Brides.com: 10 Reasons Why You Should Be Nervous Walking Down the Aisle (and 5 Reasons You Shouldn't)
In chapter three I address the emotions that surface when facing the idea of the end of "single you."
Though the time of being engaged can be an exciting whirlwind for brides, it also can feel... lonely.
Lonely because you feel you may lose some degree of intimacy with your single girlfriends.
Lonely because your identity is going from career-woman to wife.
Lonely because you are trying to adjust to whole new YOU
Below I have included an excerpt from the chapter that dives into the concept of moving out of your place, and into your fiancés (or vice-a-versa) and the emotions that may come along with now sharing one of the most personal things – a home.
Moving has never been a major trauma for Pauline
In fact, she was that rare bird who actually enjoyed the process of searching for the perfect apartment, packing up her belongings, and starting new. It had always been more of an adventure than a source of stress for Pauline.
Until she packed to move into her fiancés apartment
This move was unlike all the others.
“I had a very keen awareness that I would be unpacking my boxes as a married person, and that alone was enough to send me off the deep end,” said Pauline.
For Pauline, the line between single life and married life was very distinct.
She’d never lived with a guy before, so she was crossing over that line into marriage.
“No longer would I be single,” she remembers thinking as she packed. “My life would be entwined with somebody else’s.
"I could no longer make decisions that affected only me"
I was anticipating having somebody around all the time.
It was a lot to get used to.”
Please share your thoughts in the comments below, and stay tuned for next week’s installment of "Book to Blog" – Chapter 4!
In Chapter I of Emotionally Engaged: A Bride's Guide to Surviving the "Happiest" Time of Her Life, I disclose details on my relationship, engagement, and ultimately my wedding.
By putting my personal story in the first couple of pages of the book, I was hoping to speak directly to the reader, and somehow say "I’ve been where you are."
Below are a few snippets from the chapter that embody my message, my honesty, and my truth.
More than two million brides
During my engagement, I learned how to turn my conflicting emotions into important personal growth. I wanted to help other brides-to-be do the same.
So a few months after our wedding, I founded Emotionally Engaged Counseling for Brides and focused my psychotherapy practice solely on brides-to-be.
I took a chance, starting my practice for brides with this premise:
If I felt that discombobulated during my engagement, some of the 2.3 million American brides might too
Either that, or I was one in 2.3 million and a complete freak.
Most brides attended my workshops hoping to learn how to eliminate their negative feelings
They were afraid to give in to their sadness and fear, thinking that once they turned on the faucet, they’d never be able to shut it off.
In reality, emotions work the opposite way.
When strong emotions are not felt, they grow in power and intensity
When they are felt, the sadness and fear pass through your system. Facing and feeling negative emotions can have a cathartic effect. It cleans house of the fear and sadness, doubt and worry, and makes room once again for positive feelings of joy, excitement, and happiness.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below, and stay tuned for next week’s installment of "Book to Blog: Chapter 2"!
Most brides contact me because they often feel overwhelmed by a complex mix of emotions.
They feel overrun at times by extreme happiness that they are marrying this great guy.
At the same time, they're also stressed, sad, anxious, fearful, and confused.
Feeling this way can be disorienting and disturbing.
And definitely not what you expected to feel during your engagement.
Emotional overwhelm is a common state for some brides
Mothers of the bride.
Friends of the bride.
Sisters of the bride.
Many people find my website because they want to help the brides-to-be in their lives who seem to be struggling with some unruly, unexpected, and difficult emotions.
Friends, sisters, mothers -- I often get emails asking, "How can I best help this emotional bride that I love so much?"
The best way to help an emotional bride: ask her about her inner life
Nervous About Being the Center of Attention On Your Wedding Day? 10 Reasons Why You Should, and 5 Reasons You Shouldn't
Some brides just can't wait to be the center of attention on their wedding days. It's their time to shine, their dream come true. They love the spotlight. They're wired that way.
Other brides feel a whisper of dread when they imagine walking down the aisle.
Maybe you're a really private person.
Maybe you're introverted.
Maybe you're downright shy.
Maybe you feel pressure to perform.
That makes sense, because weddings are both intensely private and profoundly public
All eyes are on you, as you commit the intimate act of joining together for the rest of your lives.
So when someone says to you: “Don’t be nervous walking down the aisle," you think, "Um, how?"
You’re going to hear "don't be nervous" from everybody – your rabbi, your minister. Your maid of honor, your bridesmaids. Your Mom, your Dad. Your wedding coordinator. Even those teeny tiny flower girls might tell you: “Don’t be nervous.”
Don’t be nervous? Yeah, right. Are they the ones wearing the big, white dress, with all eyes on them, about to make a lifelong decision? We think not.
