Conquering the fear of getting married

Conquering the fear of getting married

Conquering the fear of getting married - Image
May 20, 2024

So, the question has been popped. Like I always dreamed. They got down on one knee. The ring sparkled like a new star. And now, two days later I’m deep in an unrelenting panic. My chest is heavy and filled with anxiety. Not the reaction I expected, but for many of us, the prospect of marriage isn’t just butterflies – it’s a full-blown trip into the jungle of fear. 

Here’s the thing, ladies, you’re not alone. Fear of marriage, also known as gamophobia, is a real struggle. And it can be particularly common for women. Before you accept a future of solitude, Netflix, and cats (hey, no judgment!), let’s unpack this fear and explore ways to overcome it.

Where Does the Fear of Marriage Come From?

The roots of our anxieties are as diverse as we are. Maybe you witnessed a rocky relationship between your parents or in your own family. Perhaps you’ve experienced a previous heartbreak yourself. Perhaps you feel the pressure to “have it all” – the perfect career, the white picket fence – and it makes you question if Marriage fits into your plans for life. There might be a fear of losing independence or the unknown that comes with forever. Identifying your specific fear is a crucial step. Each of us have different ones, but like they say, in order to solve a problem, we first have to define it.

Be Aware that There Is a “Fear Scale.”

Fear manifests itself in various ways, as mentioned, from butterflies to full-blown panic. Some women experience mild apprehension, a nagging voice questioning if they’re truly ready. Others grapple with bouts of anxiety or cold feet the closer they get to the wedding date. No matter the intensity or where you fall on the scale of 1 to 10, your fear is valid. Do not dismiss it and never compare it to the experiences of others. There is no payoff in trying to determine who hurts more. Exercises like that only focus your attention on the negatives and amplify fear and anxiety. You would not torment a friend with thoughts like these, so do not place them upon yourself. Be a good friend to yourself as well.

Taking Control Helps Us Break Free from Fear.

Conquering your fear isn’t about forcing yourself down the aisle. It’s about understanding the fear, communicating openly when you feel the urge to do so, and creating a future that feels secure and fulfilling for you. Here are some practical steps to navigate this journey:

  • Honest Self-Reflection: Grab a journal and explore your anxieties. Is it the commitment itself or a specific aspect of married life that scares you? Identifying the root cause empowers you to address it directly.
  • Talk It Out: Communication is key. Confide in your partner! Sharing your fears allows them to understand where you’re at, your perspectives, and your fear. Loving partners will provide support for one another. And we often discover that we are both going through the same thing. Open communication is vital throughout your relationship, and at this crucial moment you might as well practice it. It is better to discover how your significant other will react than to stuff emotions or to avoid being open and in it together.
  • Reimagine Marriage: Dump societal and family expectations and redefine marriage in your terms. Discuss what marriage means to the both of you, what aspects are important, and how you can create a partnership that fosters individual growth alongside commitment to be together.
  • Seek Professional Help: A therapist for some can be a valuable resource. Therapists will provide tools for managing anxiety, addressing past trauma from a relationship, and help you navigate open communication with your partner.
  • Focus on “We”: Marriage is a team effort. Shift your focus from your individual anxiety and confer in your partner to build a strong “we.” Planning your future together, discussing finances, and envisioning shared goals alleviates fear and replaces it with excitement about what you’re building together.

Remember, It’s Your Journey

Don’t feel pressured to follow a pre-defined timeline or to fit into a Hollywood rom-com version of emotions. Take the time you need to address your fears. You will create a foundation for a happy and fulfilling marriage. Here are some additional thoughts to keep in mind:

  • Marriage Isn’t a Fairy Tale: It’s hard work, compromise, and facing challenges together. A strong foundation built on communication, respect, and shared values can weather any storm.
  • Growth Is Possible: Marriage isn’t the end of your personal journey. It is another step on it. You can still pursue your dreams and goals. You can have a supportive partner who will become your biggest cheerleader.
  • It’s Okay to Say No: If, after introspection and communication, you realize marriage for you at this time (or ever) isn’t right, that’s perfectly valid. A healthy relationship prioritizes honesty and respects each other’s desires.

The Takeaway: Embrace the “Maybe”

Fear can be paralyzing, but it can also be the catalyst for self-discovery. Embrace the fear of “maybe.” Use it to explore your anxieties, to communicate openly, and to create a vision for a future that feels secure and exciting for you both. Ultimately, a healthy, happy marriage is built on a foundation of love, respect, and open communication. By addressing your fears now and building that foundation together, you can transform initial jitters or fears into a confident “yes” that leads to a fulfilling and lasting partnership. Now, go forth and conquer that fear jungle – you’ve got this!

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