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HOME > The Bachelor > Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After

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Ben Higgins calls off wedding to Lauren Bushnell -- "I'm completely blindsided," she says, "We're miles apart"


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/16/2016 

Ben Higgins has called off his wedding against the wishes of his The Bachelor fiancee Lauren Bushnell.

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"I was not expecting Ben to call off the wedding. That was the last thing I expected," Lauren said during Tuesday night's special two-hour Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? episode on Freeform.

"I feel like Ben and I are miles apart but we still need to pretend that we're on the same page."

The Happily Ever After? broadcast began with Lauren shopping with her closest friends for bridesmaid dresses. She expressed how Ben was feeling overwhelmed by the wedding plans, so one pal suggested she try marriage counseling to ensure a larger issue wasn't in play, and Lauren thought it was a great idea.

Ben and Lauren therefore met with a marriage counselor for a group therapy session with Bachelor in Paradise's engaged couple Lace Morris and Grant Kemp and The Bachelor twins Haley Ferguson and Emily Ferguson -- who were basically just along for the ride to provide some laughs and entertainment.

It didn't take long for Ben and Lauren to realize they actually knew very little about each other. The pair struggled in the "Nearly-Wed Game," while Grant and Lace appeared to answer every question about each other correctly. Ben and Lauren had been together for one year at this point, while Grant and Lace had only been dating for four months.

It then became time for Ben and Lauren to sit face to face and really open up to one another. The counselor wanted to discuss the wedding since it became clear in the game their last fight had been over the plans.

Ben, who has a nagging insecurity of being unlovable, told his fiancee that he needs reassurance she is his biggest fan and will always stand by him and support him. While he admitted they are at the same place emotionally, Ben said Lauren is more mature and wise and ready for that next step in their lives.

Ben explained how Lauren was ready to buy a house, get married and welcome a dog and children into their family already. He, however, was not ready for that and he wanted time to get to know one another better and grow in love before exchanging vows.

"I don't want us to rush it. I don't want us to jump into something we're both still figuring out. I want to have the issues now and understand them now than return to them later. I think a commitment like marrying somebody involves knowing what you're getting into," Ben told Lauren.

"There's still things we need to know and I would rather do that now than get into [life] after a wedding and sit down and say, 'What the hell did we just do?' I think this thing sped up real fast and we haven't had a second to breathe."

Ben began crying and seemed extremely stressed out as he was trying to explain his stance on the wedding. He explained how their relationship had been rushed up to this point, including their engagement, and he wants her to really get to know him and his friends and family before tying the knot.

"I promise I won't hurt you," Ben continued with tears streaming down his cheeks. "It's not a thought. You're not leaving my life, ever. It's not what I'm asking, not even close, but I also just want to do things right. We haven't done anything." 

"When you say we haven't done anything, it hurts," replied Lauren, who was also crying. "Because I moved to Denver, I had to switch jobs and I left my life in LA to come and do life with you. I feel like I've done a lot."

Ben assured Lauren that he appreciated those things and she's the woman of his dreams. Lauren told the cameras she felt "completely blindsided," but Ben felt total relief. He knew this was going to be one of the "hardest moments" in their relationship.

"I love Ben and I believe in our relationship and I don't want to wait any longer. I want to make Ben my husband," Lauren told the cameras.

The marriage counselor then asked Ben to get dressed up in a tuxedo and Lauren to put on a wedding dress. He wanted them to acknowledge their feelings once that situation seemed real. Ben appeared completely smitten with Lauren seeing her in the dress and reminded her that they are a team and he'd never leave her.

"It feels like cold feet," Lauren said, which Ben admitted was true "on some level."

"I think when it comes to the wedding, I feel like we have so much to figure out that it's hard for me at this point to really feel comfortable getting married," Ben confessed.

"So you're saying the wedding is off?" Lauren asked.

"Yeah. I am," Ben said as he stared down at the ground.

Ben and Lauren then returned to the counseling group and announced the wedding was off, which shocked everyone in the room.

"I feel like I got really excited and finally let my head go to a place where I was planning a wedding in my head and envisioning what that day would look like. I also can't help but question if he just doesn't want to marry me at all at any time," Lauren told the counselor.

"I feel a little crazy even just telling her I have doubts and fears," Ben admitted.

Lauren seemed angry and wanted to get out of the wedding dress immediately. She told Haley and Emily she felt "emotionally drained" and never expected Ben to call off their wedding. Lauren determined she needed time alone with Ben to hash everything out.

But the next morning, Lauren and Ben woke up in a hotel barely speaking to one another. Lauren, "confused and sad," met up with her sister to chat, later revealing she was "in shock."

Ben and Lauren eventually broke the wedding news to Chris Harrison, who could tell the decision really only belonged to Ben because he was scared.

In order to cheer Lauren up, Ben surprised her with a brand new Fiat vehicle for them to take a road trip in. Their first stop? The iHeartRadio Music Festival, where the pair was bombarded with questions about their wedding by the press. It was difficult for Lauren to pretend that everything was okay, and she seemed resentful about it.

While driving to their next destination, Lauren let her true feelings be known to Ben, saying there's a big difference between calling off a wedding and simply pushing back the date.

"I don't know where we are. Do you even want to live together? I don't understand why you called the wedding off. It hurts my feelings," Lauren vented.

"I feel like our relationship is in a really tough place," Ben said in a confessional afterwards. "Lauren is upset with me about the wedding and I don't know what we can do to get past it. I'm not sure what can help us at this point."

However, the episode concluded with Lauren acknowledging that if Ben needed more time before getting married, he should have it, because all she cared about in the end was being husband and wife for the rest of their lives.

Ben also surprised Lauren with a newly-decorated home featuring all of her ideas. Ben said he wanted their Denver, CO, home to be a reflection of both of them, since it's not just his house anymore.




Ben Higgins/Instagram

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