I thought I was immune to the cold-feet stereotype that you see in movies and television for almost-weds. Turns out I am not.
For me, the pre-wedding jitters has manifested itself in the most horrible way possible. I said the words to the fiancé that I never thought I would say: “I don’t think I can do this.”
Looking back, I still can’t believe those words came out my mouth. I’ll tell you what happened so I’m not sounding increasingly vague and oddly mysterious.
It started with a lie. the fiancé lied to me about something concerning his ex. There was an omission, a misleading statement, and an outright lie. I completely lost it. There was yelling and arguing. Ultimately I told him I couldn’t marry him if he was a liar.
We’d been working on our trust and communication since we’ve been dating (an issue I’m sure I’ll explain eventually in one the “My Story” posts). It’s hard for me to trust him because he doesn’t always tell the truth up front. He always tells the truth eventually, but that “eventually” part was starting to wear on me.
Also, I’ve got anger issues. Things don’t make me angry right away. But if I get a little angry about something, the next time it happens, I get twice as angry. So imagine how angry (and probably scary) I can get the 17th time I’m angry about something. For you math folks, that’s [angry *2^n].
So between his eventual truth, my exponentially increasing anger (linearly?), and our occasional breakdown of communication, it’s obvious where this was heading. The argument about the ex ended with him promising never to willingly lie to me again. That’s a big promise, but he made it.
Less than 36 hours later, we had a miscommunication about the guest list and the role the fiancé has been playing in wedding planning. The argument escalated because I thought he lied about something. He didn’t explain himself well at all, likely because I barely let him get a word in because I was so angry.
I said, “I don’t think I can do this. I can’t marry you. I don’t trust you and we don’t communicate well. I can’t rely on you. I can’t do this.”
I’ve never seen him look so hurt. I meant it when I said it, and there was no reasoning with me at first. He kept pushing me to talk about it. I had to get ready to leave for work (stupid night shifts), and I wasn’t ready to talk yet. We usually have a rule that he gives me space to think things through we have a disagreement, but this was an extenuating circumstance.
He kept calling and texting me for the whole hour drive to work and for the first 5 hours I was at work. We sorted through our confusions and got on the same page about the issues. But I still felt so weary. When I thought about leaving him, it seemed so hard.
Pragmatically, the hassle of one of us moving out of the apartment, calling of a wedding that cost tens of thousands of dollars only 26 days out, etc., just seemed like too much. But emotionally, the thought of having that same fight over and over again for the rest of my life just made me feel dejected and sad and weary and listless. I felt like I didn’t have any fight left in me for this particular topic.
But the fiancé stayed strong. He expressed that he hated feeling like he was the only one fighting for our relationship. I told him I’d lost my energy to fight. I told him I could love him and miss him and never love anyone else as much ever again and still be without him because there are some non-negotiables I just can’t get down with (constant lying, any kind of abuse towards me, any kind of substance abuse, suddenly turning Atheist). He doesn’t have all of those, but he’s struggled with the first one.
But the fiancé stayed strong. He told me he couldn’t be without me and that I wouldn’t have to live the rest of my life living with one of my non-negotiables. I told him if the situation were reversed, I’d be doing what he was doing. I’d be fighting for our relationship, even if I felt like I was fighting by myself.
It’s nice to think every couple fights just as hard together all the time for their relationship, but that’s not realistic. Sometimes one person has to be strong for the other. That’s what the fiancé did for me. He was strong when I couldn’t be strong.
He talked me back from the ledge. I still feel weary and dread the thought of what’s going to happen then next time we have a miscommunication or heaven forbid he lies about something. But I’m done talking about not marrying him.
I’m almost 100% sure I would have had a different response had we not been less than 30 days from the wedding. I think the urgency of the situation, feeling somehow like all of our major issues had to be worked out prior to the wedding was pulling me towards behaving in a very crazy way.
If I’m being realistic, I would realize that since the time that we decided to get married, we’ve been all in. I just didn’t realize how my emotions would change in the days leading up to the wedding.
We argued about one of our big issues and I know it’s not the last conversation we’ll have about it, but I know now reactions were more about the timeframe of the wedding than the topic of the argument.
I’m glad the fiancé was strong when I couldn’t be. I hope I’m never in his position, but if I am, I’ll be strong like he was. For right now, we’re working on my anger, his consistency, and forgiveness. I’m going to forgive him for misleading me yet again, and he’s going to forgive me for not being strong and letting my pre-wedding jitters get the best of me.