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Marriage anxiety

Marriage anxiety

What is marriage anxiety?

Marriage anxiety is when a person gets cold feet about committing to a relationship or a person in order to get married. Most of the time, people get past their anxiety, but some people are so afraid to think about it that they make poor decisions. For instance, they may end their relationship just a few days before getting married or once their partner expresses interest in marriage. In some cases, a person may get married, but this marriage ends up in divorce due to the individual feeling trapped..

This fear of marriage is also known as Gamophobia, where a person is afraid of commitment. This article is all about Marriage anxiety. You will be able to know about symptoms of marriage anxiety, problems associated with it, and how you can deal with it. So let’s get started:

Marriage anxiety disorder

Phobias are anxiety disorders and are irrational fears of things that impart no or little physical danger in reality. Anything can stimulate a phobia, including people, objects, animals and even environments. About 10 million people in the UK have phobias. These can affect anyone irrespective of their age, social background or gender. Marriage anxiety disorder (Gamophobia) is one such phobia. A person may understand that this fear is irrational, but  feels that they can’t do anything about it.

Gamophobia is categorized under simple phobias, having a specific focus; that’s why also known as specific phobias. Gamophobia causes an overwhelming, unreasonable and persistent commitment or marriage fear. People suffering from this disorder will have severe panic attacks at the thought of commitment or marriage. This reaction can be uncontrollable and overpowering sometimes. Sometimes these people cannot see other married couples without these emotions. The idea of making this commitment scares the individual.

Marriage anxiety symptoms

Any kind of phobia comes up with both physical and psychological symptoms. You may find it weird, but the physical reaction is very real. In response to any danger, adrenaline hormone comes forward to the response that works on the principle of fight-or-flight.

Physical symptoms

Physical marriage anxiety symptoms are as follows:

  • Chest tightness, feeling short of breath, or rapid breathing.
  • Fainting, dizziness, or lightheadedness
  • Heart rate is very fast.
  • Clamminess, sweating, or nausea
  • Trembling or shakiness
  • Inability to relax, problems concentrating.
  • Being quick-tempered
  • Insomnia
  • Feeling anxious

Physical symptoms occur when a person has to deal with extreme scenarios like someone proposes to them for marriage or a family member or friends push them to get married. These symptoms may also appear when a person has to attend an engagement or a marriage ceremony.

Psychological symptoms

Psychological marriage anxiety symptoms are as follows;

Feel  guilty

A person having some kind of phobia realizes that this fear is unreasonable and excessive. The same is the case with those who have a marriage anxiety disorder. They know that their fear of commitment is making it difficult for them to be in a healthy relationship. This makes them feel guilty. They feel ashamed, which is not a healthy attitude to deal with this problem.

Get panic

Whenever someone tries to talk about marriage, they feel panic. They will try their best to avoid the topic. They may be in a long term relationship but are afraid to label this relationship. So whenever their partner asks about the future of their relationship, the panic starts. Everything is going fine, but just this one situation can make them get stressed, and as a result, they may break up with their partner.

Have no control

A person having any kind of phobia is not able to control this fear. The individual can work on this with someone’s help and continuous practicing; otherwise, there is no chance to heal from this. Working on self-regulation and reframing thoughts can help.

Thinks of marriage as a cage

The individual thinks that getting married to someone is like ending your own life and starting a new life full of responsibilities. No doubt, marriage comes with a lot of responsibilities, but it surely is not the end of your personal life and fun. The mind may view marriage as a cage due to this phobia.

Anxiety marriage problems

Anxiety marriage problems are a lot. It can totally ruin your relationships. For me, marriage is like celebrating the love you share with someone. But obviously, your life should not revolve around marriage. Still, you can choose not to marry without panicking about it. But keep in mind that it only implies when you and your partner want the same things that is what a great marriage is all about.

Here are some anxiety marriage problems that may arise:

Marriage anxiety depression

Marriage anxiety depression is another condition in which when marriage fear is unable to be controlled and is at its peak, a person may go into depression. The individual may try hard to deal with the fear, but if the individual does not make any progress with it, an individual with marriage anxiety may get disappointed.

Because of marriage anxiety depression, a person may ruin their romantic relationships. Obviously, if a person thinks that the final destination of a relationship is marriage and plans to do it in the near future, why would they want to be with someone who does not want the same thing. A gamophobic person may have a strong attachment with that person, and when this ends, it may lead into depression.

Anxiety marriage separation

If a person has marriage anxiety, he may not get married at all, but in some cases, a person with this disorder may get married while fighting with all these thoughts. But after marriage, everything changes. Soon the individual may realize that this marriage thing is not right for them, and will feel they want to end this marriage as soon as possible. This situation leads to anxiety marriage separation.

