So much planning, time and money go into weddings that most couples reach their big day feeling utterly exhausted.
It can get so busy managing family expectations and resolving last-minute issues at the venue or with the cake that you may lack time to check in with your partner or even with yourself. You may notice that you are snapping at each other or feeling regret over throwing a big wedding in the first place.
That being said, there is a difference between feeling overwhelmed and experiencing jitters and feeling nervous about making the right decision in choosing to marry your partner.
If you are experiencing the latter, here are some things to consider:
Ask yourself: What is the source of your nerves?
It’s normal to be worried or anxious about the unknown and the learning curve that might come with this type of commitment. But it might be a red flag if you are unsure you want to spend the rest of your life with your fiancé. If you are nervous about the person or the commitment itself, that could mean you are questioning your compatibility and desire for your partner and the life you have agreed to build.
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You can ask yourself:
- Why did you choose to get engaged to this person?
- What are the qualities you love about them?
- In which areas are you compatible (and not compatible)?
- What expectations do you have about getting married?
- What is your biggest fear about getting married?
- What is your biggest fear about this person? (Can you share it with your partner?)
- What are the beliefs that might be fueling this fear or anxiety?
- Have you spoken to someone you respect and trust about how you’re feeling?
- What do people closest to you think about the relationship?
Is getting nervous or worried normal for you?
If you are someone who feels anxious or stressed about decisions in general, this might be another manifestation of that. I know we like to believe that love conquers all, but even if you love someone deeply and want to commit to them, your anxious tendencies might come out anyway. Try to step back and evaluate if this is in line with how you usually handle stressful or high-stake situations or if this is out-of-character for you. Do you only get nervous or anxious when your gut tells you something is wrong? It boils down to exploring your relationship with your nerves and what they tend to communicate to you.
Is this part of your pattern?
Some of us tend to pull the plug on things that make us happy or try to find issues that don’t exist because our self-sabotage streak is a little strong. Even with our best intentions to protect ourselves, we end up isolating, leaning into detrimental beliefs or reenacting childhood patterns of not getting what we need or want.
Take a moment to reflect on your patterns:
- Do I tend to walk away when I get to the good part?
- Does being happy make me uncomfortable?
- Do I believe that I deserve to be happy?
- Am I ready to be vulnerable and share the deep intimacy required for a marriage to work?
- Does getting married feel threatening to my autonomy?
- Am I scared to succeed and have something I want because then it means I might lose it?
Pay attention to your answers and try to evaluate if what you are feeling is just a pattern caused by fear or if it’s something specific to the person or context. If it’s the latter, take the time for some further exploration.
And after reading all the above, your gut should give you the answer to whether or not your wedding nerves are just typical jitters.
Sara Kuburic is a therapist who specializes in identity, relationships and moral trauma. Every week she shares her advice with our readers. Find her on Instagram @millennial.therapist. She can be reached at SKuburic@gannett.com.
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