I recently Zoomed with a couple who is having a cross-cultural, inter-faith ceremony. I was impressed by how articulate they were in sharing their dream for the ceremony and celebration.
They readily admitted they’ve done a lot of talking and have had some hard conversations.
Afterwards, I flashed on a former bride whose wedding I officiated back in 2018.
A couple of weeks before the Pandemic lockdown, I ran into Anna (names changed) strolling through The Grove mall with her nine-month old daughter.
She told me that she and her husband Jeff were divorcing. Things had been rocky from the start as Jeff didn’t like to talk about anything important. And when they did have that rare talk, he’d end up screaming and storming off.
Anna thought that having a baby would bring them closer. The baby didn’t since a baby doesn’t have that kind of power. And besides, it wasn’t until the baby was born that Jeff told her he didn’t want children!
Here’s the thing. . .
if you and your partner have already established your relationship in the habits of solid conversation, then that will go a long way to help you navigate the demands of your wedding planning.
If, though, you’ve gotten into habits of not talking, then you really are going to experience stress.
Sometimes, a couple argues about decisions they have to make, other times about things said and done that one of them is offended by. Over time, the arguing takes on a life of its own and all the couple really does is talk at each other.
How you communicate directly affects your sanity – individually and as a couple.
If you’re caught up in an endless cycle of arguing, then the only way to break the cycle is to talk about how you talk to each other.
The cycle of arguing will only be broken if you take each other’s hand, step out of the crazy-making circle, and take a look at why you’re repeating the same conversation over and over and over, no matter what the issue.
Most people think the other person is to blame for the problem.
Drop the blame game. As the cliché goes, it takes two to tango.
If you want to see you and your partner talk in a different way to each other, ask for your partner’s help.
At a time when you’re not sniping at each other, tell your partner that you want to discuss how the two of you handle tough topics.
Try something like this:
Whenever we talk about the wedding budget, it seems we end up arguing. I get frustrated when you say ‘no’ to something I suggest and then you end the conversation. Sure, I’d want you to say ‘yes’ and as much as I hate to admit it, I know that ‘yes’ can’t always be the answer. It’s when you shut down, end the conversation, and refuse to talk about the issue that I feel disrespected and feel that you’re not treating me like a partner. I don’t know what’s going on inside that head of yours. I want to discuss money in a way where we don’t end up mad at each other. Let’s figure out something new here.
As a couple, you’re going to break old dance steps that don’t work for you when you say out loud – this isn’t working, so let’s do something different.
I know this doesn’t come naturally.
It takes practice.
It demands that you together want to create a more honest way of talking to each other.
Your attitude will determine everything.
- Lose the anger.
- Put aside the judgment.
- Accept that a tough conversation is a messy give-n-take.
That’s what dialogue is all about!
I’m sure you can come up with a bunch of reasons for why this will not work.
But, hey, if the way you’re communicating now is not working for you, why not try something new?
And if you’re afraid of what your partner’s reaction might be, then I urge you to think about why you’re marrying someone you’re afraid of!
SANITY SAVER Questions:
- Is there a conversation you know you should have and are afraid to have?
- What are you afraid will happen if you talk about the issue?
- What are you afraid will happen if you do not talk about the issue?
- What would you like to see happen differently?
If you want more tips on how to communicate in smart, healthy ways with your partner – during wedding planning and beyond –
check out my book,
How to Plan Your Wedding AND Stay Sane!
Treat you and your partner to a communications coaching session with me.
Click HERE for details!