Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Q & A: Postponing a Wedding

Reader Question: A few months ago, my fiancé and I were having a discussion about postponing our wedding. Well, actually we were talking about an opportunity to buy a house and he said, "If we get this house, we're not getting married this year." Thinking that was a logical reason, I agreed to postpone the wedding.

A few months later (after we decided not to buy the house) it was finally uncovered that he really wanted to postpone the wedding because he felt we weren't ready, that there were more areas that he felt we needed to grow in. So we worked on it and I feel that we are better. I waited to bring up the wedding again until he did, and he did a month ago.

So last week I asked him about setting another date, and his response was "when we have money."
I can't help but feel hurt because 1) if he didn't feel we were ready, why did he propose in the first place? (ring, engagement party, flew my mother in town and everything) and 2) we can't have an honest conversation about why the wedding is being postponed. My question is how do you breach the conversation to talk about the wedding or the lack thereof? We are able to have honest conversations, but when I'm frustrated I don't talk and he knows this so he doesn't push the issue when he doesn't want to talk either. I don't think he doesn't want to get married, but I think I'm hurt by him wanting to push it back that I'm not moving forward either.

How do I get over it and move on?
I'd appreciate any help you can offer. Thanks in advance.

I imagine that it's hard to see the silver lining in this frustrating and difficult situation, but I honestly think it's good that you and your partner are facing these issues BEFORE you get married rather than after.

Of course all of our relationships are works in progress and we continue to work on them even after we tie the knot, but it's important to have the fundamentals in place before making a lifelong commitment.

First, trust is an absolute must. You need to be able to trust that your partner is 100% honest with you. He clearly wasn't being honest when he postponed the wedding because of the house. I'm not saying that he was intentionally dishonest; it may have been that he truly wasn't aware of his deeper reasons.

Regardless, both of you need to get to the root of what is going on, which brings me to the second fundamental: strong communication.

In order for your marriage to be an enduring commitment, both partners need to strengthen their ability to communicate with each other. It's awesome that you're already aware of the limitations of your communication with each other; the next step is to build your communication capacity as a couple.

Related to strong communication is a third fundamental of a healthy relationship: the ability to work on problems together. All of our marriages will inevitably face their fair share of problems throughout the years. The trick to overcoming those problems and building our relationships rather than breaking them down is to figure out how to work together to solve problems.

There are lots of different ways to work on trust, communication, and problem-solving in a relationship. The first one that comes to mind is couples counseling. Working with a neutral, objective professional can really help couples strengthen the foundation of their relationship. I highly, highly recommend this route.

Other ways include reading relationship self-help books and working through exercises, or just starting the dialogue between you and your partner.

Giving you and your partner time to work through these issues before getting married is an investment in your future together, despite how frustrating it may be.

Try to be as patient as possible as you and your partner work toward a resolution together. Creating a solid, healthy, thriving partnership is the most important thing to focus on right now.

I wish you the very best!

Wondering whether you have to send Save the Dates? Wondering how to build an equitable partnership? Wondering how to handle pressure from your parents? E-mail me your questions, and I'll take a stab at answering them!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He could be overwhelmed at the thought of getting married....right now.
I know someone that did that. He kept postponing the wedding because he didn't think they had enough money saved. She got tired of it and left, met another guy and moved out of state.
He finally realized that things would never be "perfect", as in there is never enough money, something always makes life difficult blah blah blah.
Less than a year after she left he came after her, proposed (while she was still living with the other guy) and they got married 3 months later.
They have been married almost 15 years now.
Best advice ever. Get counciling. There is something that he is hold back on sharing.

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