Dear Thriving Bride,
I will be married in 7 days, and I want to ask you to remember what I said (in an earlier post) about minimizing stress and maximizing your ability to thrive. Well, here’s the time for me to talk to you about it. If you want an emotionally sustainable wedding, you have to try and remember what’s most important: your soon to be spouse. Everything else is important, but the other person in this relationship is extremely important. Did you know that many engaged couples never say “I do?” There are plenty of reasons, but a major one is that they decide not to stay together and end the engagement. So, if you both want to show up at the altar eager and ready to marry each other, then here are a few tips:
1. Keep the Romance Flowing: Once you are engaged, keep going (or start going) on date nights. These are moments to stop, reflect, focus on this person and take one deep breath. It’s also some good fun. If you decide to take wedding dance classes, these moments can be your weekly dates. If you have the resources, you can throw in dinner afterwards and have a really great night!
2. Manage the Crazy Control Meter: If and when you think you are going in this direction, find a quiet place and remember why you are marrying this person. Think about how bummed you’d be if they decided not to marry you at the end of the wedding planning journey. You did after all just pay the final wedding vendor and your big day will be happening and now you’re acting like some ……… I’ll let you fill in the most appropriate word that describes you right about now.
3. Spend time with your chosen family: These are the people who may or may not share blood with you. They are the ones who are there to support you. Find time to spend some time with them outside of planning for the wedding. I always support PJ in spending time with his mom without me there. A huge transition is about to happen and it is important that he continues his personal relationship with her, and that may or may not include me at times. Plus, it does not hurt to make people feel special!
4. Figure out your marriage communication mojo: If it works, that’s great! If it is not working, then change it. We’ve gotten to a point where we have an issue come up, but we get to the other side of it pretty quickly. This is because now that we are getting married, I see PJ in a different light. I see us as a team, and I don’t take things so personally. I figure out how “we” can get things done. It’s helpful, but you may need another approach. If you find yourself having several arguments, now is not the time to be proud. Acknowledge your partner’s feelings, apologize and move on. We all learned patterns of behavior during childhood and now may be the time to hang on to some and let go of others. You’ve got a whole life ahead of you and now is a good time as any to figure out how you want to communicate going forward. More to come on this topic!
5. Give your fiance gifts as often as you can: Who says you have to wait until the wedding day or until the Winter Holidays? That’s months away and you are experiencing this time with your partner now. It is important to give your fiance actual physical gifts and emotional ones as well. Did you notice that your partner now apologizes anytime he’s hurt your feelings? Give him an acknowledgement of that. A kiss wouldn’t hurt either. You are growing and changing so much in this time, it is an opportunity to notice and acknowledge. Do you know that your partner loves a certain restaurant or a particular flower? Give it to them! And if you’re mad at them, it might just be a good time to let yourself be angry while shopping for them.
It sounds crazy, but by the time you make the transaction at the store, get back in your car and drive home, something may have shifted inside you and you just might be ready to talk it over. Yesterday we went into a vintage store so I could buy a few wedding day things. I saw a little gold clutch, and when we came home, PJ gifted it to me. He was pretty sly and figured out how to purchase it without me knowing. This was a two way gift: He gave me the purse, but he also gave me the knowledge that he pays attention to my wants and needs. My surprise and delight in knowing that he paid attention, then gave him the gift of happiness and satisfaction as well. It is important to give, but one of the greatest gifts you can give your partner is to be able to receive as well.
So, let the flowers and the dress and your bridesmaids be important, but let your partner and the acknowledgement that this is a shared journey be even more important. You’re both worth it!