After getting engaged, many couples start to feel stressed about getting married. This could be what is known as “cold feet” (premarital doubt). It is not uncommon to ask yourself, “Is this the right person to spend the rest of my life with?” However, it could just be jitters and nerves about the wedding planning process. Maybe this feeling is pressure from well-meaning friends and relatives pushing along their expectations of what you should do from the moment you’ve announced your engagement. Take time to explore why you might feel stress about the wedding and identify the possible sources.
Many couples stay engaged for a year or more before starting on planning and budgeting for their wedding. They revel in being engaged, while letting it all sink in, and use this time to get to know each other better. Taking one’s time benefits the couple in feeling less stressful and more time to discuss any doubts, as well.
Premarital Education and Pre-Wedding Counseling
Your engagement is the perfect time to get to know yourself and your partner better. You’re both learning about each other and solving new issues together, which is good practice for your lifetime as a married couple. You’re both learning to become more open, honest, and to alleviate any fears of deeper intimacy.
Many couples chose longer engagements for the opportunity to get to know each other’s “for-better-or-worse” firsthand, and in advance, before the wedding. This gives a couple the chance to start working things out early. You both might have doubts, as you learn more about each other. Relax and explore your feelings together. Whirlwind romances can and will grow into a much bigger lasting love, which hopefully lasts a lifetime.
However, if there are any issues, hesitations, or second thoughts which come up, they could be based on the right or wrong reasons. Perhaps premarital counseling or marriage education could be of assistance to both of you.
This is the perfect time to turn to someone at your church, or to a professional counselor whom you can trust. They will have heard many pre-marital issues from different couples they have counseled, and can help you learn to understand your differences before it gets too far out of hand. Many of us turn to these individuals even after getting married for advice. These relationship experts help solve problems and can counsel you on marriages issues, which can have lasting benefits. It’s acceptable to say you can’t solve every relationship issue yourselves. It’s better to learn together how to deal with issues, since problems can get out of control without proper intervention. After all, a lasting marriage is always a work in progress, so don’t be afraid to get good counseling anytime.
Pre-Wedding Stress Reduction
There are many techniques to help with pre-wedding stress reduction. Here’s a few tips:
- Time management: Plan to get organized and stay organized.
- Accept that you can’t do everything yourself. Ask for help when needed.
- Be yourself and accept your own limitations.
- Don’t set yourself up for failure by accomodating the wedding expectations of others. Plan a wedding that you can handle, tone it back if needed. Make a budget and stick to it.
- Learn meditation, prayer, yoga, or use deep diaphragmatic breathing or other relaxation techniques.
We’ve all seen many older married couples who are inspirations to all of us. They still hold hands and grow into a deeper kind of love that only time makes possible. It comes from the excitement of having from many new experiences together, both from good times and bad times. At first, we all feel the excitement of romance, which then turns into a love we can’t always understand right away. A deeper kind of love grows as you become one together, while still holding on to your individuality.
Learn from each other, as there are always other new ways to do things. Sometimes compromise is the answer, as there is always middle ground, and winning at all costs isn’t worth it. Take turns accommodating each other. Work on good civil communication, even during the tougher conversations. Conflict is a normal part of any relationship, but it’s how we learn to deal with conflict that is important. Many couples don’t ever go to bed mad, but it’s just as important to learn how to disagree healthily and deal with it. Sometimes it’s better to sleep on it, as your prospective changes and you can come back to the issues when you’re less irritated or tired.
Most of all, remember the time when you first fell in love. You are two people who fell in love as individuals and found something in each other, which made your love possible. Many couples focus on what’s working for them and find strength in what works well in their relationship, which isn’t always easy.
Lastly, if you literally just have cold feet, gift each other some nice warm socks with character!