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Relationship anxiety


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Old 23rd December 2016, 4:28 PM   #1
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Relationship anxiety

I'm 28 and have been with my boyfriend for two years (not including four months where we broke up due to my relationship anxiety). Everyone is getting engaged and so I'm starting to think about whether that's something I want. He wants to get married in the next few years, but I am undecided. Sometimes I'm like yes, of course, he's the kindest, most thoughtful guy ever and possesses all the qualities of a great husband. But sometimes I miss being single; I get frustrated that he doesn't have the wits to participate in intelligent debate (not that I'm a genius), and I feel stifled because we both work from home in a small apartment.

I have a lot of anxiety in general - it seems like at any given week, it falls on my friends, my job, or him. And it's usually unwarranted, so I feel like I can't trust my feelings at all. And when it passes, which it always does, I could kick myself for having doubts about the relationship. I know nobody is perfect, including me...

I see all these engaged couples looking SO happy, and I can't imagine feeling so enthusiastically certain about such a major commitment. So...I know it's taboo to confess relationship doubts and people say that automatically means you're in the wrong relationship...but I'm wondering, HONESTLY, are engaged or pre-engaged people really always 100% certain, or are you never really ready until you're married? And is that feeling of certainty even a good predictor for a happy marriage?
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Old 24th December 2016, 2:13 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedkla View Post
but I'm wondering, HONESTLY, are engaged or pre-engaged people really always 100% certain, or are you never really ready until you're married?
I'd have less respect for you if you weren't asking these questions.

No one person can meet all your needs, the modern "soulmate" concept included. So it becomes a question of "is my life better committed to my spouse"? Hopefully, you can answer an emphatic and heartfelt "yes" and find peace in that decision.

I'm not 100% certain about anything. But I did - and do - feel very strongly my wife was the right person for me. And 30 years later, turns out to be the best choice I ever made.

Doubts, fears and anxiety? Pretty common and probably healthy when it comes to a lifetime decision. But when you choose, be all in and fully there. I'll bet happiness awaits ...

Mr. Lucky
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Old 26th December 2016, 12:24 PM   #3
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This is such a good post and written in such an honest, intelligent way. Thank you, OP.

Some level of uncertainty is normal. If you're even remotely mature and occasionally participate in reality, you know that many relationships don't work out. Love doesn't conquer all. So of course we all look over at our partners from time to time and wonder if today's spat will sow the seeds of a festering resentment ten years later. Who knows? At the end of the day there's no way to tell. You have to have faith, just as you have to have faith that you can go to work in the morning without getting hit by a car.

Quote:
But sometimes I miss being single
What about it do you miss? Do you occasionally miss being able to wake up whenever, sit with a book and read all night if you want, use the bathroom with the door open, whatever? Those are normal things to miss. If you feel a desire to spend time with more people or change your social circumstances, that could be more worrisome.

Quote:
I get frustrated that he doesn't have the wits to participate in intelligent debate (not that I'm a genius)
This is huge. Don't lie to yourself; this is a dealbreaker if you're intellectually curious. I used to date a guy who was very book smart (he was a successful attorney) but he had absolutely no mental acuity to explore new ideas. He had the critical thinking skills of a toadstool. It just didn't work. Part of the reason I fell so hard for my fiance is because we can and do have stimulating discussions all the time. I learn so much from him and vice-versa.

At the end of the day your husband will always be at your side. Do you want to spend the rest of your life with someone you don't find engaging?

Quote:
and I feel stifled because we both work from home in a small apartment.
This is the least problematic to me. Anyone would be stifled in this situation. If you live in a city you can get a membership to a coworking space that will allow you to work from multiple locations around town. My fiance does it and although it's a bit expensive it's more than worth it for his mental health. He gets out of the house, can chat with various people around town, go out to lunch, etc.

Quote:
HONESTLY, are engaged or pre-engaged people really always 100% certain, or are you never really ready until you're married?
I for one am absolutely 100% certain I want to spend the rest of my life with this stunningly handsome, tremendously brilliant and utterly ridiculous being human. I am a rational person but he turns me into a sap. I look around at other women (and men!) and feel sorry that they aren't with him. I look at elderly couples and feel excited at the thought of being old and wrinkled with him some day.

Quote:
And is that feeling of certainty even a good predictor for a happy marriage?
This is such a good question! The answer is not at all. If you really want to scare yourself, spend some time watching true crime shows like Dateline and "Who The $*#@ Did I Marry?". People are capable of elaborate deceptions. You can never really know someone, no matter how long you spend with them. It goes back to just having faith.
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Old 26th December 2016, 2:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedkla View Post
I'm 28 and have been with my boyfriend for two years (not including four months where we broke up due to my relationship anxiety). Everyone is getting engaged and so I'm starting to think about whether that's something I want. He wants to get married in the next few years, but I am undecided. Sometimes I'm like yes, of course, he's the kindest, most thoughtful guy ever and possesses all the qualities of a great husband. But sometimes I miss being single; I get frustrated that he doesn't have the wits to participate in intelligent debate (not that I'm a genius), and I feel stifled because we both work from home in a small apartment.

I have a lot of anxiety in general - it seems like at any given week, it falls on my friends, my job, or him. And it's usually unwarranted, so I feel like I can't trust my feelings at all. And when it passes, which it always does, I could kick myself for having doubts about the relationship. I know nobody is perfect, including me...

I see all these engaged couples looking SO happy, and I can't imagine feeling so enthusiastically certain about such a major commitment. So...I know it's taboo to confess relationship doubts and people say that automatically means you're in the wrong relationship...but I'm wondering, HONESTLY, are engaged or pre-engaged people really always 100% certain, or are you never really ready until you're married? And is that feeling of certainty even a good predictor for a happy marriage?
It's quite common and natural to have anxiety in your situation. I'm not sure how good your sex life is, but I did read somewhere that frequent sex will help allay such anxiety because it changes the balance of chemicals, readjusts the neurotransmitters inside your brain.
There are many strategies for managing anxiety, but ultimately you're going to have to decide if you want to take the plunge and get married. Kind of seems like you already are. Hey, maybe just have a small private wedding.
Marriage is a big unknown, but you seem to be experiencing living together just fine. Don't go. . . grow!

Last edited by Aesc; 26th December 2016 at 2:28 PM..
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Old 27th December 2016, 1:32 AM   #5
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You need to handle the situation very carefully.
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