(Closed) Did you have second thoughts??

posted 12 years ago in Encore
Post # 3
20 posts


I’m new to this board but my heart goes out to you!  It seems like there are two separate things going on.  One is your FI’s way of fighting and the other is you being irritated after getting engaged.

On the anger side of things I think that this is a really serious thing and that you are being incredibly responsible by taking it as such.  Loving someone is never enough if they are being innappropriate when they’re angry.  It’s great that he’s actively trying to work on it but I would strongly suggest some sort of pre-marital counseling.  It doesn’t need to be geared towards marriage, just towards making sure you’re both comfortable moving forward.  That way you would also have an impartial third party who could help you decide if you’re having second thoughts because of that or if it’s something else.  It also helps to have someone else put things in perspective. 

The part where you are suddenly annoyed with your Fiance after engagement I think is more common than people realize.  I think that we suddenly start looking at them under a bit of a microscope after engagement.  Their annoying habits suddenly feel like “Could I stand a lifetime of this??”.  I think this is where stepping back and taking it one day at a time helps.  Remembering all the things you love about him and all the good things he does will help.  I found myself being irritable after getting engaged and realized that I was suddenly putting pressure on him and me to be the perfect couple.  His snoring (which has always been annoying) suddenly became a deal breaker.  I mean I can live with the love of my life while he snores but a LIFETIME of that?  🙂  As soon as I stopped thinking in those terms I started to feel better.

I don’t know if this helps at all and I’m sure you’ll get lots of other great advice.  Good luck and make sure to make the decision that’s right in your gut and in your heart.


Post # 4
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Kimmy:  Simply stated – Yes.  Here it is in a nutshell:  I got cold feet that never seemed to go away (we fought all the time and he never seemed to be happy with me), I called off the wedding, Then I listened to people who told me that I was making a huge mistake (not my parents, but close friends/relatives), and Then I eloped and married him anyway.  I divorced him eight years later.

He was a *dirty* fighter – always said/did whatever he thought would hurt me the most, and would apologize for it afterward (of course, the apologies only came after he tried to convince me that the only reason he said/did those things was because what I had said/done *made* him.)  He accepted *zero* responsibility for any of his actions . . . He always promised to change and never did.  After I told him I was leaving, he volunteered to get counseling and to work on his personal issues, but I had already given him eight years and was not waiting another day.  I was all out of chances for him.

That is probably more than you needed to know.  The last thing I will tell you is that you should trust yourself and your instincts, as they are rarely ever wrong.

However, I *totally* agree with what Sterling posted about putting our FIs under a microscope after the engagement.  LOL! I have only been engaged for a little over a week now, but it is so true!

Post # 5
670 posts
Busy bee

My answer – in a word is YES. 

Although – you need to take a step back and look at what you are analyzing. maybe get an opinion from a counselor or neutral friend?  Ensure that you aren’t blinded by love, and at the same time being too tough and critical because you are nervous.

I DID have second thoughts.  I was thinking it would get better, he would learn to fight fair, etc.  He didn’t.  Life happened and he couldn’t handle it.  I had a rough 7 year go at it.  My instincts were right, but I thought I could *fix* him, that my love would be enough to do that. 

@puddles – wow.  I could have written almost that entire posting.  We never called off our wedding, but everything else is the same – and we were married for 8 years too and i couldn’t take it anymore. ( said 7 above, because the 1st year was pretty normal)

Post # 6
16 posts
  • Wedding: May 2010

The short answer is “yes.”

I had my reservations prior to the wedding, but it is hard to determine if cold feet just come from the nerves of getting married, or if it signals a deeper problem in the relationship.

The problem in my first marriage was that he always had to have things his way. If he didn’t, he would explode. I don’t know if it’s the same way with your Fiance. But, he would be very very mean to me. Sometimes he would choose to not speak to me. Unfortunately for us, this behavior only got worse, and I reacted to it by cloistering myself. I retreated, became an introvert, and secretly started resenting him. By our fourth year of marriage, things had gotten really ugly because he and I chose not to change this pattern, and we ended up very angry at one another. Divorce soon followed.

So, I would encourage you to really take this time before your wedding to analyze your relationship. What does he need to work on? What do you need to work on? (I am not saying it’s your fault, but I wouldn’t recommend handling the situation the same way I did.) How can you grow together?

I didn’t do pre-marital counseling the first time around (I wish now I had), but I’ll tell you this, the post-divorce counseling was awesome! Even if you can’t get him to counseling, I would recommend some personal counseling for you. It can really help put things into perspective.

Best of luck to you!

Post # 7
746 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Sure I had second thoughts, but because I was young and didn’t understand relationships, I didn’t see the warning signs.  It sounds like you recognize his issues, but you’re still going forward.  This really is something that he needs to get help with before you make a committment.  You don’t want to end up in divorce court – it sucks.

Post # 8
6582 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

Yes.  I did have second thoughts.  But I was in love and thought things would get better.  Divorce 10 years later.  In my experience, doubt = don’t.

Post # 9
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I really think it’s normal.  Think about how many times you’ve heard the phrase “cold feet.”  For all the excitement and love we feel, it’s the biggest step we’ll ever take in our lives.  If you never second guess that or never really evaluate if this is the right thing/time/person, I think you’re not taking it as seriously as it deserves to be taken!

