, but not benign.

"You know yourself, your partner and your relationship better than anybody else does. If you're feeling nervous about it, pay attention to that. It's worth exploring what you're nervous about."

So, virtually every bride and groom will get some type of cold feet before the wedding. The key is to deal with these doubts before saying "I do".

However, if you feel the doubts are more than just pre-wedding jitters, it may be advisable to seek the help of friends or family. The bride doesn't want to end up with a huge bill for a wedding that never happened, nor does a groom want to end up saying goodbye to a large diamond ring that he took out a bank loan to pay for.

But if you do get dumped, use Caroline Wozniacki's self-help treatment as a shining example of how to get over the heartbreak.

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