Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Carolyn: Youve run a number of columns on people having cold feet and the relationship (later) failing. Common knowledge says the first variable automatically means the second variable occurs. But what about having cold feet and the marriage works out?
I ask because my mother and other ladies in her generation scoff at cold feet. She told me that my dad had it, and she just let him freak out. He got his act together after a few days, and she married him. Theyve been together 50-plus years. My aunts tell me that a couple of my uncles did the same, and these women just brushed it off! It all worked out for them, too.
During my bridesmaid days, I remember a friend or two completely freaking out the What am I doing? Why am I marrying him? I dont want to do this. This is a bad idea! sentiment. Those worked out too.
Ive seen accounts where people claim they had cold feet after the relationship collapses. But thats so easy to say in the afterthought!
What do you say for those who have cold feet but end up happily married decades later?
I dont like the term cold feet. Its vague and can mean something different to every person who feels it (them?), which opens up someone with legitimate doubts to false assurances of, Oh, everyone feels that, and then stays happily married for 95 years.
Not only are the seeds of doubt highly individual, but so also is ones definition of it all worked out. Does that mean they were genuinely happy or does that just mean they didnt divorce? Some pretty miserable unions manage to go the distance, and I dont see that as something to celebrate.
I also dont like agendas when it comes to marriage. A generation doesnt have to wake up day after day in any given marriage; only the two people in it do.
I think cold feet sufferers of all kinds, even the ones who just are nervous about the significance of the commitment, should read here or hear from someone they love: Its OK to face your doubts, whether the episode lasts an hour or two or pre-empts the wedding itself.
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