If you’re feeling stressed about getting married, you’re not alone. It’s normal to have doubts about marrying someone and making a commitment for life—after all, it’s a life-changing decision that you can’t easily take back. But if those doubts have started to feel overwhelming or like they’ll never go away, that can be really scary!
What’s more, you might even feel ashamed about admitting that you don’t want to get married. Whatever you do, don’t panic. Your feelings are totally valid and it’s important to explore why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling.
Here are a few things you can do if you’re starting to second guess your decision.
Remember, Getting Cold Feet is Normal
If you’re starting to second-guess your decision, it could just be cold feet. If this is the case, don’t worry. It’s completely normal for people to have doubts about getting married and it’s nothing to worry about.
If your doubts are really starting to eat away at you, it might be time to take some time out from thinking about your relationship and focus on yourself first. Were you really in love when you agreed to marriage or was there another driving force?
Only you can decide if it’s just cold feet or if there’s something to really worry about, so take your time processing your thoughts.
Consider Talking to a Therapist
Chatting with a therapist can be a great way to learn why you’re having second thoughts about your relationship and explore what to do about your feelings. Whether you already have a therapist or seek one out now, they’re a great neutral party to help you discover more about yourself and your relationship.
If wedding planning is stressing you out or causing relationship tension, a therapist can provide support as well as help guide you through the process of making decisions. They can also give you advice about communicating your doubts to your partner.
Talk to Your Partner
While it might be uncomfortable to bring up, if you’re feeling unsure about getting married, having a conversation with your partner is the best way to get clarity. Be open and honest with them. You don’t need to blame them for anything or use them as a sounding board for all of your doubts.
Avoid using generalizations and accusations. If you aren’t sure exactly why you’re having doubts, express that too. Sometimes expressing your feelings, getting reassurance, and knowing that your partner is nervous too is all you need to get over the bump and feel great about your engagement again.
Chat With a Friend or Family Member
If you feel like you need to talk to someone about your doubts, don’t be afraid to do so. You might choose to talk with a friend or family member who’s been married for a while and knows you well..
Sometimes, the best thing to do is talk it out with someone who cares about both of you and knows how much this means to both of you. Even if they can’t give you advice, they can support you and be there for you as you grapple with these difficult feelings.
Consider Your Stress Levels
Sometimes, our stress levels manifest themselves in tricky ways. Ever been so stressed that you take it out on someone who doesn’t deserve it? Something similar could be happening here—after all, planning a wedding is a lot of work.
If something about your relationship or your wedding planning is the cause of your stress, now is the time to address it. Ignoring it will only lead to more stress and tension down the road. Addressing it now, even if it’s hard to bring up, will mean you find a resolution quicker and get to enjoy the rest of your engagement.
Try Tracking Your Thoughts and Feelings
If you’re struggling with anxiety about your upcoming marriage, try using an app or writing in a journal to track how you feel on a daily basis. If you identify when you’re experiencing anxiety, it can help you understand what triggers these feelings and help you see how to manage them effectively.
You may also want to track your moods. This might be as simple as recording whether or not you felt happy or sad every day for a week, or it could involve more in-depth questions like “What was going on at home?” or “Did anything special happen today?” being asked at the end of each day. Seeing patterns and being able to associate them with what’s going on in your life can help you find clarity about your situation.
Talk About Your Future Plans
Often, nerves and uncertainty surrounding a marriage stem from entering the unknown. After all, you’re making a massive life change, merging your life with someone else, and making one of the largest commitments anyone can make in their lifetime. One of the best things you can do to ease this uncertainty is have an open and honest conversation with your partner about your plans. Remember, your partner is probably pretty nervous too!
Here are a few topics you might want to touch on.
Family: What roles will your families play in your lives? If your partner is especially close with their family, it’s normal to be nervous about them becoming a bigger part of your life. Discuss expectations surrounding both of your families and address any underlying tension before you tie the knot.
It’s also a good idea to have conversations about what kind of family you plan on starting as a couple.
Finances: Money is a huge issue for many couples. Talking about it can be hard, but it’s important to have an honest discussion about your finances. Be open about debts and struggles, but also about goals and successes.
Personal Goals: While you’ll have goals that both of you share (buying a home together, having children, etc.), you also both have your own lives and goals for the future. Discussing those and having a clearer picture of your partner’s life path can provide reassurance.
Prenuptial Agreement: Creating a prenup is one of the best ways to plan for the unknown, giving you a legal agreement that answers a lot of the “what ifs” that might be floating around in your mind. A prenup can protect you from debt, define marital property, protect your assets and your business, and provide protection for your children. And it’s far from being a romance killer—in fact, it’s a great way to start open conversations about some of these tougher topics.
It’s okay to feel nervous before getting married, but if you have serious doubts, explore them. It’s okay to feel nervous and even scared, but if the anxiety is so extreme that it’s affecting your everyday life, then it makes sense to explore the source of those feelings. The important thing is that you keep an open mind and listen to your heart when deciding if you want to marry this person or not because in the end that’s what matters most!
Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected]