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Woman Who Called Off Her Wedding To Marry Herself Is Once Again Engaged To Her Ex

Nicole (PA Real Life/Ma Cherie Studios)

A businesswoman who called off her engagement to marry herself went on to rekindle her romance with her ex – and is due to become his bride this autumn.


When Nicole Russo, 38, first met Paulo De Souza, 35, in February 2011, the pair did not even speak the same language.

However, their connection was so great that they fell in love anyway, getting engaged in October 2013.

Nicole after marrying herself (PA Real Life/Collect)

But before long, Nicole, of Boston, Massachusetts, said doubts began to creep in and eventually, after much soul-searching, she called off the wedding in June 2014, despite having paid for her dress and venue, as she had expected to tie the knot in February 2015.

In the wake of the break-up, her confidence at rock bottom, she decided to do something radical – marry herself instead.

And, incredibly, following the ceremony, which she had at home in her pajamas, being her own wife made her feel so good that in 2018, she got back with Paulo.

Nicole and Paulo (PA Real Life/Collect)

He proposed and she accepted for a second time, and is now set to marry him at a country club in October.

Nicole, who has her own wellness business, said: “I think my self-marriage and having that time apart is the reason Paulo and I have been able to reconnect this time around.

“Throughout my life, I was a people pleaser, wanting to do good for others and not myself, until it reached a point where I wasn't even sure who I was or what made me happy anymore."

Nicole's original engagement ring (PA Real Life/Collect)

She continued: “When Paulo and I split, I remember looking down at my engagement ring and thinking how much love and commitment it symbolized – then realizing I had never made that commitment to myself.

“Self-marriage has silenced that negative voice in my head, constantly shouting at me. Now, I am my own biggest cheerleader."

Having been single for around 10 years when she met Paulo in February 2011, at around the same time, Nicole had quit her engineering job to launch her own business after developing an interest in massage.

And working in a new communal office space led to her meeting her future husband.

She said: “There were some areas of the office that were always being left untidy, so I kept complaining to the landlord and we tried out various different cleaners. Then, one day, I noticed it was absolutely spotless. I wanted to thank whoever had done it, so I tracked down the cleaner – who turned out to be Paulo.

“He's from Brazil and only knew a few phrases in English at the start, but we'd see each other around and say hello. I didn't even realize that he liked me at first – until I looked properly into his eyes one day and fell for him."

Nicole and Paulo (PA Real Life/Collect)

In April 2011, Nicole and Paulo enjoyed their first date, speaking either in broken English, peppered with hand gestures, or using the little Spanish they both knew.

Virtually inseparable from then onwards, they gradually got to know each other better as Paulo's English improved.

Then, in 2013, keen for their proposal to be a joint effort, they began looking for rings.

Nicole's self-marriage ceremony (PA Real Life/Collect)

“We were officially engaged in October 2013, as I'd told Paulo that I wanted him to get my dad Bob's blessing first," said Nicole. “He's sadly passed away now – he died of cancer in 2015 – but it means so much to me that he met Paulo and gave his blessing."

Once officially engaged, Nicole happily set about arranging her special day, which was scheduled for February 2015.

She booked her venue – Willowdale State Forest in Massachusetts– and even found her dream strapless beaded dress. Sadly, all the while, though, doubts had been creeping into her mind.

She explained: “I began to feel unsure as to whether either of us were truly ready.

“I have a lot of trust issues and I worried we weren't on the same page with commitment, but I also had all these thoughts in my head about how expectations of me would change once I was a wife.

“Paulo wasn't pushing anything on me, it was all in my own head, but I felt like I'd be expected to be a certain way. Eventually, the relationship just felt like too much of a struggle."

Nicole (PA Real Life/Ma Cherie Studios)

So, with a heavy heart, Nicole called off the wedding in June 2014.

In the weeks that followed, as she began to process her decision, she started thinking about self-love, and how important it was for her to make peace with her own insecurities before she could be truly happy in a relationship.

Realizing she had never felt as lovingly about herself as Paulo had about her, a radical thought crossed her mind – “Why don't I just marry myself?"

Nicole and Paulo (PA Real Life/Collect)

Taking to the internet, she began researching the idea of self-marriage, or sologamy, and found an online course – enrolling on it in August 2014.

She explained: “It was a self-marriage course, and basically became a place for me to process all the emotions I had about the break up, and learn about self-love.

“I slowly learned how to love and honor myself, and wrote some vows where I promised to do what is right for me, rather than what I think other people want me to do. I relearned who I am, and how to give myself a break."

