Marriage Counselor on Runaway Bride's Cold Feet - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/03/05

Marriage Counselor on Runaway Bride's Cold Feet

It's the story everyone is still talking about, the bride-to-be from Duluth, Georgia, who ran away from the alter a week before her scheduled wedding.

The story and search for Jennifer Wilbanks made national headlines. Wilbanks disappeared last week and then turned up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Saturday, the day she should have been at the alter. She originally said she'd been kidnapped, but later admitted she'd gotten cold feet.

Her fiance, John Mason, and his family are now speaking out, and what they're saying may surprise you.

"I am not sure as to what extent of the help she needs, but I know that she needs help and counseling and hopefully she will get that and we welcome her back to the family," said Claude Mason, John's father.

John echoes his fathers thoughts. He went on national television saying he still wants to marry Jennifer.

Since this story has captured national attention and scrutiny, the big question is: will that love prevail?

"My commitment to God, to her, was the day I put that ring on her finger and I'm not backing down now," John told Fox News.

Such determination shocked people all over, who saw the case unfold.

Marriage counselor Brian Jobe at Savannah Christian Church advises hundreds of couples looking to tie the knot.

"The fact that he said, I made a commitment to this woman, even though she did this to me, I still want to be with her, you got to give the guy props there," Jobe said. "He's committed to her even when she falters."

But he says proceed with caution, because cold feet is sometimes the reaction to big relationship issues, like rushing into things or realizing at the very last minute this person isn't for you.

"Maybe they're in denial a little bit, maybe they know they shouldn't marry this person, there's an issue, a character issue, a trust issue and that is vital to a relationship"

And Jobe says cold feet happen, and this jilted fiance is driven to make the best of this situation. "I think if someone is generally sorry and there is a reason for the decision they made and choices they made, forgiveness is an appropriate thing," Jobe told us. "He loves her, he wants to be with her and he doesn't want it to end this way."

There are even reports that Jennifer Wilbanks has done this before, so this should be an interesting ending to a very twisted turn of events.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com

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