Post # 1
I am a 32 year old male (hope people will still advise!)
I am due to get married in two months to my Girlfriend of 5 years but i am experiancing panic attacks, anxiety and feeling sick. This is leading me to put off paying for things / booking things as i start to panic (such as ordering the suit and i think do i want to do this?). I also have a little voice in my head that says you cant get married.
However when i analyse my feelings I cant see why i am feeling like this. There are NO red flags in this relationship! The only thing i am thinking about is the fact that i will never be able to date again!!! I am mourning the end of my single life i think. But why is my gut saying calll it off when i cant think of a reason why?? Should i trust my gut or my head?
I mentioned these feelings to my gf before xmas and we had a two week break in which we cancelled and then re-booked the venue as i hated being apart!
I just wish i could take a pill and feel happy – just not sure if these feelings are red flags or that they are pre wedding nerves.
I am also such an indecisive person normally and analyse even the smallest of purchase before going ahead – not sure if this is my brain working overload computing everything as it is a huge decision. I have however never suffered from anxiety and panic attacks.
Help! I am in two minds whether to call if off or continue – i just have no grounds to call it off. I am in love with her and cant fault anything – maybe she is too perfect 🙁
PS i am not afraid of the cermony – its more the issue of being married – my therapist thinks i have unrealistic expectations of marriage?!
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
Is your therapist treating you to get your anxiety under control? The thing to realize about anxiety is that there is rational anxiety and there is irrational anxiety. If you are at the point where you are having panic attacks, it is likely that you are experiencing a lot of irrational/systemic anxiety on top of whatever legitimate concerns you may have. That is to say, if something situational triggered you, and you’re hung up on it, and your brain is working overdrive, you will start to feel overstimulated, overloaded, and anxious about EVERYTHING.
You and your therapist need to work to find the issue at the root of your anxiety, whatever that is, and your therapist should help you find a way to control your anxiety in the meanwhile– whether that is SSRI treatment, CBT, or even just taking a Xanax to stop a crippling panic attack, I suspect it will at least help you think and cope rationally.
For me, anxiety is cumulative. If I start to feel anxious about something (either in general, or a specific thing) and I can’t get it under control, it will soon start to snowball until everything from decision-making to loud noises causes me to flip my shit. I can’t sleep due to repetitive thoughts and lack of sleep just makes me further irritable. If this is the case with you, taking some kind of medication, or meditating, or maybe going away for a weekend and not talking about the wedding might help you at least hit a “reset” button or identify what is at the root of your issues.
In any case, I hope that helps! I really can’t advise as to whether or not you should get married. Certainly, it is a stressful time, and I think many of us have experienced wedding-related anxieties, from superficial reasons (time management, choices, coordination, etc) to major life reasons (family, finances, ec). It’s only natural to be stressed. It isn’t healthy, however, to let it get to the point of panic attacks. Get those under control and re-assess when you can think clearly. 🙂
Post # 4
I’ll be honest…I loved dating. Ever since we got engaged (almost a year ago) I have been mourning the loss of my ‘dating life’. I keep thinking, this will be the last person I go on a date with, kiss, share things with. All of our ‘firsts’ are over! Mourning the single life is part of the wedding process, trust me. It’s totally normal. And you know what? Your fiancee has experienced some of these feelings, as well.
Talking to a therapist is great, and I hope you are being totally honest and open as to what your fears are towards getting married. I can see how being a naturally indecisive person can make this a very stressful event…my Fiance is someone that takes forever to make big decisions/purchases, and the first few months of our engagement was rough on him, since all he could see was big dollar signs and too many choices.
You will make the right decision for you. I think that the way you are feeling is totally normal, whether you are a guy or girl.
Post # 5
My SO is kinda similar to you, in all honesty. In fact, he has seperated from me twice in our courtship due to anxiety…but more so, due to running with the ONE idea that I very well could be the ‘one’ vs. the loss of a different lifestyle. And to be honest, it has been the best thing for us as a couple, bc he has realized that the grass is not always greener on the other side 🙂 These moments were always triggered, however, by another stressful event in his life, usually work-related.
Fear is fear. Stress is stress. A healthy, progressing relationship can be VERY scary, and yet, very rewarding. I am not planning a wedding, but I can imagine how stressful that becomes. That stress triggers emotions – such as anxiety, and I can bet that a lot of people take that emotion out on the relationship. I.e. they become anxious about the relationship. Wonder if the relationship is the cause, or even if it is TRULY something they want at that moment.
I think it is awesome you are seeking therapy. That is a HUGE step. That is a step my SO took as well, and it has been very helpful.
The question that I think you need to ask yourself is this: Would my life be BETTER with or without her in it?! I would assume, based upon your post, it is BETTER with her in it.
From there, compartmentalizing could be a good strategy for you to use. Seperate ALL of it, and think about each of it individually. What about the wedding is stressing you out? Then deal with it. What about the marriage is stressing you out? What about the relationship is stressing you out? If you can analyze each on its own, I think you will come to terms with what exactly is causing panic, and I am going to guess it is something then you BOTH can work out TOGETHER.
Sorry this is long…but I wish you well!!
Post # 6
I was actually kind of similar to you, to be honest. I was very confident, rationally, in my decision to get married. But the thought of a lifelong commitment overwhelmed me and made me panicky. Eventually I came to terms with the fact that I was a little depressed and that I had deep-rooted fears about marriage (my parents had a very dysfunctional relationship). I had to talk through these fears, though, in order to move forward. Is your therapist talking through your anxiety with you? Encouraging you to explore your fears more fully? Just telling you “you have unrealistic expectations about marriage” is not terribly helpful. Is he/she treating your concerns with seriousness and respect? If not, I would recommend finding a new therapist.
Post # 7
i am now not sleeping well at all. Wake up with nightmares about getting married. I seem to be slightly depressed / lazy as i just dont feel like doing anything. We need to pay the balance off the venue soon and its weighing up on my mind constantly.
My therpist has been trying to find out what is triggering the anxiety and panic and i do feel a lot calmer when i have left, however as soon as my fiancee starts talking wedding things it comes back again. I keep making excuses why i cant meet up at flower shops / ring shops etc. I feel like i want to get married but my gut / body isnt happy and won’t let me
People keep asking about the wedding and that is the trigger – i just dont want to know even though it is rapidly approaching.
I am thinking of seeing a dr but not sure if that will help 🙁
Post # 8
@engagedscared: IMO, it is kinda sounding financial based, in that, all the things you are panicked about doing, or things coming up that you are mentioning, require spending a lot of money.
Again, maybe it IS the idea of marriage, but that is scary for a lot of people. It honestly does not sound like it has much to do with your Fiance though, in that, you still have strong feelings for her/love her, etc.
Are you communicating these fears with her?! Also, you said your Therapist has been helping, which is great, but is he/she a psychiatrist (someone who could write a RX for anxiety, and/or depression if that is the case)??
Post # 9
- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
See a doctor or a therapist with prescriptive authority and get on some medication. Be forewarned that SSRIs can take 4-6 weeks to kick in, but will probably help A LOT. And you don’t need to be on them forever, just long enough that you can move through this and cope. Losing sleep will only cause your symptoms to get worse. If you are having panic attacks, ask your therapist about CBT and learning patterns to help break the cycle. Or, for god’s sake, get some benzos so that you can function like a normal human being.
There is an unfortunate stigma against taking medication, especially as a man, but TRUST ME, taking medication does not mean that you are weak, or broken… it means you are strong enough to try to get well so that you can be there for your partner and for YOURSELF in the way that is deserved. 🙂