Post # 1
Hello all, I am new to this site so I’m not sure if I know what I’m doing! I am 22 years old and am recently engaged to a 21 year old guy. We were only dating seven months before he proposed. From the moment we started dating, there wasn’t a doubt in either of our mind’s whether or not we would get married. I was so 100% sure that we are meant to be together. However, about two months ago, I started having serious anxiety caused by doubts. At first I think the doubts were normal, but they quickly became obsessive and unstoppable. I even started taking an essential oil called “vetiver” to help calm me down. I was worried that all this doubt meant that something was wrong. After all, in today’s culture “doubt means don’t” and this idea just further increased my anxiety, to the point where I told my fiance we needed to take a step back and call of the engagement, this lasted for about a day until I found Sheryl Paul’s blogs about engagement and I learned that I am not alone! To be clear, my fiance is a funny, handsome and sweet(sometimes) indvidual who loves me very, very much ( he would do anything for me) I sometimes find myself becoming angry/annoyed at him for no good reason at all. For instance, he can act immaturely sometimes, but I know that he is young and will probably grow out of it one day, and honestly most of the time, I enjoy his silly side when I’m not letting the anxiety take control. He is also an atheist whereas I am a Christian. But I’ve noticed that sometimes, it bothers me more than it should. I am wondering if any of you out there are feeling this way too. Please let me know!
Post # 2
Okay, first of all, honey. Long engagement is in order. Take your time. Live together. Dont rush into the wedding but relax. Enjoy each other. You are so very young (I was 22 when I got married) but I was aware I was young and aware that I had no doubts whatsoever. However the finality of marriage can be very daunting to some and I understand that.
I am a christian and my DH is an atheist. I dont care at all. I do my thing, he does his and we just dont really discuss it. He is respectful of my beliefs and in turn I respect his. We have checked, dounle checked and tiple checked our compatibility, future goals, life plans, parenting styles and had full disclosure on past, present and years to come. There were no secrets, surprises or sudden changes in minds once we were at the alter stage. You really want to get there first.
And you need to chat to your man about your anxiety. You need him to be your support. Have you ever suffered OCD or anxiety as your obsessive thoughts sound quite OCD. There are more forms of the disorder than simply hand washing and repitive, intrusive thoughts can also be OCD or anxiety. It can cause doubt, panic and irrational reactions to minor things and disrupt happiness, especially at happy times.
Take your time, express your love for each other, but dont get married in a panicky rush. Say I do when you are calm and joyful.
Post # 3
Thank you so much for the reply. We are not getting married until December 2015, so I believe this will be more than enough time. For the last couple of months I have felt so alone in my anxiety. I was convinced that this was my gut telling me to get out, that I should listen to it. Then, I would have moments of clarity and complete peace with my fiance, we would crack up with each other and have so much fun, just like we did before I first experienced this anxiety. These moments are what keep me going. That is until the fear and anxiety begins to cloud my judgement again. We enjoy some of the same hobbies, and are on the same page about how to raise our future children, he even agrees to attend church with me and it means the world to me. I truly don’t even worry about anyone ‘better’ being out there because he’s all I want. I hope to see get rid of this anxiety completely. I am seeing a therapist this wednesday.
Post # 4
And yes, as a child, I suffered from intrusive, OCD-like thoughts.
Post # 5
I agree with the long engagement. Even waiting until 2016 or 17 would be acceptable and a great thing to help calm the nerves. What you said about hime being “immature, but he’s young so he may grow out of it” made me worried. You can never go into a marriage thinking somebody will change. Even the fact that you realize how young you are, and notice that you will change is something to note. I wish you the best of luck and happiness. Don’t feel the need to rush into anything, especially not for anybody but yourself. This is one long ride and you need to enjoy it 🙂
Post # 6
I also suffer from OCD and anxiety, and this blog post was very helpful to me: http://apracticalwedding.com/2010/08/weddings-marriage-love-anxiety/
That being said, you are very young. When I was 21 (I’m 29 now), I was positive I was going to marry my then-boyfriend (and we had plans to get engaged). But we had some serious issues and I ended up growing out of the relationship. In contrast, when my anxiety manifests itself about my current relationship, I worry about stuff *in spite of* all the evidence to the contrary–I don’t worry about stuff that a rational, non-anxious person would worry about. A good rule of thumb is, if a friend told me she was worried/obsessed about a certain thing, what would I tell her?
I recommend that you see a therapist who might help you sort through it all. Best wishes.
Post # 7
This probably isn’t what you want to hear, but I was previously engaged and called it off about 2.5 months ago for exactly the reasons you’re describing, a main one being religion – he was also atheist and I’m CatholiC. I also did Sheryl Paul’s e-course and enrolled in personal counseling to boot, thinking it was just my anxiety taking over (I, too, Sometimes struggle with anxiety). my ex fiance was also a sweet, funny man who loved me very much, but to me it just wasn’t enough to overcome the differences between us. You need to go into marriage with the “expectation” that he will stay exactly the person he is today- that includes behavior, beliefs, and everything else. Then decide if that is enough for you. It wasn’t for me. I truly wish you the best because I remember the many, many months I spent agonizing over all of this before finally calling it off. PM me if you’d like. Good luck.
Post # 8
What do you mean by – he is sweet (sometimes)?
To be honest, I think youre having doubts because you know something is not right. You are SO young and he is SO young that I dont think a year (Dec 2015) is going to be enough to help you both mature. I think it’s totally fine to have a 2-3 year engagement in this case, or even call off the engagement and stay together. Trust me, you have a LOT of growing and maturing to do (and men are even further behind women).
