Major life decisions, such as signing a mortgage or getting married, can understandably cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Recently, Tribeca Therapy was quoted in HerMoney on why even when feeling good about a life decision, we can also experience fear and worry at the same time.
In “Why Did My Mortgage Feel So Much More Serious Than My Marriage?”, HerMoney Editor-In-Chief Kathryn Tuggle begins with her own experience of anxiety when buying a home, even though she and her partner are financially secure and in a long-term relationship. She uses this as a jumping-off point to speak to experts about why she was so stressed, including our Founder and Clinical Director Matt. In particular, she compares her feelings about marriage and the mortgage, the latter of which felt much more serious. Matt explains that this comparison isn’t always helpful. “In life,” he says, “we often equate the degree to which we worry or stress about something with how much we care about it relative to other things.”
This doesn’t mean it’s not normal to be scared about signing a mortgage. As Matt observes, “Owning a home is an example of something I would term ‘objectively scary.’…It’s a huge commitment. For most people, it’s their biggest expense, and comes with serious risk. I’d be concerned if you didn’t have a certain amount of fear.”
One reason that major decisions can feel overwhelmingly stressful is that they can undeniably eliminate other life decisions. “There’s both an economic and emotional opportunity cost to buying a home,” Matt tells Tuggle. “It means that whatever dreams you may have harbored of, say, leaving it all behind and backpacking around the world, while not impossible, just became a lot more difficult now that you’re on the hook for those mortgage payments.”