Anxiously Engaged? You're Not Alone!

If you’re reading this blog, it might be because you’re on the ride of being engaged. One of my primary intentions in starting this blog/site is to be able to communicate you easily on weekly basis through blogs, articles, and videos to make sure you know that if you’re feeling anxious during your engagement, you’re not alone.

You may have felt excited when your fiance proposed, or not. You may have felt excited leading up to the proposal, or not. You may find that you’re feeling more anxious, confused, and scared than you ever thought you’d feel during your engagement. You’re supposed to be on cloud nine, right? You’re supposed to be excited about planning your wedding, right? Well, that’s certainly true for some people, but if you’re having a different experience, you’re far from alone.

One of my clients last week said to me, “Why am I the only person I know who feels this way?” To which I responded, “You’re not. I talk to women and men every day who are as confused and anxious as you are. And I’ve been doing so for twelve years. You are NOT alone.” But the only way she’ll really believe me is if people start speaking up and telling the truth about how they really feel during their engagement. So here we are.

Let’s start this honest, conscious conversation about how people really feel during their engagement and first year of marriage. I’ll be blogging as much as possible and creating videos each week on various topics that related to your engagement anxiety. And I look forward to hearing back from you as we change the way people talk about wedding in this culture – and around the world. Be sure to check out my site for articles and videos that will help you as well –

Sheryl

http://www.consciousweddings.com

Comments >> Anxiously Engaged? You're Not Alone!

  • Belle

    I was so happy when I got engaged – and then it hit me – this awful feeling of “am I doing the right thing?”, “Is he the right one for me?”. I thought I was the only person who was feeling like this, and so I immediately thought there must be something wrong in my relationship. I started questioning everything he said, did, or was about to do (which realy puts a presure on your relationship!)

    Then, one day I googled “Is it normal to have doubts before getting married?”. I was too scared to ask anyone I knew, because I thought they would just tell me that there was something wrong if I was having doubts – and the thing is, I REALLY wanted to marry my fiance. When I put this into google, it came up with the conscious weddings site. I found hundreds of girls all going through the same thing! I felt so normal and suddenly very peaceful!

    I have always been a nervous person, and struggled very much with any change. So why shouldn’t being engaged and getting married be any different? Just because society tells us that we should be dancing around and laughing all the time – does that mean there’s something wrong with me and my fiance? No, it doesn’t. It means that this is a big change, and therefore my anxiety is going to rear it’s head in a BIG way.

    I have had really bad months during my engagement where I questioned EVERYTHING and looked for holes and flaws in our relationship to the point where I thought I was going crazy. But reading Sheryl’s information and all the posts from other girls has helped me so much.

    Now the wedding is 12 days away! I feel good, and have felt good the last week. I can only pray that I will continue to feel good up til the wedding. But I hope that I have learned enough to just accept that this is a massive change and it is going to spark my anxious nature. My fiance is very good and understands most of the time, but he gets upset when i question our relationship and I start to doubt him and our love.

    Thank you so much Sheryl for helping us get through this time. It is a time where much support is needed, and unfortunately in our culture, if the bride is unhappy we immediately think there is something wrong and she shouldnt be marrying him. You only have to watch a couple of movies to realise where this mind-frame has come from.

    Belle

    • Thank you, Belle, for your comment. You hit the nail on the head when you said that you experience anxiety with every transition – why would this one be any different? There’s so much fantasy around the engagement that it’s hard to believe that feeling scared is normal!

      Congratulations on working through your difficult feelings and I wish you a joyous and connected wedding!

      Sheryl

  • Jessica

    I certainly identify with the feeling of anxiety surrounding getting married. I’ve never handled transitions well. Graduating from professional school at 25 was such a huge transition that I ended up majorly depressed within two years, on an anti-depressant, and in therapy. That treatment was good, as it helped me put myself out there in the dating world, which is how I met my fiance.

    He has some things from his past that I don’t like, but that I thought were truly in the past, and I accepted that while we were dating. We started talking marriage, and I was excited–until he proposed. Since that day less than two weeks ago, it’s been a roller coaster of emotions and anxiety. I worry whether I’m settling, whether I love him enough, whether I could ever find somebody new if I break it off with him. He is giving me space and time to sort out these feelings, but I can tell he is hurt that I’ve reacted this way. My therapist has told me that my doubts are a sign that he’s not the one, that I should be happy at this time in my life, even if it’s stressful.

    I’m very confused and overwhelmed, and finding the Conscious Weddings forum and this blog are very helpful. I know I’m not alone, at least!

  • As you may know from reading my Conscious Wedding site, I hold a very different perspective from your therapist regarding doubts. The general belief in our culture says “doubts mean don’t”; in my worldview, nothing could be further from the truth.

    With any major decision you span the spectrum of emotions, from excitement and joy to doubt and uncertainty. Any thinking person will doubt a major decision in life, and even more so if you’re prone to anxiety.

    Have you read the recent articles on my site? I have a lot on there regarding the difference between red-flag issues that warrant doubts and transitions issues that are a normal part of the engagement process.

    You’re definitely not alone and thank you for commenting.

    Sheryl

    • Jessica

      Sheryl,

      Thanks for the reply. I’ve ordered your book and look forward to reading it. Unfortunately, I am afraid that there are potential red flag issues in my relationship. When we were just dating I took the “wait and see” approach on them. My fiance was drinking heavily about six months ago. I told him it would make a healthy relationship impossible, and so he made the decision to quit drinking and has done very well with that.

      The more troubling issue for me is that about 9 years ago, when he was just 20, he came home and overheard his then-wife talking about an affair she was having. They got in an altercation, and he threw her out of the house and held her down on the ground. He was arrested for domestic violence, went through anger management, and avoided a conviction. As far as I know, it was an isolated incident in their marriage, which lasted another 8 years. He calls the incident a turning point and a wake-up call, and there has been no hint since I’ve met him that he has uncontrollable anger or a tendency toward violence. The assault happened six months after his father committed suicide, and a week after 9/11–he was about to be deployed. He accepts responsibility and blame for what he did, but acknowledges that there were a lot of extreme pressures in his life at the time.

      I accepted his history while we were dating and mostly didn’t think about it, but now that we’re engaged, I’m having a really hard time getting past it. I feel almost obsessed with it. Sometimes I worry that his wasn’t situational violence, but is a larger pattern of control and abuse, even though there’s no hint of abuse or control in our relationship. A lot of the time, though, I feel ashamed of what he did, and wonder what I am doing with someone who could have that kind of history–even if it happened many years ago to a very young man.

  • Sometimes the most trustworthy people are those that have experienced a challenge – like anger – and learned to work it through. As you said, he views the past events as a wake-up call and took them quite seriously.

    It sounds like you’re having a lot of fear around this commitment and much of it is projected onto him. Without speaking with you further, I can’t say whether these are red-flag issues or not, but I would definitely recommend finding clarity until you move forward.