Photo courtesy of Rachel Yearick.
Many women desire to be engaged. It is a coveted life stage that leads to one of the biggest and best moments of a woman’s life. Yet, why, for many women, does engagement cause anxiety and even sadness?
Literally, you are living your dream and yet you find yourself second guessing and losing your smile as loved ones keep congratulating you.
Should I be feeling this way? You wonder. If I am anxious, maybe he isn’t the right one. Wouldn’t I feel elated all the time if this was the man of my dreams?
Dearest bride-to-be, unfortunately we do not live in an ideal world. Yes, engagement should be one of the happiest periods of a woman’s life, but there are so many factors that can contribute to anxiety and sadness during this time that do not signal the wrong fiancé.
Perhaps you come from a troubled family background, and marriage was anything but happy. Your parents fought all the time, divorced, or grudgingly tolerated one another’s presence. Maybe the unknown terrifies you. Will your marriage end? Will your fiancé end up being a monster to live with? Will you wake up one day and not love him anymore? Will he abandon you for someone else?
Will marriage entrap you? Will you become less of yourself when you become a wife? If you choose to have children, will you become fat and unattractive to your spouse? Will you fall in love with someone else, and be stuck with one person?
Or, perhaps you struggle with thoughts of worthlessness. Why should I get married to this wonderful man if I am just going to make him unhappy? What if I become a burden? I have so many struggles…what if he gets tired of me? What if I fail at loving him well?
Just because you struggle with anxieties after your engagement, does not mean that something is wrong or abnormal about you. Many women struggle with fears and doubts after getting engaged. You are not alone!
Fears continue to mount when they are left unaddressed, or condemned to fidget silently in your brain. Though it may seem hurtful to tell your future spouse, share your heart with him. Tell him the fears you are having and ask his thoughts. A man who truly loves you will not feel threatened by your fears, but will encourage you as you seek to understand them and lay them to rest.
If your fears seem overwhelming or unsolvable, take the time to see a therapist to share your anxieties and dig into the “why” behind the fears. Life is not perfect; we are not perfect. We come to every relationship and life change with insecurities, fears, and questions. Don’t shove them under the rug out of guilt or shame. Be honest with yourself and those you love, and choose to confront fears to experience true freedom.
Fears do not always point to something wrong with the relationship, or your fiancé choice. They may actually be pointing to areas of your life in which you can grow, resulting in the freedom to experience the excitement you long to have.