Engagement Anxiety is Like Being in Labor

As I listened to the women I interviewed for the Conscious Weddings E-Course talk about the symptoms of their engagement anxiety, something sounded familiar. They talked about feeling physically sick, not being able to eat or sleep, being so filled with fear that it affected every aspect of their life, praying for a way out. I thought about my clients who question their very foundation of life, from their identity to their relationships with friends and family. At the end of one of the interviews I said, “You know, it sounds like you’re describing pregnancy and labor,” to which Erin (from the MP3 interview in Lesson 1) who happened to be pregnant at the time of the interview responded, “Yes, that’s exactly how it felt. Except so much worse because there was no room to be scared. At least with labor people expect you to be scared.”

And there’s the critical difference between engagement/wedding anxiety and labor: when you express fears about childbirth no one says, “Oh, come on. Don’t be scared. It’s going to be the best day of your life! Maybe your fear means you don’t really want to become a mother.” Everyone understands that childbirth is terrifying and becoming a mother is the biggest transition of your life. But with an engagement and impending marriage, any expression of fear or doubt is met with, “Oh, come on. Don’t be scared. It’s going to be the best day of your life! Maybe your fear means you don’t really want to get married.” It’s the default response and it’s one that sends an already anxious bride or groom into doubt-overload. Our expectations determine our perceptions; when you’re expecting to be happier than you’ve ever been, there’s no room for the normal and necessary fear that often makes an appearance.

You might be asking right now (especially if you’re in the throes of engagement anxiety): But why is the fear necessary? The fear is necessary because you’re being initiated into an enormous archetype called marriage. Nature provides the rite of passage – or tests – for becoming a mother through pregnancy and childbirth, but when you’re on the threshold of becoming a wife or husband, psyche often creates its own initiations.

There seems to be something in our psyches that longs to be tested. My husband is reading a book right now called “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” in which the author describes six harrowing days when he was trapped between a boulder and a canyon wall and ultimately ends up self-amputating his arm to set himself free. What’s especially fascinating to me about the story is that (according to my husband, I haven’t read it yet) the author talks about how there was a force in him that was pulling him toward the tragedy, as if he knew he needed to be tested and challenged in a way that only a life-threatening experience could provide. Of course, given my passion for initiation rites, I immediately flashed on the ancient traditions of indigenous people for testing their initiates – primarily adolescent boys – that involve life-threatening tests in nature. In order to become men, the boys have to prove themselves and push beyond their own comfort zones.

When I was pregnant and suffering through nearly unbearable nausea in the first trimester, fear for the baby’s well-being in the second trimester, debilitating back pain the third trimester (accompanied by a 50 pound weight gain), and a 42 hour labor, the only word that brought me comfort and context was initiation. Every time I suffered, I reminded myself that I was being tested. Once I understood the resource that was being called up (endurance, self-trust, faith), the suffering became bearable and gratitude replaced the negative mindset.

Could it be that the anxiety-induced physical symptoms of engagement are, at least partially, a self-imposed initiation rite? Could is be a test that, once endured, offers the woman or man resources that will aid her or him in the marriage? After fourteen years of doing this work I can safely say that the answers are YES: When the anxiety, fear, doubts, and grief are consciously addressed, they always diminish and the initiate can breathe a full breath once again. Fear finally recedes and makes room for love to flourish. The battle is over. The tests have been passed. And at the end, your identity as wife or husband is born.

35 comments to Engagement Anxiety is Like Being in Labor

  • love this Sheryl!

    I was going to e-mail you the other day about something similar. I was talking to my aunt about my anxiety etc and when i was finished explaining, she said the tragic words. “this should be the happiest time of your life!” I was immediately discouraged. I felt like I had to stand up for myself and everyone else who suffers from the anxiety. I was sad that there was not more awareness about this issue. I tried to explain to her more, but i felt like it was a lost cause and she was just looking at me funny. I have encouraged friends and family to check out your website because of this (dont know how many actually have).

    But to those of you suffering from this, I encourage you to bring them to Sheryl’s website so that they can understand what you are going through and know that you are not alone. You never know who it could help out next.

    Also, I love the idea of the self-test. I totally agree! I often think to myself, “wow, my fiance and i made it through this terrible anxiety, i think we can make it through just about anything” and i agree that it also is preparing us for marriage – though it will be joyful it will also be difficult and unlike anything most of us have experienced in our lives – what a great analogy of the initiation for young boys into manhood – if we didn’t self-test with this anxiety, who would initiate us and prep us?

    thanks again!

