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Anxiety Before Marriage

by Kristen Moutria, studioD

Making the decision to marry is one of the most consequential steps you will take in your life. You may wonder if your nervousness is normal; feelings of anxiety before your wedding can be caused by several different factors. However, if you intuitively sense that you are making a mistake, it is wise to re-evaluate your decision before you make a lifelong commitment.

The Stress of Planning a Wedding

In his book "Intimate Relationships," Rowand Miller discusses many of the things that make planning a wedding stressful. You may have expectations for a fairy tale wedding, but the reality of what you can afford saddens you and forces you to readjust your expectations. Feeling obliged to please others, such as family members who are financing the event, can lead to stress and tension. Experiencing an engagement that is stressful instead of enjoyable because your focus is on getting every wedding detail perfect can cause you to wonder if you really enjoy your significant other.

Anticipating Loss

You may be afraid of the freedom you will lose when you choose to marry instead of staying single and being open to meeting new people. Charlie and Linda Bloom report in their book "101 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting Married" that commitment is not a prison, but actually leads to greater freedom. Feeling truly loved helps you enjoy freedom from fear and loss, as well as the freedom to be fully yourself and know that you are accepted.

Worrying About In-Laws

Dr. Terri Apter reports in "Psychology Today" that in-law trouble often arises because of the fact that your parents are your "first loves," and choosing between the new love you have for your spouse's family and the love you have for your own family causes tension. If you do not enjoy a fulfilling relationship with your in-laws, you may be experiencing an especially stressful type of anxiety as you realize that they will be in your life for as long as you are married. Speak with your soon-to-be spouse about your feelings and be honest about your concerns to relieve some of the tension.

Fear of a Mistake

Fearing that you are about to make a terrible mistake by getting married may be a sign of marital distress to come. A study conducted at the University of Alberta notes that couples who are about to get married should not ignore nagging doubts. Couples who were confident about their marriage right before marrying were happy with it three years later. Matthew Johnson, a professor at the university, suggests that if you are having doubts, do not ignore them; dealing with them will be beneficial in the long run.


About the Author

Kristen Moutria has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Evangel University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in education from the University of Nebraska.

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