"When I got engaged, I was sure I was making the right decision.
However, a few nagging thoughts escalated in the months between the engagement and the wedding.
Fixating on those thoughts eventually put me in a place where my anxiety and fear made me question my relationship.
I worried that I'd have to spend a little time every day in my marriage being sad.
I'm happy to share today's post from Brides.com!
You've known your partner's family for a while now. Love 'em or leave 'em, becoming a part of his or her family requires a different, more flexible and more patient mindset. For all the brides-to-be who are about to become daughter-in-laws, here are some tips and things to remember to seamlessly becoming a part of your new family.
1. You are a stranger in a strange land.
Think of your time with your new in-laws as if you're traveling to a foreign country. His family's traditions and customs will be different from your family's. Have respect and remember that they've functioned perfectly well for generations their way. Don't go in guns-blazing to try to make them more like yours.
2. They speak a foreign language.
You may all be speaking English, but as a newcomer, you can't know the subtext of what's going on in a conversation: the meaning, intent, and history behind the words spoken are unknown to you. Don't assume you understand the deep meaning of your father-in-law's "Hmmm, that's interesting."
3. They have different body language, too. When your mom looks at you askance, you know exactly what she's getting across. Your MIL? You haven't a clue what her raised eyebrow means. Don't assume it's the same message as your mom's raised eyebrow.
4. Let your spouse be your tour guide.
After a lifetime of living with them, your partner can read the situation, the mood, and the nuance far better than you'll ever be able to. For example if your partner says, "Hey, let's not push this point right now," or if he or she lets you know that showing up even just 15 minutes late to dinner with your in-laws is not cool, take the advice and adjust your behavior. If you're in doubt about what is going on, ask your partner to explain.
5. Let your partner take the lead.
It's best to have your fiancé make the plans with your in-laws and lead the difficult or delicate conversations with his parents. Weekly phone calls to say hello can be a great way to encourage a relationship (and all you have to do is just pop on for a quick "hi"). Conversely, you can take the lead with your family, so that it feels equal and balanced.
Allison Moir-Smith is an author and bridal counselor who specializes in engagement anxiety and cold feet.
Chapter 4 dives into the concept of family, and how certain roles and relationships may be altered during the length of the engagement, and ultimately in married life.
From the mothers who insist on taking on the wedding-planning-role, to siblings refusing to build a relationship with the fiancé – it can be a hectic, overwhelming time.
I share stories of brides who each had different experiences, but all eventually had to face what was really going on beneath the surface.
Below I have included a portion of Maria’s story.
With only five months until her
Traditionally, they pay for our weddings.
And they pay, emotionally, too.
Rationally, your Dad’s thrilled about your wedding
He's happy you’ve found the right guy, and he’s excited about the prospect of grandchildren.
Emotionally, your Dad may be reeling
And he may not even know it.
Weddings can ignite deep, unruly, Oedipal, raw stuff for some Dads.
It's normal for Dads to feel really sad he’s losing you. Engagement, as I describe in my book, can be a time of grief and loss for everyone in your family.
Not only are you a bride-bo-be, but you're a daughter-in-law-to-be, too. It's a whole new role in your life, and a new set of relationships for you to negotiate.
In-laws, generally speaking, are tricky territory.
I can't think of a BETTER time than during your engagement to read this brief article from PsychCentral on How Healthy Couples Deal With Their In-Laws.
Click here to learn why it's a complex relationship and get some solid tips on starting life with your in-laws out on firm footing.
Struggling with a mother-in-law-to-be? I can help you negotiate this new relationship. Contact me for a free 15-minute video consultation
7 of the brides I worked with got married.
I thought it would be interesting for you to hear a little about the issues we worked on.
Anxious and alone because the world expected them to be only "brides" -- only excited, only happy, only thinking about dresses and shoes and aisle runners.
These pressures and expectations didn't match their own inner emotional experiences, which were rich, deep, and lifechanging. In our work together, each of these brides could be their complex, "unbridely" selves, as they made sense of the very real changes their impending marriages caused them to face.
I'm happy to say that, across the board, without exception, all 7 brides successfully worked through their issues. Each and every bride has reported back to me about the happiness and joy they felt on their wedding days. Most couldn't believe they had traveled such a distance, emotionally, from where we first started. At the beginning of our work, they couldn't envision a happy wedding day, they were so wrapped up in their angst and pain.
And yet, as one bride just told me during her FREE post-wedding download session:
"Our wedding was phenomenal. The whole thing. Emotionally, I was calmer than I expected to be -- nothing was going to get me down -- and I was surprised at how choked up I got saying my vows. It was amazing and so satisfying to see all the million tiny details that I worked so hard on, sweated over, and fought for, come to life. It was perfect."
If you see yourself in any of these 7 brides, or if you are feeling anxious and alone, pressured to be a "perfect bride" and not your complete, complex self, contact me for a free 15-minute Skype consultation. For these 7 brides, working with me -- having a place in their lives to be "unbridely" -- allowed them to be real, delve deep, grow, learn and come out the other side happy and ready to be married.
If you'd like that too, please, be in touch.
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Dear Newly Engaged Me
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