  • oops, in my 2nd pararaph i meant to say that i encourage those suffering with the anxiety to bring their friends and family to Sheryl’s website. i didnt specify 🙂

  • Janelle

    Is anyone’s anxiety worse when they are around family members? What is that all about?

  • Janelle

    Also, I also need some tips. My two biggest fears are “what if I made a mistake” (which I know that I didn’t but the fear still pops up.) And the other fear is “what if I lose him, what if we break up”.

    Now I grew up in a divorced family and whether are not my mom realizes it or not she placed thoughts in my head that marriages never last. My mom is very loving but growing up through their divorce was awful. I was told to never trust men and to never depend on a man. Now I know she was trying to protect me from making her mistakes but telling a little girl those things is obviously wrong. I would never do that to my child.

    I remember going places with my father and later found out that he was cheating on my mom at those places he took me too. I also remember going to places with my mom looking for my dad to catch him cheating! I know that she probably thought I was too little and didn’t know what was going on but I did, well at least I had a bad sense of things and I didn’t feel safe. I remember my parents fighting and my mom taking me and my 3 sisters to a hotel b/c we were leaving. And then we’d go back home. Growing up, I always dreamed of having a normal family. The divorce made me feel so sorry for myself and growing up I never felt like I was good enough, I always felt like I was a bad kid and that other people thought I was a bad kid. I really wasn’t a bad kid! It is all so sad.

    To this day, 20 years later, my mom is still angry and I’m so scared that I could end up like her. Please don’t get me wrong, I love my mother but in this area of her life she was not the best role model. My husband is nothing like my father. We don’t have any red flags. We’ve been together for 10 years and married for 6 months. I guess looking back I’ve always had anxious thoughts about things in my life-but forever reason-the scary marriage thoughts-which I think are wrong (I know they are not wrong but part of my always tells myself they’re wrong)- are the worst thoughts of all. I just want a happy family for my husband and children!

    Now, I am through the worst of my anxiety, but a few additional tips on how to not let my parents divorce scare me about my own marriage would be wonderful! All of my thoughts start with “what if” and “should” so I know that that it is fear speaking but just some additional tips would be wonderful!

  • magda

    Does anybody else feel like their fears are defeating them, how does anyone of you handle it, when they do feel defeated. It’s hard when you feel like you’ve done everything you can do, and feel stuck. Is there anything that I can do feel get my mind off this subject and just feel relaxed. I can’t find my peace. I’ve been having flashbacks of all those times when I felt lonely and defeated and scared throughout my whole life and it’s like my fear is pulling me into those scary times of my life and saying just give in. I was single last year and hated it. I just really wanted to find that person to spend the rest of my life with. I hated that feeling. And my fear as well is pulling me back to that time. What does that mean? Sort of like that book Sheryl’s husband is reading about the man whose been tested whether he should give in to the tragedy. UHHHH this is such a horrible feeling. The worst part of it is I think I just get so tired of these thoughts I start being upset with myself, and than I start getting upset with everyone else around me. And than I feel like I completely shut down and don’t want to let anyone in and feel like I’m living in my own little world where no one can have me or hurt me. Does anyone feel like this?

    • admin

      Magda – First of all, take a deep breath. A really deep breath into your belly. One of the first things we do when we’re caught in anxiety is stop breathing deeply. Breathe like I taught you in the Video in Lesson 5. Have you watched that yet? If not, watch it now. Practice breathing deeply as many times a day as you can. You will get through this and you will be a calmer and more compassionate person because of it.

      Secondly, tell me specifically what you’re doing each day to battle the fear. Of the tools I’ve offered you, which are implementing and how often are you using them?

      Sheryl

  • admin

    Janelle – Have you checked out the Inner Bonding website at http://www.innerbonding.com? It sounds like you’re suffering from some painful and false beliefs about yourself, love, and marriage that need to be replaced with the truth. The only person who can do that is you and it’s through a process like Inner Bonding, where you’re actively re-parenting yourself and replacing the false beliefs with the truth, that this can be done. It’s not going to happen automatically; the work has to be active and daily. It requires taking full responsibility for your thoughts that are creating your anxiety and realizing that although your mother handed you some false beliefs, you are not perpetuating those beliefs by continuing to tell yourself lies every day. Dos that make sense?

