::4 Behaviors That Cause Tension in Your Engagement::

Engagement should be fun and exciting but we totally know it comes with stress, lots of decision making, different expectations and too many cooks in the kitchen. Wedding planning is hard, plain and simple. And when things get hard, it’s human nature to get grumpy or react to others in ways we may not otherwise react.

I think it can be helpful, at the onset, to be aware of behaviors that can be problematic. By being aware of them, they can be easier to identify when slipping into them. The sooner you recognize it, the sooner you can deal with it, right?

I find that these four behaviors can really derail the joy of planning a wedding: defensiveness, criticism, contempt and stonewalling. As such, relationships suffer. We value marriage at Heavenly Day and strong marriages require strong foundations so let’s look at these behaviors one by one.

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DEFENSIVE

You have a vision, it’s set in your mind and anytime someone suggests anything at all that is slightly different, you get edgy. You’re not able to receive feedback and education related to what your day really needs to be a success. You’re not interested in hearing the wants and needs of others involved.

OR

Maybe you’re just overwhelmed and anytime someone brings it up, you’re a bit snippy because you’re just protecting your headspace from having to think about it. Bless the next person that even says ‘best wishes’, you don’t want to hear any more about this wedding for a good while. #timeforabreak

CRITICAL

When your partner has an idea, you seem to dismiss it based on their personhood rather than the idea itself. This can sometimes happen when feeling bogged down- looking for something or someone to take it out on. You may actually like the idea but you aren’t in a place to go over those details in the moment and you take it out on the person you love most.

OR

You may just not like the suggestions of your partner and shoot them down, forgetting that this party is to celebrate the both of you. There is most certainly a way to incorporate both of your interests into the style, flow and feel or your wedding and our planners can help with that. If you’re not able to compromise, this relationship needs evaluation.

CONTEMPT

On this token, being critical can transfer to acting as superior to your partner. Maybe you’re in a long distance relationship and you’re the one here in Austin and are seeing things first hand. Your ideas are better because you are more researched and are the one talking to the wedding planner. And you know what, that may be true but your delivery is paramount.

Maybe you are frustrated that your partner has taken a back seat and suddenly has opinions and your response to that is to be authoritative when the best response might be to thank them for now showing an interest, update them as to where you are and educate them as to why this or that may or may not work without immediately dismissing them.

STONEWALLING

Once you’re over it, you disengage. We find this to be more of a groom behavior towards a bride and a bride behavior towards her mother or future mother-in-law. This is not healthy for any of the relationships. Disengaging is not productive and quite frankly, it’s the adult version of a temper tantrum. In other words, it’s childish. The best way to move through conflict, tension or just things you’re procrastinating is to simply lean into it. Make a decision and walk into the conversation or to do list with open mindedness and willingness.

Often, one will find that it wasn’t so bad after all. Our minds shut down when things seem like they will be hard or fussy but if you can just hunker down, things are likely more manageable than they may appear.

I hope you find it helpful to be aware of these behaviors not only for yourself but for others involved in the process. When your fiancé seems grumpy about something, it might help to understand where they are coming from and rather than react with frustration, meet them where they are and encourage them through it. Listening to the needs of each other- even if it’s just one person raising their hand to say ‘hey, I need a break’ is a really really good thing. If taking a break scares you, check in with a planner on our team and we will look at your current tasks to help with efficiency, productivity and over all peace of mind.

If you like this information, share it! If you want more, consider signing up for our pre-marriage counseling or joining us for a weekend session of pre-marriage education.