Pre-Wedding Jitters or Serious Reservations? How To Tell the Two Apart
Getting married is a major event, and not only because you have wedding planning on your plate. You’re tying your life to that of another individual. Forging such a partnership involves sorting through many significant issues. You could feel nervous or even anxious in the pre-wedding weeks or months, but are these feelings problematic? To help yourself make sense of them, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
Is Pre-Wedding Anxiety Normal?
Perform an internet search for “pre-wedding jitters,” and you’ll likely encounter dozens of opinions on what is or isn’t normal. Some insist that they’re warning signs, while others propose that they’re commonplace and natural. According to several experts, the truth may lie somewhere in the middle. The key is figuring out the difference between normal nerves and serious misgivings.
Martha Stewart Weddings contributor Jenn Sinrich explains the usual characteristics of pre-wedding jitters. You’re not only going to be the center of attention for several hours, but you must also contend with wedding-day expenses and family dynamics. Pre-wedding nerves with excitement aren’t usually a cause for concern, and these can also include anxiety over whether you can pull off the event. They can manifest as irritability, difficulty sleeping, restlessness, trouble eating, and fussing over ceremony and reception details.
When It’s More Than Jitters
At the same time, nervousness with dread probably isn’t a good sign. If you want to jump ship and avoid marrying your partner, that could signal a serious issue. Both Sinrich and The Spruce’s Nina Callaway mention potential red flags to consider:
- You don’t feel free to discuss your feelings with your partner.
- Your future spouse has been physically, emotionally, mentally, or sexually abusive.
- You and your partner have significantly different feelings about having children.
- Either you or your future spouse has been unfaithful or deceitful.
- Thoughts of your wedding fill you with trepidation for more than one month.
- Many of your friends have expressed reservations about your future spouse.
- You’re going through the motions of planning because you’re too embarrassed to call it off, fearful of hurting your partner, or worried about finances.
Finding Support and Solutions
Thankfully, none of these problems lack for potential resolutions. For pre-wedding nerves, New York therapist Linda Walter suggests useful ways to reduce stress. First, it’s important to take regular breaks away from planning. You can do this and reconnect with your partner through spending enjoyable quality time together. Also, discussing your worries with your partner allows you to disclose your feelings and practice collaboration and problem-solving. Meanwhile, your married friends can also offer recommendations and support. Don’t forget to maintain healthy eating and physical activity, and some relaxation techniques are useful for releasing inner anxieties and tension.
Depending on your specific concerns, you and your partner could opt to attend couples’ counseling. However, it may be time to evaluate your relationship, especially if there have been serious breaches of trust or you’re experiencing symptoms like panic attacks or crying. If you perceive that you’re in immediate danger, get help right away. The Department of Justice discusses recommendations and resources. HelpGuide provides specific tips for men, and 211 can connect you to essential services.
Your Well-Being Is Paramount
Before tying the knot, many people experience a case of the nerves. In addition to planning a large-scale event and dealing with loved ones in the process, they may feel overwhelmed and have concerns about how they’ll build new lives with their future spouses together. Yet some pre-wedding anxieties could indicate serious problems in the offing. Understanding the nature of your feelings and reaching out for appropriate support are both keys to making smart decisions for the future.