Help! I’ve got Pre-Wedding Cold Feet

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Ive been with my fiancé for nearly 7 years and when we got engaged in October I was over the moon. Now we are planning the wedding and I keep having dreams about running away and going on adventures on my own. We’ve talked about it and he understands it doesn’t mean I don’t love him and I’ve spoken to a lot of people who’ve told me its very normal but I’m worried about it.” Lauren 

First off, your fiancé is right, being nervous before a massive, life changing event (like marriage!) is perfectly normal. In fact you’d be completely abnormal if you weren’t a little bit apprehensive about what the future might bring. But as someone who’s been married for six years, let me tell you something – nothing really changes and any subtle differences are TOTALLY for the better!

The safety and security you feel in your relationship when when you’re married is like nothing else. It’s difficult to explain it to someone who hasn’t yet taken the plunge, but just knowing that this person has chosen to be with you, and only you, for the rest of their life is a wonderful feeling. Fights don’t have the same devastating effect, and you can be yourself more. It’s unlikely that a little tiff or disagreement will end the relationship (which you might have always been worried about before) and although you drive each other crazy sometimes, it doesn’t matter because you love each other SO MUCH.

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Being married doesn’t mean you can’t – or shouldn’t – still have adventures on your own. In fact you most definitely should! Just because you’re hitched, doesn’t mean you have to be joined at the hip. I think it’s actually quite unhealthy when couples can’t spend any time apart. As long as you’re both OK with it, going on solo holidays, or away with your friends can be really good for a relationship. I do it all the time and it means I actually get to miss him and it’s so much more awesome when I come home.

For me, the key to a happy marriage is communication so I’m so happy to hear that you’re talking to him about your feelings. Never keep things hidden or bottled up, it’s a recipe for disaster. Remember, being married means that you’re a team. You have each other’s backs, and you choose this person as your number one, before anyone else. I know that I can go to Gareth with any fear, worry or weird thought and he’s not going to judge me. In fact he’s going to go out of his way to fix it and help me through it, because that’s what being married is all about.

Oh, and in terms of actually dreaming about running away, I’m no dream psychologist but I’d imagine that it’s just your subconscious working through all the emotions you’re feeling right now. I know when I’m particularly stressed or worried about things I have the weirdest dreams about my relationship. However I did a little research and allegedly dreaming about leaving somebody you love actually signifies that you are ready to leave the past behind and move forward. Now that sounds like a pretty good omen to me!

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18 comments

  1. Katie P

    Lauren, I had these before my first wedding and they didn’t go away. I loved him to bits but after the wedding these doubts made me feel trapped. I’m marrying for the second time and it feels completely different. (There is no adventure I would want without him.) I urge you to explore your feelings as much as possible. Marriage is a huge and important commitment Divorce can be a very difficult painful and I grieved for five years. When you know, you know x

  2. Sabrina

    Really good article. Thanks for sharing… I felt this way before my wedding and it is good to know you’re not alone in being a tiny bit freaked out! Especially because all other brides to be that I knew didn’t seem to feel nervous/apprehensive/a tiny bit sick etc. beforehand…! x

  3. Emily

    It sounds like the stress of planning the wedding is just getting to you. I think the best way to sort this out is to go away on your own for a bit, have an adventure even if it’s just a small one. If you find yourself not wanting to go back then there is your answer, but i think its more likely you be excited to see him again and tell him what you got up to.

  4. Nicole

    Where did these pictures of this bride come from? Can I see more of them some where?

  5. Nicole

    Also I agree with Emily it’s probably just stress about the wedding nothing to do about your choice of fiancé.

