Is it cold feet?

My Martha Stewart mom is helping plan my wedding. I'm starting to wish my beloved were taller. Could there be a connection?

By Cary Tennis

Published August 12, 2003 7:56PM (EDT)

Dear Cary,

I'm engaged to one of the finest men I've ever met. He's incredibly kind, generous, compassionate, consistent and self-disciplined. I also think he's funny, smart and extremely good-looking.

So what's the problem? Well, that's just it; I don't know what the problem is. It did take me a little while to fall in love with him, but once I did, I was amazed that I had been blessed with a person who seemed so uniquely made for me. I used to cry at my good fortune. Our senses of humor are so similar, we share so many common interests and goals, and most of all he's just so kind to me -- so sweet and romantic and always able to talk me down from being upset in a way that's almost uncanny. We also have fantastic sex.

In the last two months, I've been dealing with a lot of turmoil in my life. Planning this wedding with my mother, who is like Martha Stewart, only slightly less bitchy, is giving me a unique opportunity to see and have my heart broken by how fractured my family really is. I've also been dealing with intense feelings of ... cold feet? That's my question, I guess. Am I having cold feet or is it something else?

I still find my fiancé to be all of the things I listed above, and I'm extremely attracted to him, but in these last few difficult months, I just haven't been feeling the love. I still like being around him and I have tons of fun with him, but I'm confused about where the magic has gone. I'm not so naive that I think that life with the person you love is all wine and roses, but lately when I hear people talk about being madly in love, I feel a fear in my heart that that's over for us -- only that doesn't make any sense! When we get married we will have been together only for a year and a half! It's not like the seven-year itch -- it's more like the six-month itch!

I find myself lately wishing he were taller, thinking his jokes are a little obvious, and just generally being completely terrified. I respect him, like him, and am attracted to him. I certainly don't want to let him go -- he's so good for me! I see no red flags, and it's hardly like I'm settling. So what's going on with me?

Cold Feet?

Dear Cold Feet,

What's going on with you is normal. Planning the wedding is probably stressing you out more than you realize.

So before you get married, why don't the two of you take a little trip somewhere? Give yourself a chance, in a pleasant environment, to reassure yourself that he is the right guy, that it's a good thing you're doing, that you're not crazy.

If you have some place that you know makes the two of you happy, go there. Don't pick someplace stressful and strange. Pick someplace cheerful and unchallenging. Don't make it a test of your romantic feelings or like some honeymoon prequel. Just go somewhere where you'll both be happy, and have some fun. If you like water, go to the water. If you like mountains, go to the mountains. If you like motels next to trailer parks, go to a motel next to a trailer park.

While you're out there together, make a pact. Say to each other, "The next few weeks and months are going to be a nightmare. Under the stress, we might say bad and hurtful things to each other. But as long as no one kills my mom before the wedding, we can get through this."

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Cary Tennis

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