How to deal with engagment stress? (or, a vent about my wedding planning so far)

posted 1 year ago in Emotional
Member
211 posts
Helper bee

Oh Cakey, don’t worry.  I mean, go ahead and worry, this is all really stressful stuff – balancing your own desires and values with those of others is freaking hard.  Something about weddings brings out all these crazy things you never would have thought they cared about!  (Really, fmil-who-brags-about-only-cooking-out-of-cans, you think WE OWE the guests a lavish catered dinner just because they show up?  HOW INTERESTING)  And oh my god, the money.  I think I’m similar to you in that I was hoping to do a really cheap wedding and save for a house; other people in my old and new family do not think this way, and it’s been hard sometimes for me to breathe and try to re-frame it away from “this jerk wants to bankrupt me just so they can show off for strangers!”  Yeah, that voice gets kind of real-housewives-crazy.

I don’t have any answers myself yet – we just got engaged a month ago and there’s already been drama – but I signed up (after lurking forever) so I could chime in and let you know, it’s a totally normal stress response to think about being alone.  I notice my brain doing it sometimes and I’ve been though enough stress and self-work this last year to really understand it’s just my brain’s defense mechanism – distancing when it feels threatened.  A similar thing happens sometimes when a boss or co-worker really upsets me; even if I LOVE that job and would never leave, there’s a sneaky little voice that says, “They don’t appreciate you!  You should just quit! What if you just walked away?”  In my case, I HAVE quit my jobs and left old lovers.  But it wasn’t because of an occasional little Voldemort-hisses from my stressed-out brain; it was because every second of the day was harder to get through without weeping and I knew I couldn’t continue like that.  If it gets to that point, trust me, YOU’LL KNOW and it wont just be a tiny voice in your brain – more like every cell in your body crying out.  

Everyone gets frustrated during big important stuff like this; just try to outweigh any negativity with 4 times as much positivity and it helps a lot to re-establish that connection and really put you guys back on the same team.  And – I try not to put too much pressure on myself and my boo for “reconnecting,” lest that in itself get too overwhelming.  So, often my and my fiance’s perferred methods of reconnection are: cheap awesome homemade meals (elaborate taco nights forever!), silly tv shows, and poop jokes.  I will not be offended if none of these high-class options work for you two ;)  Hang in there, and if you want to talk more about stress responses and fight-or-flight reactions in the brain, I’m reading some awesome books about the subject and am here for messages anytime!

Member
3151 posts
Sugar bee

You’re in north Jersey.  You’ve surly been to typical north Jersey weddings and know that what he wants is not outrageious or unusual for the area (I grew up in Ridgewood…hello neighbor!). I mean, you’re steps away from The Venetian.  You’re in the land of open bars, lots of food, and big, dance-party weddings. 

 

In my experience, men are very visual.  In the future, I suggest finding images (from blogs, here, etc.) that show the elements you want to include.  The fighting is over communication, so I think it would be helpful to change the way you’re communicating your ideas.

To stop the put downs, stop the over-sharing.  I’m not saying you can’t talk to your friends about planning, but if they put down what you’re thinking about doing, don’t share what your thinking about doing.  Share what you’ve done.  That kinds of ends discussion of the topic.

Instead of this:
“I’m thinking about having a signature cocktail instead of a full open bar.”
“Oh my gosh, you have to have a full open bar. That’s a horrible idea.”

Try this:
“We’re going to have a signature cocktail served at the wedding. Come over Friday night and try some of the recipes we’re considering.”

 

 

Member
2801 posts
Sugar bee

@CakeyP:  Simplify you plans. Really, if he’s not fully on board with you making the plans, slimplify.

Sorry in advanace: my response to your “cookier cutter wedding” comment is that what the FI wants sounds cookie cutter to me: lots of people at an impersonal venue, grand entrance, etc.

In the end, I wouldn’t worry about making your weddding unique, it’s a wedding. They are all alike in many aspects. Putting  pressure on yourself to make it something different isn’t productive and will frustrate you further.

Personally there is NO WAY I’d spend $20,000 on something when I am as lukewarm about it as you are. No. Way.

It’s hard for me to believe that your FI wouldn’t in the end be happy with a backyard BBQ with his freinds there. But ok, he won’t. I wonder why?

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