Often regarded as a light hearted issue, men have been the butt of jokes on this subject for time immemorial. However, for a large minority, Gametophobia, or Gamophobia – the fear of marriage – is more than just a bar room caper.
What causes the affliction is shrouded in mystery. It is most commonly thought to occur after the age of 25, due to life experience, and having played witness to others who have gone through the process. Particularly in this modern age, marriages can often break down swiftly and destructively.
It is possible that these episodes create a perception that marriage will be harmful, and cause damage to the individual. Whilst stereotypical, this problem is indeed more common in men, as they apply a more logical process to dangers such as finances, and social inadequacies, but not exclusive.
The symptoms can be hard to diagnose, and indeed can be confused with other fears or mental issues. Sufferers can expect to have feelings of extreme anxiety and panic when the subject of marriage, or co-habiting, is discussed.
When diagnosed, most people are surprised, and often cite that they are only too aware of the irrationality of their thoughts. This causes anger and frustration to develop, which can increase tension and make the condition worse. Because of this, it can be a hard condition to treat.
However, there are many behavioral treatments that are proving successful, including Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and Hypnosis. These will attempt to understand the root causes for the issue, and provide routes for changing these, and replacing them with positive influences.
Undergoing such therapies, will help the sufferer understand the doubts, and tackle the fear of marriage in a responsible way. Whether it is to talk with a partner openly, self analyze the current relationship, or simply to chat to friends that have happy marriages themselves.