Nicole also created a vision board, showing how she wanted her life to look, by sticking on various images which meant something to her – all of which, she said, have come true.

She continued: “Some of the things were very obscure. For example, I stuck a photo of the Northern Lights, just as I thought they were beautiful – only to end up seeing them in person years later on a trip to Alaska, which I was invited on by chance.

“I also put a lovely picture I found of a happy couple laughing, as a rowing boat they were on tipped over."

Nicole in the outfit she wore to marry herself (PA Real Life/Collect)

She continued: “Once Paulo and I got back together, we went on a trip up to Maine to stay in a cabin, and got a kayak out onto the lake.

“Not only was it the same color as the boat in the picture, but Paulo and I even fell out of it and laughed our heads off when we did.

“I remember thinking, 'I've never seen him laugh like that.' That's when I knew the time apart had done us both good and given us the space we needed to grow."

The ring Nicole got to marry herself with (PA Real Life/Collect)

But before finding love again with Paulo, Nicole first had to prove her love for herself. So, she set a date for her wedding to herself and, like any bride, had a bachelorette party.

Gathering around 12 of her friends, she gifted them all little mirrors, encouraging them to repeat, 'I love you,' to their reflections, whenever they felt down or unsure about who they were.

The big day itself – October 4, 2014 – was a rather more solitary affair.

She recalled: “I had told some of my friends about it, though I stuck to the ones I knew would understand. I think they thought I was nuts, but having seen how much pain I was in, they wanted to support me. The wedding day itself I spent alone, which I thought was important.

“I married myself at home, not in a fancy dress, but in some lovely comfy pajamas. I picked out a ring and said my vows to myself into a mirror, before lighting some candles with my vision board as a backdrop.

“Then, I tucked into a wedding cake I had bought myself."

Nicole and Paulo (PA Real Life/Collect)

After that, newlywed-to-herself, Nicole found her confidence soaring.

In time, she felt ready to get back out into the world of dating, but could never find anyone to match the spark she had enjoyed with Paulo, who she still spoke to from time to time.

Then, in October 2017, after a catastrophically bad date, when she flew to Kansas City to meet an online love match who turned out to be a catfish – somebody who creates a fake profile – her feelings for Paulo started flooding back.

Nicole's self-marriage ceremony (PA Real Life/Collect)

“I got home and was feeling so thrown by it all," she said. “I started thinking about Paulo, and realized we really had shared some happy times. Then, it was honestly like that moment in a romantic movie, where a character will see a montage flash up of all the memories they have with someone before realizing that they're in love.

“I knew then that I loved Paulo still, and that I had to trust him and let him be the partner he'd worked so hard to show me he could be."

Agreeing to take things slowly, Paulo and Nicole started seeing each other on a casual basis, before officially getting back together in March 2018.

Then, in October 2018, they got engaged once again, having shopped for rings together, just like the last time.

Now, they are happier than ever, with their special day booked for October 12, 2019 – just days after the fifth anniversary of Nicole marrying herself, which she usually celebrates by taking herself to a spa or buying something “decadent."

By sharing her story, the bride-to-be hopes to encourage anybody else feeling lost to give self-marriage a try, as she believes it helped her to find her happily ever after relationship.

Nicole's self-marriage outfit (PA Real Life/Collect)

She said: “I haven't so much had negativity, but people are definitely uncomfortable with the idea of loving themselves.

“We all say we do – but deep down, there are things we all want to work on.

“This has been so healing for me. I had been really lonely for so long, and that carried through to relationships. I'd tried to seek love in other people, but what I truly needed was to learn to love every part of me, from my body to parts of my personality and things I have done."

Nicole's current engagement ring (PA Real Life/Collect)

Nicole continued: “Now, where I'd previously have been unkind to myself, I ask myself what I would say to a friend or relative. Then, I go and tell myself exactly that in the mirror.

“I honestly feel as if I have gained a new best friend, and Paulo and I are happier than we ever thought possible.

“To anyone else out there thinking about marrying themselves, I would say go for it. Once you learn to love yourself, it ripples out, and makes being kind to others come naturally."

Nicole and Paulo after getting engaged the second time (PA Real Life/Collect)

“When we're critical or gossipy about others, it isn't really about them – it's about how we judge ourselves," she concluded.

“Marrying yourself isn't easy, though. There are a lot of tears and forgiveness involved, but it'll also be the most fulfilling thing you ever do."

We're all self-conscious about something, and it doesn't help when our faults get thrown in our faces. You don't want doctors hinting that something is "weird down there," nor do you want someone to tell you you're balding. WE KNOW.

