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The wedding is next week and the groom isn’t acting like himself.

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My fiance is in the army. He is deploying to Iraq his second time around in mid to end of April. We are to be married next weekend. His emotions have always been very up and down and I know that stems from his past and his occupation. Some days he can be in the best of moods and others he can lash out over something small and turn right around and appologize. For example, Monday he came to my house (where he usually lives on the weekends when he’s not working on base) and surprised me with a bouquet of roses and made me feel great.

Then Tuesday I went out to his friends apartment off base where he stays most during the week and helped him with a few things and he lashed out at me over something small and then felt bad and appologized.

Wednesday he didn’t call me until about 10 pm and we talked and he said he was playing his game (an online army game he plays continuously) and said he’d call me before bed. He texted me about an hour later and said “love you sweet dreams”. Then yesterday he didn’t answer my texts really and didn’t call me until about 10 and he had been drinking I could tell. (When he drinks he is a whole other person then he snaps out of it eventually or the next morning). He couldn’t find his keys and said he’d call me back when he found them. He called me back and he wouldn’t say much on the phone. (this is usually how it goes). I was trying to talk to him and not annoy him as I knew he’d been drinking and didn’t want to start anything. I remember I think I asked a simple question and he kind of yelled as if he was about to say “why the f***” then he just stopped himself and said “I’m sorry…it’s not you it’s me”

So I got quiet and then I said “well I wish there was something I could say that would make you feel better but I know there’s not”. So he started to act a little better and was asking me questions about work, etc. and then he said he was going to bed. He said “I love you and sweet dreams” and I said “you too” and then he said “I love you again and everything”. I talked to his best friend on the phone after that and she knows this is how he can be.

I know that there is SO much running through his mind right now and I feel like he feels this is too much. Thing is he won’t talk to anyone about it and so I can’t really make him feel any better and remind him that its a simple wedding and no reason to feel stressed out. I’ve dealt with this behavior thoughout our relationship and the hardest thing is that I know that he knows when he’s acting up and I know inside he doesn’t want to do it. I know that he’s going through something right now that I can’t possibly understand but at the same time all I want to do is tell him that this behavior towards me isn’t fair and it’s really starting to take a toll on me. I feel like I’m in a lose-lose situation. And here our wedding is in a week and I’m TERRIFIED he’s going to call it off.

I wish there was some magical words I could say to him to let him know that I know he’s scared and stressed and everything but that it’s going to be okay. I wish he could see that I’m not his enemy and I’m here for HIM. To support HIM and HELP him through all of this.

I’m scared too of his deployment. In my mind I’m thinking “okay this is either just going to settle down like usual or this is really it” and it’s torturing me. I just need some advice on what to do and how to handle this because I love him and I am going to stick by him through all of it because he deserves it and he needs it. All I want to do is help and I want everything to be the way it is when he has good days. Please any advice would help. Any POSITIVE advice would be the best. Right now I feel so low and bad about everything. Thank you.

The wedding is next week and the groom isn’t acting like himself.

Answered by on -


It’s hard for me to sort this out with only your letter to go on but let me see what I can do: It seems obvious that your boyfriend is stressed about his deployment. For him, Iraq isn’t an abstraction. He’s been there. He knows how bad it can be. It only makes sense that he is perhaps having trouble handling the idea that he’s going again.

Then again, he may be stressed about the idea of being married in these circumstances. He keeps reassuring you. He seems to love you. But he may be having second thoughts about whether now is the time to marry. Maybe he can’t bring himself to hurt you by telling you of his doubts. Then again, it does seem from your letter that you are calling him an awful lot. In your worries, you may be crowding him. If that weren’t enough, you say he isn’t the same guy when he’s drinking. That one really worries me. Finally, you say that your relationship has always had these ups and downs.

It looks to me like there may be many good reasons to slow everything down and maybe put off the wedding for now. I know that may seem very hard. But he seems ambivalent and you seem to be in a panic. That is not the ideal way to go into a marriage, even with (maybe especially with) a deployment only a month away. I wonder if there is a base chaplain or family counselor the two of you could see this week. I think you two would benefit from having a professional helper help you sort out your feelings and your situation. If a marriage is to work out over the long run, you both need to go into your wedding feeling strong in your relationship and clear that it is the right thing for you to do at this time. I could of course be totally wrong, but it doesn’t look to me like you’re there yet.

I wish you both well.
Dr. Marie

The wedding is next week and the groom isn’t acting like himself.

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). The wedding is next week and the groom isn’t acting like himself.. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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