About the screaming, I would look at it a little bit differently than just as “cold feet.”  Is it something that could develop into abuse?  Is it something you might want to ask him to get counseling over?  Is this a new development in your relationship, or has he just never really been “good” at fighting?  It’s REALLY GREAT that he recognizes it’s a problem and is actively trying to fix it.  I definitely think that’s a great sign.  But check for the signs of abuse here:  http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/Abuser/signs.htm

Good luck, and know that you are not alone in your feelings of second guessing!

Post # 10
3952 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2010


I actually broke off the engagement with my ex for a few days in fact.  He also was a hot -head and trust me, if he is into screaming matches BEFORE you’re married, how will the man behave when real life, work, bill paying, and crying babies come into play?

I know now that I personally cannot handle being around somebody who would scream at me or make me feel less of a person.  I can’t.

If it were me, I would suggest counseling and see if you can work this out.  If he’s not willing to change his explosive outbursts, you may have to reach inward to decide what to do and what’s best for you.

As for you being annoyed with him, I think it’s a side-effect of him having those screaming outbursts.  Jmho.


Post # 11
8 posts

I am a regular poster here, but decided to go anonymous as well.

@Miss Kimmy, I am not an encore bride, but am planning a wedding with a fiance who sometimes exhibits the same type of behavior you’re discribing. I too love my fiance, and can imagine a very happy, fulfilling life with him. He has one major flaw in my eyes: he’s a “dirty fighter” and I am a very sensitive person. The two don’t mix very well, needless to say! I could say any hurtful word, or call him any hurtful, horrible name and it literally rolls off his back. Someone looks at me weird, and I burst in to tears. He too, acknowledges that the way he acts when he gets “fired up” is wrong and very inappropriate. He is not the only bad guy though. I know what pushes his buttons and I’m not one to keep my mouth shut when I feel like I’m being mistreated. Instead of waiting for him to calm down to discuss things, sometimes I make it worse but instigating and prodding at the issue. We’re often both at fault.

For me, this is not a deal breaker, rather a work in progress. I also honestly feel like we deal with conflict and flights differently because we have different childhood experiences. He’s a child of a very, very nasty divorce. Can I blame him for arguing in the only fashion he knows? BUT, it’s not a deal breaker for me, because he acknowledges that it’s not right and he wants to work on it. If he didn’t care that it wasn’t right, I’d be out the door. Or, if I didn’t see significant changes (which I have…we’ve come a long way) than I’d have some serious thinking to do.

No offense to anyone out there who immediately says to leave him and who haven’t been in the same situation, but if you don’t understand the sitauation, it’s easy for you to say, “Leave.” We each have our own “deal breakers.” You might think yours is a “dirty fighter,” but your Fiance might be emotionally closed off, and to me that’s a deal breaker. Etc etc. (I’m not speaking to anyone in particiular, just trying to clarify).

My other issue with this topic is, I’ve often noticed on these boards (and don’t get me wrong, I love weddingbee!) but often when a poster talks about potential problems or issues, other posters are quick to say, “LEAVE!!” No one is perfect. Are all “dirty fighers” beasts who should have no chance at love ever? I don’t think so. I think some “dirty fighters” sometimes don’t know any better, and resort back to how they are used to fighting or getting their way. Just like any problem in a relationship, it takes work to fix.

Whatever you choose to do, however, good luck!

(Sorry for the long post. I could go on and on, obviously I’m very passionate about the subject)

Post # 12
670 posts
Busy bee

@anonymouslyanonymous  Well put!

I need to add that it’s my opinion that relationships are all about what you are willing to put up with.  Really.  Think about it.  If he eats funny or has an annoying habit, there is SOMEWHERE where we all draw the line.  Thinking “I can’t deal with this forever”  It’s the same in our friendships too.

Bottom line is, if you love this man and truly want to marry him – make sure that you are headed in the same direction.  Approach the subject and see if he’ really willing to work on it.  The flags are when your doubt is based on fear that he could hurt you/get worse/etc.  If you get some tools on how to deal with his reactions, that may be what you both need – by making sure that you aren’t fueling his little fires. 

Fiance and I often take a break if a discussion we’re having gets too upsetting to either of us.  Having been on the other side of the coin, his ability to fight fair is one of the qualities I appreciate most about him.


Post # 13
8 posts

Thanks Querida! I have the same thoughts on relationships as you: we all have our own personal deal breakers!

Post # 15
4560 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

From the link above: Don’t Date or Marry a Screamer


But not all abuse is physical. While women are more commonly the victims of abuse, men also are often victims — especially of emotional abuse. And emotional abuse can be just as destructive, and even more confusing to understand.

It’s confusing because often the hardest step in getting away from abuse is recognizing when a relationship is abusive. After all, you can’t address a problem you don’t know is there. That’s why it’s so useful that in his book The New Rules of Marriage, best-selling author and psychologist Dr. Terrence Real defines abuse:

  • Yelling and screaming
  • Name-calling: Any sentence that begins with ‘You are a…’
  • Shaming or humiliating: Communicating that someone is a bad or worthless person. Ridiculing someone, mocking, being sarcastic, humoring or being patronizing.
  • Telling another adult what she should do, or how she should think or feel.
  • Making promises and breaking them.
  • Lying or manipulating: Deliberately falsifying information or dishonestly changing your behavior in an attempt to control your partner, for example: ‘Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine out here in the rain. You go have a good time.’
  • When I read this definition, my first reaction was: These behaviors are abuse? But they happen all the time!

But then, I thought: He’s right. The behaviors he outlines are warning signs that a physically abusive relationship may develop. And, in and of themselves, they ARE abuse.

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