You can feel the excitement in the air…the invitations have been sent out, the rings are sitting in their comfortable velvet boxes and the event has been arranged. All the bases seem to be covered.
So why do you feel so jittery? Why do so many discussions about the wedding turn into arguments? You’ve always imagined this to be a romantic, blissful time in your relationship – is something really wrong?
Have no fear. Most couples experience conflict building up to their nuptials. The pre-wedding stress coupled with the anticipation of a brand-new life ahead often leads to friction. What’s more, in our human way, engaged couples often have unrealistic expectations of perfection and fairytale romance for their engagement period. When those usually high expectations are not met, the result is disappointment and blame.
Here are some tips on how to minimize pre-wedding friction:
- Communicate openly and often. Often a good open discussion will do the trick! Share how you are feeling during this time and what your anxieties are for the wedding and/or change in your relationship. Tell your partner your concerns so that they understand what concerns are behind the expectations and actions.
- Listen to each other. Each partner should take a turn listening objectively to the other with no interruptions. One partner will be the ‘speaker’ and the other the ‘responder’. The speaker will talk about his/her feelings or issues and the responder should then repeat exactly what the speaker has said. It’s important not to add in extra feelings or opinions at this time. The roles can then be switched with the responder now being the ‘speaker’. The purpose of this technique is to show a mutual understanding of the issue/feelings of each partner.
- Prioritize each other. Remember the reason that you are at this exciting stage of your lives. You love each other and want to spend the rest of your lives together! Keep this thought alive by spending quality time together just the two of you, by surprising each other with small romantic gifts, and by not allowing the inevitable wedding interference by other family members come between you.