I am freaking out! In three weeks I'm getting married and not even the honeymoon sounds good at this point. My lady and I have been together for two years and engaged for six months. I honestly don't know how I got here. I'm not ready. I'm angry, depressed and feel like a dog being led around on a leash.
When we got engaged, it was pretty much due to her issuing an ultimatum. (And a tantrum, to be honest.) She was expecting to be engaged by a certain point. We reached that point, and since I didn't want to break up, I proposed.
I feel terrible. I don't understand how I got this far and still don't know how I truly feel. She's a wonderful girl and very good to me. On the surface, things are good, but we've had huge issues with religion, sex and family.
I know everyone has cold feet when they get married — is that what this is? I can't stop wondering if it's supposed to be this hard. Will I feel better after we're married? I don't feel able to talk to her about it. Please help.
– Freaking Out
Ohhhhh boy. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. You already know what I'm going to say, right? This isn't cold feet, brother, you are wearing cinderblock-shaped ice shoes at this point.
You say you don't know how you truly feel, but you've done an excellent job explaining it to me. Words like "not ready," "angry" and "depressed" are extremely descriptive. You also cite issues in your relationship with three of the most major factors for long-term compatibility and happiness: religion, sex and family. I can hardly see my computer screen through all the red flags!
Dude. Don't get married. Or if you, don't do it in three weeks. You said yourself (to me at least) that you're not ready. Sure, ok, the venue is probably booked, she's all stoked about her dress and people have bought their plane tickets. None of those are as major as marrying someone you don't want to marry when you're not ready to do it. Plane tickets and ugly vases can be returned.
Today, right this second, talk to your lady. You say you're not able to talk to her (hi, huge red flag), but you absolutely must plow through that discomfort and do it. Start out with "This is going to be hard for you to hear, but I'm not ready to get married. I realize I should have said something earlier and I own that. But I'm saying it now, and I absolutely cannot get married in three weeks." If you can, try to avoid pointing out that you felt she had you in an emotional headlock with her ultimatum — at least in that initial conversation. She'll probably freak out, and the talk could escalate into a fight pretty quickly, so avoiding blurting that out may not be possible. But try. Cancel the wedding, let the dust settle a little bit and then see if you two are even committed enough to try to work though those other huge issues you cited: differences in family, religion and sex. Whatever you do, please, do not get married in three weeks.
I've been dating a great guy for about six months. We have a great time together and he's affectionate and sweet. Recently he told me that we'll be spending less time together as he'll be working more and taking care of his aunt, who has cancer. I'm doing my best to be understanding and not add stress, but it's starting to freak me out. Over the Fourth of July weekend, he went to the lake with his family. I asked if I could go, but he said he wanted to spend time with just his family. Something feels really weird to me, but I don't want to come across as clingy and scare him away.
– Clinging To Love
Obviously he has valid reasons to want to spend time with his family, has less time right now to spend with you and, overall, is probably having a hard time adjusting to his new role as caregiver. So your instinct to be cool is on point. Be cool. Be understanding. Affirm to him that taking care of a sick relative must be extremely emotionally taxing and remind him that you are there for him. This time in your relationship needs to be about him, and you can absolutely find balance between being the supportive girlfriend he needs without going overboard and being clingy.
Now, let's address things feeling weird. We're told to trust our gut, but we should also make sure we're not making up issues that aren't there. Give yourself time to collect more emotional data. He absolutely had every right to want to spend time with just his family on the long weekend. Evaluate how things have felt since then and in the next month or so. Is he pulling away more and more, or is he doing his best to adjust to his new routine while keeping you in it? If you see a potential future for the two of you, ride out this phase for a bit and be as loving as supportive as you can. If there truly is potential, you can bet he'll do the same for you someday when you need it.
Jessica McGuinty, founder of Jessicurl and master of the joyful laugh, doesn't really think she has all the answers — but she'll give it a try. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org.