Saturday, January 16, 2010

The (mostly) conscious groom

After reading Little Spoon's excellent post about being a Conscious Bride, I thought I'd share the negative emotions I've felt surrounding the process of coming together for life. Many of the things she described going through don't seem like they apply to me. I've lived away from my family for about half my life now, and all of my friends are similarly coupled and supportive, so I haven't felt a pull away from any of them.

However, there are other things that I'm dealing with that she's less likely to face. Having been married before, I'm ultimately concerned about making another life-long commitment. Though the marriage itself was cordial and good, my ex-wife and I ended up growing apart, in large part due to the evolution of my own beliefs and how those would impact the ways in which we would raise children. Thus, one of my worries is that somehow, one of us will change substantially enough to make history repeat itself. However, the fact that we've both grown through early adulthood makes me less concerned of that happening.

Another potential issue is that I had only really started to be a part of the singles scene before meeting Little Spoon. But it's not that I'm afraid we're rushing into things; I crammed a lot of dating into those few months, so I feel relatively confident that I've had enough experience to know she's right for me. No, it's that I'd had a few months of going grocery shopping, making my own dinners, doing my own laundry, and taking care of my own finances. The mortgage is in my name, as are all the utility bills. I took some time to ensure I could be emotionally self-sufficient, that I could rely on myself (leaning on friends and parents as needed).

In short, I made the transition to my life, not our life. The repercussions of joining our lives together - both financial and emotional - are scary. Already, Little Spoon has taken on some of the chores I'd gotten used to doing myself (and loathing more than occasionally). Nevertheless, there are still some times when I miss feeling totally self-sufficient. Earlier this week, I made dinner for myself largely because I wanted to convince myself I could still do it. However, it made me appreciate Little Spoon's efforts that way all the more. The prospect of entering into interdependency again is scary, mostly because I'm anxious about the huge life change that will be represented (through which I've already lived once) if things don't work out in the end.

Basically, my negative emotions are those that stem from a loss realized, from being once bitten and twice shy. I don't feel like I'm grieving; instead, I feel afraid. It's a different set of emotions. Hers are fueled by actual losses and coping with them, whereas mine are fueled by the fear of loss.

Do any of you have different sets of negative emotions about being married than your spouse-to-be? Have you talked about them with each other?

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