Don’t Choose Your Wedding Over Your Marriage

Don't choose wedding over marriageI was flicking through the channels on my TV the other day when I came across the Sex and the City movie. I admit I couldn’t resist. It’s a great source of blog material! I only caught a few minutes, the part when Carrie tells Big that they’re having 200 guests at their wedding and Big totally freaks. He says that all he wants is to be with her, and he’s be happy to go down to city hall and just get it done without all the fanfare. Yes, she’s upset. I didn’t watch the rest of it but, if I remember correctly, Big ends up too overwhelmed by the wedding to take part it in…and the drama continues.

I agree that what Big did was unacceptable, but I also can understand what was possibly going on in his mind to push him so far over the edge. Some brides-to-be get so caught up in their dream wedding that they destroy their relationship (i.e. marriage) in the process. It usually happens with men that have commitment issues to begin with, which they succeed in overcoming enough to allow them to get engaged and move towards marriage. Most of these men have been single and dating for quite a while (like Big), so taking the huge leap into marriage is traumatizing enough for them. They might still be struggling with their commitment issues, fighting their irrational urge to bolt, popping down handfuls of anti-anxiety meds. They are in a fragile state.

In comes the excited, often frantic, bride. You’re planning a wedding and expecting him to be a full partner in the work. He tries his best, but suddenly feels his stomach churning and the fear and anxiety rising up into his throat. He wants to spend the rest of his life with you in holy matrimony, he really does, but it’s just too overwhelming…all the details. I can’t fully explain it, but I know the feeling because I’ve been there.

Wedding planning can get really crazy, especially if there are multiple players involved, like parents, in-laws, and siblings. For a man who had to work so hard to overcome his fears to get to this place commitment, it can quickly become unbearable. He just would rather go down to city hall and get the job done. Maybe you can compare it to removing an old bandaid. City hall is like ripping it off. A big traditional wedding is like peeling it off bit by bit…it’s torture. Just rip it off already!!

He tries to let you know that he’s getting overwhelmed, but you pay no heed. You don’t understand. What’s the big deal? He should be happy and excited. So you plow full speed ahead and he starts touching the brakes. Sometimes he steps on them, hard. Either way he’s not having the time of his life, and unfortunately, you are to blame.

I know, it’s the special day you’ve been planning for years, maybe since you were a little girl. But remember, it’s only a day. One day. Do you want to sacrifice a lifetime with the man you love for one day? I know it sounds incredulous, but that’s what you might be doing if you continue to ignore his feeling and fears while you plan your wedding celebration.

Stop and think about what you’re doing. Then have a heart to heart with your husband to be. Listen to his fears. Figure out, together, what he needs to get through this stressful part of his life. Make things easy on him. You’ll end up getting most of what you wanted and most importantly, you’ll get a husband who will respect you and love you for your sensitivity and understanding.

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