Separation after marriage is not easy at all; you have to take care of a lot of legal matters and also your emotional state. It also affects the other person. Anxiety marriage separation may also lead to depression in some cases.

What are the causes of marriage anxiety?

As I have mentioned above, anything can trigger a phobia. So we are not certain about these triggers. A person may seem normal at a time, and everything may seem fine, but after some time, you may notice that the person is getting a panic attack. While we may get confused about what has triggered that phobia, knowing the causes behind a phobia can help in the understanding the reaction of a person.  Here are some causes of marriage anxiety:

Past experiences

You might wonder about what actually causes marriage anxiety; well, one of the main reasons behind this kind of disorder is bad experiences in the past. Those who have been in toxic relationships or have the worst dating experience may have this phobia. A person who has divorced previously may also start developing this phobia. Also, people who have to deal with domestic abuse from parents or child abuse may also develop this disorder. According to stats, about 4.2% of men and 7.9% of women have experienced domestic abuse from their partner in the past. This can be a contributing factor too.

Vicarious conditioning

Vicarious conditioning has nothing to do with personal experience. So there are chances that an individual might not have a bad personal experience in the past. But seeing other people struggling with their marriages can develop this phobia in a person. The individual may have seen their parents fighting over little things and being in a toxic relationship. The individuals parents may have separated, which makes them realize that marriage is not a permanent thing, so one can live without it. The individual may also have this idea that people who get married become toxic towards each other, and all love fades away with time. It is not just about seeing parents in a bad marriage, but anyone close to that person, like friends, siblings or other close relatives in a bad marriage.


Poor upbringing can also be a reason behind developing marriage anxiety. Those who are uncertain about the concept of marriage or have transmitted a feeling of danger may experience marriage anxiety. A single parent may tell his/her young child that marriage is a bad thing because he/she had a bad experience. It can affect a child’s mind badly, making them believe that they should never get married. So it is necessary to guide your children properly so that their personality can develop positively and not negatively towards marriage.

Genetic problems

Genetics can also play a role here. It is a fact that most characteristics and features we have are transmitted via genes to us from our parents. A lot of diseases are transmitted genetically, like cystic fibrosis, diabetes etc., same is the case with fears. Phobias can also pass from parents to offspring. So those who have gamophobia; fear of marriage may pass it to their kids. We cannot do anything to stop that, but we can help the person in dealing with it for sure and tackling the issue head on with coaching or therapy.

Marriage anxiety therapy

Social and anxiety disorders are very common these days; it is estimated that about 13% of adults in the UK develop some specific kind of phobia at some point in their lives.

But the point is how you can effectively deal with your phobias. In the case of marriage anxiety, a professional may suggest you some useful therapies to deal with it. Let’s have a look at some marriage anxiety therapy options that a professional may suggest to you.

Talking therapies

Talking treatments or talking therapies basically involve counselling or life coaching. It is the most effective marriage anxiety therapy to deal with this kind of phobia. You have to take the services of a highly qualified trained therapist, and during therapy, you can share your thoughts and feelings and talk about your behaviour under certain conditions too. The purpose of talking therapy is to

  • Help you in recognizing toxic patterns of your attitude, thoughts and emotions and to find some way to deal with them.
  • Help you in dealing with complex emotions, accept your fears and live with them.
  • Help you know yourself with introspection.
  • Provide you with a safe place to express your emotions without passing judgment

Cognitive-behavioural therapy

CBT is one of the most effective therapy techniques that help in identifying negative emotions and thoughts and their changing patterns. Whatever we think or feel has a strong effect on our behaviour. Sometimes we get afraid just because of false thoughts we have built up in our minds. These thoughts have nothing to do with reality. CBT helps in identifying these thoughts and then treating them.

In one simple CBT technique person is asked to practice saying “STOP” either in his head or aloud whenever he experiences a rush of irrational thoughts or anxiety. It can bring remarkable results in dealing with marriage anxiety.


Meditation can help you in dealing with your marriage anxiety. It has several different forms, and a professional can give you the right suggestion. In most cases, mindfulness is considered the best kind of meditation. With the help of mindfulness, you can divert your focus to something else. You will be able to refocus your attention on something without emotional baggage. Focusing on breathing is the most common practice for diverting attention.

Exposure therapy

It is one of the common approaches to deal with anxiety disorders. Gamophobia; fear of marriage is an example of such anxiety disorders. To deal with this disorder, your therapist will expose you to your fear. By this, we can have some idea about the severity of the disorder and can plan the strategy accordingly. That will surely help the person in overcoming this phobia.

