Mostly the days leading up to a wedding are a mad but enjoyable rush of dress trials, meetings with the caterer and bachelor/bachelorette parties. At the same time soon-to-be-married couples have been known to experience a chilling fear as they realize that they are about to spend the rest of your life with the same person. Most of the times, this freak-out period just means you’re suffering from a case of pre-wedding jitters. The good news though is you’re not alone and Lots of nervous to-be-weds get a bout of cold feet. But unless you are certain that you should call the whole thing off, here are a few ways of coping with last-minute jitters before your wedding.
Take things in your stride
Pet peeves are one of the biggest reasons why soon-to-be-wed couples get cold feet. Suddenly the all those traits which seemed endearing in a partner become intolerable as the thought of spending a lifetime with the guy who leaves wet towels on the floor or the girl who hums out of tune becomes a reality. You find your beloved increasingly getting on your nerves and feel that you suddenly have a low threshold for that messy desk, those unwashed dishes, or that loud sneezing. Or perhaps you’re peeved that your to-be’s cats (and litter box) need to be a part of your new home together. No matter what the issue, merging your lives is not always smooth sailing. The problem is that pre-wedding stress can make you more irritable, impatient, and easily annoyed with your partner’s largely harmless idiosyncrasies. If, out of the blue, his or her friends start bugging you and those habits are driving you berserk, take a deep breath. Recognize that you’re extra moody — and do your best to keep things in perspective. These differences are usually not worth ending the engagement. Bear in mind that compromises are necessary — give a little and you’ll find that you get a lot.
Leave the past behind
In the days leading to your wedding, you probably feel that if you have to hear about your fiancé’s ex keeps one more time, you will definitely throw up. The truth is that the ex-factor has only served to grate your already frazzled nerves - suddenly you feeling threatened, like maybe he/she really still carries a torch. If this is so, don’t do anything drastic. Share your feelings with your spouse-to-be in a non-confrontational way. Steal away for a romantic weekend getaway to reconnect or if that is not possible, go for a long drive in the countryside — and prove your love for one another all over again.
You don’t feel the chemistry
If you are experiencing a lull in your sex life, keep in mind that this is not an indication that you’re destined for a lifetime of bedroom boredom. More likely it is a temporary phase brought on by the stress of wedding arrangements — after all, fussing with florists, favors, and first dance songs are not exactly aphrodisiacs. So shed off those jitters and keep your mind on cozy nights that lie ahead – soon you will be off on your honeymoon and things will begin to look up again.
All in the family
Having one’s entire family together for a day or weekend can cause a great deal of anxiety especially when there are divorces, step-parents, estranged family members or just one particularly difficult family member. A counselor or wedding planner can help you create a plan for dealing with difficult family members and organize your day so that you feel safe and connected with your spouse.
A far more serious family-related issue is when thoughts of your parent’s marriage begin to give you cold feet. It is no longer unusual for a person to come from broken homes, homes filled with anger, violence, shame or neglect or homes where there is little or no emotional intimacy. Sometimes, when a person becomes engaged, he/she begins to worry that they will become just like their mom or dad and make a mess of marriage. It is important to remember that you do not have to mirror your parents’ marriage. You can choose any type of relationship you want. But, if you do not actively choose a different way of connecting or expressing anger, you will go on autopilot and fall back on familiar behaviors. If such issues are troubling you, try and gain an understanding of your past so you can clearly define your future. Get support around understanding your own ideas on marriage so you can then decide what you want to keep and what pieces of your parent’s marriage you want to get rid of.
Again, you may be having doubts about your relationship because of messy, complicated family dynamics in which either partner shares an excessive attachment to his/her parents or if there is latent disapproval from one set of parents to the match. If this is so, you need to make sure that you and your fiancé have strong communication skills. You cannot change anyone else’s behavior, expectations or feelings but you can make sure that you and your spouse are a team. You need to be unified in your expectations, boundaries and message to others. It can be very lonely in a marriage where you don’t feel that you are a central player; resentment and anger can build up quickly. Consider individual counseling so you can learn how to best ask for your needs from your partner and then couples counseling to help you both understand the need for boundaries and how to create them for yourselves.
Many couples don’t discuss their overall plan before they get married because they either don’t know how to or because they already know there is a conflict and they don’t know how to find a resolution. If you have not discussed the big questions like money management, raising a family, division of responsibilities with your fiancé this may be a source of your wedding jitters. Usually couples are under the illusion that these conflicts will all “work themselves out, once they get married but nothing can be further from the truth. Instead the only way you can really relieve your anxiety is by beginning a meaningful conversation on all pertinent matters. Consider finding a workbook or a couples counselor who can guide you through this discussion, help you set goals for yourselves and teach you the communication skills you need to negotiate when your desires or needs differ.
Just before or even on the big day, you find that you’re panicked — you’re sweating, shaking, losing sleep, and not eating. These are all physical symptoms of anxiety which have been brought about the stress of your upcoming nuptials. While this is not healthy, it is normal. You’re about to make a commitment for the rest of your life and you’re staring that notion right in the eye. Avoid going on a binge on your bachelor/bachelorette party the night before as alcohol and lack of sleep will worsen an already stressed mind. If you do your best to relax and be healthy, your nerves will eventually return to a normal state and all will be well.
On a more serious note, there are relationship problems that lie beyond the world of pre-wedding nerves, peeves and irritations. If you find yourself facing issues like abuse, addictions, cheating, chronic illnesses as well as sexual, financial or lifestyle incompatibility, don’t try to ignore the warning bells inside your head. Do something immediately — confront the problem head on, consult with family or friends, and/or seek professional help (either individually or together). Ideally Postpone the wedding and Prepare a plan of action – in any case, do not walk into marriage as long as important relationship issues remain unresolved or if the problem seems beyond repair.