Q: I have been engaged to my fiancée for 6 months. We plan to marry in 3 months. We have been a couple on and off for 10 years. Throughout the engagement, I have been attacked by anxious feelings that I do not want to marry him. He is a wonderful man who loves me very much. We have had no problems in the past except that I am not as physically attracted to him sexually as he is to me. In fact, I often see other men I find more attractive and compare them. Lately though, I have been worried that perhaps we are just meant to be friends. I find that I don’t want to even think about planning the wedding. Time is ticking and I don’t know what to do. I have tried to talk to him about my feelings. Of course, my doubts hurt him. He just wants me to to figure myself out before making a commitment. My question is how do I know what is cold feet and what is a sign that things are not right?
A: I wish I had a little information, such as what does on and off for 10 years mean? Have you dated other people during times you weren’t together? It seems you would have started dating when you were about 18 and I wonder if you have stayed with him because it was comfortable and safe, or if the relationship has been satisfying until you began to plan the wedding. It certainly could be cold feet or commitment phobia but it could very well be that he is not the guy for you and it’s taken you a long time to realize this. However, I am a big believer in intuition and gut feelings so if you aren’t sure you want to marry him I think you shouldn’t marry him. Postponing or calling off a wedding is a big deal and I can understand your distress, but finding out you are not happy and getting a divorce soon after getting married is a big deal too. I am getting younger and younger couples in marital therapy these days which is a good sign that people are more open minded and seeking help. But on the other hand, some of them ignored their intuition and married someone they weren’t convinced they were meant to be with forever. Follow your instincts and do what is best for you. No one wants to hurt someone else, but I think letting him down now would be better than later. In the meantime there are two books you may want to check out. One is called Getting to Commitment and the other is Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay. Good luck and stay strong.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Mar 2007
Counts, H. (2007). Should I call off the wedding?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 10, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/03/03/should-i-call-off-the-wedding-2/