Post # 1
I’ll try to write this as quickly as possible. I’ve been engaged for about 3 weeks now.
Our relationship has had its fair share of bumps (we’ve been dating a year) – and communication problems.
While we’ve worked through all of them to feel stronger and closer on the other side… and I LOVE him very deeply – engagement has made me feel a bit sad and has brought a few waves of anxiety.
We have very compatible lives and love each other and each others family, he will make a great father (and wants kids even more than I do), he supports me in whatever career or schooling I discuss (I am somewhat of a ‘professional student’) … the only thing I really feel is missing is that we still struggle on the communication front. I have had relationships before where I can just be open – discuss, debate, argue, confess… whatever… we talked about it all.. but with my fiancee communication always seems to be struggle and I often leave feeling frustrated or unsatistfied.
He assures me that all his friends say their wives say the same thing. I know that things didn’t work with the exes that I COULD talk with openly for very good reasons … but is it normal to panick a little bit after getting engaged? Is it normal to worry a little bit about the bumps that have already taken place?
And most of all, while I love him with the kind of constant and caring love I feel for family…. is it normal to not feel this elated ‘high’ cloud-nine kind of love I hear so many other engaged people talk about? I felt it at first.. and still feel it sometimes… but when I’m alone in my head I generally feel more scared than elated….
Thanks, in advance, for your comments…
Post # 3
Two thoughts that are likely going to be contrary to general opinion:
1) I think mutual, deep admiration and fondness is much more important than perfect communication or thrilling romantic love. It jives with my own personal experiences, and is backed up by research. I recommend the book The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work, which is, though not uncontroversial, one of the most empirically researched approaches to marriage out there.
2) It is more important to work through these feelings than it is to beat yourself up for having them. It doesn’t really matter how other people feel, we all process big events differently.
Post # 4
Another reading suggestion – “The Conscious Bride” (there is also a website). It is very good at explaining the range of emotions we feel during an engagement (because yes, not all of them are positive and yes, that’s normal). All the best!
Post # 5
I felt a little scared when I got engaged as well. I think that in itself is normal since such a huge life changing thing. Have you talked to your Fiance about the communication? One thing to consider is pre-marital counseling. Some religions require it, some people do it just because they want to (FI and I are in the second category. Love is an ever changing thing. It feels different to me everytime I think about it, but not in a bad way.
Good luck an congrats on your recent engagement!
Post # 6
What you are feeling is totally normal! The only thing I would recommend is seeing a counselor together to work on communication if he is open to it. Men and women communicate SOOOOO differently, but working with a neutral third party can really help. My Fiance and I have been doing pre-marital counseling and it has made us a stronger couple. In our first session I said something, the therapist turned to my Fiance and said “what did you hear her say” and he repeated back something completely different – it was funny and eye opening and together we’ve been able to get to a place where we really understand each other.
Post # 7
I agree with @monitajb and I am a bit concerned for you…You said at the beginning you love him very deeply but then at the end you said you love him like family and not an elated cloud nine type of love. My husband and I have been together for five years and have long grown out of that head-in-the-clouds kind of love. However, I would not compare the love I have for him with that of my family or even my closest friend. And while there were definitely moments of stress where I felt like I just wanted to run away (mostly from wedding planning–not from him) I never doubted that he was the man I wanted to marry.
Was your engagement a surprise? Were you caught off guard/not expecting that? I guess the biggest question to ask yourself is will this be enough? IMO…if you aren’t sure, then getting married may not be the best idea–at least for now .
Post # 8
I think what your experiencing is somewhat normal, especially since you havent dated for THAT long. I HIGHLY recommend reading the 5 love languages. It’s great and might really help yall out on communication.
BUT my biggest recommendation is to go for premarital counseling. Fiance and I are doing it and I LOVE it. even if you think you know everything there is to know you would be so surprised, but besides that we have a whole session dedicated to communication and “how to fight” in a healthy productive way. I definitely don’t think this is a deal breaker and can easily be figured out it just takes some work.
Post # 9
I also sometimes have moments where the idea of my impending marriage causes my heart to sink rather than float. We got engaged in April of 2009, but we didn’t get to officially set a date until this January. When we set our date for July 2010, it’s like there was suddenly a countdown to the end of my non-married life. Most of the time, I think this is really cool, but now and then, I find myself focusing on what marriage is going to be the END of, rather than the BEGINNING of.
I don’t have a very extensive dating history, but I did have several crushes during my college years, and for the first time in my life, I’m realizing that I’m never again going to experience that feeling of crazy, light-headed excitement at the beginning of a new crush/relationship. Now, I have the where-with-all to know that that phase is 1) very temporary and 2) usually accompanied by disappointment, anxiety and heartbreak, when the feelings aren’t mutual (and they usually weren’t). Then, I remember how that awesome feeling (which I did experience with my fiance at the beginning of our relationship 2 years ago) has been replaced by something even better – devotion and companionship. The passion is still there, too. It’s just different.
I’m sorry for going on and on about me. I suppose what I’m curious about is whether you might be experiencing the same sort of “my unmarried life’s days are numbered” sort of feeling. You said that you and your fiance struggle with communication (and for this, as others have said, counseling would be a great help), but you also mentioned that you love him very deeply. If you are nervous about the change you’re about to face, perhaps try making a list of all the great things marriage is going to mean for you. The start of your own little family, for example.
Lastly, I’ve said this on other threads, I highly recommend the book ‘Committed’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s the sequel to ‘Eat Pray Love’, although you don’t need to read ‘Eat Pray Love’ first. She offers a no-nonsense, deep exploration into marriage and what it means. It made me a whole lot more excited about getting married!
Best of luck to you! We’re all here for you at WeddingBee.