My pre-wedding jitters are out of control
Question: Dear Dr Pam,
I’m engaged to my boyfriend of four years and we’re due to get married in two months. I’ve heard of pre-wedding jitters and I hate the idea of sounding like a cliché but I AM FREAKING OUT!
I’ve been so wrapped up in organising everything since we got engaged a year ago, now everything is pretty much in place I’ve realised what’s actually happening – I’m getting married to him… forever!
I love him but I’m feeling sick with nerves about the enormity of what’s ahead, I’m losing sleep and haven’t dared tell anyone about it in case they dismiss it… or totally overreact. My natural inclination is to talk to him but I feel like it could really unsettle him. I feel like things are out of my control…
Dear 'Out of control wedding jitters',
Calm down, it's going to be okay. Thank goodness you wrote because these sorts of jitters spin out of control for many brides - and grooms - to be. And - oh my - these feelings can be scary.
Such jitters are perfectly normal - you’re entering a serious commitment and you're doing so in front of your closest family, friends, and if you're religious - you’re doing so in front of your God.
I've noticed the more effort, the bigger the bash, the more hyped the planning, etc., the bigger the nerves! Often this is due to the stresses of planning something so big. Let's look at this realistically: you'd get stressed out planning a year-long work project, or looking for a new home, so this isn't surprising - reassure yourself of this.
Here are a few steps to take:
- Put jitters over doing the ‘right thing’ into perspective: no relationship is ever perfect and no two people fit together perfectly. And usually we accept this but the stress of planning can sometimes make your differences seem bigger than they actually are.
- Don't buy into the ‘perfect wedding’ and other romantic myths we see in films and on TV - nothing’s perfect! Resist worrying that you might not be quite right for each other, etc.
- Start a relaxation regime where for a few minutes daily you relax and completely focus on the things you share that bring both of you happiness. Now more than ever don't lose sight of these.
- Also make it a daily habit to remind yourself why you fell in love with him, e.g., his humour, kindness, how affectionate he is, etc. Keep this right in the front of your mind.
- If you’d normally turn to a friend about any anxieties than a good ‘girly chat’ can help get rid of these nerves. Obviously don't rely on a friend to help who has ‘drama queen’ tendencies as she might just wind you up even more.
- Now for the biggest and most important step - this is the man you love more than anything so raise your concerns in a gentle and tactful way without freaking him out. You can even use a lighthearted approach - perhaps make a little joke about him not turning up at the alter because he gets nervous. Say how much you love him and want to always be able to discuss your worries together - and ask if he has any. If by this point you've offloaded on a girlfriend and reminded yourself daily about why you fell in love, etc., you're increasing your chances to let go of these jitters.
Always begin a conversation with him by highlighting the positives between you and probe whether he's got nerves. In most cases couples find this conversation reassures them both.
Final tip: Obviously if having done these things you're still confronted by very strong worries then you must deepen the conversation with him. Again, let him know how much you love him but that you want to go into your marriage with a strong foundation of trust - and that means facing the ‘big’ issues together. It could be the making of your relationship.
Good luck and congratulations!Dr Pam x
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