Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Carolyn: I got engaged two months ago and was at first extremely excited. He and I want the same things in life, have the same morals and priorities, and I just love being with him.
Weve had our issues stemming from mistakes hes made in his past that weve worked through together. After a very stressful week that ended with a fight (he was taking his frustrations out on me and in front of my mother), I find myself lingering on those past mistakes and am terrified by the word forever. When Im alone, I have doubts and cant stop thinking, Oh, God, what am I doing? But when Im with him I think, How can I not marry this wonderful man?
How much of this doubt is normal and when can I settle on a decision (to marry/not to marry) that I can be sure about?
What were these mistakes, how often does he take his frustrations out on you and, this will sound odd, how charismatic is he? The fact that you want out when youre alone and want him when youre with him suggests your brain is telling you no and your emotions are telling you yes. That says you need to ask yourself whether hes manipulative, youre impulsive/impressionable, or both.
Is he at his best when youre juuuust about to leave?
I could be way off, but if I am, then you lose nothing by weighing the possibility that youre repelled by the reality but sucked in by the charm.
Re: Doubt: How about couples counseling? Always a good investment.
Or premarital workshop, which can be more productive than counseling. Each is only as good as the open-mindedness you bring to it.
Re: Doubt: This sounds totally off to me. Sounds like he cheated and now you consider it a prize that hes picked you for marriage. When your internal voice tells you something, you need to LISTEN.
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