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Pre-Wedding Jitters Vs. Second Thoughts

Posted Nov 10 2009 10:00pm

The ring has been chosen and placed on the bride-to-be’s left hand, a symbolic representation of the circle of love that will follow and is accompanied later by the glorious wedding band that tells us she is dedicated to her husband. Showers, parties, wedding plans and in law problems start to arise. Schedule conflicts, budget concerns, honeymoon dilemmas, housekeeping questions…. these seem small in comparison to the ultimate major conundrum, “do I know what I’m getting into”? Either bride OR groom may be asking themselves this very question and then wondering if it’s even OK to be wondering about the question

What Are Pre-Wedding Jitters?

For a working definition I define “jitters” as being the normal questions one has about the immediate and long-term changes in the indivual’s lifestyle that go along with the act of becoming a partnership or committed couple.

Normal questions may include:

  • Is this what I want for myself in my way of interacting with the world in ways that must include my spouse to be?
  • Is this person capable of meeting my needs and desires on a basic and reliable condition or duration?
  • Can I hold up my end of being available to my future mate’s desires and needs and be prepared to maintain the behaviors involving that with a consistency that will honor and satisfy the other person?

What Types Of Feelings Come With Pre-Wedding Jitters?

“Jitters” generally apply to feelings of anxiety or nervousness. If it’s more a sense of “dread” or “terror” you have exceeded the intensity of this merely being ‘pre-change commitments’. Find out what it is that specifically has you “over the top with your fears” and address it immediately. Seek help from experts and not family members or friends—they can’t be objective in this situation no matter how hard they may try or offer to be. If you do get their advice at least weigh it against another qualified and objective source!

What Are Examples Of Pre-Wedding Jitters?

Illustrated in previous question and often demonstrated by typical signs of anxiety…pre-occupation on the topic of concern, physiological changes such as increased heart rate, shallow breathing, and “feeling on edge”. You may find yourself having difficulty concentrating, becoming more clumsy, forgetful, and possibly even shorter temper as you are interrupted from your normal course of routine—which is often already changing due to the social events and obligations that go along with Today’s matrimonial demands. Anxiety without a clear focus and no specific behaviors you object to or traits that you worry about-this would indicate just a generalized fear in the whole idea of being married.

What Should You Do If You Have Pre-Wedding Jitters?

Practice relaxation techniques…deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or exercise. Talk to your partner and ask if he/she is having any of the same concerns. Seek reassurance from that person. If your jitters decrease as you “vent” about it, you will likely have less cause for the continued reaction. Allow for some nervousness as being a normal adaptation to change. TALK it out or use a piece of paper and write about it, just get it out! These are usually feelings that can be purged and decreased with openness and time.
What are some signs or signals that a bride/groom is having second thoughts about getting married?

Second thoughts – we’ll define here as actual true doubts that are bothersome enough to illicit the individual to actually question their fiancé’s traits, lifestyle, behaviors, and have a high level of concern about specific areas of the relationship. As compared with “jitters” where an individual is simply wondering if the idea of marriage is right for them and if this is a good choice they have made in selecting a mate.
With this as our working definition, I offer the following:

What Should The Bride/Groom Do If He/She Is Having Second Thoughts?

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