From dealing with financial stress to concern about whether he/she is ready to get married, coping with a nervous fiancé can be tough for both parties. Instead of shrugging off your fiancé’s anxiety, show your future spouse that you really care. Get to the root of the problem and find a solution together–even if that means saying goodbye.
- Discuss the source of your fiancé’s tension. The only way to effectively handle your fiancé’s anxiety level is to understand the source of the tension and meet it head-on. He/she could be freaking out about general details surrounding your big day to wondering if marriage is the right step to take; confront the problem so you can both move forward in a more positive fashion.
- Revolving around the relationship. Finding out whether he/she is unsure whether to get married or even if you are the right person for you is not going to be easy to hear. However, you may have to work hard to uproot his/her true emotions, as your fiancé may not even be at the point where he/she can actually confront these feelings and may not be able to express the origin of the tension. If this is the case, you may want to consider talking to either someone from your place of worship or a relationship counselor in order to find out where the anxiety stems. If he/she is nervous because of the relationship, you may need to consider backing off from the wedding and re-focusing in on the relationship.
- Surrounding the planning and execution of the wedding or reception. Weddings can make both brides and grooms very nervous. From the expense to the details, the term “Bridezilla” is quite fitting for many brides (and grooms as well).
- Concerning some of the guests (or wedding party members) who are invited to the wedding. The convergence of different personalities, worlds and families can make for a dicey situation. On one hand you don’t want to invite your creepy uncle Norm because he tends to drink too much and hit on women, however he’s your mother’s brother so you feel torn.
- Obtain assistance to help quell your fiancé’s stress. Getting help if his/her stress goes beyond a simple fix (such as just talking it out) is your first step toward alleviating some anxiety.
- Hire a wedding planner. Shop wedding planners/coordinators to relieve some of the burden planning a wedding can bring. Contrary to popular belief, wedding planners are not reserved for only the rich and famous. Some coordinators are reasonably priced (in fact some venues include coordination in the price) and are well worth the price if it prevents your fiancé from having a mental breakdown.
- Visit a therapist. In the event your fiancé is having trouble dealing with the relationship or events that have occurred in the relationship, you may need to call in a professional for assistance.
- Be more involved in planning/helping with the wedding and reception. If your honey is simply overwhelmed with the details but you’ve done nothing, it may be time to kick it into high gear and take over some of the “to do” items on his/her list.
- Listen and try to understand your fiancé’s concerns. Just because you think that being nervous about whether the wedding theme colors match or whether Aunt Janet is going to get loaded isn’t your concern, doesn’t mean that you should diminish his/her worries.
- Pick up on both verbal and non verbal cues. He/she may be biting nails, picking up nervous ticks or freaking out about things that never seemed to be an issue before. Identify any new offenders in your relationship to help you identify his/her level of anxiety.
- Meet your fiancé’s concerns with understanding and patience. You may be annoyed that he/she is even nervous about the most wonderful day of your life, but resist the urge to tell him/her to “snap out of it.” Remember this is the person you plan to spend the rest of your life with so be solicitous and understanding with regard to any of your finance’s concerns.
- Don’t try to talk your fiancé out of how he/she feels especially if he/she really wants to cancel or reschedule the wedding. Talking your fiancé out of rescheduling or even canceling may be one of the worst moves you can make. Remember, if he/she wants to back out now, things may not change a week, year or 10 years down the road.
- Consider an alternative plan. Come to the rescue with help in addition to a listening ear. Provide solutions to your fiancé’s nerves in an effort to reinstate peace to the event.
- Reduce wedding expenses by having the ceremony and reception at home or at another venue that won’t be as expensive. If you are paying for the wedding yourself, consider asking your parents to chip in or take out a low interest personal loan.
- Elope. Not a parental favorite but perhaps the only way you can reduce your fiancé’s stress. If you decide to go with this plan, consider telling your families before you run away to Vegas or Hawaii so that perhaps your parents and a few close loved ones could either be present or understand why you are eloping.
- Re-schedule the wedding. If your fiancé is experiencing anxiety due to external circumstances (illness or a death in the family, for example) consider rescheduling so he/she can enjoy the day instead of feeling upset or stressed.
- Postpone the wedding. In some cases, postponing the wedding may be the best move you can make. Even if you’ve put a non refundable down payment on the venue or event, try to get the money back. However if you cannot consider the expense of going through with the wedding, being miserable and then having to divorce. Losing a few bucks on a security deposit saves you both a lifetime of heartache and attorney’s fees in the long run.
Get back to basics and schedule a romantic weekend getaway to rediscover why you fell in love in the first place.
Designate one evening a week to be a “wedding free” night where the only rule is that you cannot talk about the wedding throughout the entire evening.
Don’t ignore or pretend your fiancé isn’t having trouble coping with some aspect of your impending nuptials. Brushing his/her feelings under the carpet can cause tension or problems after the wedding is over.
Avoid spending your life’s savings or going into debt to pay for a wedding. Try to throw a celebration well within your means so you aren’t paying off the party well into your retirement.
Never try to coerce your fiancé into marriage if he/she talks obsessively about whether getting married is right or whether he/she is truly ready for the commitment.