- 6 years ago
- Wedding: August 2016
I’ve read through about a dozen “cold feet” posts on Wedding Bee, but each situation is slightly different, and no situation is mine exactly… So I thought I’d throw mine into the pot, and seek some wonderful advice from you brides and brides-to-be.
I’m 27, Fiance is 28, and we’ve been dating for 3.5 years. We live together (heck, he moved to California with my so I could pursue a doctoral program!), and we have a strong, solid relationship founded on honesty and open communication. He is the kindest, warmest, most fiercely loyal person I have ever met. I will admit up front that I am a VERY emotional person. Prior to Fiance, my relationships were very deep and passionate, but also very short-lived. Fiance and I have passion, but it’s been much more even-keeled, and he is an anchor when I’m blown about by every emotion. I read somewhere that good relationships are equal parts commitment, passion, and intimacy. We’re probably a leg up on the commitment and intimacy, but all three components of our relationship are very well established. He makes me laugh every day, he always makes me feel safe and cared for, and I love him dearly. We got engaged a few months ago, and are planning a wedding for next August. We’ve already put down about $2K on deposits, which (as grad school students) is a big deal for us.
But! Every six months or so for as long as we’ve dated, I get this little bug under my skin that gnaws at me: he’s VERY committed to social justice and environmental issues, but is not interested in spirituality or philosophy. He’s also something of a homebody, who doesn’t like to travel and would prefer to stay in on the weekends. I’m pretty different, in this regard: I consider myself to be a spiritual person. Buddhism and meditation are my bread and butter, and I’ve spent a lot of time traveling and living in primarily Buddhist countries. Despite not being interested in joining me at meditation/yoga classes, it still seems like we have the same spiritual values: he’s committed to being fully present, and trying not to live in the past or future. He just doesn’t want to establish a practice or join a community based on these values, and he doesn’t really like to talk about them.
When I pictured my future husband, I always pictured a best friend, someone to be unabashedly goofy with, and someone who shared my values in creating a home and family. Fiance is all these things. But I also imagined a meditation companion, a travel companion, someone with whom we would fall easily into like-minded groups of friends, and someone I would stay up late in the night with having deep, heart-provoking philosophical/spiritual conversations with. Fiance isn’t any of these things. All my exes have fit this description, but as I mentioned, those relationships burned bright but fizzled quickly, so it’s hard to know if it was the intense passion I was satisfied by (which would have been temporary) or the shared spirituality (which would likely last a lifetime). Fiance has mentioned that he’s briefly considered hypotheticals–what it might be like to be with someone who is as passionate as he is about environmentalism and social justice–but always returns to his conviction that I have all the things he’s looking for in a relationship, and that those would just be icing on the cake.
I’m totally conflicted. On the one hand, I know that no one person is going to fulfill every part of me. I could leave Fiance and find someone else, but there is always going to be SOME piece of the puzzle missing (those exes, for example, never had the commitment component down pat). I know that I can find friends who will satisfy these parts of me, and I know that having different interests is part of what keeps our relationship interesting. On the other hand, I really struggle with knowing if I can go my whole life without having my primary partner share my spirituality and adventurous spirit. Giving up the dream of that hypothetical person has been a huge internal struggle. We’ve talked about it (more like: I cried about it, and he listened), and we both agree that we want ourselves and the other to have wildly fulfilling lives, and any decision we make will be made out of love for each other. I worry that I will resent giving up that hypothetical husband. I also worry that if I leave Fiance, I still might not find that wildly satisfying relationship, and will have given up a happy, loving, perfectly functioning relationship to figure that out. The decision feels like a huge weight, and I feel stressed and anxious like nobody’s business. It’s hard to know to what degree I’m just experiening the same doubt and anxiety I would with ANYONE, and to what degree this is a serious problem that is specific to this particular loved one. I just want us both to be happy, and have NO clue what to do to make that happen. Does anyone have advice?