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When you know your kids backwards and forwards, this is the best tool in your arsenal.

Getting our kids to listen to us is not always the easiest of tasks. They're willful and stubborn, but we've got a mighty weapon they are rarely prepared for: reverse psychology. Getting them to convince themselves to want to do something against their own initial intentions takes some work and a whole lot of creativity, but a little sneaky manipulation goes a long way. Here are some clever parents' tricks that are definitely worth taking notes on.

Redditor u/LeanderD Asks:

Parents of reddit, what's your best example of reversed psychology on your kids that actually worked?

He Floated His Idea Through A Back Channel

Giphy

Wanted to name my boat. Anything I would think of was dismissed as stupid by my 13 year old son. After deciding on a name, I confided to a male friend my son liked. Made my friend suggest the name as though it was his idea. My son thought the name was perfect. Done.

calypsodweller

We Always Want What We Can't Have

One of my best friends through childhood used to be punished with no salad if she misbehaved. She cherishes salad now and would always try to eat as much as possible during school lunch. Coincidentally, her now husband used to be punished with no books, it had the same effect. I think it's hilarious that they'd be hitting the salad bar and library like some black market their narc parents couldn't reach hahaha.

cookiearthquake

A Deceit That's A Cut Above The Rest

Giphy

Don't know if this counts, but, at my high school (private, boys only) in the 1960's, they made a big deal about how long your hair was, and would occasionally order a boy to go home and "get a haircut".

I thought it was stupid, until years later, a master confided to me at a reunion that the policy was deliberate. The school figured we'd spend so much energy rebelling about hair length, that we would ignore other aspects of teenage rebellion. (Not?) Surprisingly, they were mostly right.

FrankDrakman

Damn! That's smart. Wow.

fangxx456

Oh they don't like long hair?

I'll show them. I'll grow my hair out as lon- what?! No I don't want to go "party"? I gotta try out this horse shampoo.

DankeyKang11

The Forbidden Book

Hi I was a victim,

There was a forbidden book that I was not allow to read on the shelf. My parents said I could only read it if I behave myself.

It was summer holidays and I was playing games all day (after 6 hrs of summer homework). One day I was home alone and had the opportunity to grabbed it. I read like half of it in one go. It was 5000 years of Chinese history.

Safe to say I was bamboozled.

oddstodd

Flowers Of The Queen

My parents always told me my broccoli were the flowers of the queen and that I really shouldn't eat them, or else the queen would get very upset! I, of course, ate the whole broccoli in a few seconds.

Subwoofy

I'm telling the queen and she's gonna be pissed

draculacletus

Sleeping Beauty

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I taught my kids when they were toddlers that no amount of yelling, shaking or hitting can wake a sleeping adult. The only thing that works is a gentle hug and/or a nice kiss on the cheek.

Edit: Probably needed some more details for the reverse psychology aspect to be clear. It went something like this - Step one, tell the kids I'm going to sleep and nothing they do will wake me (head buried face down is the safest position). Step two, after the initial onslaught dies down pretend to awaken on your own. Tell them you got a bit of nap left in you and nothing can wake you, especially not hugs and kisses.

DrMethusael

Holy sh*t...if my daughter woke me up like this I would buy her a pony.

All-Seeing_Elon

I am saving this comment because this will save lives if I ever have kids, stg.

smerter

A Walk In Someone Else's Shoes.

Split custody with my ex. When my son was around 10, he visited two weekends a month. I was waiting tables and didn't have a huge amount to spend, but he was so needy from divorce (and I'm not blaming him, it was ugly), he begged constantly for MORE when he was with me. Whatever more was, it didn't matter... he'd be eating ice cream cone and begging for teriyaki.

I finally realized that he just felt empty, and getting MORE whatever from me wasn't filling him up. His next visit I handed him $100 in cash and told him it was our food/fun budget for 3 days and two nights, and he was in charge of it. I bought him his own wallet to carry. We figured out how many times we were going to eat and what we were going to do, and he paid. He got to keep whatever money he had left...thought he was rich...then realized just how much everything cost. Well. Shoe on other foot then. If we had no money for food, we ate leftovers - and I didn't contribute more to pot. After a few weekends of running short or not getting something he actually wanted because he was foolish with funds, he started to really think about how to spend that money. He budgeted and kept to his budget. And a few times he actually went home with a little cash for his private stash.

Many years later, he thanked me for this. It really changed the way he thought about money and love.