    Sheryl

  • Janelle

    Thanks Sheryl. I have tried inner bonding before. Inner bonding was my savior in getting me out of my engagement depression. During my engagement I cried everyday for months on end! It was awful! Inner bonding made me realize that I was not a bad person for having those thoughts.

    Now, I am NOT depressed anymore (and haven’t been for months) but sometimes I just feel really annoyed with the thoughts. I have really made tons of progress since a year ago. It really is amazing what your website has done for me. But, of course, I want to continue to make more and more progress. I’m going to try inner bonding again- I know it works! I will say though, that when I’m being the adult talking to the child- I sometimes think what if I’m not saying the right thing, what if this is me being in denial-yes I know it’s fear! But it’s still awful. Oh and by the way, I used to pray so hard that all of the anxiety would go away and I didn’t know why god wasn’t answering my prayer- I thought it meant that I wasn’t suppose to get married! In fact, now I see why he didn’t answer the prayer right away-he is helping me grow into a wonderful person and wife!

    I know that I’m the type of person to really get stuck on one issue/topic for months on end. I’m sure that once I have drove myself crazy enough over marriage transition I will be like this over having children- in fact I know I will be the same way- so I’m happy for this experience, it has been a great training ground! Thanks again for everything!

  • admin

    Janelle – It sounds like you’re on the right track. Inner Bonding works best when it’s practiced EVERY day, whether or not you’re feeling anxious or depressed. If you think of yourself as an adult with a child inside, you realize that you need to attend to this child every day so that she doesn’t feel abandoned. If you had an actual child you would just check in with herself when she’s feeling bad, would you?!? So keep up the great work and you will notice more and more space inside.

  • magda

    It’s really hard to take anything in because I can’t rationalized anything rights now. I can’t stop analyzing everything and I just don’t know how to relax. I know that everything happened so fast for me but I took a leap of faith and I just feel like I can’t explain to myself that it’s ok to be scared, that it’s ok to let go of the fantasy, and that real love takes time. And than I’m holding onto this guilt because I feel so fragile when I think I can’t go through this anymore and that’s when I feel like I’m responsible for everyone. I just want to go back to my happy self again. But I want that happy self to be with my fiance and I just don’t know how to feel connected to him. I want it so badly and I don’t know how to do it. And that’s why I feel like I’m letting everyone and myself down. I know that there aren’t any red flags. He is everything I ever wanted. And now I don’t know how to keep him.

  • magda

    I just don’t know how to be with him again. I feel so closed down. I talk about this over and over with everyone including him. I feel like he feels disconnected too. How much can one person really here about the same thing over and over again. I feel so broken. I thought and felt that I want to spend the rest of my life with him, but I feel like the fear stripped me down of that want and need.

  • admin

    I know it’s hard to take anything in but you have to start somewhere. You can’t do nothing or else the fear will continue to take over completely. You do know how to relax, you just have to find the time and space to do it.

    Let me ask you again: what you trying to do to challenge the fear? Are you journalling? Are you doing Inner Bonding? Are you screaming NO at it?

  • KD

    Magda, I feel for you. Just keep working. It’s a great credit to your fiance that he is willing to work through this with you – remind yourself that he is supportive and thank him.

    It may take a while to really understand why you’re going through this. You seem to be bringing up moments in your past… do you feel like these are holding you back? If there are no red flag issues, what is really causing your fear? Attack that, as Sheryl said.

    Do you have a counselor nearby that you can talk to on a regular basis in addition to Sheryl and her works? This might help you feel at ease and work through some of the other issues you might have. Best wishes.

  • magda

    I just don’t feel like things are getting better because I get stuck in the past and all the times I gave up because of my fear. I guess I never worked on my self so that’s why I’m suffering so much. I use to scream at my fear when I would become terrified, I cried for him not to be taken away from me. My fiance is so precious to me, I can’t imagine my life without him, than my fear tells me I can. I feel like I’m just locked inside of my self and can’t be set free. It feels like I’m in a new relationship getting to know my fiance all over again.

  • admin

    Magda – I agree with KD that there are times when a local counselor is essential.

  • magda

    I can’t find the right counselor, I was seeing one lady who I would say was having more anxiety than I did. There was also another counselor that I was seeing recently but he went away over sea. The only problem that I’m having is the fear of the fear, it’s like I worry about the struggles for the next day.

  • Sarah

    Magda, it sounds like you’re working hard to keep yourself from feeling these feelings. Are you doing anything to work with the fear? You also mentioned that this engagement is bringing up all the times you gave up in the past because of your fear and that you realize that doing some personal work could be beneficial. What’s keeping you from finding another counselor?

