10 Myths About Engagement
The engagement period is beautiful, blissful and busy time a couple’s life. But it is also a period clouded by myth and misconceptions. Without bursting any of those cute wedding-day bubbles, here are a few things to be aware of as you prepare for marriage...
The newlywed period will be the happiest time in our marriage
For many couples, the first year of marriage is actually the hardest. Even if you’ve been together forever, your relationship dynamic is likely to change somewhat after marriage. This adjustment period will require flexibility and communication. In the weeks/months following the ceremony, many brides also experience a kind of post-wedding depression. As the festivities wrap up, despondency can kick in. But a little rockiness in the first few months or year of marriage doesn’t necessarily signify a problem … so long as you both continue strengthening your relationship.
Having cold feet means I’m not ready for marriage
Having cold feet can be a good thing—a sign that you are taking marriage sufficiently seriously. You should have a healthy respect for the commitment you are making. But there is a difference between qualms about commitment and qualms about your partner. You can overcome a fear of commitment. But misgivings about your partner are harder to conquer.
The stress of a wedding justifies bad behavior
Some women morph into divas the minute they become brides-to-be. But such behavior can do lasting damage to a relationship. You’ll be understandably stressed by the wedding planning process. But wedding-related stress is not a blanket excuse to be rude, self-absorbed or overly demanding. If you need help, ask for it—directly and politely. Don’t become so obsessed with the perfect wedding that you compromise your (nearly-perfect) relationship with your future spouse.
Living together before marriage is the best way to ensure a successful marriage
Many people seeing living together as the best way to determine compatibility and potential marital happiness. In fact, some people believe anyone who gets married without living together first is a fool. The statistics, however, suggest otherwise. Couples who live together before marriage are actually more likely to divorce. One exception: couples who live together after engagement (but before marriage) had similar marital outcomes to those who didn’t live together at all prior to marriage. But living together before marriage doesn’t give you any statistical advantage over couples who do not.
We have a good relationship, so we don’t need premarital preparation
Couples who participate in premarital counseling/preparation have lower divorce rates than those who don’t. Even a few sessions can help you troubleshoot the most pivotal aspects of your marriage: money, sex, children, work, household roles, etc. Marriage and relationship education (MRE) workshops can also help strengthen your core relationship skills.
We’re ready to get married now—no engagement period necessary!
The engagement period gives you plenty of time to not only plan for the wedding, but also to plan for being married. Even if you aren’t having a big wedding, the engagement period is a valuable time for working through potential issues. This “waiting period” allows you ample time to reflect on—and feel confident about—your decision to marry.
Breaking off an engagement is wrong
While breaking an engagement is unpleasant, it is ultimately less painful than ending a marriage. Not matter how far along you are in the engagement, listen to any strong, persistent inner warnings about the relationship.
If he doesn’t buy a fancy ring (or a fancy honeymoon), he doesn’t really love me
Money is relatively easy to give, particularly for certain personality types. Others are naturally more frugal (this same frugality may ultimately land you in a higher income bracket). So long as your fiance isn’t blowing tons of money elsewhere, don’t interpret a modest engagement ring or honeymoon as a lack of love.
Your friends and family will be supportive
Even if your friends/family actually like your fiance, they may not be as supportive as you might like. Exhausted brides and grooms expect their loved ones to rally around them in their hour of need. Many a friendship has been ruined because a bridesmaid or groomsman didn’t step up to the plate. And many a family relationship has been strained because of unmet expectations for emotional, logistical or financial support. Not matter how much they love you, your wedding probably won’t be the top priority of your friends and family—try not to take it too personally. The wedding will pass, but hopefully, your relationships with your friends and family will endure.
If things go haywire on your wedding day, it’s a sign something is wrong
Forget superstitions—things can (and probably will) go wrong at the wedding. What should give you pause is if you do not feel fundamentally safe and loved in your relationship. So let the rain fall, let the groom spot the wedding dress and let the “something blue” go perpetually MIA. In the end, all that really matters is that your relationship is filled with love, trust and mutual respect. These are the true keys to leading a “charmed” life together.