ARE THESE WEDDING PREPARATIONS A GLIMPSE OF MY FUTURE? SCARED!

DEAR DALI MAMA:

My fiancée and I recently got engaged. Our wedding is planned for next Spring. Ever since I proposed, she’s gone a little crazy with the wedding plans. The cost is spiraling out of control and so many people are on the invite list and I feel like when I give feedback about a few things I want for the wedding, the plans are railroaded by her and her posse and I’m feeling scared this is a glimpse of what is to come in my future. Please advise.

–Nervous Groom-to-Be (United States)

DEAR NERVOUS:

It’s completely natural to be nervous when you are making a lifelong commitment. Start by communicating with your fiancée about your reservations and how you feel like the wedding plans are getting out of control and that your wishes aren’t really being respected as far as what you’d like for the wedding. Understand that she might just be so excited, she’s not thinking straight.

Once you’ve had these conversations, including possibly, about how you’d rather invest in your life together than have an enormous wedding (maybe have money towards a down payment for a house rather than put out so much for a one-day ceremony), notice how she reacts. You might also want to see a relationship counselor together before or during these discussions to ensure you both can learn how to communicate clearly and grow as a couple.

If you still feel you’re not being heard and your wishes aren’t taken into account at all, then spend time meditating on your relationship and on whether you want to move forward with the wedding. You might even want to postpone the wedding so you both have a chance to work more on building an unbreakable foundation for your life together before you enter into this lifelong commitment together. This is a chance for you to still back out before you pledge your lives to each other. Keep in mind, also, that many catering companies and hosting facilities will not return any of your deposit, so you might want to wait until you are sure you will move forward before putting down a deposit for any of the wedding costs.

Give it your best but also recognize that she must be willing to give it her best as well for you to grow together in a relationship that will last a lifetime. Keep in mind, too, that every relationship takes work, no matter how well suited a couple is. EVERY relationship.

It is good you have a year before the wedding is planned so you have time to work on your relationship together and really make sure this is what you both want. You might feel guilty breaking the engagement but guilt is not a good reason to move forward if it comes to the point that you know this is not the right situation for you. Also, it is kinder to break things off earlier if you know it is not the right match for you rather than later down the road when you have kids or are even more enmeshed.

Your courage to look at this is wonderful. Use that courage to see if you and your fiancée can get really honest with each other and put your relationship on a solid, forever-lasting track. If it can’t, use that courage to let both she and you free to find someone whose values and needs aligns with each other more.

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