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I need some advice, very quickly and very honest.

 

I am about to married in only a few short days and am really concerned about whether I should go through with this. We have been together over 4 years, and engaged over half a year. I have always felt a strong connection with her and we get along absolutely great. We definitely have a comfort level that few other couples do. However, neither of us seems to feel much of a romantic spark. I figure that romantic feelings come and go, but they do not necessarily mean you "love" the other person. You are just infatuated and hormones are raging. Yet we are both afraid that we could be settling.

 

I tried to approach this from a rational perspective, that we both have many similarities and interests, and that the pros of marriage definitely outweigh the cons. Yet I have had these powerful subconscious feelings when I am trying to sleep that I should not go through with this, that something is wrong, etc. These started several years into the relationship and have picked up with the added stress of the upcoming wedding. I am afraid that a panic attack could occur soon if I do not get things straightened out in my head.

 

Also, I'm not sure how relevant this is for most members, but I have really been trying to leave this up to God. Every time I pray, I feel a sense of encouragement and support. But my subconscious mind sabotages these feelings when I am alone to myself at night. So I am wondering if my conversations with God really consist of me just telling myself everything will be alright. Is God more a part of our conscious intellect, or is He to be found in our subconscious being? I've prayed for the ability to decipher the difference, but so far to no avail.

 

One last thing. I unfortunately tend to be a pessimist, so my natural instinct is to be critical of situations and carry lots of anxiety. I also don't like being in front of a lot of people (i.e. at the wedding). This could be further complicating my feelings.

 

Any help is very, very appreciated, as I view marriage as a lifelong commitment and plan on honoring the contract if I go through with this.

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Hi, and welcome to eNotalone! Your post was very interesting to read, by the way. You're very articulate at expressing complex feelings, and I commend you on really doing some soul-searching at this critical juncture of your life.

 

Before I give more detailed feedback, can you give some information on what led you two to getting engaged?

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How long have you been feeling like you shouldn't marry this girl?

 

If it's been a concern during the relationship and engagement them maybe.... maybe ....you shouldn't.

 

but..if this is a new feeling as the big day approaches....then maybe it's just butterflies.

 

i was engaged to a man ...and throughout the relationship i had concerns.... i didn't realize it at time...but my initial thought when he proposed was.."well i can always break the engagement".... that's very telling.

 

I did break the engagement...and I have no regrets about ending the relationship...but that was my personal situation and every one is different.

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Thank you for responding.

 

Well she had been strongly hinting after about a year and half that she was interested. I always saw her as a long term possibility as well. At first I was quite afraid because I do not have much relationship experience outside of this one. I did a lot of soul searching and really felt that she is a beautiful person inside and out, and that she would be a positive influence in my life.

 

Honestly, without these feelings at night, this decision would be a no-brainer. But I am afraid that if this inner conflict does not resolve itself, I will never be able to find peace with myself. The feelings are mainly anxiety, racing heartbeat, pains in my chest, suddenly awaking at night.

 

Thanks again.

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I would be very sad to see her go, knowing what kind of a person she is and how good we are together. Obviously after 4 years you've got a lot invested emotionally, spiritually, & financially.

 

We actually had a heart to heart about a while ago, and almost postponed the wedding because of this. We were both pretty hysterical crying when we thought about not being together.

 

Now on the other hand, it is possible that the anxiety would go away, and that does bring on a slight amount of relief. But it could be replaced by depression (something I think I used to have until we were together).

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Honestly, I don't think this is the right forum to get good advice - or any forum - on this serious and complex issue. You mentioned prayer so - is it possible that you can find a religious figure who you trust with whom to talk confidentially about your concerns?

 

One reason it's so hard to give thoughtful advice- everyone has a different idea of what is needed for a happy marriage - particularly when it comes to romantic sparks or lack thereof. It's so personal!

 

I am sorry you are going through such a rough time and I hope you find the peace you are looking for. For whatever it's worth I think your fiancee is lucky that you are giving this such serious and heart-wrenching thought and attention.

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Yes, we have seen our priest, who suggested praying to discern an answer. He said if we are unable to come to a decision, we should postpone. As I've said, the prayers always give me hope. It is only when I am trying to sleep at night that the doubts begin to hit me. Sometimes they carry into the day if it is a particularly bad night.

 

We are physically attracted to each other, that is not an issue. It is more of the butterfly in your stomach feelings that are not present. I think it would be great to have them, but I know that realistically, they are usually temporary (based on my own experience).

 

I really appreciate that all of you are offering some words here. I really just want to see if there is anything I am missing before making a final leap. Obviously we are all individuals and it is tough to know what is going on inside of your own mind/heart, let alone someone else's..

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welcome to enotalone.

 

"butterflies" are a really difficult measure of a relationship, as their importance is different for everyone. and plus, there are some relationship that are based on "butterflies" alone and not friendship, mutual respect, or trust. they make up a pretty large portion of the other problems people come to enotalone with.

 

what to do? i don't know.... I think that postponing may be a good idea.

 

I agree with DN - if you never saw her again, think about how that would feel.

 

i was reading a magazine article about a couple that was on the verge of divorcing because they didn't feel "the butterflies" anymore. After some counseling, they realized that their relationship had entered a new stage, and they became more deeply committed to one another and to their child, minus the butterflies.

