I probably should have ignored The Hairpin’s link to an article on women who marry the men they don’t love as soon as I saw it was from Marie Claire, but I do stupid things all the time.
The article tells us some women marry men they don’t love for various women-are-dumb reasons (they’re excited to have a wedding! they are about to turn 30!) even they know, in their gut, they shouldn’t marry him. And then a few years later they get divorced. Thesis: cold feet? Abort engagement!
I think that is crap. Maybe I’m kidding myself because I don’t want to end my engagement or end up divorced, but I am no stranger to cold feet and I still think Collin and I should get married. And again, maybe I’m kidding myself, but I’m guessing I’m not alone in that. I think we’re just afraid to talk about it because of divorce statistics and the “you’ll see”s and the responding chorus of “but we’re different! I am one hundred thousand percent sure we’ll be this blissfully happy forever!”
Hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe everyone but me is one hundred thousand percent sure. And maybe my marriage is doomed. But let me be perfectly clear: I get cold feet.
Sure, I don’t have the “in my gut I know this is wrong” feeling described in that piece. But I don’t have the “in my gut I know this is right!” feeling either. I don’t think that has anything to do with Collin. It has everything to do with me: my depression and my pessimism and my anxiety. If I had to be absolutely sure, I’d never get married.
The best I can do is “really pretty sure” and “I really want this.” That gives me a leg up on the women in that Marie Claire article who don’t really want to marry their partners. But it doesn’t make my marriage failsafe. And I’m tired of hearing the message that doubts = doomed, because, well, that just makes me doubt more.
So maybe you’re one of the “sure you’re sure” people and you think I’m fooling myself. Maybe you’re a marriage cynic and think anyone getting married is fooling themselves. Maybe you’re Future Robin the Jilted or Divorced Woman and you’re reading this through tears of regret. But the truth is the truth: I am not sure my marriage is going to work, but that’s not going to stop me from trying. So if there is anyone else like me, you’re not alone, and at least as far as I’m concerned, you’re not a fool.