Beat The Engagement Blues!

Love, Self

Most fiancées experience "unbride-like" emotions, says an expert. Here's why.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I was an "Insert Groom" bride-to-be. You know the type: the woman who fantasizes about her wedding in such detail that when she finally meets Mr. Right, and he proposes, planning the event is a snap.

In just two weeks, I'd booked all the big-ticket items. All I had to do for the rest of our engagement, I figured, was register for gifts, be feted by friends, and, of course, revel in my luck. I'd kissed a lot of frogs, so I knew how right my fiancé was for me.

When I started to feel sad, anxious, and irritable, I was confused, to say the least. At times I became a complete Bridezilla—a bitchy, self-absorbed, entitled, wedding-obsessed, perfectionistic, stressed-out nightmare of a person.

I felt a deep pit of sadness in my stomach about leaving my single life. I felt paralyzed by fear of the future. I felt isolated and alone, unsupported by my family and friends, none of whom seemed to understand what I was feeling.

Worst of all, the emotional roller-coaster scared me. "Oh my God," I thought. "If I'm feeling this upset, does it mean I should call off the wedding?"

The rare times I admitted to my conflicting emotions, I generally heard one pat response: "It's a rite of passage," family and friends would say. "Of course you're having a hard time." But what was a rite of passage, and how could I go through mine more gracefully? Engaged & Confused: Overcoming My Fear Of Marriage

I'd just completed my master's degree in counseling psychology, so I took myself on as a client, so to speak, to explore and understand what the hell was going on with me.

All that self-analysis paid off: Six weeks before our wedding, the clouds lifted, and I felt genuinely happy and ready to get married.

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