Dealing with pre-marriage jitters
Marriage is one of the biggest commitments you’ll ever make, so feeling nervous about the big day is perfectly natural. But, sometimes those nerves can be hiding something else. If you think you’ve got more than the jitters, work through these steps to try and sort out your feelings.
Put your fears to paper
For the same reasons as you may have written a diary when you were a teenager, writing down your thoughts can be a very cathartic experience. It will also help you separate out your fears about the wedding and genuine fears about your marriage. Then try to come up with potential solutions. For example, if you’re worried about losing touch with your friends after marriage, set up a regular night out.
List your pros and cons
Whilst you’ve got your pen and paper out, also jot down a list of the positives and negatives of marriage. Be honest – do your negatives seem a bit niggly? On the positive side you will probably have something along the lines of ‘unconditional love’, but do you counter this with ‘my fiancé slurps his soup’? You need to make the ultimate decision on whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
Talk it over
Try and talk to your partner about your concerns. For example, if you’re worried that they will want to have children as soon as you’re married, find out their position on this and try and come to a compromise. If you find you can’t talk to your fiancé(e) , talk to a close friend instead – but question why you can’t talk to your partner. You might also want to talk to happily married friends, and ask them how they felt at this stage of their relationship.
See a counsellor
This may seem a little extreme, but premarital counselling can be a great way to work out any issues before you commit to marriage. Try to go as a couple, but if your partner refuses, go alone and talk through why you think your partner is reluctant to join you. A good starting point is the Relate website
With all the lengthy preparations that can come with a wedding, you can forget how to simply be a couple. Recapture this by devoting one night a week to each other, and promise not to talk about the wedding. Simply remember why you’re together in the first place – do something fun like going out for dinner, or watch your favourite film.
Remember to take time for yourself in your busy schedule of work, wedding preparations and anything else you have going on. Try to exercise to up your energy levels, and get a good night’s sleep. De-stressing should help clear your mind, and will take some of the strain off your relationship.
Remember why you’re together
This one’s a bit like the date night idea above, but take an evening to go over mementos from your relationship. Look at photos, keepsakes and remember your relationship milestones, such as when you first said ‘I love you’. This should help you reconnect with why you’re getting married in the first place.
Pen a love note
Write down the reasons you love your partner in a letter you can give them on the big day. If you’re stuck for what to write, it’s time to think about whether you should get married at all.
These points should really help you work out whether you’re simply having jitters, or if there are serious problems in your relationship. However, beyond feelings, there are some things that are real deal breakers. If you or your partner is dealing with any of the following issues you should seriously think about calling off the wedding. This may be a costly, and even embarrassing, experience, but that doesn’t compare to the mistake you could be making:
• Physical /verbal abuse
• Differences on important issues you will face in your marriage, such as whether or not to have children
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