A bride-to-be has told of her soul-wrenching heartbreak after being dumped by ‘the love of her life’ just an hour before their wedding.
It has taken Toronto-based asset manager Cyndi Maisonneuve six years to talk about her runaway groom, whom she still refuses to name, but now that she’s able to tell the story of how she was dumped while standing in her lovingly chosen wedding gown, she says it has made her stronger and the woman she is today.
Cyndi, then just 23, met her unnamed groom at a basketball game in 2007. Despite the fact he lived two hours away, the couple made their long-distance relationship work. They were so happy, they even found themselves engaged just six months later, when he popped the question during a Hawaiian holiday.
They bought a house together and started planning their big day, which was to be a beach wedding where it all began – in Hawaii.
Cyndi says that other than the fact she didn’t get along with the groom-to-be’s sister, everything was fine with the relationship. At least she thought so. She certainly didn’t have any nerves in the lead up to the wedding.
“On the afternoon I was due to be married, my sister was helping me get dressed when she asked me, “Are you nervous?” recalls Cyndi to The Guardian. “I can honestly say I wasn’t. I was an hour away from the wedding I’d always dreamed of – on a beach in Hawaii – with the man who was my best friend. I shook my head, and I remember her exact reply: “Well, why would you be? He’s such a great guy.”
I’ve often thought about that since. Once, it made me cry. Now I find it almost funny.”
Unfortunately, just an hour before the ceremony, just minutes after she said answered her sister’s question, while she was standing in her wedding dress, her groom entered their bedroom in tears.
‘I was standing in my dress and my veil was in my hair. He just said, “I can’t do this”,’ Cyndi told the Daily Mail.
‘He actually didn’t intend on telling me himself at first. He went to my bridesmaids’ hotel room and told one of them to tell me for him but they weren’t having that.’
Shocked, Cyndi said she didn’t ask any questions, but ordered him to leave. She then asked her bridesmaids to let the guests, many of whom were already waiting on the beachfront. She then watched them from her bedroom window which overlooked the ceremony area.
“I felt humiliated. Back stabbed. It was just the way he did it,’ she said. ‘He had been packing up his things while I was having my hair appointment.”
Understandably, the next 24 hours were a whirlwind. Cyndi called her former fiance to find out what had happened, only to be told he’d “gone with his gut.”
Unable to sleep, she took sleeping pills to make it through what should have been her wedding night and, after a rest, decided to stay at the resort with her bridal party. Her former groom stayed too.
She bumped into him in the car park and could only muster the words “coward.”
“‘To my luck, I had the best support system – my friends and family,” she added. “My friends and sister made sure I was distracted as much as I could be while my parents moved me out of the home he and I were living in.”
After returning to Toronto, she caught up with her former flame who suggested they stay together but not marry.
‘I thought, “This guy has got to be kidding!”,’ she added. “I told him “I’m not even remotely attracted to you any more”. Did I love him? Sure, but that was going away and fast.”
He claimed he didn’t want to go through with the wedding because he didn’t want to have children.
Now, six years on, Cyndi says the heartbreaking incident made her: ‘I think it’s kind of shaped me to be the woman I am. Every time we’re thrown a curve ball there’s always a lesson to be learned.
“In my case, with my ex, it was to figure out who I really am and what do I want from this life, and what a partner deserves from me and vice versa.”
Cyndi told the Daily Mail that she is now dating an ‘awesome’ guy and still believes in marriage.
‘I’ve been dating for a while now but only recently did a man come in to my life where I question what I did to deserve him,’ she added.
“I’m trying to change my mindset on that. Of course I deserve a great guy. I am a great girl!
“Now that I’ve figured out what I want I can be a better girlfriend and hopefully wife at some point. But I definitely won’t be accepting any proposals after six months!”
She ended saying, “What happened is far enough in the past now not to hurt so much. I told a new friend about it recently and I realised it’s actually a pretty great anecdote. I can even laugh about it.
“Time heals everything and things happen for a reason.”Today, Cyndi is loving life – and she’s happy! Image: Cyndi Maisonneuve via Twitter