  • magda

    Well to be honest I’m suffering from ocd as well so that makes it that much harder. When i do find my peace and the fear subsides a little than I’m happy. I guess I am fighting my feelings from the ungrieved grieve because it takes me back in time. So that’s what makes it so hard, but I’m sure everyone is struggling in their on way. I’m sure that everyone feels like they’ve been stripped from their entire life and is having a hard time finding their new life and peace.

  • Sarah

    Yes, I feel like my life is being stripped away in a sense (I think for me it more feels like it’s crumbling to pieces, falling apart, deconstructing). It’s a very strange feeling for me, and super easy to get freaked out by it. I just try to tell myself, “Of course this feels weird. I’m shedding some long held belief systems, thought patterns, and unhealthy ways of being in the world. I’m not entirely sure what that means right now, but I trust that there will come a time when I can make more sense of it.” It’s scary and disorienting and abstract, which makes it difficult to understand. How do you shed a personal identity? I have to grieve in layers and allow myself to feel whatever it is I’m feeling if I want to get the most from this transition, as it really is an opportunity. I would highly recommend seeking personal therapy, either with Sheryl or a local counselor, as you’ve talked about having some past issues that are impacting your current experience.

  • seekingclarity

    I’ve been reading all these comments and articles for awhile now. I also have begun working through the e-course. I’m starting to feel better and what especially helped was recognizing and putting a name to my fears. Now when I feel anxiety creeping in, I can focus on the exact source of fear instead of immediately jumping into the “I must be making a mistake” abyss. I also breath deeply A LOT.

    Here’s my question that I have yet to see addressed in all this material. So, here I am feeling anxious and confused and sharing these feelings openly with my fiance…its as if the more disconnected I feel, the more connected he feels. Its not that I don’t welcome the attention, but it has been making me feel even more anxious because why would I want space when he’s being so great? Then I start to think “well, THAT must mean I’m making a mistake”. It feels and sounds ridiculous once its written and I know its just another part of this transition. Has anyone else had something similar happen?

  • Magda

    Do you ever feel like your past is coming to your present. Could that just be a form of grieving where both the present and past are colliding? If I remember certain situations from the past it’s like I automatically compare them to the present. I am going to see a counselor but my issues from the past are based on false beliefs that I’ve been tought since I was little and ofcourse the way a perceived them. Sarah do you ever find yourself like you just don’t want to talk to your fiance, or you just feel like he’s just pretty much there sometimes?

  • admin

    It sounds like that just by writing that thought down you could see that it’s not true! As is so often the case with fear, it needs to be acknowledged and brought into the light where you can determine whether the thought is true or not. Fear will think of every thought under the sun to keep you separate from love, and it gets more and more clever as you start to unravel its layers. You want space when he’s being great because it terrifies you to be intimate and present with someone. (It terrifies all of us). Keep battling the fear voices and you will get through them.

  • magda

    It is so true. I know because I feel hurt and I’m going through this transition, my thoughts and feeling from the past come back into the present, and it feels like I’m re living everything all at once, my whole entire life. I’m starting to understand it better. I think also because my fear has been all around my fiance, that even if I feel good about everything and everyone in my life, he’s still the one I fear when I see him or when I call him I’m ok and than if he calls me I feel the “uhhh I don’t want to talk to you”. There is weird things but that make a lot of sense of this transitions that I’ve done. For years I’ve been growing my hair so that when one day I get married, I’ll have the beautiful long curly hair that a lot of the brides have.
    So about two months ago, I don’t even know what got into me but I chopped my hair off, that I for so long try to grow, just like that. Than on friday, I had some pictures on my wall from a trip from Mexico will my friends. Now at this time I was anxious, felt like giving up, just completely hopeless. Unconsciously, I took those pictures off, and stuck pictures only of Johnny and I, and couple pictures of my niece. It’s weird because even though I’m struggling with this so much, there are actions that I’m taking the clearly state that I want my old life, basically to go away.

