- 1 year ago
regular bee gone anon here… I am not really sure why I’m sharing this here I guess, but I could just use a safe and neutral space right now, and maybe some fellow bees have had similar experiences. (this is a bit long… sorry)
I am so in love with my fiance, and so excited to marry him this year. He is truly the best friend I have ever had, a wonderful and supportive partner, my constant source of light and strength, and being with him for the past four years has been so profoundly impactful and healing for me. I also love him for a million reasons outside of “what I get out of being with him”, like his compassion towards everyone, his sincere goodnaturedness, his goofiness, his work ethic and integrity, the way he loves learning new things. I love the life we’ve built together, and the dreams we’re working towards. Our relationship has always been so natural and has felt so right. Lately, however, I’m finding that my chronic depression and anxiety are clouding all the joy, and I’m just in so much pain right now.
I have chronic depression, to be clear, so it’s not really related to life circumstances (as in, nothing outside of myself particularly causes my depression, it just happens even when things are objectively wonderful), but I do think my anxiety has been triggered by the big life change. I feel very ready to marry my fiance, and I know that he is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, but the idea of such a shift also terrifies me. We’ve lived together for our whole relationship (we lived in a group as friends first, then moved out of state on our own where we’ve been for 3 years now) and we have pets together and have been through so much together, and I feel confident that while we still have a lot to figure out in life, we’re better together and can handle anything by each others’ sides. But the idea of the official permanence makes me nervous because of my doomsday brain- what if our marriage fails? that seems so much much worst than a breakup. what if one day he falls in love with someone else and realizes he made a mistake in marrying me? I honestly can’t imagine him cheating, but what if he’s secretly miserable with me in a few years? what if he tires of my bullsh*t one day? I know I’m not always the easiest to be with. He’s seen me at my worst many times and it’s never made him want to leave yet, and in fact he still proposed to me (which I know wasn’t due to pressure. a year earlier I went through a dumb phase where I sort of was being pressure-y about it, but he wasn’t quite ready and said so and while that at the time made me panic that it meant he never wanted to marry me, I got over that phase pretty quickly and a year later when the time was right he did it of his own accord, after planning an amazing proposal for several months without me knowing, so I suppose he must really mean it). But I worry that one day enough will be enough with putting up with me. He says he doesn’t see it as “putting up with me”, but I worry that one day he might. And while the idea of him falling out of love with me and leaving hurts, the thing I fear the most is him staying out of obligation but regretting choosing me. He assures me that it won’t happen, that “love is a verb” and that even if for some reason the feelings we have now went away, he will always choose me and choose to invest in our relationship and we’ll get back there again. He has never once given me a reason to doubt that he loves me or to think he wants to leave, even when he’s been upset with me. I’ve never had a relationship this healthy, and I suppose some of my problem is learned cycles from past realtionships and even my family, where love had to “earned’ and could be easily lost when mistakes were made, when someone being mad meant that they didn’t love you anymore or wanted to leave. Over the years with fiance I’ve come to unlearn so much of that, but when depression and anxiety flare it’s still hard to realize that love doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t be that way. But still I carry so much guilt- fiance is a few years younger than me, and I am the only very serious relationship he’s ever had, so sometimes I worry that he doesn’t realize that he could do better than me. I can be so low-energy and dull sometimes, and lazy and lifeless practically particularly when depression hits. I can be high-strung and stressful and panic at the littlest things. Sometimes I can be horribly selfish. I catch myself and apologize when it happens, and fiance always forgives me (though thankfully he never lets me get my way when I’m being ridiculous), but I still feel so much guilt for it. One example that still sticks with me is a couple of years ago when we were in town visiting friends and family and we had set aside a day to go to this museum we wanted to go to. But first we had planned to stop by and surprise visit his grandmother in her nursing home. He hadn’t seen her in a while and I was happy to go, but I get extreme anxiety in those settings. So I was already anxious and then we were running hours late and so when we were driving there I was panicking and being insanely short-sighted and stupid and going on about “okay well now we can only stay for like an hour or we’re not going to make museum” but he was like “I mean, this is my grandmother, and we can try to make the museum but I’m not going to rush the visit” and of course he was right and the second we got inside and I saw the way his grandma smiled upon seeing him my head cleared and I apologized to him and said of course we could stay as long as he wanted, the exhibit wasn’t important but this was. We ended up staying for a while and still catching the end of the museum (although I emphasized again and again that we could stay with her longer, but we left when it felt natural to do and he said he was sure he was ready). But I still hate myself for having such a self-centered initial response. Things like that have happened maybe 3 or 4 other times in our relationship, always followed with my immediate apology and making it up to him and feeling awful about it for days, but that is the worst one and I still can’t forgive myself even though fiance always does because he says “yeah, you were being selfish and it wasn’t okay, but I know that isn’t who you really are”. And I know that the vast majority of the time I wouldn’t even consider seeing a situation like that in that way but I sometimes will intentionally read those clickbait stories about things like “30 times people realized their SO wasn’t right for them/was a terrible person/etc) and I imagine that one day he’ll tell that story about me and say how he should have known all along that he shouldn’t be with me or something.
