Getting cold feet before your wedding isn't something that only happens in the movies. In fact, whether you wake up one morning in fear that you no longer want to marry the person you're with, or the realization dawns on you gradually, that feeling deserves your attention. It could be a case of typical pre-marital anxiety or it may call for a serious re-evaluation of your commitment, so take the necessary steps to enter, or not enter, your marriage with a clear mind.
The elation of love can be blinding at the beginning of a relationship. Differences in opinion and life goals are pushed to the side as you experience the intoxicating combination of desire and connection. Perhaps the impending reality of being married has caused you to recognize some potential conflicts between the two of you. Advice maven Dr. Laura Schlessinger recommends couples get at least six months of premarital counseling prior to tying the knot. Counseling can provide important insight into each other, yourselves and your interaction as a couple, and may consequently ease your anxiety about the future of your relationship.
An upcoming wedding can be a lot for both the bride and the groom to handle. The stresses associated with wedding planning alongside the nervousness of a lifelong commitment can wear on your mind and emotions. Author and research Dr. John Grohol recommends that you talk to others to get an objective point of view on what's troubling you. Sometimes a third-party opinion can ease the worries that have been blown out of proportion by stress. Grab a friend and go for dinner or a drink, or talk to a close family member to see if they can't talk you down and give you some relief.
Not the One
Keep in mind that it might not be normal, run-of-the-mill wedding anxiety. Sometimes the more you learn about your spouse to be, the less inclined you are to make that commitment. His or her actions, emerging personality or life goals may not meet the requirements of what you need in a partner. An engagement is an important stage and can act as a fail-safe in keeping you from making a mistake you'll regret deeply. Allowing yourself the time to get to know the person you plan to marry will pay off, especially if you what you learn is that you'd be better of bowing out.
Listening to Yourself
No matter what the root cause, if you're feeling you no longer want to get married, don't ignore it. Find your source of anxiety, open up to someone close to you or accept that your intended isn't the one you intend to be with forever. Entering into a marriage with doubts or fears can lead to regret later down the road, and it's always better to be safe -- and happy -- than sorry.
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Christa Orion is a psychologist in training with focus on family and relationship health. She has years of experience working with individuals going through domestic issues.
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