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Married Life
Cold feet or calling it off?
By kadyyyrae Comments: 20, member since Mon Aug 15, 2011
On Tue Dec 27, 2011 09:19 AM

Hi everyone--

I guess I'll start somewhere in the middle and work my way back and forth and hopefully receive some advice that will make me think, because I need it.

I am 21 years old, working full time, school full time and live in my own home. I've been living here with my boyfriend of 6 years, and 2 of those years, we've been engaged. We started planning our wedding about a year ago and in 5 short months, it will be here. The excitement of finally getting married to someone who was my first love and high school sweetheart made planning so easy, stress free and my number one hobby. Pretty much everything had a deposit down on it a year before the actual wedding. We honestly, didn't think we could wait a whole year.

We started dating when I was 15 and he was 18, a high school freshman and senior. I didn't spend much time with friends for a few years because I was in such "puppy love" with this older guy who drove, and played in a band and had no curfew. (Which drove my parents crazy at that time, :) ) During my senior year, a big group of kids were going on spring break, and I really thought, you know this is an opportunity I won't get back so I'm going to go, and without my boyfriend. Needless to say, it made him uneasy because we had never done anything apart but I went anyway. When I came home, it was like I had a fresh outlook on my life. I thought, wow, I need to do more on my own because... I had had so much fun on spring break. Even if it was just for a week. I talked to my boyfriend about it when I got home, and he was not even considering letting me say "I want to break up". I was put on a guilt trip with him showing up in the middle of the night upset, texts, calls, just acting as if we had never broken up. And being young, I gave in and agreed we'd "work" on it.

So that's where the first bump happened. Well, I graduated and a week after my party he proposed on the beach to me. In a blissful and overwhelming state, I said yes. But I didn't jump up and down, I didn't hug him, I didn't even scream or run or do anything. I remember looking at ducks actually, standing by the water, and thinking "do I say yea?", and I said it. I always wondered if that was normal. So fast forward to today-- he let me pick out the house, I picked out the furniture, our two dogs to go with it and we're now both working "adult" jobs, paying "adult" bills and like I said in the first paragraph, about done planning a wedding that is happening in May.

I have always thought to myself that he is my best friend and that I love him, that marriage is naturally our next step. But is naturally a good thing? I am 21 years old-- I spend more nights out with my girlfriends than I do at home. He doesn't like to go out. I like to be in large groups, meeting new people and rekindling with old friends. He likes to be around the same 2 friends all of the time. He is a homebody and I can't stand being locked inside. I mean, my biggest love is the beach and the sand and... he can't even stand it. I've talked about backpacking Europe and jumping in the car and driving hours and hours til we reach where we end up without a map, and that annoys him because he likes everything planned perfectly. I used to think these things were all okay, because we had been together so long that it was almost natural for him to do his own thing most of the time and me to do mine-- we'd just meet in the middle for dinner and lazy days off. I just... I find myself irritated with him over the pettiest things, like him napping a lot or listening to a band I don't like to hear. I know they're stupid reasons to get annoyed but I just can't help it.

And you'd think he's done something wrong. No, he's absolutely perfect. I come home from work daily to a clean house, laundry all done and dinner. If he has a day off of work, he'll want to go grocery shopping and get the house cleaned up. What guy does that? A perfect one. That's why this makes this so confusing and hard. Two days before Thanksgiving, I called my mom. The first thing I said was, "I'm going to ask you something and I just need to be completely honest. Do you regret getting married at 19?" And she said, "Yes."

I just think I've literally reached a breaking point where it's like, it is hitting me that I am 21 and have no idea who I am because I've never been anything but his girlfriend. I don't know how this is going to sound coming out-- but I literally have not experienced other guys, their personalities, hooking up, going out, seeing the world, just plain being alone. My mom said this is a low blow and if I've felt this way for so many months, then I've definitely put on a good front. Her and my sister keep trying to convince me it's cold feet and that everyone gets it-- it's normal. But does cold feet consist of wanting to be away from my home more than in it, wanting to be around other guys that aren't even him and the worst of all, not even wanting to change how I feel to make it work with us.

