There are going to be challenges for you…


Question:

My fiance just shared fears with me as we were discussing wedding plans. He shared that as we talked and things began to feel more real he began to feel a lot of anxiety and panic. He felt an overwhelming nervousness and anxiety. He said that he loves me and that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me but that every time we talk about wedding plans it freaks him out like that. He said that tonight it has been the worst. I think this is because I asked him about a specific date and a specific location that I really want.  He said he didn’t know why it was happening and that he feels bad. I’m glad he shared this with me. I could sense that something was going on with him when we talked about wedding plans, but when I tried to get it out of him before he wouldn’t admit it.

We dated for 10 years and we’ve been engaged for a year and four months now. From the moment we got engaged we planned on having a long engagement and most likely getting married in 2014. I was working full time and going to graduate school when he proposed, so I knew I wouldn’t have time to plan anything until I graduated. Now here we are a year out from when we had originally discussed and I’m ready to start working on the real planning. This information he shared really has me worried. I would really like to figure out what the root of the anxiety might be. Is it the idea of him marrying me altogether or is it the wedding? We talked about this and tried to figure it out, but it was late when he brought it up so we put the conversation on hold so he could go to bed. I don’t know how I will sleep tonight…

When we talked about it I thought maybe it might just be the wedding part. Even though we are aiming for a small wedding (25-35 people) at a reasonable price, I thought for some reason it might be the wedding and reception idea that is bringing the anxiety. So, I told him we should explore elopement options. He had been joking about the idea from day one and has since made it known that would be his choice, but that he also wants me to have the wedding of my dreams. He knows that the main thing for me is that I want to celebrate our union with the people we love. I want my grandparents, parents and close friends to be there. But what’s most important to me is that he is just as happy as I am on our wedding day.

The main reason I brought up the elopement topic was because I was wanting to make that to feel like a real option. Where would we go, when, and what would it be like. Maybe by talking about specifics with this option would help me to see if the anxiety was provoked by that idea as well. If so, maybe it’s just the getting married to me part that is scaring him.

I would really like to hear your perspective as a man and as an expert what might be causing this anxiety. What’s going through my mind is that he is either beginning to fear marrying me is a mistake or that it is a big life changing thing and it;s just scary. The second one I can understand. The first one is not only terrifying and heartbreaking to me but completely beyond my comprehension since we have been together so long. We have even been through 2 years of long distance when he went to college 10 hours away.

Please let me know your perspective on this situation and maybe some advice as to what we should do. I am considering counseling, but I don’t know what he would think about that.

Answer:

I would first suggest you guys get into pre-marital counseling. This would help determine what challenges you may be facing that neither of you can really put your finger on. Many pastors and/or therapists offer these services. I strongly suggest you don’t elope. This hurts too many people that want to share in your special day with you. I assume you are either living together and/or sleeping together. This has consequences. While many people “play” marriage actually getting married becomes scary. “playing marriage” always has a way out that the people who are “playing” have an unwritten agreement that they can leave whenever they want. When one actually gets married they actually have to stop playing and start doing it for real. It means commitments etc… There may be some of that going on. There is often some nervousness when it comes to marriage. It’s a big thing and should be approached with the proper recognition of all this it entails.

Doc David

www.DavidSimonsen.net

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