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Wedding planning can be stressful. Add into that a tiff with your soon-to-be-husband about where to seat his great aunt Tilda or just how much your spent on peonies, and you could be ready to explode from frustration.
So if wedding plans trigger a no-holds-barred fight, the most important thing to know is you're not alone — after all, between discussions about family members, money and more, an engagement can be a recipe for a Molotov cocktail.
"Expectations are very important, and fighting isn't a bad thing, actually," says Lauren Napolitano. "It's constructive if it's done respectively."
In fact, fighting over your wedding — while not fun to experience — can be great practice for how you'll treat arguments once you're married. "The worst thing a couple can do is to repress or ignore feelings that are different from his or her significant other in the attempt to stay unified," explains Napolitano. "Then the feelings turn into resentment and anger. It's far better to have a small argument as an engaged than allow resentments to build that could carry into your marriage."
When you find yourself in the throes of a wedding-related spat, take a step back and really consider what your fiancé is saying. "It's important that you communicate respectfully and clear up any issues after the fight," Napolitano says. "It's important to understand your fiancé's feelings and opinions."
Once you can clearly understand what the other is trying to communicate, you can dig even deeper into an issue and resolve the real problem. For example, if your fiancé doesn't get why peonies cost $5 a stem, maybe the issue really isn't about the blooms; perhaps he's concerned about beginning a life together in debt.
Finally, when the conflict over, remind yourself that "a difference of opinions is healthy," Napolitano says. "To fight is to clear the air and to express your feelings, and a chance to understand one another better." These are great skills to bring into your marriage!