I recently broke down and told him everything I just said in the paragraph before this. I stayed at my parents' a few days to clear my head. I came home, missing my house, dogs and lifestyle we had. Well, a week before Christmas, I again called my mom to let her know my mind had not changed. I don't think I can go through with this. And I told her, when I marry someone-- I want to feel like they're the only person in the world I want to be around, out of everyone I could pick from. I want to WANT to go out WITH them, I want to WANT to cuddle up and fool around with them, I want to WANT to be able to picture them with "our" kids and our lives and with him... I just don't see it right now. He keeps telling me this is the hardest thing he's ever had to hear, and this house is going to be so lonely, sad and dark without me. That his two best friends are leaving him (me and his best friend who got into a school 20 hours away), that he has never had anyone but me and doesn't know how he will live a different way. He cries daily and just stares at me a lot, saying he wants to be around me as often as possible then before I just up and go.

He is almost convincing me that staying is better, for the both of us. But I just am afraid if I go through with this... I will forever live wondering "what if I had taken time to myself to figure me out for a few years"? This is not something I have taken lightly either, which is where I think people judge me on having said yes at all. I love him, and marriage is a lifelong commitment-- which is why I feel I had to get all of that off of my chest to him and my family, because if I didn't think it was for life, I would have went on living like this and pretending I was fine.

Wow, well that was a RAMBLE. I just need input. Anyone, please.

14 Replies to Cold feet or calling it off?

re: Cold feet or calling it off?
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 8600, member since Thu Apr 17, 2003
On Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:04 AM
Don't do it. If it's meant to be, he'll still be there in 2-3+ years. It's better to wait and be sure than live a lifetime of regret or be a divorcee at 23. Wait. Seriously. Being a young bride isn't all it'a cracked up to be.
re: Cold feet or calling it off?
By hummingbird Comments: 10418, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:05 AM
Cold feet is wanting to get the hell out of a situation whilst still having to admit that it's a pretty good situation to be in.

Cold feet is the what if's and what might be's if you kick over the traces and ran away.

Having said that no one can make you stay in a relationship... or they shouldn't.

I was 22 when I was married and I'm still married now and although I might do a few things differently I'd still do the marriage bit again.
re: Cold feet or calling it off? (karma: 1)
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12490, member since Fri Aug 27, 2004
On Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:20 AM
A marriage isn't a nice house, a dog, clean laundry, cooked meals and a settled life. A marriage is a life with someone who you can't imagine your life without them in it. They simply must be a part of your life, no matter what happens. If he fits that criteria, then it's just cold feet and it's ok to have ups and downs over your feelings. But If he doesn't, then you need to leave, it's not fair or right to stay.
re: Cold feet or calling it off?
By ChristinePremium member Comments: 6817, member since Wed Feb 04, 2009
On Tue Dec 27, 2011 01:14 PM
Couples therapy. Honestly, a therapist might help sort out the conflicts and confusion you both feel now.

My husband and I got together when I was a teenager, lived together when most kids our age were still living at home, and married before I was old enough to buy beer in many states. We did, however, wait a long, long time to have children. We continued to grow as individuals as well as a couple.

The reality of a good marriage is that there must be both commitment and freedom, and above all, the opportunity to continue to grow. Your doubts sound normal and natural. The differences between your personalities may not be as huge as you think. Often one person is more outgoing than the other, don't always share the same interests and actually complete each other. A good counselor can help you both define these elements of your life as a couple and as individuals.

You are BOTH young. There really isn't any reason for this to be a do or die situation. Find a good professional who can guide you both without more doubts and hurt feelings.

Good luck

Keep On Dancing*
re: Cold feet or calling it off?
By Gioiamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3024, member since Sun Jun 20, 2004
On Tue Dec 27, 2011 02:53 PM
There is nothing wrong with wanting more out of your life. Of course it sucks to hurt someone that you truly love, but you don't want to stay in a relationship and make each other miserable down the road. Is there anything that you think he could do to make you fulfilled in your relationship? If not then I think you have your answer. It will be really hard to leave him, but if the things that you need in your life are things that he can't give you, you might just have to take that leap. And like Sara said, if you leave and do your own thing and come to realize that you weren't actually missing out on anything and you do still want to be with him, if it is meant to be then you will find a way to be together again.
re: Cold feet or calling it off?
By dancemomtoo Comments: 2643, member since Fri Jan 09, 2004
On Tue Dec 27, 2011 08:58 PM
Please please please dont be guilted into marrying when you have had serious questions about whether or not you really want to for a significant amount of time.