 

however, it's a deeply personal thing. if you are having serious doubts, I think that means don't go through with it. marriage is such a big decision and a life change, it isn't something you should go into unsure about, like an Indian restaurant.

 

right now... forget about thinking about the wedding (the fear of being in front of people)... do you want to be married to this woman, years and years from now?

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Yet I have had these powerful subconscious feelings when I am trying to sleep that I should not go through with this, that something is wrong, etc. These started several years into the relationship and have picked up with the added stress of the upcoming wedding.

 

The fact that these feelings have been with you for a long time, even before your engagement says a lot. It seems to me that you got engaged and are getting married because it is the thing to do, you get along well, so may as well do it. Lots of people enter into marriages for that reason and they don't turn out because while they were fond of their partner and got along well with them, there was just not that real spark, the "I just can't picture my life without them" spark. Sure, you can have a strong friendship, even be sexually compatable, but you really need the feeling that comes way down deep inside of your heart. I am not talking about the butterflies, I am talking about this really strong sense that this person is for you. The fact that you have a lot of doubts suggests that you are not quite feeling that with this person. You really need to trust your instincts on this, because if you have been feeling this for a long time, there is a good reason.

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I sure don't want to lead you down the wrong road, but I have been married for 7 years and I don't have the butterflies anymore, I have a deep strong commitment to my husband, and I am attracted to him, and I am joyous just to know that we are together, but the flush, tingle, giggle that I had when we first got together? it hasn't been around for a few years now. I think it's okay, we have a good relationship.

 

I agree with the other posters though, figure out your motivation, make sure it is right.

 

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and is kind; love doesn't envy. Love doesn't brag, is not proud,

 

5 doesn't behave itself inappropriately, doesn't seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil;

 

6 doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

 

7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.

 

 

and keep all of that in mind when you are thinking about your relationship also. thought it would be safe to throw that in.

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Wow, there's lots of very good advise here. I like that fact that everyone is here is non-judgmental, and I can tell there is a genuine concern for the fellow man.

 

I agree with the biblical quote about love. I'm just not sure how applicable it is to most of us here on earth, since if we are honest we mostly have our own interests at heart much of the time. Or we at least expect something in return. That definition absolutely is what we must strive for, but I feel personally that I would have a long way to go before I could have that much control over my emotions and desires. It would require pure 100% faith.

 

Stayed up until two last night thinking, and I am still not able to reach a decision. I think I am going to call the priest who is performing the ceremony to voice my concerns.

 

Right now I am leaning towards calling it off, since I can't find peace in my subconscious being. It seems a little reckless to go ahead with those kinds of feelings. But I would say it is 55/45, so my mind is not made up yet. Yet I do know that any marriage or act of putting your future in another's hands is an act of faith.

 

It would be really, really sad if things don't work out. I can't imagine two people caring about each other as much as us.

 

Still some time left try to solidify my feelings, so I will keep on trying.

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I agree with the biblical quote about love. I'm just not sure how applicable it is to most of us here on earth, since if we are honest we mostly have our own interests at heart much of the time. Or we at least expect something in return. That definition absolutely is what we must strive for, but I feel personally that I would have a long way to go before I could have that much control over my emotions and desires. It would require pure 100% faith.

 

Yes, it's the kind of love to strive for, but it's a life-long journey I would imagine. That's the kind of perfect love best described as Christ's love for us.

 

You are correct that all human love is somewhat performance-based. We always love someone more when they do things for us, when they are good to us...and less when they do the opposite.

 

So, you can at least rest assure there is no such as perfect human love. It can't ever happen, we're too fundamentally flawed.

 

I think one reason why you are having such huge anxieties that perhaps more people don't feel, is that you hold a strong commitment to the idea of marriage as a forever contract. Let's face it, a good many folks probably go into it thinking (even subconsciously), "Well, if it doesn't work out, I can always get a divorce." I mean, if getting a divorce was illegal in this country, I bet there'd be a lot less marriages.

 

So, because of your very strong belief there, naturally you're going to be prone to more feelings of fear about aligning yourself with the same woman for the rest of your life.

 

If I were you, I'd make a list of the pros and cons of your relationship. Look them over and see how they stack up. That can also assist you in your thinking process a bit here.

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So I made a list, and the pros are fairly obvious to me. Good, kind-hearted person, similar values, I can trust her, attractive, concern for others, intelligence, similar goals, similar views on children, money, and she even likes to watch the game with me.

 

Cons are the feeling that something is missing in my life. She doesn't really add or subtract from that, so I don't know if that is even something to look for. Other cons include her stubbornness, a certain clinginess, and her family history, which does not include any happy marriages and instead a lot of painful divorce.

 

One of the other posters hit on something about love. It is something deep that wells up inside of you, beyond a feeling of butterflies. Maybe this is what I am missing. I feel compassion and concern for her, I want the best for her, but I guess when I am really serious with myself, I don't have this huge fountain of emotion inside of me for her. I don't find myself thinking about her all the time. I want to, I try to, but it does not come naturally in this relationship. I can see though that at her essense, God made something really special. Her presense in a room or crowd just feels good. I still don't know where that leaves me.

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