Augumenti

This Is Worth Giving A Shot

Took my 3 year old son to one of those doctor's visits where he was going to get a shot. He was worried about the shot on the whole drive over, almost to the point of tears. We get to the doctor's office and a nurse subtly lets me know that my son is not just scheduled for 1 shot, but 5 of them in the same visit.

I turn to my son with an exaggerated smile and tell him, "Good news! They figured out how to take that one big shot you were going to get and instead break it up into these 5 little tiny shots so it won't hurt nearly as much!"

You could see the relief wash over his face. He stopped squirming and relaxed completely. He took the first shot and even smiled and said "It's true! The small ones don't hurt!"

We actually made it through the third shot before the effect wore off and reality kicked in. Still... I counted it as a victory.

blackbird77

Put This To The Taste

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My mom would tell me she only lets me eat soup after candy and she'd only buy me candy that i didn't like. After a few times, i stopped trying and begged her to let me eat soup first. She gave me a smirk and told me go ahead. This doesn't sound as evil as it was. But trust me i suffered.

turkeypr0

So what was the candy?

Poster_Main

Mint chocolate, raisins, stuff like that. I still hate them to this day. Who the f--- thought while eating chocolate "hmm id like some tooth paste with this."

turkeypr0

This is Truckin' Awesome

Mum had sworn a bit around the house.

When 4, while out at the supermarket, I said F word really loudly.

Very quickly and intently, she asked if I had just said "Truck" and said that was a bad word and not to ever say Truck like that again.

I thought that was the bad word so used that when being naughty.

GodOfTheThunder

The "Silly Mom" Routine

The "Silly Mom" routine.

My kid, and a few other kids I've known, would balk at getting ready to go. I'd grab their clothes and say, "Well, if you won't put on your clothes, I guess I'll put on your clothes. Cute shirt, by the way! Does it go on my foot?"

NO!

"Does it go on my head?"

NO! IT GOES ON ME!

"Oh, that's right, thanks! So, it must go on your legs, right?"

NO!

"I just can't figure this out! Where does this adorable shirt go?"

[kid grabs shirt and puts it on] ON MY TUMMY! SILLY MOM!

"Oh, thank you so much! Now what about these pants? Shirts go on tummies, so...the pants go on the tummy, too, right?"

NO!

[continue until kids have dressed themselves]

I would also do things like hand the kid my keys and say, "Alright, you're driving, I'll sit in the booster seat in back," attempt to feed the kid by putting a spoon up to his ear or his belly button, and attempt to put away his toys in the refrigerator.

insertcaffeine

Some Foot For Thought.

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My mum would always yell at us "if you don't do X, you have to go to bed without socks!"

I never wore socks anyway, and I'm ashamed to admit that this worked.

Splittsky

That would work really well on my son, or make him cry for a really long time... He's 3 and over the last few weeks has decided that he is fully unable to sleep without socks on.

PJQueen

Toddlers man. Completely unpredictable.

SheaRVA

I'm Greens With Envy

My mum had a friend that would put vegetables on her own plate and not the kids.

When the kids asked she would be reluctant to share, "that's grown up food. But I suppose I can let you have a little."

Her kids grew up loving vegetables.

I sat at the dinner table for 3 hours staring at the yucky cauliflower I refused to eat.

laik72

This reminds me of an instance when my child convinced my wife and myself to change our plans for dinner. We were in a grocery store to pick up something quick and easy to eat that we wouldn't have to prepare. Our daughter, wanted none of that, she demanded that she wanted a salad from the salad bar. We started to argue back, but then realized: "Our child demands that we feed her vegetables for dinner instead of a microwaved meal, why are we saying 'No?'"

We had salad for dinner that night.

Galaxy_Ranger_Bob

The Power Of Choice

I don't so much know if you would call it reverse psychology, but I didn't realize it until my dad told me this.

When there were chores that needed doing, he noticed if he asked me to mow the lawn, I would complain and procrastinate. But if he asked would I rather mow the lawn or wash the windows, I'd pick one and just get it done.

Shattered my brain when he told me when I was in my twenties. I use it when I'm coaching or baby sitting all the time and it almost never fails.

AppealToReason16

The Boy Who Cried 'Ouch'

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I've done this one with tens of kids. Any time a kid gets "hurt" (falls down on grass, gets gently hit in the face with a ball, etc.) instead of stopping the activity to pick the kid up and see if they're ok you just scoot them off to the side and resume. Within 10 seconds of not getting all the attention and seeing the fun is resuming they pop right back up and are magically healed.

This of course is only for the "injuries" that aren't actually injuries.

pedanticProgramer

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