response to “am i in the wrong marriage or not?”

your answer to this previous question resonated with me. especially this comment, “If you leave you will have to work on your feelings of fear. If you stay you will have to work on your feelings of stuck. Either way, you have work to do.”

I was with a guy for 5 years, and then we got engaged. I remember feeling so many different kind of emotions; anxious, excited-ish, in awe, nervous, scared, etc. but mostly just a soft “noooooo” ringing in my head. (I think). very shortly after we got a dog, and I started to really see my future with this man, and I grew increasingly panicked. I feel really terrible about how I handled the whole situation – I did not *really* have the courage to say, “look i just can’t see my life with you”. Instead I started working late, seeking friends instead of him, and basically emotionally removed myself until I was able to say I needed to move out and think about things. Starting flirting with a guy at work, etc. I still feel like a such a shitty person for how I dealt with it. Its been – many years now – 2 or 3 or 4 I’m not even sure – and I still regress back to the following thoughts:
C – I left fiance
T – What the fuck was i thinking? he is the most amazing, kindest, morally just, ambitious and loving man you’ve ever been with. he taught you how to love, and what it means to really love another human.
F – like i will always be self-destructive. generally DOUBTFUL and UNCERTAIN. the worst.
A – wallow in doubt, feel terrible about myself.
R – hurt current relationships, make no good progress toward future i want for myself


I get stressed with work (we have the same profession and I have always been convinced he is better at it than me because he was always better in school, and he has an intuitive gift blah blah. we always had the dynamic that I was less-good at our job than him), and I go to these thoughts. I currently have a new partner, and for the first year it really felt hopeful that i had finally moved on from torturing myself about this decision to leave my ex. I had taken a few years to heal, and feel good before dating again. but now that things have gotten more serious with current guy, i’ve started thinking about ex, and feeling panicky, and feeling doubtful, and just generally being freaked out about exactly your comments – leaving or staying where both scare the crap out of me.

I guess my biggest thing is, I still doubt my own feelings when i made that decision. am my motives. it was like i was numb or something, or was really not in touch with myself. I was afraid I guess. I still am not sure if I actually wanted to leave, or if I was just scared. And I am stuck in the grey area of doubt that I might have shut the door on such a wonderful person, for a reason I can’t put my finger on. But then I think – but if I really wanted to stay, wouldn’t I have? was that my heart leading me away or my self destruction? I still don’t know, and that really hurts.

Any insight at all would be amazing, Brooke. Thank you.