Are you getting married soon? Or maybe you’ve recently just got married. Scared right? Or maybe not scared Per Se. You’re anxious. You might be thinking: ‘Am I making the right decision? Will I be able to hang out with my friends after getting hitched? Will I have my free-times?’ Calm down. Take a deep breath.
Marriage and family therapist Paul Hokemeyer, J.D., Ph.D., explains, “Even the most well-adjusted and secure people experience some level of fear and anxiety about their marriage. It’s a major developmental milestone that marks the end of our adolescence and entry into adulthood.”
Rather than projecting all the ways in which our coupledom might go wrong, Hokemeyer underscores the importance of communicating to our partners what’s going on in our heads. “The key is to be honest with your spouse,” Hokemeyer says. “If you’re feeling down, open up. Let them know it’s not about them. And trust that this insecurity will fade over time as the foundation of your marriage gets deeper and wider.”
For anyone approaching “I do,” feeling like you’re about to become someone vastly different than whom you were prior to exchanging vows may sound familiar. It’s actually pretty normal to feel that way—in large part because it’s a legit possibility. The new family you’re marring into may take up more of your time, you could have fewer incentives to go out with your single friends, and maybe you’re planning for kids, which is, frankly, the biggest life change possible.
These thoughts might constantly come to play in your head:
- The fear of cheating on each other
- The fear of emulating your parents’ marriage (distance, fighting, loveless marriage)
- The fear of falling out of love
- The fear of the unknown (What will marriage be like? Will everything change after we get married?)
- What if I don’t love him/her enough?
- What if I’m making a mistake?
- What if there really is something wrong with my relationship and this isn’t anxiety but my instinct telling me to get out?
Your Relationship might be healthy with a loving, honest and responsible partner with whom you share values and a special connection. This isn’t gut instinct; this is fear gone awry.
If you take a look at the list of the marriage fears you’ll see that they actually simmer down to one fear: the fear of loss. We’ve all been hurt in our lives and we all know that committed relationships require risking our hearts and opening to the possibility of loss. Most people harbor an unconscious message that says love equals loss, and unless this belief is brought to the surface and worked with consciously, it will determine your actions.
And if your response is, “Don’t get married,” save your breath; that’s fear in the driver’s seat and if you listened to that voice you would be denying yourself the possibility of a lifetime of immense richness that can arise when you take the risk of committing to a shared life. As Kate Kerrigan writes in Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, “You can make a commitment to love, but you cannot truly love without commitment.”
So it s normal to get scared. You being anxious is not a sign that you ain’t making the right decision. Talk to your partner about your fears. Ask yourself sincerely if he/she is worth spending forever with? You could also confide in a marriage counselor or someone you completely trust.
Do you agree with me on this?
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