published March 31st, 2014
You’ve just said “Yes!” to the love of your life. “Yes!” in reply to “Will you marry me?” and not “Yes!” in reply to “Would you like me to do the dishes, dear?” (although both may warrant an emphatic “Yes!” they’re two very different questions).
Now you’re thinking about your nuptials, and committing yourself to spending the rest of your life with that person. For better or worse. For richer or poorer. In sickness and in health…
Then a question crosses your mind. A question that immediately sends a cold chill down your spine and leaves you sobbing with your head in your hands. You curl up into a ball on the bathroom floor and cry “What have I done? What have I done?” (twice for dramatic effect).
Yes, you’re having doubts. Maybe more than doubts. Maybe it’s been a few months since you accepted the proposal and you’ve grown to greatly dislike your partner. Maybe the thought of spending just one more day with this dreadful human being makes you feel physically sick - or maybe you just have pre-wedding jitters.
It’s very important to differentiate between “cold feet” and “cold heart”. They’re two very different parts of the human body - and two very different metaphors.
Hundreds of brides and grooms-to-be experience “cold feet”. It’s simply a loss of nerve or confidence. This minor “freak out” period just means you’re suffering from pre-wedding jitters, which is as common as the common cold. We looked at how you can beat pre-wedding jitters here.
If your heart’s iced over towards this person and you feel that you no longer love them then it may be advisable to hit the ejector button before your marriage crashes and burns. Somebody will get hurt, but in this instance it’s probably better that somebody gets hurt sooner rather than later. You can call off the wedding or you can battle on and hope that you can grow to love this person… but that’s really not the best start to any marriage!
Here’s a few reasons NOT to call off your wedding…
Your partner’s ex keeps popping up like a bad smell
It may be in conversation along the lines of “Oh Suzanne would like that!” or “Suzanne would know what to say!” or “Do you mind if I invite Suzanne?”. It may be that Suzanne is appearing in multiple Facebook posts…. “Suzanne liked my status again honey, she’s always the first!” or “Have you seen Suzanne’s status? I just had to write LOL!” or “I see Suzanne is single again. Maybe I should give her a call?”
Don’t you just want Suzanne to fall off the face of the earth?
Well, don’t do anything drastic. Sit down with your partner and tell them how you feel. Ideally in a non-confrontational way. “Honey, you talk about Suzanne a lot. It makes me a bit uncomfortable. Can we please just take a romantic weekend away? Just the two of us. No TV, no Wi-Fi connection, no phones.”
You’ll probably find your partner will be very open to the idea of spending quality time with you, and falling in love with you all over again.
“Of course, dear! I’m sorry! We’ll have to get someone to feed the cat but it shouldn’t be a problem. Hey, why don’t I ask...”
“Ask who, dear?”
“It doesn’t matter.”
Your partner has developed some really irritating habits
You’re sitting there watching some hilarious romantic comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and you notice your partner’s leg is shaking where he’s constantly tapping his foot up and down. “I hate it when he does that foot tapping thing” you think to yourself. Then he does that thing where he breathes through his nose and you just think “I hate it when he does that nasal thing!” or he may sigh a lot and you think “I hate it when he does that sighing thing. Doesn’t he like my movies? Why am I marrying this jerk?”
Stress of any kind can magnify even the smallest things. So pre-wedding stress can make you more irritable, impatient, and easily annoyed. Simply take a deep breath, leave the room for five minutes and try and keep things in perspective.
Pet peeves (literally)
Your partner is allergic to dogs, so sadly he has to go. The partner, not the dog.
Wait, isn’t that a bit rash? It may be that you’re Dr Dolittle with a myriad of animals at your beck and call and your partner simply hates or is allergic to any form of life that isn’t human. Merging lives may not be plain sailing, but you should be able to make compromises. You might be able to explore some medications to eradicate the allergies, or even a counsellor to discuss his hatred of the animal kingdom.
These are just a few issues that can easily be resolved, but of course there are far more serious reasons to back out of a wedding. Any form of abuse, addiction, betrayal… these problems MUST be confronted head on. Consult with family or friends, and/or seek professional help. It may just be that you need to postpone the wedding and not draw a line beneath it altogether.
Remember, your partner not liking Sex and the City is not a valid reason to call off the wedding. You’ll both have your own (guilty or not guilty) pleasures where you can kick off your heels, open a bottle of wine and enjoy some quality ME time. Except if your groom-to-be is kicking off his heels you may need to start asking questions.
So take a deep breath, pray, go for a walk, talk to your family and friends, spend time by yourself - whatever you do don’t throw away the rest of your life with the person you love based on a few nerves, niggles and pet peeves. Think about it. Long and hard.
That’s what Suzanne would do!