Marriage is hard under the best of circumstances. Its impossible and leads to bitterness and resentment under bad circumstances.

when I was first reading your post about you liking to go out and him being a homebody I thought 'well opposites can balance each other out.' But, as I continued reading it became clear that you are TOO opposite when the result is irritation, and not just on your opposite character traits, but irritation that carries over into all areas.

You are 21, you have barely started to live. You are entering into a LIFE contract with marriage. Not wanting to hurt him is NOT a good enough reason to plan to marry someone you aren't sure of.

Cold feet is something completely different than what you describe. Its a very fleeting 'holy cow, am I even ready to be married to this guy-thats a big step' thought that does not linger. It is not an itemized list of problems you see with the relationship-an itemized list of doubts means that you need to WAIT
re: Cold feet or calling it off?
By punkgirl59 Comments: 4805, member since Wed Feb 13, 2002
On Sun Jan 01, 2012 03:04 AM
I have broken off two engagements (one was a year before the wedding, barely had anything planned; the other was two weeks before the wedding, everything was done and paid for, invitations sent). It was incredibly, incredibly hard. But I am so, so much happier. Had I married either of them, I would have either been in a terrible, unhappy marriage, or been divorced.

If you don't feel like you are quite ready to get married right now, then don't. Just because deposits have been made does not mean that you are obligated to go through with it. It may be a case of holiday stress and cold feet, or it may be that you need some time alone. OR, it may be that you just need to keep dating him and hold off on the marriage until you feel more certain. Only you can decide that. I don't have much advice, except to say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a step back. You don't have to break up, you don't have to stop being friends, or dating, or living together. Just put off the wedding and take some time to figure out what will really make you happy. I did, and now I'm a single mom who has not been in a relationship for 2 years. But you know, I'm happier than ever. Just think about it.

Good luck!


Long live punk rocK
re: Cold feet or calling it off?
By pharmadancermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3459, member since Tue Mar 16, 2004
On Sun Jan 01, 2012 07:58 AM
I think the first thing you should do is postpone/call off the wedding. You won't be able to decide anything with a deadline looming over your head. Just that one simple act will let you be free to make some decisions.

Secondly, you have to decide if this is something you want to work at (couple's therapy) or if you've already made up your mind to go.

I agree with Sara - even if you do end up together in a few years, after "sowing your wild oats"... you'll both be better for having waited and making sure that this is something you both really want.
re: Cold feet or calling it off?
By kadyyyrae Comments: 20, member since Mon Aug 15, 2011
On Sun Jan 01, 2012 07:08 PM
Thank you everyone for reading and responding. We talked yesterday and I reminded him mid-sentence of him telling me he's glad things are getting better (?) that I have not changed my mind and still feel that I need time to myself. He broke down. This is harder, I think, then I ever could have imagined but the support of other women and even some men, letting me know my life will not be over and neither will his, helps.
re: Cold feet or calling it off? (karma: 1)
By kadyyyrae Comments: 20, member since Mon Aug 15, 2011
On Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:21 PM
For any of those who reached out and supported me in making mathis tough decision, thank you. One month ago this week I moved out, and called off my wedding and relationship. I feel as if a heavy weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I am happy.
re: Cold feet or calling it off?
By Gioiamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3024, member since Sun Jun 20, 2004
On Mon Jan 30, 2012 01:27 AM
Thanks for the update, I am so glad to hear you are doing well, even though I am sure at times it is still a struggle. I know what you mean about having some weight lifted, I bet there are all sorts of great things in your future that you can now be excited about doing! Best of luck to you!
re: Cold feet or calling it off?
By Coccinellamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5930, member since Sat Jan 25, 2003
On Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:57 AM
^ I second that! That feeling of relief you have makes me feel you really made the right decision. It isn't until after we make big life changes like this that we know whether it was the right thing or not.

Good luck on this next chapter of your life!
re: Cold feet or calling it off?
By ChristinePremium member Comments: 6817, member since Wed Feb 04, 2009
On Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:07 PM
Thanks for the update. I'm so happy to hear you are happy.

You are so young, and so is he. Given enough time to live and learn, to sort through the many challenges of adult life, I'm sure things will work out for the best.

Hugs to you. xoxo

Keep On Dancing*
re: Cold feet or calling it off?
By dancemomtoo Comments: 2643, member since Fri Jan 09, 2004
On Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:52 PM
You did the right thing-congrats on being brave and smart!