We were at the two-months-till-the-wedding mark, and I was losing it.
That's the best way to describe it. I was in the middle of a major job transition, in the middle of a financial crisis, and more often than not, I was in the middle of a pointless fight with my fiance.
Added to that, I've never even planned a child's birthday party… what was I thinking, trying to plan a wedding? I asked myself that every day. In reality, the planning was coming together well, but in my stressed, panicked state I couldn't see that. I could only see this giant mountain of things that I Had To Get Done.
That stress caused me to lose sight of something much more important than the wedding: my relationship with the man I was due to marry.
I've never handled stress terribly well, and I have this nasty habit of taking that out on whoever's closest. As the wedding date loomed closer, I found myself picking fights over the dumbest things… and I do mean the dumbest. The fact that his tournament had ended late, despite the fact that we had no plans for afterwards… The way his wedding ideas clashed with my wedding ideas… How quickly he came up the driveway… And whether or not it was his fault the tire had gone flat (even though it was under warranty and cost nothing to replace).
I didn't realize the wedding stress and our constant arguments were related. I considered our relationship another check on the Things I Am Failing At list instead of wondering why we were fighting so constantly.
In fact, it didn't even click until I sat in tears on my best friend's bed after yet another stupid argument. She asked me, gently, “Are you sure you want to go through with the wedding?”
I realized that I couldn't say yes. It wasn't because of the man — the sweet, understanding, goofy man who I was sure I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It was the wedding itself.
That caused me even more stress, more guilt.
“It's just one day,” I said to myself nervously. “It's the marriage after that matters.”
I repeated that like a mantra while I continued with the plans for a day I didn't want to have, not at that time or in that way. I had made promises, printed invitations, spent the money I was given for the “big day.”
Wouldn't I be letting everyone down if I cancelled or postponed? I kept my mouth shut while guilt and nerves churned in my stomach.
Then, the day before I planned to reluctantly send out invitations, I received a job offer. One that would take me out-of-state, and away from my fiance, for a year.
He and I talked about the job offer; he encouraged me to go for it, and live my dream. Suddenly it felt like an out, like a way to get out of having a wedding I didn't want. I realize now how silly it was to have felt like I needed a reason to put off my wedding.
It turned out that my fiance also wanted to put off the wedding but, like me, was afraid to bring it up. And I realized where our primary issue was: Communication. We were both so hell-bent on having the wedding, doing what was expected of us and what we thought would make the other happy, that we didn't think to touch base and make sure it was still what each (or either!) of us wanted.
Planning a wedding quickly is great, even ideal for some people. It very much wasn't for us, and I'm so happy we've accepted it instead of trying to force it to work. In the end, I don't think I could have walked down the aisle as unhappy as I was.
When I get home from my travels, we'll have a small and private ceremony. Instead of making concessions, we'll take time. It's true the wedding is just one day, but it's important for us to start our lifelong commitment on a note we're both happy with.