Posted on April 29, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

As you approach your wedding day, everyone asks you if you’re getting nervous.  I wonder how they’d react if I said, “Yes, frankly, I’m scared shitless of the huge commitment I’m about to make.  Not because of him — I love him and admire him — but because it’s me, and to be the kind of partner I want to be is something I’m not sure I can achieve.  And sometimes I just don’t want to be a good partner.  I want to stomp my feet and throw a tantrum and have someone save me.”

What if I don’t succeed this time?  What if I can’t?  What if I don’t want to? Bending myself to accommodate him/  us is tiring.  Watching my words so that he doesn’t get hurt is tiring. Can I really do this?  Do I really want to?

I often feel like I’m in this all alone… and by “this” I guess I mean life.  I know that I don’t often feel relaxed or at peace or any of those other things that people seem to feel with their beloveds.  I’m not at my most comfortable with him since I’m working so hard on improving behaviors that don’t work for us.  I long to see him, to be with him, but I don’t always feel a big rush of relief when I do.  Nothing seems to come naturally.

Will I ever get “the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe/ having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words”, or have I traded that for the proud stability of personal growth?  I’m succeeding in becoming a better partner, but will I ever get there?  Is there even a “there” where I can stop having to think and just be?  I don’t really get to be 100% me, but 100% me includes selfish and stubborn and confrontational.  I guess I can be 100% me, but I don’t want to.  I want to be a better me.

I’ve been working on our ceremony, and this comes to mind:

Through the sacred vows of marriage
you are saying that who you are
and who you want to be
can best be achieved through this union.

Gulp. Sometimes I don’t know if I want to.  I can imagine having kids with him, and this life is real — very real, too real.  Before, I often longed for a different life, a fairytale life.  Now, I see what’s in front of me, clearly, but I think it’s too much.  This place is magical, but nothing about this relationship feels magical (if magical means easy).  I swallow my instincts each day, choosing what I think I’m supposed to, choosing the option that works for him, and by extension us.  When do I get to relax?  When can I feel the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe? Choosing what is best for him or us is costly.  I’m succeeding, but I’m tired.  Is this how parents feel?  It must be.

Sometimes I just want a knight.  I want to be saved.  I want to be needed and wanted and adored.  I want someone to think of me first.  I want someone else to figure things out.  I want to be cherished.  I want someone to come to my rescue.  Unfortunately, those times seem to be when my beloved wants all those things too.

I don’t want to be a grown-up anymore.  I have doubts… I always have doubts.

While you are two separate individuals,
you walk along one path together.
Your every gesture, word, expression and action,
and those you withhold or omit,
will determine the quality of your experience together.

A good marriage takes patience,
dedication, humor, and forgiveness.

You keep your love alive
through the choices you make moment by moment,
day after day, and year after year.
Through practice,
you learn how to love yourselves and each other
with devotion and freedom.

“Moment by moment, day after day, and year” after year overwhelm me, but “through practice” gives me comfort.  “You learn” tells me that I’m right and it’s not easy.  “Freedom” gives me hope.

Yes, I’m getting nervous, more and more as our big day approaches.  I can tell myself that it’s about the tent and the street and the food, but it’s not, and the closer we get the greater my doubts. That’s my way.  I finally know myself well enough to accept that this is my process.  Before a big milestone, job interview, performance, presentation, I wonder if I can do it, if I even want to anymore.  I accept it, but it still sucks.

If you have doubts, know that you’re not alone.  If you don’t, then you and I are different; I always have doubts.

(Our ceremony wording started with this great book and was reworked until I felt the style was more like ours — direct, straightforward, honest.)

No question to end this post.  I’ve promised to share my pre-wedding experience, and as much as I have qualms about putting it all out there, this is part of it.  If even one person is comforted by the thought that someone else is nervous and overwhelmed and in doubt — and still going through with it — it’s worth it.


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    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.


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