Book Excerpt: There Goes the Bride

While you can crumble in front of family and friends, try your best to keep your cool at the office. See if you can get a few days off before you have to face the Real World again. I took off five days. My friend Debbie urged me to take more-hell, why not take my frequent flyer miles and jet off to Europe? I was planning to take a three-week honeymoon anyway, wasn't I? But I felt strongly — and still do-that it's important to get back into the mix (and I wanted to enjoy the next trip I took; not walk the cobbled streets sobbing). When Debbie asked why I didn't take more time, I told her, "Even mourners only get a week, and, in this case, nobody died." (In the Jewish religion, we mourn exclusively for seven days.) When you do have to answer the questions and respond to the pitying looks, keep a small smile on your face. I found that kept people at bay, even more than the oft-repeated exclamations of, "Hey, I'm fine." Sure it sucks that your private life is crashing headlong into your professional one. And, yes, people are going to talk for a while (till the next Big Gossip comes along). The best way to handle it is to keep 'em guessing. It's your breakup and you'll cry if you want to- just save the tears for the privacy of home. I asked Almost Brides to describe their experiences spreading the word:

My family knew I was going to break it off, and they were very supportive. They did not want me to get married to him at all. -SAMANTHA As far as telling people, I didn't really tell too many people we had split up. We hadn't made an "official" announcement; nor had we set a date. [When people] did ask, I told them, "It didn't work out." -Avery

Telling my friends we broke up was relatively easy. I had e-mailed two of my closest friends and asked them if we could meet for dinner to talk-before we broke up. I wanted to discuss it with them, so they knew it was happening. I used to [send] a weekly "Wedding Planning" e-mail to many friends, so I e-mailed them the week after we broke up with the title "The Final Update" and explained that we had broken up. My parents told my extended family, who all rang me and asked me way too many questions. I didn't want to hear anyone say, "I knew it" or "I thought you'd end up divorcing." -Sandy

I told him he would have to make all the calls to the venues and our mutual friends and I . . . forced him to tell my parents. I didn't think he would go through with it. I was sitting in his kitchen when he told me [he had], and I started hyperventilating. His mother came in at that moment and said, "Don't mind me, I'm going to make a cup of tea." That's when the anger started. I couldn't see or breathe, I was so angry at him. -Zoe


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