Is Having Anxiety about Marriage Normal?
Today's blog post is very much a free write so I'm sorry in advance if some of my thoughts don't make sense. When I sat down to write a wedding-related post for today, I had an entirely different vision of what this post would look like (ie: wedding gift guide for everyone). But when I found that I was struggling SO HARD to write anything at all, I knew that I was being called to share something different.
When was the last time you saw someone talk candidly on anxiety about getting married? If you're shaking your head and saying, "never" then we're in the same boat. I had to actually do a Google search for "having anxiety about getting married" (where I actually found this really great post from Stephanie May Wilson) before I had heard anyone talk about their anxieties about getting married.
Now, let me just say that my anxiety about marriage 100% has nothing to do with Justin. He is seriously the most amazing person I've ever met and I know without a doubt that he's "the one". But I've deemed this space a place for honest conversation and that's what we're having today, starting with some serious soul pouring from yours truly.
My anxiety about marriage started way before I had even met Justin. I can't pinpoint the exact time it started but somewhere between an emotionally abusive relationship and my parents getting divorced is probably a good place to start. Before Justin came into the picture, I was caught in a seemingly never-ending cycle of bad relationships. I would start seeing someone and then either freak out that I was missing something else or that I was going to get stuck in a bad relationship again. I wrote a little bit about my dating struggles in this post called, The Best Piece of Dating Advice for your Twenties if you're interested in that. When Justin and I met, I didn't want to date anyone, let alone ever get married.
Sure, I was afraid of getting hurt again but more than that I was afraid of trying and failing.
There, I said it. I'm afraid of failing. The fear of failure doesn't just have to do with marriage for me but we'd be here all day if I started talking about all the ways I held back from doing something because of that fear. In my heart of hearts, I know that marrying Justin is absolutely the right decision. I have prayed and prayed for God to place on my heart whether it was right or not before we even talked about marriage. But the fact that we're here just makes me even more anxious that we will fail.
But if we stopped ourselves from doing the things we loved or the things our hearts desired most because we were afraid of failing then what would that look like for our life? You may not know this but when I was in middle and high school, my anxiety was undiagnosed and it was crippling. It took me three years of high school to try out for the school choir, simply because I was afraid of failing. How ridiculous is that?
Rather than having that fear hold me back, I should have used it to propel me NOT to fail. So this is me, promising that I am going to put 110% into making sure this marriage doesn't fail. It may still be out of my control at the end of the day but you know what? I'm okay with that.
I so wish I had some actionable advice to give you for working through this but it is something that I am still working on myself. I don't know what the future holds. It might be forever or it might not. But all I can say at this moment is that I just have to trust God and the feelings he's placed in my heart. I wish that anxiety about marriage was something that people talked about more and I may dedicate more time to writing about it in the future because I know these issues started long before my engagement.
The bottom line is that I am so happy and so excited to start this next chapter of my life. Despite all of the fear of unknowns and the anxiety surrounding it all, I'm overjoyed that I get to write this chapter in my life.