Fear of Marriage

Marriage is a time-honored institution that signifies commitment and shared resources. It is a combination of living arrangements with the potential for offspring. It is beautiful, natural and often anticipated. There are those who fear marriage and that fear is known as Gamophobia.

Interestingly some who have this fear may actually want to be married, but the fear prevents them from acting on the dream. In fact the dream is often a fear trigger in itself.

What Causes Gamophobia?

One of the key sources of the fear of marriage is personal observation. Yes, this can be observed in the marriage of an individual’s parents. The observation could be a bad marriage that may include arguments and perhaps even abuse. The one observing may begin their road to fear by simply saying, “If that’s what marriage is then I don’t want any part of it.”

That statement can become an object of obsession. When the thought becomes consuming then the dislike for all negative aspects of marriage can morph into something that suggests all marriages are bad, and as much as you may want to enjoy marriage there are too many things that can go wrong. At that point fear stands very close to phobia.

The motivation for the fear of marriage can be a fear of the opposite sex, a poor body image, a fear of being naked, a fear of sex or an inability to attach emotionally. While emotions are telling an individual that marriage can be a good thing the fear response is telling them marriage should be avoided at all costs. The conflict causes great problems for the phobic personality.

What are the Symptoms of Gamophobia?

As you might expect the predominant feature in most fear is avoidance of the thing that causes the fear. In this case an individual with this fear will avoid becoming involved deeply in a relationship. They will likely respond to others in a very surface relationship and push completely away if they view the other party as becoming uncomfortably serious.

Other symptoms may also include…

  • Air hunger
  • Nausea
  • Trembling
  • Self-loathing
  • Elevated heart rates
  • Elevated body temperatures
  • Crying
  • Panic attacks

The individual may not even see that this reaction may be very evident in more than one friendship that might have become more. If this happens too often the individual may resist friendships all together.

How to Overcome Gamophobia

The role of fear is to help preserve life, yet the role of marriage is often to celebrate and create life. Gaining a healthy understanding of marriage can be helpful in reducing the fear that many gamophobes experience.

By visiting with a therapist you can gain better insight into yourself and why you struggle with this fear. The fear itself has it’s own backstory and it often takes a quality therapist to uncover that story and allow you to see how and/or why you believed something to be true that was in all likelihood a false picture of what marriage is supposed to be like.

The fear of marriage is also referred to as:

  • Marriage fear
  • Gamophobia
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