Sometimes I’ll imagine a more perfect partner that my fiance actually deserves- a bubbly, younger woman with more energy and a lighter spirit than me, who is never depressed or boring or selfish. She’d be a bit athletic, more beautiful than I am, more consistently sexual and happy and fun. She’d be sweeter, and more grounded, and would keep a tidier home. This isn’t a new excercise for me- I’ve done that crap since middle school crushes and even with friends and my family- imagining a better girlfriend or friend or daughter who would make the people I love happier, and then hating myself for not being that person. But it hurts particularly to do this about fiance. I think it’s partially compounded by the fact that my ex got married a few months ago. To be clear, there are ZERO latent feelings for ex. I was the one who left him, and honestly I didn’t even like him for the last almost year of our relationship. It was a toxic relationship with some emotionally abusive traits from him, and I wouldn’t go back to him in any circumstance ever. I do, however, wish him well as person, and hope that he’s grown a lot over the last several years. I’m very happy that he found someone he loves so much, and that from what I know of their relationship (which is limited, but the fact that he married her alone shows growth) he seems to be treating her much better than he did me. But the thing that was a bit hard for me was that she really does seem like an “upgrade” for him, and while I myself have “upgraded” and found my perfect match too (even sooner than he did), seeing him with someone so much better for him made me wonder if there was someone out there as perfect for my fiance too, if that makes sense. Fiance insists I AM that person, but I just feel so worthless sometimes it’s hard to believe. I’ll tell him about it, and all of these thoughts, because I can’t keep things from him even when I think he’ll think I’m crazy or judge me or something, but he never does and always says he wants me, he loves me, that I am the best person for him and he has no doubts about it, that I myself am fun and sweet and wonderful and a list of other kind things. But while I appreciate it a part of me always worries that he just has illusions about me (even though he’s seen me at my absolute worst and absolute best, and truly knows me more than anyone ever has- objectively I can reason that my thoughts aren’t accurate, but that doesn’t stop them). I worry that marrying me will ruin his life and dealing with my depression will bring him down. He says that his life has never been better since meeting me, and that my depression has yet to bring him down, he always lifts me up instead, which is true. But I feel guilt over the fact that he cares so well for me and does so much for me when I’m dealing with mental or chronic physical illness, and just think that he shouldn’t have to deal with it even though he says he doesn’t see it as a burden at all. I feel that NO ONE should have to put up with me, that I deserve to be alone. That I’m selfish to want to marry him because clearly I get much more out of this relationship than he does (though, again, he says this isn’t true). He is supportive and patient as I go through this, and was even patient and receptive and unfazed when I had a lot of anxiety immediately following the proposal because that was when all of the “what ifs” mentioned earlier suddenly rushed in. He talked through them with me and validated them while still reassuring me, and I’m now much more at ease about those things, and I realize that marraige takes courage and a leap of faith, and he and the love we share is worth both of those things.
I guess I’m just in a low place right now. I just hate the way it’s discoloring the excitement and joy about marrying the love of my life that I was/want to be feeling. It’s tainted with depression and anxiety and self-loating right now, and while it will probably pass eventually, it just sucks. Writing this out and putting it out there helps a bit, and if you read this whole thing, thank you. I know this isn’t my personal therapy session and no one here knows me or cares, but it’s nice to get it out of my head at least.