Coping with Wedding Stress
by Amy Honigman, Ph.D.
I Love Weddings! And I love what meaning a couple can bring to their wedding. But weddings, as joyous and romantic as they are, can be emotionally complicated. Most everyone has his or her own wedding crisis story. From the day a couple becomes engaged till well after the last Thank-you has been sent, complex and judicious choices must be made and carried out. In the process someone is bound to be insulted, hurt, or overlooked. As a Clinical Psychologist I have worked with many brides and couples who are surprised to find they are experiencing Wedding Stress.
Commonly the reason for Wedding Stress evolves out of the clash of multiple expectations. Because weddings are a major life event, they are heavily laden with significance; each wedding has meaning and each wedding makes a statement. The couple, family and community all have ideas and hopes of what the wedding should be.
With all of these influences inevitably comes conflict. While trying to create a statement to the world of optimism for a successful marriage, couples frequently must balance their needs with everyone else's. Awareness and staying proactive can keep these problems from getting out of hand. Through my work with couples I have seen recurring wedding planning issues that overshadow the joy of the day. One of these issues, for example, is how the couple together deals with the challenge of negotiating their wedding. Another problem is graciously saying no to demanding relatives and vendors.
In the months ahead, I plan on discussing a variety of these issues including; "Clarifying the Meaning of Your Wedding", "Clear Communication," "Relationship Changes," and "Now It's Just the Two of Us." By sharing this information couples can think about how they can successfully navigate this process while avoiding many of the emotional pitfalls.
Amy Honigman, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY11755). She practices in Danville, California.
DISCLAIMER: The generalized information presented is not intended as advice regarding any specific person or problem. Individuals reading this column in need of specific advice should consult with a licensed mental health professional.
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