Anxiety /aŋˈzʌɪəti/ (noun)
a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome
If you’re a normal, functioning adult, you might feel a sort of nauseating feeling when you start to think about certain events that are going to occur. These events are usually very important like a meeting with a potential client, a work presentation, and in this case, your wedding day.
These jittery feelings are called anxiety and in a recent study, it showed that at least 29% of Malaysians suffer from it. If this disorder is not acknowledged, left untreated and ignored, it can seriously affect your life and daily decision making.
Brides and grooms-to-be also go through what’s called ‘pre-wedding anxiety’, which means that you might get stressed out with planning your wedding and getting everything right before the big day. What’s more, you have your full-time job to juggle in between as well. All of these can really affect your stress level and have them go through the roof.
The result? You might end up feeling like you’re not getting anything done, everyone doesn’t understand why you need a certain thing, getting tired at having to confirm your booking for the third time that week to even getting annoyed at everything your fiance does or say.
Some might even have thoughts in their head to call the whole thing off!
Before you do anything reckless, it’s important to stop and take a deep breath. Reflect on what’s causing your pre-wedding anxiety and try to differentiate it. Are you anxious about the wedding day (thinking that it could all go wrong), about getting married (not being single and having to have certain responsibilities), or the general relationship (do you really want to marry this person and might’ve made a hasty decision)?
Do note that all of these are valid pre-wedding anxiety reasons and you’re not alone in this. What’s important is recognising which is the cause and how you can manage it. Confronting the cause can help you cope with them better, especially if you are already an anxious person.
Here are some pre-wedding anxieties that most brides and grooms-to-be experience and how you can handle them.
1. Thinking About The Actual Wedding Day
If you’re concerned about the wedding day, e.g., your wedding planner hasn’t gotten back to you regarding the theme or colour scheme and you’re worried it might not be to your liking. You have to pluck up the courage to contact them and tell them that you’re worried and hope they can share at least a bit of information about it.
Another is thinking about things that can go wrong. For example, thinking that the cake might not arrive on time for the cake-cutting ceremony, or that you won’t fit in your dress, and if you have divorced parents, you might be worried that there would be a quarrel during your wedding. In this situation, it’s best to have a few rules and regulations stated in your wedding invitation or have a wedding planner, and if you can’t afford, a friend who can pull off the job to ensure that nothing goes wrong.
All you have to bear in mind is that sometimes there are just some things that are beyond your control and you have to let go the thoughts that are in the back of your mind.
2. Thinking About Having Responsibilities of Being A ‘Husband’ or ‘Wife’
When you’re a couple, you still have time off each other where you can go off to do things on your own. But after you get married, you might think that you will have to do everything together now. This will then create thoughts that you are ‘bonded’ to a certain type of responsibility as someone’s husband or wife and might give you the impression that you are no longer ‘free’.
This is dangerous and quite toxic. Most of us have our parents’ wedding as a blueprint of our own. We have experienced their fights, how they ask for forgiveness and makeup, negotiate their role in parenthood and so forth. Some might not have the same privilege as they might come from a broken home filled with anger and resentment, or a divorced background and could feel that this is inevitable for them as well.
Putting yourself in this situation where you develop anger and fear as to how your marriage will look like is ugly. Your future is not defined by your past. Remember, the past is immutable and you can only learn from it. If you have problems dealing with what your past was like, it’s best to talk it out thoroughly with your partner concerning your fears. Remember that for every fear there is hope, so be sure to let them know what your actions are to overcome your fear.
Your partner might also have the same pre-wedding anxiety too. By talking it out, the two of you can begin to understand each other more and create better closure rather than leave the other in the dark.
3. What’s Next?
You’ve planned everything regarding your wedding to the T, you’re marrying the love of your life, and everything is perfect. But why are you still doubting this marriage? What happens next? What do you do the day after your wedding day?
Some of the thoughts that you have regarding ‘What’s Next?’ include: whether or not the two of you want kids and if yes, when? and if not, why not and will you ever? Where will the two of you live? In a new house together or with your in-laws? How much does your joint financial expenditure amount to and will you be joining any payment together to further help the two of you out?
The list can go on and if we’re being honest, it will never end. Life is ongoing and we’re all in for the ride. But remember that being married means you’re going through these obstacles together.
It might seem as though this pre-wedding anxiety is small in comparison to other things that worry you. But they shouldn’t be taken for granted. A small problem, if not addressed, can roll into a bigger problem. Once it becomes a bigger problem, your relationship throughout your marriage years can get strained.
Seek guidance from a marriage counsellor to help the two of you address any questions for the pre-wedding anxiety that you might have. Having a third-party opinion usually gives better hindsight and helps you to see the bigger picture. You can also prepare a prenup agreement to be more ready. Do remember that you are not hoping for a divorce when you prepare one, but the two of you have to be prepared should anything go sour. It’s best to stay prepared rather than find yourself unable to do anything when you’re in a ditch that you helped dig yourself.
Marriage is work and requires the two of you to remain at each other’s need, and attend to any problems and worry you have, no matter how small. Living the coming days of your life with your soulmate shouldn’t feel like it’s a chore or a feat of having to please them in every part of life.
You are a human being with needs and wants, and so is your partner. Understanding their basic feelings and right as a human is vital in producing a happy and healthy marriage. After all, mental health is as important as your physical being.
If you are having pre-wedding anxiety, we urge you to have someone to talk to. Preferably, someone you trust and you know won’t judge you for having such thoughts. Anxiety can happen to anyone and it’s best to address it when you start to realise it happening to you. It does more good than harm to talk it out, as you don’t want to be the only one suffering.
We wish you lots of love and good luck.