As for the religion thing, you need to discuss this prior to getting married. How will you raise your kids? Do you want to get married in a church / will he convert? Is he okay with baptizing your kids when he doesnt believe in God? And are you okay with him saying no to any of that?
Post # 9
I honestly don’t think you’ve been together long enough and that is where your anxiety is coming from over this. You are both young, you both are still growing into adults and learning about the world, as we all are, but there are still experiences you need. Do you guys live together? I mean at seven months you really are still in the honeymoon phase of your relationship. Your still happy and giddy and probably (but what do I know) haven’t had many serious issues That have tested the strength of your relationship.
I don’t think a year is enough time to really get to know the person your going to be marrying. I know that it sounds like a lot of time, but you will be on another high froM planning g a wedding.
I know that sometimes people just know! And that’s the end of it, but you are having doubts, which all of us do, but it’s become obsessive. I think maybe you should take a year to be engaged and get to know each other and just strengther. Your relationship and then start planning a wedding if you still wanted to do that. So for like 2016 or 2017.
Best of luck, and only you know your relationship.
Post # 10
I understand the doubts may just be because you have OCD tendencies or you struggle with anxiety but I think your mind is telling you the right thing this time. If you “know” he will eventually “grow out of” his immaturity (he may never grow out of it) then why not wait to get married until he DOES grow out of it? And if something as big as religion is starting to bother you, it will only get worse once you start a life/family together. I don’t care how old you are, I never think 7 months is long enough to know someone fully and completely (I know there are those rare stories of “we got married 3 months after we met and have been together for 40 years!” but I don’t think that’s the norm). My Fiance and I were together for 7 years and sometimes I wished he would propose earlier but now I am so glad we waited until we knew each other completely and worked out all of our “kinks”.
My motto always was, “I know I want to be with him forever. So what difference does it make if we date a few more years or are married now? It can wait, we have our whole lives”. I am sure at 21/22 you are not ready to have children yet (at least I hope you aren’t planning that anytime soon) so why not wait? See if you truly are compatable and can withstand the long haul. You are both so young AND in the “honeymoon” stage of the relationship still. You need to both grow up and get out of the early stage of the relationship before deciding this is who you want to be with for the rest of your life.
Post # 11
I don’t see an issue with being young and engaged. Or having a quick engagement. However not having the same beliefs, or completely opposite beliefs seems like you’re just asking for divorce. I could be reading your post wrong, but it sounded like you said going to church was important to you. I’m assuming that means that the bible is important to you. And the bible has wisdom specifically talking about marrying someone who is not a believer. See 2 Corinthians 6:14. I might just be being a crazy Christian…but maybe it’s God telling you something. I would spend some time praying and seeking counsel from someone who you know and trust that has your spiritual walk in mind. The most important thing to me about my husband is that he is a godly man and leader. I”m sure your fiance is a great man and will be a fine husband, but I think it’s good to really think about if he is the one that the Lord has chosen for you. If he isn’t, then I’m sure there will be one just around the corner that’s better for you. =] totally your call, and I don’t want you to think I’m throwing a bible at you. I’m TRYING to have your best interest at heart(even though I don’t really know you lol).
Post # 12
I believe only you can tell if it’s ‘cold feet’ or genuine doubt for your relationships future. I met my Fiance when we were 21, moved in at 22 (8 months in) and we got engaged at 26. I was so excited it was everything I wanted, but then wedding planning started, and I just felt tense and anxious all the time, and was fighting with Fiance for silly reasons, and I actually said to him ‘I can’t do this’ and went to my parents for the night where i did a lot of thinking about my doubts. I then realised it was not my Fiance I was having doubts about, it was the actual wedding day (people looking at me, how much it costs etc). I then appologized to Fiance explained what I was feeling, and now he is helping out a lot more with planning and we cut some costs to make me less anxious.
Sit down and think about where the anxieties are coming from and that should help you decide if it’s your relationship you doubt, or the wedding, or the different religious beliefs that is making you feel this way
Post # 13
I, too, believe that only you have the answer – inside yourself! – as to what is right or not. I am a DOUBTER. Like, questioning everything. I can barely buy a lip balm without angst. I am completely right there with you about having relationship doubt sometimes. My guy is wonderful and amazing and HUMAN, and he bugs me sometimes! I know I bug him too. But for me, I know that the doubt is coming from in me, not because of something really wrong, because it’s the same thing I always go through with a decision. I’m not questioning him because of him – I’m questioning him because I question. I think it’s my psyche’s way of trying to help me make good decisions – I imagine the same is true for you. Like PPs have said, there is no rush, no pressure. If this is right, it will keep being right. It will stay, calm and steady, even as the rest of the world tumults by.
As for religion – I am spiritual and my Boyfriend or Best Friend is an atheist. I understand how for some couples it could be a major issue and do respect that! Shared values are perhaps the single most important compatibility factor. For me, I have faith in the goodness of his heart and I trust that God is well aware of the rational mind and beautiful soul he was created with. He acts in a “godly” way every day and to me actions speak louder than words. I trust that he is very loved by God and that if he has not already, he will connect with God in his own time and in his own way. And if he never does – I still trust that he is loved and will be taken care of. I believe that God is love, and that the Bible was written by inspired and but personally-, culturally-, and socially-impacted, fallible human hands. Excluding anyone from love doesn’t make sense to me. I have no claims on being right but that is my personal take on it. 🙂
Good luck, OP. Take your time and trust your heart. Move forward when you feel warm and safe and steady, and not a moment sooner.