I think I might have to cancel my wedding…

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
90 posts
Worker bee

Please looking into emotionally focussed couples therapy, ASAP, to address this question of if you should cancel the wedding. This is the single most effective thing you can do.

it seems to me this is all something that can be saved. The question is do you BOTH want to save it?

the biggest issue I see is 1) he’s not sharing his feelings with you 2) he might want to move abroad right now but you would rather wait.

is there anything else I am missing?

(1) is the one that’s clearly a big problem but it’s fixable if you both want to fix it.

Post # 3
1561 posts
Bumble bee

THERAPY. You two need couples therapy ASAP. You trying to work it out on your own isn’t working. He can’t work it out on his own bc all he seems to be able to come up with are a series of excuses about how being with you MIGHT limit his life experience somehow and make him unable to accomplish things on his bucket list. The Office Space episode where Michael Scott dumps Pam’s mom because he MIGHT want to pick up and go snowboarding some time and Pam’s mom wouldn’t, is the perfect example of how stupid your fiancés doubts are. He is considering throwing away a marriage because he wants the option of being able to pick up his life and live abroad someday. Seriously??!! I know there are other examples you didn’t list but it sounds like all of his excuses are around the idea of how being with you is going to make him miss out somehow on his life goals. He is 31 an adult. He has had plenty of time to go do things on his bucket list. He can’t blame him not doing them or not getting to do them on someone else. That’s laughable. Seriously think about his follow through up until this point. Has he checked off a decent amount of bucket list items already in his life? Does he ever say, pick up and go on a weekend trip to another country? Or does he just talk about how he would like to do that. I’m guessing he talks a big game, but never does those things. So basically his, I can’t be with you because you will limit me, is bullshit. 

You should go to therapy to have a professional walk him through these excuses he has, and to walk you through how this isn’t your fault and you shouldn’t be second guessing yourself because of his actions. Set up counseling ASAP and go. 

Post # 4
2794 posts
Sugar bee

My fear would be that these are excuses he’s making to back out. As PP have said, they’re not good reasons. But they’re the kind of things that some people cling to as reasons when the real issue is that he’s not sure about your relationship and feels like something intangible is missing. He can’t articulate it, so he’s grasping at straws to find silly reasons why you’re incompatible. I hope that’s not the case, but that would be my fear. 

Another equally worrying possibility is that he’s afraid of commitment in general – marriage seems final to him and he fears that his life will be set in stone after that. He’s worried he won’t have the option to do things just for himself like pick up and move when he wants to anymore. He wants the option to stay selfish, that is make decisions for himself alone. I think this is a really common reason for cold feet. He sees marriage as the closing of doors and narrowing of possibilities rather than as a joint adventure. 

As PP has said, if the reasons he gave are the real cause of worry, then they’re probably surmountable. But the big caveat is that you both have to want to move forward and commit to each other. Again, I’d be concerned that they’re really just outs, and stem from him feeling uncertain about your relationship or lifelong commitment in general. I agree that therapy is a good place to start. 

Post # 5
688 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: London, UK

I know it’s just one example and a smallish part of your post, but I don’t think him wanting to do a stint abroad is a huge deal. You’ve said you’d be open to it if the timing was right, and it’s something he wants to do at some point. That seems pretty compatible to me? Unless he would up sticks and go abroad without you tomorrow, regardless of whether the timing suited you, in which case that is a problem. Sadly the truth of life is that you can’t just do every single thing you want to do the second you want to do it. Compromise and circumstance is important, and if he doesn’t want to compromise and consider circumstances then yes, that’s an issue.

It’s also obviously an issue if he is using things like travel goals as a cover up for bigger issues and doubts he has.

My fiance and I aren’t completely aligned in what we want to do/see in life. I would love to live abroad for a bit, or do some extended travelling. He could take or leave that but would be open minded based on the circumstances. I don’t think it’s about being on exactly the same page 100% of the time, but rather ensuring that each other gets to achieve the things most important to them, and encouraging them to do so. I don’t think every couple HAS to want the exact same thing out of life all the time.

I think therapy would be helpful because it sounds like he needs to learn how to be open and share his feelings, because them coming to a head just before your wedding isn’t ideal. If it’s true that you both want to be together and work through this then it would be very beneficial to learn to keep the lines of communication open all the time. 

I think it’s a normal and human reaction to a) freak out when people around you have failing relationships and b) feel overwhelmed when a big life event such as a wedding is round the corner.

Post # 6
1561 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
browneyedgirl24 :  I totally agree with your comment about the he is looking for excuses and grasping at whatever he can because he can’t articulate the gut feeling he has about this relationship not being the one he wants.

The big concern here is, He is trying to rule you out rather than rule you in. 

Post # 7
273 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

I agree that counseling is the way to go. You can’t answer this all by yourselves. However, I don’t think it is uncommon for one individual in a relationship to not focus on oneself. You want so badly for the relationship to be good, that you forget that it takes two, not one mingled product. None of this to me says that he doesn’t want you. He just wants to make sure he isn’t losing himself in the process. But therapy, now. Therapy, 3 months ago. You aren’t going to have a breakthrough with the pressure of the wedding looming. 

