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Engaged and Doubting - Is it Anxiety or Something Else?


This weekend is all about love and many couples will be getting engaged. Congratulations to all of you! What happens if doubt starts to bloom while you are in a relationship especially when you are on your way to the altar?


There are a lot of pressures around relationships. The questions asked to single people are: who are you seeing? Or when are you getting married? Then when someone is in a committed relationship it turns to when are you having children? It keeps the pressure up. The other type of pressure are the ones we put on ourselves. Like having a plan that by a certain age we will be married, we will own a house, we will have that dream job or we will have kids. Trying to keep up with these pressures can cause the relationship to move more quickly or for us to overlook red flags.


Doubt gets a bad rap. When someone expresses doubt in a relationship especially after they have become engaged, they are often met with, its just nerves! Or every bride feels this way, you’ll get over it after the wedding. The problem with this is that doubt has a purpose.


As a relationship therapist, I often hear from people when they are in crisis in their relationship that they knew there were problems at the beginning, and they ignored them. Or felt pressure to move the relationship to the next stage and in hindsight they can see the red flags. The truth is the doubt is doing its job by trying to draw your attention to something that is bothering you.


Does doubt mean you need to break up? Not necessarily. It means that there are things that you need clarification on, and possibly, find different ways to deal with situations and learn to become a team. This often requires the help of a relationship specialist who will help you navigate those difficult conversations you have been avoiding. This process is often call premarital counselling. It is therapy designed specifically to help strengthen your relationship and remove any doubts. Statistics show that having premarital therapy raises marriage satisfaction and increases the chance of marital success.


Utilize your doubt because it is not anxiety or “cold feet”. It is your mind trying to help you navigate your relationship. Listen to it and explore the thoughts that come to light with your partner. This will help you through the doubts. If you need help with this part, please reach out for an appointment with a relationship therapist.


Warmly,

Trish Pauls, MA RP

Registered Psychotherapist

HELPPS Psychotherapy Services

519-601-HELP (4357)

www.helpps.ca

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