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The two of you have pledged to share your lives. Neither of you regret the decision, quite the contrary! Yet ever since the ring went on your finger the arguments started. Here, three brides open up about the fights they started to have with their spouses once they got engaged.
One Big Unhappy Family
"Until getting engaged my fiancé *Jim and I never argued," says *Heidi. She adds, "We decided on a small wedding. Then, family pressure started. His family wanted him to invite all the cousins, cousins' kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews and Jim felt obligated, so he started trying to get me to agree to expand the wedding. This led to shouting matches between us."
The two solved the deadlock by going on a weekend trip where no wedding talk was allowed. Heidi says, "We came back realizing what we were really fighting about was my fear he wouldn't put me first when we married, and his fear that when we married I would become a 'rigid shrew.'"
The upshot: The couple assuaged one another's fears, then added three guests apiece for their families.
The Freak Out
*Laurie sighs, *"Bill and I got engaged two months ago. A week later he received an epic promotion to a new state so we're both moving. He's doing two jobs until they find a replacement, and I have to find a new job."
While Laurie is "so happy and excited" she and her partner are "constantly bickering over his ugly rocking chair that he insists on transporting across the country." She adds, "The only people who say the post-engagement period is the happiest period of your life are people so far removed from the stress of planning a wedding."
She continues, "When I found myself struggling to cart his chair to the trash bin outside our building, I realized the stress of all these massive changes were getting to us big time."
The couple decided to ease the multiple stressors. Bill asked to be relieved of some of his job duties and Laurie is taking time off before embarking on a job search once they move. The chair? "Oh, I'm letting him have it as long as I'm allowed to decorate the rest of the house!"
Whatever You Want, Dear
Four months into starting wedding planning, *Beth and heré fiancé began having a daily battle stemming from his agreeing meekly to whatever she suggested. Beth recalls: "Jeff gave absolutely no input in to flowers, invitations, or catering. I'd say, 'Don't you care? How can you not have opinions?' He'd counter, 'Of course I care, but I want you to be happy."
While visiting Jeff's family, Beth complained to his mother that her son wasn't participating in planning the biggest day of their lives. The older woman confessed sheepishly: "I told him not to. I said his job was making sure you got everything you wanted."
The resolution: The pair swore to communicate more clearly, not just assume they knew what the other wanted, but to ask and to listen!
*Name has been changed
Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.