Kayla Rigler is a writer for OurStart, a wonderful site that helps couples just starting their lives together. There you’ll find tips, tricks, and advice on anything from engagement and wedding to parenting and finances. When not working, you will often find Kayla trying new foods, cuddling on the couch with her pup, or on adventures with her husband! We asked Kayla to share some of her best advice on how to combat cold feet when they set in just before the big day. Here’s some of her top tips:
After the excitement and magic of deciding to get married dies down a little, we start getting nervous about the post-wedding period. We start experiencing a chilling fear as we realize we’re about to spend the rest of our love life on one single person. It happens with everyone; everyone gets cold feet! Most of the time, this “freak out” period means that we’re suffering from a case of pre-wedding jitters.
Seeing as this is normal, there isn’t anything to worry about… Unless..…..
Whenever I get a bad feeling, most likely that bad feeling is trying to tell me something… That something? You should listen to it. If you have a bad feeling about your marriage, you may want to consider your options.
Well, if your gut isn’t saying that you should be scared, then you’ve got nothing to worry about. Obviously, you either asked or said yes to spending the rest of your life with your fiancé. That wasn’t a decision you made lightly!
Think about life without your fiancé. Would you want to climb mountains and enjoy the sunset with anyone else? If the answer is no, you’re solid. When I had my stint of CFS (Cold Feet Syndrome), I asked myself this question and I couldn’t imagine my life without my hubby… So much so that I married him twice!
Common ground. Do you have any? What is something that you both enjoy? Something that you love doing with each other? My husband and I? We’re car people; we collect German cars… Or they seem to collect us. We enjoy going to car shows and taking drives after church.
Mutual Friends. This is a great way to see your fiancé in their natural element. If you’re not allowed to spend time with your friends, then you may have a bigger issue than cold feet. Hanging out with your fiancé’s friends is a great way to see and get a feel for the person you are spending the rest of your life with. This may seem like a strange combatting factor, but if you marry your fiancé, you marry their friends too.
The stress factor. How does your partner deal with stress? Can you pick up the shortcomings in stressful situations? Do you work well together? Can one give direction and one take? Do you both have to be in control? You never know what can happen in life, so knowing this ahead of time can be a life-saver (literally) when stressful situation arise.
Health. When my husband married me he knew about my heart condition, but he didn’t think to ask about the rest of my family. I’ve got a 50-50 chance of having macular degeneration (I’ll go blind) from both my mom and my dad’s side. I didn’t think to ask about his family either. His dad was exposed to Agent Orange which is carried down to at least five generations. Your health isn’t your own anymore once you’re married.
Obligations. If your fiancé has prior obligations that you may not be comfortable with now, you won’t be comfortable with them later… At least not all the way. If you don’t see their obligation as obligations, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
Fix it: Chat about the obligations that bother you, don’t let prior obligations cost you something that could over-power the feeling of life long love.
The past. If you can leave past experiences in the past, you’re solid. If you’ve got issues with your past or your fiancé’s past, you may want to chat about it. But to be honest, you can’t change the past so this isn’t something you should harp on.
Fix it: Leave the past in the past. Sometimes it’s hard to bury the past, but sometimes it’s necessary. If it really bothers you that much, talk to your fiancé about it and get some reassurance.
The Future. This goes back to asking my number one question. Except, it’s a little bit more in-depth. If you’ve got the same or similar goals with finances, love, and family, then you’re all set!
Fix it: Come up with a plan together. It doesn’t have to be a five or ten year plan, but it helps to outline your goals.
Relax. Some good rest and relaxation can do you wonders. Spend an evening apart to collect your thoughts or go out with friends to take your mind off your cold feet. Go to the spa, spend the day shopping, work in the garage on your project car. Whatever makes you feel content.
Coffee. Go on a simple coffee date. Coffee dates seem to make the world a better place, and they start your morning off right! Sip your coffee and chat about your week.
Dinner. Like coffee, food makes the world a better place. Enjoy a nice date, and chat about everything! Not just how you’re feeling, but chat about the nitty gritty. Whatever conversation comes natural to you is what you should talk about.
Communication. Good ol’ fashioned communication. Communication will never go out of style. Think about it… You always put gas in your car so that it continues to go, so why not put some “communication” into your relationship? Ask your fiancé how they’re feeling. Let them know what you’re feeling. Just talk it out. Set aside 15 to 30 minutes a day to spend quality time together. Go for a walk or sit on the couch and chit chat.
Counseling. If your issues stem further than some R&R, coffee, or dinner, then counseling may be the way to go. Oftentimes you’ll want to go to pre-marital counseling, and this would be a great time to bring up your cold feet.
You may not have the answer to all your questions, and you may not have be able to understand why you’re feeling the way you are, but know that CFS is natural. You aren’t abnormal, and you aren’t alone. Breath through it, and when your big day arrives, you’ll get the privilege of accepting love and honor from your fiancé until the end of time. It may seem scary now, but think it through before you make any rash or harsh decisions. Remember that you asked or said yes for a reason. Happy planning!
Already married? How did you combat cold feet?