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Question Did Xander make the right decision by not marrying Anya?

HerrMister

Townie
Joined
Apr 24, 2019
Messages
23
I want to know about the decision of not marrying her without taking into account the way he did it. I think it was terrible to leave her in the altar, but did he make the right call by walking away? If yes, why? If not, why?

What are your thoughts?
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
634
Black Thorn
His timing was absolutely awful, but yes, in the end he did the right thing. Marrying a lass when you don't know if it's the right decision for you wouldn't be fair, it wasn't the right time for him or maybe Anya just wasn't the right person. He didn't want to end up like his parents, I don't blame him for having doubts, they just should have talked about it and decided together whether marriage was the appropriate next step for them at the time.
 

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
269
IMO, yes, he made the right call.

I see two things happening that lead to this decision:

1. I do believe that Xander loved Anya, but ultimately, he had doubts about her. From OMWF:

XANDER. Is she looking for a pot of gold?
ANYA. Will I look good when I've gotten old?
XANDER. Will our lives become too stressful if I'm never that successful?
ANYA. When I get so worn and wrinkly that I look like David Brinkley?

XANDER. Am I crazy?
ANYA. Am I dreamin'?
XANDER. Am I marrying a demon?

2. Xander also had doubts about himself. The demon showing him the phony visions confirmed one of his worse fears, he’d become his father and he’d be responsible for 30 years of unhappiness. However, even if the visions weren’t real, they still watered the seed of doubt he already had: could he become his father at some point?

The inexcusably side is that he kept to Anya in the dark regarding his doubts. Instead he rushed towards a wedding, while being unsure of her and uncertain about their future as a couple. But his doubts were ultimately too big, marrying Anya having these doubts could have led to a self-fulfilling prophesy.

So, I think that he made the right choice but at the wrong moment and in the wrong way. This is especially clear since Anya gave him a way out at the beginning of their engagement: “propose after the apocalypse is over if you still feel this way by then.” And later on, she asked him to let her know if he ever had doubts (right after Riley left), something that he agreed to do. And yet he still moved forward with the planning.

Sigh, I see Hell's Bell as one of the most difficult episodes to watch. And while I feel a lot of sympathy, empathy and sadness for Anya, I ultimately feel very sad for Xander too. He never knew anything different than: his parents insulting each other, growing resentment, responsibilities becoming a burden, domestic violence, alcoholism, often verbal abuse, and so on. Who wouldn’t be scared of repeating the same patterns having had lived through all of that in their childhood?
 
V
Veronique
I had forgotten about their song in OMWF.
Taake
Taake
*slow clap* Well put!
SuperGirl80
SuperGirl80
I agree with you, but it always bugged me how Anya was nagging about marriage and how Xander was trying to keep it private. IMO, this was a clear indication that he had HUGE doubts.
BuffyForever85
BuffyForever85
Your last paragraph tells me that he needed therapy to heal his emotional wounds.

AlphaFoxtrot

Scooby
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
1,030
Age
38
I'm pretty certain his false vision was experienced in the first person. He didn't watch himself kill Anya, he killed Anya. Also, we don't know the extent of his visions. Did he just see what we saw, or were the next 30 years of his life re-lived, aka the Inner Light. So, I don't think he was thinking straight, so I give him a lot of leeway. And anyways, far better to ruin a wedding than a marriage.
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
6,963
Age
29
I generally agree with @r2dh2 Xander ultimately made the right choice however his timing was awful. He had plenty of opportunity to back out so I do lose sympathy for him over the fact that he waited until the wedding day to do so.
 
r2dh2
r2dh2
Oh, don't be so harsh. Remember Anya's words: "Spike's got some sort of 'Get Out of Jail Free' card that doesn't apply to the rest of us he could slaughter a hundred frat.. [everyone shoots a look at Anya] Forgiveness makes us human, blah-dee-blah.."

sosa lola

Scooby
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
4,797
Age
35
I generally agree with @r2dh2 Xander ultimately made the right choice however his timing was awful. He had plenty of opportunity to back out so I do lose sympathy for him over the fact that he waited until the wedding day to do so.
I wouldn't say that Xander waited until the wedding day. He was going to go through with the wedding had it not been for the visions he had to live through. I agree with @AlphaFoxtrot that Xander didn't just see the visions, he lived them. Judging by his background, that experience must have been extremely painful and it was hard to get over that in ten minutes after he learned they were fake.
 
Joined
May 26, 2019
Messages
32
Age
34
Yes he did, but maybe I'm in the minority that believes that they could have worked out their issues with more time. They needed more time for growing-up, they were too young.
 
r2dh2
r2dh2
It could be. I'm not entirely convinced, but I'd give them the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, she died.
Taake
Taake
Agreed

WillowFromBuffy

Buffering...
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
371
Age
31
It's impossible to say. A marriage is always a helluva gamble with your entire future as the stakes. Xander sees a probable future and loses his nerve. There is no guarantee that it would happen that way.