  • PJ

    All of you, as Sheryl has said multiple times, this is all normal. I’m a guy and its normal for us as well. Some of us guys are more sensitive, anxious, obsessive than others, or wear our emotions on our sleeves, but believe me, men have this too, they just don’t show it as openly and are more inclined to just say F it, and go for it, and “jump in the ocean” as Sheryl put it. Its normal, most of us have been living a certain way and a certain style for the longest time. You could used to it and very comfortable, than theres an abrupt change and because it may not fit into your past lifestyle like a glove, we freak out. It gets better. I was beside myself months ago, and I have gradually gotten a lot better, and get married very soon. I’m not saying the thoughts will subside completely or will even be gone on my wedding day or after. Heck, I may even have them most of my life. But its really deciding if you want to live with them, challenge them, and work through them and not quit. I mean, heck husband and wifes prolly always have thoughts throughout marriage like “I can’t stand him right now, he’s driving me nuts, what if I married the wrong person” I’m sure these thoughts are even normal during the marriage as well. However, as Sheryl has said they are only thoughts!

  • seekingclarity

    Thanks Sheryl. I am working through all this and journaling helps so much because I do realize these thoughts are not true when I see them in writing. As soon as I make the thoughts tangible in writing, I can look at them from a different perspective and ultimately try to detach from them. I used to write everyday, but ironically stopped when I met Brian.

    I never took myself to be a person who feared intimacy, but have come to realize I do in many ways. I also never thought I had that hard of a time with transitions, but think I have been able to make it through major transitions in my life without all this introspection because I relied on Brian. When I graduated college without a clue as to what I was doing with my life, I said “oh well, at least I have Brian”. When I started graduate school, I could still say “oh well, if this turns out to be the wrong decision, at least I’ll have Brian” and the same thing when we decided to move to Alaska. Now, with this decision, to marry Brian, I can’t use that excuse because the decision centers on him. So, I am learning to trust myself and take responsibility for my own contentment.

  • “So, I am learning to trust myself and take responsibility for my own contentment.” Yes! That’s it!

  • KP

    Hello Everyone,
    I am so glad to have found this website, it is such a relief to know I am not the only one struggling with this. My Fiance and I have been together for four years and we recently got engaged this September. We talked about it alot before he asked me and we even picked out the ring together. I was so excited, happy, and dreaming about the wedding. After he asked me it was like a ton of bricks was dropped on me, I felt very disconnected and I became VERY frightened, my first thought was “Why am I feeling this way? Did I not want this afterall?” I became scared that I would break off our relationship, that I was falling out of love, that I had made the wrong choice, etc etc. But keepdown I always knew this wasn’t true. I have been seeing a counseler about this since I first got engaged. I have periods of Uphoria/happiness and can hardly wait to be married and periods of fear, worry, sadness, loss, the grass is greener, thoughts of ex’s etc. It is really driving me crazy. I know I love my fiance and I want to be with him for the rest of my life, I just wish this would all go away, I am so afraid to lose him to this. He is very supportive and helps me throught this. I need some help to get throught this.

  • KD

    Welcome KP!
    So sorry you are in this rocky boat that we’ve all found ourselves in. It sounds like you did a lot of the discussion with your FI before getting engaged and felt that this was the right choice for you… remember that when the anxiety strikes again. You wanted to spend your life with him. You love him. You felt this was what you wanted.

    We’re told we’re supposed to be on cloud 9 and this is the best time of our lives. Truth is, it isn’t. Most women and men will admit that getting married is STRESSFUL for a host of reasons. First thing is, don’t expect anything of yourself during this time. Don’t expect to be happy all the time. Don’t expect to feel lovey dovey all the time. Just put less pressure on yourself.

    Sounds like you’re doing some good things like counseling to prepare yourself and feel more secure. And you communicate with you FI, which is great! Have you shared any of the groom’s articles with him from ConsciousWeddings.com? That might help him as well as you.

    Good luck!

  • K

    Thank you for this. All of your words have provided me with courage and proof that I am not alone.

