Insecurities Before Getting Married: How Does Psychotherapy Help?

Insecurities before getting married: how does psychotherapy help?

At some point in our lives, we all find ourselves faced with making a difficult decision, caught between a rock and a hard place by two possibilities: accepting a new job opportunity (or rejecting it?), the possibility of moving to a apartment (or house?), spend our holidays in the mountains (or at the sea?), and so on, we could continue.

It is said that the sum of all our small decisions shapes the life we ​​build. Therefore, we can infer that this is also how the logic of the big decisions. One of them is the decision to marry the couple. Marriage is a common project, but at the same time, embarking on it must be individually agreed upon. While reversible, this is a decision that will likely have significant consequences in the future.

That is why, before getting married, both people should consider whether it is a desire they desire for their individual lives and whether they want to share it with their partner. This process of introspection could trigger intense anxiety due to possible—and more than logical—insecurities regarding marriage.

Fortunately, working with a psychotherapist can be very useful when a person is unable to make a decision, and finds themselves constantly pivoting between one possibility and another. In particular, in this article I will explain to you how cognitive-behavioral therapy helps a patient who is insecure about the decision to get married.

The premise of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

Clinical psychology is a field within psychology whose objective is the application of theoretical knowledge to prevent, diagnose and treat human suffering. Within this branch of psychology, psychotherapists can address the problem that a patient brings to the office from different theoretical approaches. In other words, the same problem can be seen from different “lenses” and, therefore, treated in different ways. One of the treatments that has been most researched and has proven to be most effective in addressing multiple forms of discomfort and suffering, mental health problems and mental disorders is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

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CBT is a treatment that is based on the premise that our thoughts and emotions affect our behavior. However, people do not always create thoughts that are adjusted to reality: we do not think about ourselves or the world. as it isbut as we believe it is. This interpretive process is carried out by our mind automatically. The underlying explanation for this is that our thought patterns may be distorted since at some early point in our learning history we have formed a false belief about reality that has persisted through reinforcement and repetition over time.

These beliefs—which are the content of what are called cognitive schemas in CBT—last over time and allow us to quickly interpret information in the world, but, being biased, they can also lead us to erroneous interpretations capable of causing high levels of of suffering. Many CBT interventions aim to identify, question, and reevaluate biases under the process of cognitive restructuring.

Possible CBT interventions in insecure patients before marriage

Now, it is important to know the basics of CBT since from them we can make a reading of the insecurities when deciding to get married. Firstly, cognitive-behavioral therapy and other therapeutic approaches accept the theoretical assumption that experiencing anxiety or fear when faced with a decision – that is, emotions that make up what we commonly call insecurity – is normal and adaptive. We say that it is adaptive because thanks to anxiety and fear we can make predictions for the future, we can imagine the possible consequences of our actions in the medium and long term and even formulate hypothetical relationships between these consequences. This allows us to make a decision that is more adjusted to the possible scenarios within our lives.

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Restructuring of maladaptive thoughts

However, a patient may experience excessive anxiety regarding making a decision when he or she is interpreting it according to some maladaptive belief. For example, in relation to marriage and love, many of us have developed beliefs—due to our childhood, the context in which we grew up, the surrounding culture—that filter reality in a certain way that could lead us to suffering. Such is the case of “couples are ruined after marriage” or “I am unable to commit to a partner in the long term.” As we can see, both are interpretations about an event that will not necessarily be consistent with reality.

From CBT We work on identifying beliefs through certain interventions such as the downward arrow technique or Socratic dialogue, and seeks to question how closely these beliefs agree with true facts. Thus, after hard but possible work with a therapist, the firmness with which a patient holds the biased belief might waver: “Is it really true that all “Do couples go bankrupt after marriage?” Subsequently, between the therapist and the patient, other ways of interpreting reality that may be more adaptive and flexible are agreed upon.

Development of interpersonal skills

The therapist who works with CBT can also help the patient develop relaxation skills to face difficult moments more effectively. Another possible intervention for cases of insecurity when faced with a complex decision is the development of interpersonal skills. The person may feel anxious about the decision to marry not so much because she does not know what the potential results of her actions are, but rather because she does not know how to express her disagreement with the partner.

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Yeah, Marriage is a project for two but at the same time individual. When one person wants to get married but the other does not, the latter must have the necessary tools to assertively express (clear, concise, open to dialogue) her disagreement.

A therapist trained in CBT can help a person in an individual psychotherapy process to develop more effective communication skills in line with what they want. At the same time, also There is the possibility of working on this aspect in a couples therapy context.

Promotion of strategies to deal with episodes of rumination

Ultimately, it is also necessary to note that CBT can help a person “unstick” themselves from a rumination loop when they are insecure about their decision. Many times, staying in a reflective state for too long about the infinite possibilities of the future can be exhausting, maladaptive, and could catapult a person’s anxiety levels. Through CBT, the person can be taught to more easily detect the moment in which they begin to ruminate and train them to display behaviors capable of attracting their attention to the present moment and reorienting their behavior.

Based on the information presented, we can agree that cognitive-behavioral therapy is an effective, safe option based on empirical evidence for those people who present insecurities before getting married.