I am sure everyone who marries have cold feet. Many live to see their fears validated. Some don't. You can't plan for everything. It is only because things seem so inevitable in hindsight that we think we can.
 

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
269
It's impossible to say. A marriage is always a helluva gamble with your entire future as the stakes. Xander sees a probable future and loses his nerve. There is no guarantee that it would happen that way.

I am sure everyone who marries have cold feet. Many live to see their fears validated. Some don't. You can't plan for everything. It is only because things seem so inevitable in hindsight that we think we can.
It's true. But my point in particular is that Xander had too many doubts that could have backfired in a huge way (when you expect the worst, sometimes you act in a way that you make it happen, why? because in your mind it will happen, it's inevitable... I know from experience).

I agree with @BuffyForever85, he needed to acknowledge and address his doubts before jumping into marriage. And he also needed to be honest with Anya (pre-wedding fiasco) about those doubts in such a way they could/should have worked on them together. I do believe that he loved her, thus this should have been an important reason for sharing with her his issues. At the end of the day a marriage is between two individuals so both of them should work through the obstacles they face.

My two reasons for not judging him so harshly is that he was too young and inexperienced and his personal story regarding the marriage of his parents.
 
Last edited:

sosa lola

Scooby
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
4,797
Age
35
I've always felt that Xander proposed to Anya because it was the next step into adulthood. Everything was going his way too fast in S5: the promotion, being in charge of men older than him, the big apartment, and his relationship with Anya passing the "I love you" stage. It's a win after a win. What's next? Marriage.

I've written a long and very detailed review on Hell's Bells, examining each other character in the episode but most specially Xander and Anya. I'm not sure if I posted it here.
 
Lizzy95
Lizzy95
Could you post the link? I'd like to read it.

Spanky

I'm came here to chew bubblegum and go off topic.
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
19,828
Black Thorn
Of course he made the right choice. If not, he and Dawn would never have gotten together and made lil baby Joyce. Dawn and Xander was a more healthy relationship than Xander and Anya could ever have been.
 

FirstEvil78

From beneath you, it devours... Spuffy lover
Joined
Apr 7, 2019
Messages
42
No, he didn't. People always have doubts but he had been in a relationship with Anya for a long time, he knew who she was and had accepted her that way. Anya and Xander had also know since the beginning of their relationship that Xander's family was a mess, they could have worked together to have a happy marriage and avoid the same mistakes.
 

BuffyLover88

Townie
Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
18
It was done this way because JW & Co hate happy endings and drama sells more than happy ever after.
 

AnthonyCordova

Earth Invasion Taskforce Unlimited
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Feb 18, 2014
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Location
Denver, Colorado
Sineya
He got scared too easily about it in my opinion. I mean I guess, if you are suddenly suffering from a big dose of doubt and cold feet you need to stop and reconsider and slow your roll, but on the other hand I really feel that those are issues he should have thought about for a while before asking Anya to marry him. Maybe I'm only speaking for myself, but I personally spent a lot of time thinking about marriage and everything it would involve years before I asked a woman to marry me; and by this I mean all of the various personal issues involved, the anxiety/fear, my emotions, my "preparedness" etc. I made sure to have reconciled every doubt before I went ahead to pop the question. For everyone it's different, and for everyone the time involved in doing this is different too, but don't most people do that before committing to marriage? (responsible people anyway). The doubts Xander experienced during/after his visions in Hell's Bell's shouldn't have come as a surprise to him. If he had been thorough and responsible about it, he would have thought about all of that beforehand, so by the time the demon could get to him, nothing he could possibly see in those visions could upset him, because all the possible issues would have been dealt with and settled already. So on the one hand, I think Xander was probably right to slow down and not marry Anya because he wasn't ready for it, but on the other hand I feel that he hadn't been responsible about it because it's clear from the episode that he really hadn't done the required soul searching and forethought beforehand, the stuff that responsible and/or thoughtful people try to do, the end result being that I don't feel sorry for him at all. He asked her after all, not the other way around. He should have first sought answers for those issues and doubts before asking someone to marry him.
 

kalike123

Townie
Joined
Aug 11, 2011
Messages
43
Location
where it snows
Yes, yes, YES.

Every single person I know who was thinking, "I shouldn't do this!" ended up one of two ways:

1) In an unhappy marriage
2) Divorced

A friend of mine - I encouraged him to break it off. He didn't love her, he knew he wouldn't be able to stand living with her, but he didn't call it off. Why not? Because the invitations had gone out. He remains miserable, but never left her.

After the kids left home, he started cheating. Eventually, he will leave her. People will think it's because she got older, but it's because he's kind of hated her for almost 30 years.

Don't get married unless you're certain!!
 
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