I Do…Do I? Deciding to walk down the aisle and vowing to spend your entire life with someone, through good times and bad, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, 'til death do you part, is a huge decision. It is hard to imagine someone not having pre-wedding jitters, and getting nervous before the wedding, but how can you differentiate between simply getting cold feet before a big step from truly having second thoughts about the whole getting married deal? When should we start considering those jitters as our red flags? Here is a tough question for the one who always has our backs when it comes to relationship advice, Identity’s Relationship Expert, Marwa Rakha. 1. What are the signs that someone is having pre-wedding jitters? Is it frequent for people to have them Pre-wedding jitters, or cold feet, are normal to some extent. There is a very fine line between what is normal and what is not when it comes to doubting yourself and your decision to get married to a certain person. Let’s look at it this way; imagine you have a job and you are quite stable. Imagine that one thing led to the other, and that you have an opportunity to shift your career and change your workplace. Literally, life as you have known it will never be the same. Like any sane person, you would do the math! You would weigh the pros and cons! You would calculate the risk! You would objectively estimate your opportunity to succeed! No one would feel 100% confident about such a big decision! No one would have absolutely no doubts about that step in their lives. It is totally understandable. There is so much to lose, yet so much to gain! The same applies to getting married – why wouldn’t it? No matter how well you know a person, how much you love that person, and how intimate you got with that person – still you never truly shared a life with that person. Living together, sharing a bed and a home, daily friction, and making a family are scary thoughts. How to find the cause of the “jitters” so that a couple can clearly see what action is needed?
There are two healthy ways of dealing with the “jitters”; first, talk about them with your partner, and second, have a self-discussion about them. Either way, you will be able to either find comfort and get married, or you will totally freak out and call off the wedding. It has happened before! There are also unhealthy ways of dealing with your cold feet; dismissing them, bottling them up, denying them, or blowing them out of proportion. Any of these strategies will result in a very wrong decision. How to differentiate between simple pre wedding jitters or the kind anxiety that you should not ignore?
Assuming that you chose one of the healthy strategies to address your fears, let’s look at the results. What happened when you examined the causes behind the “jitters”? Do you truly feel that you are not ready to change your life and how you run it? Do you truly feel that your partner is controlling your every breath and you hate it? Do you still feel that, deep down, you are making a mistake? Are you certain that you would rather be getting married to someone else? Are you getting married for any other reason than wanting to share your life with that person? Do you still feel that you only agree with that person in bed? Does the thought of making love to that person repulse you to the core? If you are oozing with negative thoughts like the ones I just mentioned, or more, call off the wedding! These are not just unjustified fears. These are very true reasons to prevent a crisis in the making. On the other hand, if talking about your fears with your partner, or a true friend, or yourself, result in a peaceful smile on the face of a person who feels assured and comforted, then you were having healthy doubts. Some people find it reassuring to discuss their options if the marriage did not work out; knowing that this is not a dead end, or a trap, helps a person put things into perspective. Others agree to postpone having children for at least a year, until they settle in together as a couple. There are also those who make clear financial agreements to draw a line between what’s his and what’s hers. Bottom line, the more people communicate, and the clearer their communication, the better the results, and the less the jitters.