  • Evan

    Dear Sheryl,

    I have been engaged for a year and four months now and I will not be married for another year and a half. I dated my fiance for two years before getting engaged and up until ten days ago I had never had a serious second thought about our engagement. I knew from the begining of our relationship that I loved him and that he would be the perfect husband and life-long partner. He is my best friend and I used to wake up every day counting my blessings and thinking that I was living in absolute bliss because I was so happy and loved our relationship so much. Then out of absolutely no where I had an anxiety attack at dinner and thought, “Oh my gosh, what if he is not the one? What if I made a terrible mistake? What if I’ve known all along that he is not the one and I’ve just been in denial about it?” Since then, I’ve been exhausted thinking about it and trying to repress this thought. The truth is that he is amazing and I still love him so much! I feel so guilty and crazy for feeling this way and want more than anything for these feelings to go away. I do not want to loose him and the thought that I could do something stupid, like break up with him, only adds to my anxiety. Though some days are better than others, I am exhausted by this. Today was a great day, but then I came home late from work and was eating dinner when it just hit me again. I should add that I am finishing up law school and have the added stress of figuring out where I’ll live in 6 months, if I’ll pass the bar exam, and if I’ll get a job. I also have to have surgery in 6 months so that has also been adding to my level of concern. I’ve been trying to tell myself that I’ve just got a lot going on and that I am reacting by latching on to the only tangible thing I can find: our relationship. I hope this is true. I want so badly to go back to the way I used to feel. Now all I do is wonder and consider whether I always “knew” something was wrong – even though our relationship is and always had been perfect! We have a wonderful relationship and respect, honor, and love each other very much. Please help. I absolutely do not want to lose my fiance. I still get excited when he calls or when I hear his voice. It would be the biggest mistake of my life if I lost him and he deserves more than this. Thank you.

  • AD

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve read through this article and all the comments, and found that it’s a relief to hear that we can discuss these anxious feelings and not be criticized for them. Im in much the same boat as KP, and I appreciate KD’s last response. However, I feel very frustrated that getting married is stressful and that we dont feel like we’re on cloud 9 everyday, as we/I was led to believe! In a way I feel misled or cheated! Why are we told that this will be the happiest time of our lives, when it involves so much stress?? It’s not fair how confusing it all is. Once again, I feel cheated. Why cant I feel like Im on cloud 9 everyday while being engaged, like Ive been told I would feel. (?)
    My worrying and anxiety set in when I look around me at acquaintances getting married, and they appear to be on cloud 9 everyday. In fact, I asked my friend if she felt any anxiety while being engaged, and she replied that she felt none! Why do I feel so much anxiety and she didnt feel any?? I guess we do have a personality difference. Im usually very anxious and she is carefree.
    I appreciate the advice to “consciously address” our fears. That really does work to face our fears, and let love in. Any other advice on this topic would be much appreciated.

    • We’re all wired very differently, and the more sensitive you are, the more sensitized you’ll be to the out of control sensation that accompanies big life changes (transitions). Read this:

      http://conscious-transitions.com/the-highly-sensitive-person/

      Lesson 1 of my e-course explains this in depth, and is a breath of validation so that you can start to accept that there’s nothing wrong with you for feeling scared on the threshold of marriage – despite what our culture tells you!

  • anxioustoo

    Hi Sheryl,

    I have read a lot of your articles about engagement anxiety and this one really helped me gain a new perspective..thank you. I have been engaged since Christmas (almost 6 months). We set the date last night (It will be about a year from now). As soon as set the date, I became very anxious. Our engagement is longer than most..and family members were asking why we were waiting so long, I felt as though they were analyzing us and our decisions. His sister even told me that it shouldnt matter when or where we do the wedding…all that should matter is that we are together. So, then I felt anxious and worried that something was wrong with me for caring at all when and where the wedding was. We plan to have an simple outdoor rustic reception because that fits our personalities. A lot of things have contributed to my anxiety. I graduated from college about 4 months after our engagament. I am currently looking for a job (and that adds to the pressure). I have been at my current job for years so the thought of leaving is scary in itself. I am the last child to leave home… and i’m getting married. I feel like so many changes are happening at once. My parents were not always very encouraging. I couldnt get my mother to go dress shopping with me. She always has made excuses. It wasnt until about a week ago that she started helping me look into prices and options for the wedding. With all that said, I have been so critical of my fiance during our engagment. I said yes with no hesitation and the first week or two were great, and then anxiety set in. I overthink all the time, worry that its not normal for me to be so anxious. Mostly, I am hard on myself for being critical of him. My past has come back up in my head as well (as one other article mentioned). I was in a serious relationship up until about two months before he and I started dating and I broke it off because the guy would not commit even though I was crazy about him at the time. After I broke it off, I was judged and the guy told me that he had planned to marry me. I let it go and built the 3 year relationship I now have with my fiance.. But feel awful that I am even having thoughts about my past and the decisions I made. I cant talk to anyone else because they would discourage me and make me feel worse about myself… I love my fiance and do not want to be without him… but at times my thoughts go crazy and I have almost ran away at times out of fear and anxiety.

  • Anxious too

    I forgot to mention, I feel frozen a lot of times. I have a loss of appetite and have lost a few pounds in the last few months. It is hard to get out of bed unless I have something to do or somewhere to be..