Marriage anxiety Reddit

Most of you look up to Reddit to get the answer to your questions. People who have been dealing with marriage anxiety want to know what other people have to say about it. To help you with that, I have searched marriage anxiety Reddit and here is how Reddit users are motivating people who have marriage anxiety:

“Don’t worry about it. When it’s the right time to make a lifetime commitment, you will know it. The thought of not having that person at your side as you walk through life will be unbearable. Knowing that they feel the same way will light you up like nothing has before. Once you marry that person, you get to spend each and every day with your favorite person, and if you decide to have kids you get to add more favorite people into the equation. I’ve enjoyed 26 years of it and the only thing that scares me now is that I might have missed it.”

“Calm down. Marriage is hard because we want to put ourselves before our partners by our nature. It’s hard because we have to make a life work with someone who won’t see eye to eye with us. It’s hard because there are boundaries, and temptation and opportunity to cross them occur. Your not faking anything, you can do this. Because you have a vision for your life together, let that be your motivation.”

“You are just worried because you are forging a new path of extra commitment, one that you haven’t seen work out since you mention being a child of divorce. No one’s perfect. Reassure your girl you love her, and mention what I said above, if it is true.”

“I can’t say I was terrified of the marriage, but I did feel a lot of jitters. The same thing has happened with every really big decision that I know will effect my life far into the future that I’ve had to make. I wasn’t terrified I was making the wrong choice, I just realized that it was a really big choice I was making. Talk to your fiance about your expectations of married life. One thing that messes up good relationships after they get married is unmatched expectations. If one person expects X to happen after the wedding and it doesn’t, it can hurt the relationship. So if you expect her to cook more when you’re married, tell her. And if she expects you to work less, she should tell you. This doesn’t need to be just one conversation either. You probably won’t think of all of your expectations all at once, so it should be an ongoing conversation. Also, don’t think that just because you’re married, you don’t need to work on the relationship. You still need to do nice things for each other, go on dates, etc. It’s easy to become complacent, but you have to fight that urge.”

Marriage anxiety quotes

Quotes are an excellent way to get motivation and deal with fears. So here are marriage anxiety quotes for you:

  • “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” – Amit Ray.
  • “Depression is when you don’t really care about anything. Anxiety is when you care too much about everything. And having both is just like hell.”
  • “Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time. It’s the fear of failure but no urge to be productive. It’s wanting friends but hating socializing. It’s wanting to be alone but not wanting to be lonely. It’s caring about everything then caring about nothing. It’s feeling everything at once then feeling paralyzingly numb.”
  • “That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end.” – Elizabeth Wurtzel.
  • “You don’t have to live a lie. Living a lie will mess you up. It will send you into depression. It will warp your values.” – Gilbert Baker.”
  • “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” – Charles Spurgeon.
  • “Just because I can’t explain the feelings causing my anxiety, doesn’t make them less valid.” – Lauren Elizabeth.
  • “Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.” – Anaïs Nin.
  • “No amount of anxiety can change the future. No amount of regret can change the past.” – Karen Salmansohn.

The following the marriage, anxiety quotes are my favourites:

  • “That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it’s a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different.” – J.K. Rowling.
  • “The sun stopped shining for me is all. The whole story is: I am sad. I am sad all the time and the sadness is so heavy that I can’t get away from it. Not ever.” – Nina LaCour
  • “Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day.” – Barbara De Angelis.
  • “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” – Friedrich Nietzsche.
  • “Don’t ever stop dating your wife and don’t ever stop flirting with your husband.” – Unknown,
  • “Marriage stands the test of times when both you and your spouse work towards making things better. And we are tested the most when we face adversities. If you can sail through the adversities as one, as a team, then you have won half the battle.” – Unknown.
  • “Marriage, to women as to men, must be a luxury, not a necessity; an incident of life, not all of it.” – Susan B. Anthony
  • “So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.” – Nicholas Sparks
  • “The secret to a happy marriage is if you can be at peace with someone within four walls, if you are content because the one you love is near to you, either upstairs or downstairs, or in the same room, and you feel that warmth that you don’t find very often, then that is what love is all about.” – Bruce Forsyth.


Marriage is an excellent way to celebrate your love with your partner. But those who have marriage anxiety are unable to cherish this moment. It is not like that they don’t want to be in a loving relationship; the fact is just that they are afraid to commit to marriage. I am not saying that marriage should be your priority, and your life aim should be to get married. You can stay in a relationship for as long as you want its fine if you and your partner do not want to get married ever, but there is nothing to be afraid of about it. You do not need to feel anxious whenever someone asks when you are going to married?

Dealing with marriage anxiety is not easy at all. You will need professional help. Do not be afraid to get help. In this article, I have tried my best to share useful information with you. I hope  you will find it helpful. GET SUPPORT NOW SPEAK TO A COACH CLICK HERE.

Further reading

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