I am freaking out. In a big way! I’m 11 days away from my wedding, and I’m not excited about it. Not in the least. I’m not even that excited about the honeymoon. I’ve been with my fiancée for over two years and engaged six months. I just don’t know how I got there. I don’t feel ready. I feel angry, depressed, pushed around and irrational.
It seems like every major step we’ve taken as a couple has been prompted by her, usually in the form of a breakdown or panic attack. We got engaged last spring, after one of these breakdowns. She was expecting to be engaged by spring break, and break came and I wasn’t ready to propose.
I basically got an ultimatum. I wasn’t ready to call it quits, so I caved. She left town for the week, and by the end of it, I had flown where she was and proposed. It was more fun and romantic than it sounds, but I had this horrible feeling in my gut just after I asked her to marry me.
I feel like a rotten person. To get this far and not understand how I truly feel is gut-wrenching. She’s a great girl and treats me well. We have fun and things are pretty good on the surface, but we’ve had major issues with religion, sex, family and social interaction.
I know everyone has issues, but I’ve never felt more isolated in my life. I’ve never felt more unable to express myself, more unable to open a book.
I catch myself wondering about other girls. Wondering if it’s supposed to be this hard. Wondering if I’m going to feel better or worse after we say I do. I’m at a loss and feel unable to talk to her about it. What is the first step in getting this all out?
Drew, it was a staring contest and you blinked first. But just because you lost the competition, it doesn’t mean you should get married. No one should enter into any contract, much less a contract for a lifetime, under duress.
Think about what happened. She gave you an ultimatum. An ultimatum is a choice between “do what I want” and “otherwise it’s over.” The ultimatum itself is proof there is not enough of a connection to sustain the relationship.
When she stared you down, you took it almost as a sign of affection. But ask yourself, “Has she been nice because she loves me, or has she been nice to get what she wants?” Won’t it be even worse after the wedding, if you capitulate?
A stare can mean affection, but it can also mean hostility. Her breakdowns and panic attacks were the means she used to get you to obey.
There is no legitimate reason a woman should marry someone who doesn’t want to marry her. She should be willing to step back from this as well, though we doubt she will.
Maybe it took this for you to get over her. But there is only one thing to do now. Take the blame and stop the wedding. Don’t worry how to broach this. Just do it.
Tell her, “It’s on me. It’s my fault. I should have said no, but I gave in to pressure. At any rate, it is a mistake for me to go forward.”
By stopping this you are preventing that scene 10 years from now where you tell her, “You know, I never wanted to marry you.”
We get letters from people who knew they were about to make a mistake six months, five months, four months, a week, a day and an hour before the wedding. But they went ahead anyway. And paid the price.
The stakes for you are much lower. All you need to do is admit you lost a staring contest.
~ Wayne & Tamara
For The Week of September 30, 2013
Send letters to: [email protected] , or Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield MO 65801.