Here are 10 reasons why you should expect to be nervous:
1. It is the grandest of entrances.
2. It is one of those Big Moments in life.
3. It is silent.
4. It is ceremonial: your guests will stand to honor you.
5. It is transformative: you are walking out of one stage of your life and into a new one.
6. It is unknown and unpredictable: you can try to anticipate how you’re going to feel, but in the moment, you can’t control it. (Nor should you, if you want to be authentic.)
7. It is sad: just look at your wistful Mom and Dad.
8. It is powerful and moving: just look at your choked-up fiancé.
9. It is the most photographed walk of your life: how odd it is to be the subject of paparazzos.
10. It is nothing short of life changing and profound.
It’s OK to be nervous – got it?
Here are 5 reasons to counter-balance your nervousness:
1. You are not alone. Whether or not you walk with your Dad, parents, or solo, you are not alone. You’ve surrounded yourself with your nearest and dearest.
2. It’s epic and ancient. Think of the billions of brides who’ve come before you. You are walking in their footsteps. We think this is a pretty cool concept.
3. It’s a forgiving crowd. Remember: you’re not giving work presentation in front of your cutthroat co-workers. Everyone in this crowd is so happy for you.
4. He’s waiting at the end of the aisle. This wonderful man you’ve chosen, who’ll walk with you in life til the end of your days.
5. This is what you want. This man. This life. This future. It all begins now. All you have to do is take that walk down the aisle.
Want more personalized tips for your walk down the aisle? Contact me for a free 15-min video consultation. Let's meet!
Let me help you feel better prepared for your wedding day. Schedule your consultation now.
As a bride in the process of making the huge psychological transition from single woman to married woman, you have a lot going on, emotionally.
Having someone in your life to help you reflect upon and explore your feelings will be really helpful for you.
You need a compassionate ear.
Talking through your contradictory feelings of joy, excitement, sadness, and fear with a trusted friend or family member will help you gain deeper insight into your emotions.
It feels safer, too: exploring difficult emotions is less frightening in the presence of an understanding listener.
Choosing the right person is key.
Select someone who is non-judgmental and patient, a person who can understand that you can be happy AND sad AND scared, all at the same time.
Your confidante's job is to help you explore your feelings and gain insight into why you might be feeling this way.
Their job is NOT to "solve" your problems, "fix" your feelings, or tell you that "you should be happy."
(If you hear that, move on to another friend and try to accept that some people can't handle the emotional complexity of this "happy" time of your life.")
Don't ask your fiance.
Your first instinct may be to have him play this role for you. But he may not be the most objective sounding board in this situation.
Your roller coaster-like emotions may unnerve and upset him, causing him to react (or worse, overreact) to your normal and natural -- yet unsettling -- feelings.
You don't want to keep secrets from him, but you may want to put off sharing your deepest, darkest, rawest thoughts until after you've processed them.
Saying something like, "Just in case you've been feeling my distance recently, I want to share what I've been going through. Don't worry: it has nothing to do with you or us or the wedding. I've just been feeling sad about growing up and leaving my family. Can I tell you more about it?"
This will keep the lines of communication open between you without threatening the relationship.
If you can't find a compassionate ear, seek out a therapist or mental-health worker. Listening -- without judging or fixing -- is what we're trained to do. It will be money well spent.
Your homework: Identify the Compassionate Ears in your life, and make a date to see one of them. Get a real conversation going between you about what's REALLY going on for you. You'll be amazed how unburdened you feel after just one cup of coffee or glass of wine together.
Having trouble identifying your Compassionate Ears?
Nearly every bride I work with asks me: "Where is all this stress, depression, anxiety and worry coming from?"
"I thought this was going to be the happiest time of my life!
But I'm upset and even sad much of the time.
(I know I want to marry my fiance, so it's not cold feet.)
What gives?" (Or, more often, "WTF?")
1. You are planning the most expensive and elaborate party of your life…with 2 Moms
Solution: You and your fiancé define for yourselves 3 non-negotiables each for your wedding – 3 things each you are unwilling to compromise on. Make sure you get those things, done perfectly, and then be willing to be influenced on the rest. Especially if parents are paying.
2. You leave that "party" -- a.k.a. your wedding -- a very changed woman.
Solution: Everything about your wedding feels overwrought and bigger than it should be because, well, it is. For example, the stress you feel when you can’t find the right bridesmaids dress isn’t totally about the design and color of the dress. Psychologically, you’re also working through how you’re going to “fit” all these important women into your new, unknown, married life with you. Be aware of the deeper levels always going on. (Read also: Why it may be healthy to obsess about your wedding.)
3. You're mourning -- yes, mourning.
Solution: Give yourself time and space to just feel. Reflect. Journal. Acknowledge the passing of time, the change in identity, the growing up that is going on. Mourning is background music playing in your mind right now. Let it become foreground music occasionally to work through it.
Book To Blog
Brides: Success Stories
Dear Newly Engaged Me
Help For Brides
Sessions W Brides