Thank you, ChristmasBride2006, for your willingness to share your wisdom with so many anxiously engaged women and men. I truly believe that it’s your voice that see many of the forum members through their anxiety.
Not that I am by any means a “seasoned” married woman, nor can I accurately (but most likely can) predict that my husband will remained married forever and ever until the day we die, but I just thought I’d offer some experiences I have with engagment/marriage and what we think it should be vs. reality.
I was very, VERY scared to get married. When we got engaged, I had panic attacks, lost my appetite, cried whenever I looked at my cat (my husband proposed with a kitten and a ring!), couldn’t stomach looking at anything wedding-related, wanted to just go away and hide and lay in bed for DAYS, sunk into a deep depression, blah blah blah… you get the idea. I was scared up until the 2 weeks prior to my wedding, and scared on my wedding day. And even nervous for a few days afterwards. After all, what had I just done?! I married someone without 100% knowing if he was “the one” or not!
NOTHING that ANYONE has written on the course forum in the past few weeks has surprised me, shocked me, or made me think “wow, they shouldn’t get married.” Everything that everyone has had doubts about, I had, too. And I got married, and lived to tell about it. And we’ve been married for 1.5 years now, and life is, quite honestly, sooo much better than being engaged.
I worried and feared….
… did I love him? or love him enough? or in the “right” way?
…. were we compatible enough? have enough passion? did he make me laugh enough? or did he make me too mad? did we fight enough/not enough?
…. why didn’t I feel in love with him sometimes?
…. what if we got divorced? what if I ended up hating being married? what if I was “trapped” (and by the way, I am very religious so divorce is a ‘no-no’, so you may understand how I felt the stakes were raised when it came to the “Big D”)
…. HE’S NOT PERFECT, he annoys me sometimes, I’m bored sometimes, etc.
…. what if I can’t commit, what if one of us cheats, we got married SO YOUNG (at the age of 24), so what if I change and didn’t want to be married anymore?
…. What if I just don’t like him?!
and on, and on, and on….
As you can see, I had some really crazy thoughts and fears. I felt crazy. I felt like it wasn’t ME.
but at the very least, I thought… you know what, for 2 years, I’d been the happiest I’d ever been. I “KNEW” before we got engaged, that he was the man I was meant to marry. I knew it. And I knew (beliving strongly in a higher power) that if God wanted us to get married, then we would, and if we weren’t supposed to get married… we just wouldn’t. But all that knowing went out the window when I got engaged. I didn’t KNOW anything. I didn’t know if we were supposed to get married on our wedding day. I just knew I was going to go through with it, and knew that breaking it off was the absolute last thing I wanted to do. So I got determined, and waded my way through, and got married.
And it was the BEST decision I’ve ever made. But I couldn’t and wouldn’t have been able to tell you if it was the right then when I was engaged. Fear felt all wrong. Nobody thinks you’re supposed to feel this way when you get married. But what I also want to put out there is that many, MANY people get married without a second thought, and end up divorced.
Fear or no fear is NOT a determination to how successful your marriage will be. Getting married was a real eye opener for me. I realized that things didn’t have to be perfect, and that things weren’t like the movie. What I did discover, however, was that I had a man and a relationship that were good enough. Not perfect, but good enough – good enough to want to build a life with, to want to have children with, good enough that when life threw struggles our way, we’d want to work it out together instead of separately. Good enough that we’d want to commit to each other, to learn to love each other in new ways every single day, to know that what we know NOW about love is not what we will know 20, 30, 40 yrs from now, but knowing that we want to try.
I am always – ALWAYS – falling in and out of love with my husband. Sometimes he drives me NUTS. Sometimes I can’t get enough of him. But once I said “I do” and crossed over to the other side, I realized… what was I so worried about? Nothing today has changed since yesterday… ok maybe I made the biggest commitment of my life so far, but what else has changed? My husband is still the same person today as he was yesterday. Once I got married, I let go of the fear, and suddenly, I was back to my old self. Suddenly, I was free to love… and experience all the wonderful things that marriage has to offer.
I LOVE being married to my best friend. I love having someone to listen to my feelings, laugh with, build a home and a family with. Marriage is not so complicated and a big deal that we need to be frightened of it, but yet, look at it as an opportunity to build a life with a person we love. It is simple, and wonderful and WORTH all of this fear and heartache you ladies are going through. I promise.
2019 Update: I’m still in touch with this course member and, thirteen years later, she’s very happily married with two kids. She attributes the work she did through the tools I teach on the Conscious Weddings Course as indispensable to the success of her wedding transition.