No one plans a wedding and gets married with the intention of the marriage not lasting forever. It’s easy to be jaded with the divorce rate at over 50%, but this doesn’t mean you should be scared your relationship won’t last.
As someone who is currently engaged, I’m very nervous about planning my wedding, marriage, and spending the rest of my life with one guy. Who wouldn’t be? This doesn’t mean I don’t love my fiancé, as I love him more than anything. It just means that I’m a human, curiously afraid of the unknown.
Normal wedding jitters
The mere thought of tying yourself to one person for life, till death do you part, is scary at best. So it’s pretty normal to feel any of the following before you walk down the aisle.
#1 Anxiety. The definition of anxiety is “an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior, such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints, and rumination.”
You can try all you want to make everything perfect for your big day and all the days you’ll spend as husband and wife, but nothing will ever be perfect. There’s not much you can do about things you can’t control, so the best you can do is try to prepare for what you can prepare for, and leave the rest to fate.
#2 Not sleeping well. Not getting much sleep at night, or sleeping only a few hours correlates with feelings of anxiety and stress. Just because you may not be sleeping on cloud 9 every night, does not mean your wedding and marriage is doomed. There are too many studies to count that show that we tend to process everything on our to-do lists right before we go to bed.
#3 You feel like it’s too soon. In all honesty, no one is ever truly 100% ready for anything. If you feel like you wish you had spent some more time preparing for marriage, you’ll spend the rest of your life preparing, until you walk down the aisle at 80. When the moment comes, and it feels right, you have to seize the opportunity. That’s why you said “yes,” right? [Read: Is there really a right age to get married?]
#4 Fear of becoming a wife. Being a wife is rife with responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean you can’t handle them all. You’re going to have a husband who will support you in transforming from an anxious millennial to a wife and potential mother. It may be hard, but if you work on your marriage together, you should be fine.
#5 Fear of becoming a mom. If you’re afraid of being pregnant, being a step-mom, or having kids, these things are only natural, and you’re not alone. Taking on the role of a mother is a huge responsibility. But as with everything, you can learn all these things along the way, and it will be easier if you have a supportive husband by your side.
#6 Money. Being nervous about trying to stay within your wedding budget is pretty common. You want to make everyone happy as you celebrate your big day, but the people who should be the happiest are you and your husband-to-be.
If the money issue is really bothering you, start asking yourselves if you really need that Vera Wang gown or those designer centerpieces.
#7 Family. When you marry a man, you are marrying his family *to some extent*, whether they like you or not. But you will never be able to please everyone. If you’re worried about your fiancé’s family, just keep in mind that you’re directing your vows at your groom, and not at his family. You always have a choice to keep your distance, and by now, your husband-to-be should understand why.
Signs that you should cancel the wedding ASAP!
Are they just jitters or nagging signs that you shouldn’t go through with your wedding? If you’re feeling any of the following, it may be time to call your wedding off.
#1 You feel like you made a mistake in saying “yes.” Ask yourself why it’s a mistake. If you can pinpoint an answer, then try to find out a way of working on whatever it is that’s making you feel like your engagement is a mistake. However, if you can’t figure out why you think it’s a mistake, then it may be your gut instinct telling you to back out. 9 times out of 10, your gut instinct may be right. [Read: 10 signs you have the fear of commitment]
#2 He doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. When the man you absolutely adore asks you to marry him, the normal reaction would be elation at the fact that this wonderful man wants you by his side for the rest of his days. However, if you feel like you agreed to marry someone who can’t even make you feel good about yourself, it may be time to start working on your relationship first before taking the huge next step. [Read: 10 ways to know if he genuinely wants to marry you]
#3 You’re afraid to call off the wedding. If you are continuing to plan your wedding solely because you are afraid to call it off, that is not a wedding jitter, but a huge sign that you really don’t want to get married. A husband isn’t something you can take back to the store if you don’t like the way it looks. If the only thing holding you back is fear and wasted money, I can tell you that a divorce is much scarier and more expensive!
#4 You’re always thinking about someone else. We always want what we can’t have, but hopefully, if you’re engaged, then you’ve gotten that whole “grass is greener” thing out of your system, and the only person you want is your fiancé. Wanting to text other guys and wondering what being with them is like is a slippery slope that will only leave you feeling like you’re missing out on life. [Read: 20 reasons for divorce that too many couples overlook]
#5 Thoughts of getting married more than once. You are not Elizabeth Taylor. You shouldn’t assume you’re going to have five or so husbands in your lifetime. Your fiancé isn’t make believe, and you’re not a 12-year-old playing dress up, so stop acting like you are. If you can’t take marriage seriously, then there’s no point in having one.
#6 You don’t want to change your lifestyle. Marriage won’t miraculously hold your relationship together, despite the fact that you and your fiancé want very different things. Before you even consider getting married, you should already know if the person you’re with shares the same ideals as you, and if they don’t, then you both should have come up with some sort of compromise by now.
If neither of you are willing to compromise to make your marriage last, then your entire wedding is just one big joke waiting to happen.
#7 Things aren’t adding up. As I have said, people change. But if you suddenly out unsavory things about your fiancé that he hid from you, such as his stint behind bars or a baby mama who suddenly shows up at his door, then it may be a sign that you’re about to marry a person you hardly know. How can you marry someone who’s hidden so much from you? And what’s worse, what else could he be hiding?
Marriage isn’t all about a big wedding and spending the rest of your lives in your honeymoon phase. A successful marriage takes a lot of work, a ton of effort, and more patience than you can even imagine as a singleton. But as with everything in life, nothing worth having ever comes easy.
[Read: 13 important questions to ask before you get married]
If you’ve got the wedding jitters, it may just be a sign that you care so much about your life together that you want everything to be absolutely perfect, and that’s perfectly okay. But if you feel like you’re making a huge mistake, it’s not yet too late to back out!
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