  6. Frankie

    I think Emily’s advice is spot on. I had a similar experience myself. After being with my ex for 4 or 5 years we got engaged, we didn’t set a date right away but after a year or two we started planning the wedding and instantly I knew something wasn’t right. I sent out the save the date cards with a stomach full of dread. Every time I talked to either family about getting addresses for invitees I’d be guilted into inviting someone else and I felt like I’d lost control already, so soon into planning. I began getting very stressed about preparations and the venue and having enough money and I had just started a new job around the same time. Work ended up being my refuge, and I sat back, and I realised that I was so stressed and upset and had this massive dread because although I loved my fiancé, I didn’t want to marry him. He wasn’t quite who I was meant to be with. We spent some time apart and I went off and had my own adventures and it solidified my suspicions, I didn’t miss him when I was away from him. It was lovely not being tied to him. We had a terrible, messy, horrible break up and now we don’t speak, which is such a shame. But months later I found someone else, and I knew so quickly after we started going out that he was the one, we got married a year later, and during wedding preparations I discovered I was expecting, and it didn’t make me stressed about the wedding, I looked forward to it even more. I had no dread planning my wedding with my husband, I enjoyed every minute of it, even though I had to compromise on a few things because of our extra little bump guest. So try and take Emily’s advice if you can, try and get off on your own and have your own little adventure, put the wedding prep on hold and don’t think about it. You’ll soon know if you can’t live without him. But if you can and it makes you happier then there’s no shame in stepping back it walking a differnt path to him. Search deep, without any external distractions and find out what you truely feel, and be honest with yourself. Best of luck to you xxx

  7. So beautiful! I had no dread planning my wedding with my husband, I enjoyed every minute of it, even though I had to compromise on a few things because of our extra little bump guest.

  8. Gem

    I used to have dreams (before I got engaged) of being forced to marry someone I didn’t want to, or of being guilted into it, or of turning up on the day to meet my prince charming only to realise that it was someone else waiting for me and ol’prince had charminged off with someone else… It really set me against marriage to be honest! Then I met my HTB and knew from day 1 I wanted to marry him… I still have odd dreams very occasionally but I put them down to the stress of organising a wedding at the same time as everything else life throws at me… I agree with the other responders that you need to have some time out of the planning whirlwind to think about what you really want and really feel – maybe even talk it rhough with a trusted friend who coiuld be impartial, not give any advice or opinions and just listen to you talk through it… You will know in your heart what to do once ou have a bit of space. Good luck :-)

  9. Oh I do feel for you! It’s not a very pleasant experience what you’re going through. It’s drummed into all of us that you should be on cloud nine whilst engaged and planning your wedding, that’s not always the case. Planning a wedding can be an incredibly stressful experience and can bring up all kinds of emotions. I for one discovered that I was a commitmentphobe, hence my previous choices of inappropriate men! Once I met my husband we were engaged within 14 months and had set the date for just before our 2 year anniversary. It was all rather quick and to say I was scared was an understatement. I put part of this down to my personality of being a totally worrywart and also all the stress of planning the wedding (nightmare relations). In fact, I continued feeling freaked out (on and off) until around 3 or 4 months of marriage when I finally realised that I was exactly the same person and so was he and we still loved each other immensely. We had an amazing day and I never doubted my love for him… Now I love being married to my soulmate and I’m so proud of my wonderful husband. Whilst people in this thread are well meaning, just because you’re having dreams and thoughts, it doesn’t necessarily mean your wedding should be called off or that your marriage is in fact doomed! Try to relax, maybe take some space from the planning and go and hang out with your girlfriends or your fiancé. Wishing you all the best, Sonia XxX

  10. Kate

    Hi Lauren

    You don’t say in the paragraph above about dread, or a feeling that something was ‘not right’. I guess if you had said this, I would perhaps be urging you to take a step back a have a hard think about your future.

    It is because you talk about your dreams that I felt compelled to respond. I too am engaged and planning my wedding and I have had all manner of crazy dreams from him leaving me, to just running away.

    None of these dreams concern me though. I have always had a bit of a wild side and this is the only ‘grown up’ commitment I have ever made, so it seems natural that I will have a sub-conscious or emotional reaction to ‘tying’ myself down. (I hate that expression, but cannot think of a better way to put it).

