Got Cold Feet? How to Cope with Pre-Wedding Jitters
How do you know if it’s just wedding nerves or something more? Here’s how to cope when you want to say “I don’t.”
“Cold Feet” – the phrase sure packs a dirty punch when it comes to wedding planning. We’ve all heard the stories; we all know it happens…we just hope we don’t find ourselves as the next glaring “Runaway Bride” headline. So what if the thought of walking down the aisle yields feelings on the chillier side of euphoria? Don’t panic. Most of the time, feelings of fear just signal a case of pre-wedding jitters. But just to be sure, better check your symptoms…
Slightly Cool Symptoms (or reasons not to call off the wedding):
Buckling from the Pressure
We all know that planning a wedding is stressful. What we don’t always realize is that stress can manifest itself as other concerns. Your anxiety about getting married may simply be anxiety about your insurmountable task list. Try to distinguish between being stressed about wedding planning and being stressed about the marriage. Is your frustration with your fiancé really just a front for the fact that your wedding dress arrived two sizes too small? Remember: You can always elope if your wedding nerves become too much!
Ugh. So he left the dishes in the sink again, and you swear that if you have to pick his pants up off the floor one more time, you’re outta here. Annoying? Definitely. Reason to leave? Come on now… The truth is that the concept of “forever” is probably starting to hit home, causing some of those pet peeves you may have ignored up until now to get under your skin. These annoyances probably aren’t worth calling of the engagement, but you should take this opportunity to address them in a productive and lighthearted manner.
Not in the Mood?
If things have been less than sizzling in the bedroom, relax. A temporary sexual lull is normal during this time of high stress and sky-reaching to-do lists. Remember that the honeymoon is in sight – and things will surely spice up then!
The transition from “single woman” to “wife” naturally brings forth feelings of joy and excitement, but fear and uncertainty are also involved. You are entering into a partnership with another human being, causing your future’s happiness to hinder on the actions of another. Needless to say, this realization can expose feelings of anxiety, and many women assume any feeling less than euphoric is indication of making a mistake. In reality, these thoughts could not be more normal. Learn more about the psychological and emotional transition women face during engagement.
Arctic Conditions (or reasons to call off the wedding):
Sometimes your symptoms indicate a more serious problem. In these circumstances, postponing or breaking off the engagement is the better alternative to arriving at the altar with reservations.
Time for a reality check: Are you really in love with your fiancé? Marriage for any reason other than love – such as a ticking biological clock, financial security, or family appeasement – is a bad idea. We’re not saying that a healthy marriage can survive on love alone; we’re just saying that it cannot survive without it.
If you’re feeling serious reservations while still in the romantic phase (about a year or less together), this may be a sign that you don’t really know your fiancé yet. In this case, you should consider postponing the wedding until you’re confident that you fully know your partner – faults and all. Consult our marriage compatibility test for a list of topics to discuss before marriage, and make sure you’ve resolved all of these potential roadblocks before walking down the aisle.
On to the weighty issues… Some relationship problems lie beyond the scope of cool or even cold feet. If you find yourself facing any of these problems, run – don’t walk – in the opposite direction immediately:
- Abuse – physical, emotional, verbal, sexual
- Deception – cheating, stealing, lying
- Irreconcilable Family Issues – differing plans for having/raising children, serious family disapproval that you cannot live with
- Addictions – drugs, alcohol, gambling etc.
- Religion – conflicting beliefs that your partner is unwilling to discuss or resolve
- Money – conflicting attitudes and habits that your partner is unwilling to discuss or resolve
- Sexual orientation – your fiancé‘s orientation is different that what he originally led you to believe