Ask Marwa: Cold Feet – A Normal Phase?

Date posted: August 24, 2014


This article was published in Identity Magazine – August 2014


Dear Marwa,

I’m a 24 year old girl and I’ve been engaged for a year now. My fiancé and I have been together for 5 years and we are supposed to be getting married in a couple of months. Here’s the thing, ever since we started furnishing our new home, we can’t stop fighting. Whether it’s because he doesn’t seem to care, or because he’s not helpful, or because our parents want different things… People around us keep saying that these fights are normal but I also know some couples who broke up right before their weddings because of these kinds of stuff; parents interfering, different opinions, and disappointments.

This is the worst phase we ever went through, it’s like we don’t enjoy each others’ company anymore. Even the excitement of getting married is fading away. Should I be worried? Is this a normal phase?

Dear "Going through the Worst Phase Ever"!

Let me assure you that it is perfectly normal for the bride-to-be and for the groom-to-be to go through a period of anxiety, nervousness, and doubt in the few months before their wedding day. "Cold feet" is a normal feeling that couples experience. Regardless of your faith or religion, any marriage entails those promises: to be true to one another in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love and to honor each other all the days of your lives, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part! The magnitude of marital commitment is overwhelming no matter how long you have dated or how long you have been engaged.

In the Egyptian culture, as if it were not enough that the two of you have enough creases to smoothen between yourselves, families get involved and add to the tension and dilemma. The more money both your parents are investing in this marriage the more interference and unsolicited advice you are expected to receive. This is an unspoken agreement that all families know; with their money, they are going to have a say in every detail of this marriage.

Your fiancée decided to float past all this tension and ignore you, your parents, his parents, and all the conflict-causing issues be it furniture, dates, décor, or any other aspect of your future home. He realized that it is a waste of time and energy to fight you over colors, fight his mother over the stove and the fridge, or fight your mother over the bedroom and the dining room. Your fiancé backed off and decided to let the three of you figure it out.

Fighting him over his lack of interest or poor involvement will not change the fact that he resents how this marriage is happening. If you want him to get involved, then you need to clearly ask your parents to back off, and he has to do the same with his parents. This might entail a few, or a lot, of financial sacrifices from your side! It is only natural that your families' financial contribution will decrease with their diminished involvement in your lives. My advice is: Set Boundaries Now or Remain Silent forever!


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