Note: Today’s post is written by Alexis Meads, a lifestyle and wellness coach.
A few weeks ago, I got married.
We’re having our wedding in Greece this coming May, but had decided to get legally married at the courthouse beforehand.
Let me tell you, I was panicking.
Since the thrill of the engagement wore off, part of me was terrified to get married. My parents had been divorced and I had no real image to look up to of what a great marriage could be like.
Therefore I found myself spiraling into questions such as “Is this really the one?” “How do I know I’ll be happy?” “Should I just back out now?”
In the car, driving to the courthouse, I had the biggest knot in my stomach.
Our thoughts manifest into feelings in our bodies. The more we learn to get in touch with our bodies, the more we’ll recognize our emotions. For me, I knew this knot only meant one thing: Fear with a capital F.
Now, was this fear telling me not to go through with it? Or was it telling me to call a spade a spade and overcome my fear of commitment?
I’ve had this experience many times. The fear of the unknown and questioning my own decisions, which leads to anxiety. In the past it has served me well, alerting me that it was time to get out of a bad situation.
So how did I know the difference, and how can you tell the difference in your own life?
I can ask myself one simple question and sort everything out. This question brings me to my deepest needs and beliefs. That is: Am I happy?
In past relationships, I could easily answer no. That overall, I was not happy. I’ve been with abusive boyfriends and emotionally distant partners. I could lead myself into thinking that it was okay, that it would change, but this question reveals the truth underneath it all.
Driving to the courthouse with Peter, when I asked myself this question, I knew that ultimately the answer was yes. Am I saying that I’m happy all the time in our relationship? Of course not. That wouldn’t be realistic.
But I know that I am with a good man. A man who loves me, supports me and genuinely cares that my emotional needs are met. And I love our life together.
You can create a filter question like this for yourself. Yours may be totally different than mine, but ‘am I happy?’ is a great place to start.
When I looked into his eyes and listened to the vows this woman spoke on eternal friendship, kindness, love and partnership – I felt a completely different feeling.
In that moment, all the fears faded away, and what I felt was actually quite different.
Peace. Complete, total peace. As though making that decision lifted a gigantic weight off of my shoulders.
This is why I was not surprised when I got a call from my girlfriend a week later. She and her boyfriend were preparing to get engaged and she was, quite honestly, freaking out a little.
She said to me, “How come when I go on Facebook all I see are happy couples getting married, talking about how excited they are? How come no one ever says anything like ‘I’m excited to be married but I’m also really scared!”
No one talks about the hard stuff. No one talks about the scary stuff.
Yes, getting engaged and married is an exciting moment in your life. But it’s also a stressful one. We’re asked to make a decision for life – how many other decisions do we have like this?
It’s completely normal to have some fear of commitment, because in a sense, making a commitment to one person means closing all the doors of possibility on others. Even within a marriage, the fear of commitment may still come out. Do we ever truly get over it?
I only know one way to overcome this fear. And the only way is through – by truly committing to your decision.
When we live with one foot out the door in our marriage, the inevitable feeling will be dissatisfaction. If we decide that we do want to stay in the marriage, and to be an active participant in it, we must put both feet in and truly commit.
Commit to feeling peace and happiness in your decision. Peace in yourself. Peace in your relationship.
At the moment I made that commitment I was thankful for this peace. It showed me that yes, I am making the right decision, and am learning to deal with my fears.
Alexis Meads received her M.A. at Harvard University in Sustainability. Bringing her passion of health and wellness to a personal level she got certified as a Lifestyle and Wellness Coach. She created AlexisMeads.com to inspire women to love themselves and create the life of their dreams. Her philosophy is that every woman deserves to feel healthy and energized every day, fall madly in love and create a life full of play and adventure. You can view her Crazy Wild Love: Create a Mind-Blowing Relationship Course here.