    I have to say though, in my waking hours I know he is the one for me. I know there is not another man on the planet that I could possibly connect with so perfectly and I have no feelings of discomfort about marrying him at all, rather the opposite, I am thrilled.

    The fact you guys are talking candidly about your dreams seems a positive sign to me and I wish you the best of luck! x

  11. Wendy

    Ho sugar I hope your madly in love with the one your planning on marring. I was with my partner for ten years and when it came to marring him I thought it was time and the right thing to do, but deep down in my heart of hearts something just didn’t FEEL right. I did love him, he was a good person, but he was not the ONE. To cut a long story short we divorced (gosh I hate that word – divorced). Two years later when I wasn’t looking I met the LOVE of my life and eight years on and looking back I have to say I loved planning my wedding and getting married and I LOVE my husband with all my heart and soul every single day. A little advice, take some time out for you, ask yourself honestly if this is what you want. If it is then relax and enjoy, marriage is a beautiful thing, If its not, It’s ok to move on. True love will find you when you least expect it. Hug’s to you.

  12. Anne

    Lauren, I feel you. I really do. I am planning right now and while I’m not having these dreams, I do have this sort of feeling sometimes, but for me, I think it comes from my fear that I’m “settling too soon” – I always figured I’d spend my 20s running around the world teaching ESL and traveling and exploring and instead I’ve spent nearly 5 years in the same city with the guy I’m about to marry. And I’ve LOVED it. I didn’t teach ESL abroad because I developed a chronic disease and I’ve had to re-vision how I’ll travel and have my adventures and NO ONE has been more supportive than my fiance. He knows that I still want to run away on solo adventures and we know it will be hard if I’m ever able to do a long adventure of several months or more, but he’s committed to me anyway. Now, don’t think I’m not worried about these feelings (I’m a natural worrier), but I’m very glad you asked this question. Knowing that I’m not alone helps, this article helps, and I hope this comment helps you know you’re not alone! If you can talk about these fears with your fiance, that’s a very good sign. Best of luck!

  13. Hi Lauren

    I agree with Kate on this. You say that you’re having disturbing dreams, but you don’t mention these fears spilling over into your day to day life.

    Only you can know what’s really in your heart, but the fact that you can talk to your intended is a major plus.

    Planning a wedding can be very stressful, and I think it’s the stress of the arrangements that’s making you dream of running away – leaving all the stresses behind. Having studied psychology, I’d think that the reason you’re running away on your own is that whether consciously or not, you feel that most of the decisions about the wedding are falling on your shoulders. If this is the case, it’s worth asking your HTB to share in more of the planning – after all, it’s his wedding too.

    Whatever happens, I wish you both the very best. Good luck!

  14. @Katie P, you said “I loved him to bits but…” There’s your first sign that it wasn’t right. You’re a perfect case of my theory about “to bits”. If you love someone, you just say I love them/him/her. “To bits” means there’s a but. If you love someone, you can just say you love them. Anyway, glad you got your happy ending :) and I totally agree that when you know, you know!

  15. Ange Graham

    Oh dear, in my experience dreaming & longing to have adventures on your own is not a good sign!
    I spent the last 5 years of my first marraige planning & dreaming about a million things I wanted to do without my then husband!
    Divorce was inevitable & not pleasant for anybody.
    My fiance & I will be married very soon on the 6 year anniversary of our first date!
    Planning our wedding has been a fantastic experience & I cant wait for our big day to arrive.
    I dream of many adventures to come in the future but all of them include my fiance/future husband.
    My advice would be put the wedding on hold right now. Its never too late to postpone until you’ve exchanged vows!
    Take a years breathing space. Go have an adventure on your own before you marry & if you dont come back 100% certain that you’re madly in love & you’ll marry the man of your dreams then do not get married.
    Good luck.

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