Post # 8
3007 posts
Sugar bee

 I’m not a medical professional and I don’t have a lot of experince with anxiety, so maybe I’m way off here. 

With that being said, your Fiance is basically telling you he doesn’t want to get married because he wants to live his life. That is terrifying. There’s no concrete reason he gave you. If anything, it sounds like it’s a mix of anxiety about marriage, fear of committment and wanting to go off and do things. You guys have been together for ten years. He should know if he wants to shit or get off the pot by now. 

But to echo PP I really think you need to see a couples couselor. There is hope and you could move forward. But I don’t think it’s a good idea to try to fix it alone. 

Post # 9
421 posts
Helper bee

Although we can diagnose anxiety… and depression… it isn’t always medical (chemical imbalance etc).

I could honestly say I spent my whole life blaming my digestive system issues on IBS… only to find it was my gut instinct… literally. The anxiety from being with and around the wrong people literally made me sick and upset non stop. Small imblances in your life… and not in your head… can make you ill.

Now that I am in better circumstances, with the right man and away from the wrong people… I am not constantly anxious, depressed, and upset.

Guess my point is… I don’t personally think (from MY life experiences) you should proceed with getting married. And if you choose too, I recommend extensive couples therapy right now… don’t delay. You might find out it really is medically caused anxiety… or his gut telling him he is making the wrong choice… and its making him sick! Not because you are a bad person… just not THE ONE for him. :/

Post # 11
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: London

So, please take anything i say with a pinch of salt because i think i only have a very basic level of understanding of the post and i don’t want to see like im coming at it from the wrong angle, and my thoughts are further to the advice of couples therapy which i think is always helpful. 

When i got engaged i had similar sorts of fears, and still do. How do we know if we will be someone who our partner wants to be with in 10 more years? What if a point comes where you don’t agree, and you want different things? I think these thoughts are normal, its a huge undertaking to basically say you will stay with this one person no matter what, regardless of whether you see eye to eye, or want to take different paths. 

I don’t know that there is one solid answer, but the best bit of advice i got was from my aunt, and she told me that there is never going to be a marriage where its always completely plain sailing. What you are agreeing to when entering a marriage is that you will always do your absolute best to keep this other person in your thoughts and decisions, and it takes work and compromise but that at the end of the day you would always rather do that than do anything else separatley. 

I think if you love each other, and you can both confidently say you will honor each other and your promise to support and care for each other, then the rest is things that you will have to deal with on a case by case basis, because you have no idea how you will both grow as individuals and as a couple over the coming years. 

I *personally* don’t think its something to cancel the wedding over, but i do understand the fact he felt like he couldn’t talk about it is worrying. As someone who has anxiety myself i can understand, i worry about talking about these things, not because i fear the repercussions from the person im telling, but i fear i wont necessarily put it out there in the right way and it might lead to them being hurt which is obviously not the intention. 

Communication is key, whatever you decide to go with. Sending you love and strength <3 

Post # 12
2153 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I would book a few sessions with a pre-marital counselor in the weeks leading up to your wedding. It could be that they will be able to explain things to your fiancé in a way that will make him feel reassured. 

I don’t think we have enough information to know whether he’s scared of commitment and backing out, or just anxious when considering the unknown. He seems to see you in his life, but he’s obsessing over the small details. To me, this does indicate anxiety. I have generalized anxiety disorder, and when things in my life feel out of my control, not only do I get anxious, but I start obsessing over and micromanaging the things I *can* control. If I didn’t have medication to take when I feel myself getting anxious, I’d be much like your fiancé: Bottling everything up so I can obsess over it and feel like “I’m taking control of my life back.”  Of course, my feelings are not entirely based on reality. It’s just anxiety-fueled. 

If you make headway in counseling, fantastic. It could be something as simple as having a third party confirm that his anxiety is normal, but he’s dramatizing things out of proportion. If counseling doesn’t seem to alleviate any of his issues, then I would postpone the wedding and see if individual therapy can help him. 

Post # 13
1194 posts
Bumble bee

So I’m not seeing what the real issues are with your relationship other than the fact that HE effectively doesn’t know what he wants in life. He could be doing this and he could be doing that. A marriage is not meant to hold you back, if you’re on the same page with the big stuff. You’re open to living abroad, given some preparation time. You’re happy to have kids, or not, whichever he wants really. So… what’s his problem?? So far I haven’t seen anything that you’re disagreeing on that could or should cause the wedding to be cancelled.

I agree with others re anxiety and seeing a therapist.

Post # 14
488 posts
Helper bee

I agree with couples counseling, but I’d be very cautious about salvaging my relationship because after ten years together, it’s alarming for him to be having doubts like this. 

Post # 15
5133 posts
Bee Keeper

I guess you can do counseling but if after 10 years he’s still not sure and coming up with inane reasons why, I don’t hold out any hope. If you cancel the wedding, cancel the relationship too because it’s unlikely to progress although he’ll stick around for as long as it benefits him. 

I’m sorry. You should be with someone who is excited to get married, not someone who has to be counseled into it after 10 years.

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