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Pre-Wedding Tips




Pre-Wedding Tips

Is Premarital Counseling or Education for You?

Deciding to get or stay engaged?

Premarital / Relationship Inventories

Bonding & Marriage Success

Guide to Guys


Cold Feet

Your Mother and You

Interfaith, Intercultural and Interracial Marriage

Balancing Togetherness & Individuality

What's In a Name - Changing Yours?

Pre-Wedding Stress Management

Pre-Wedding Time Management

Pre-Marriage Couples Counseling

Marriage Facts

Radio program on marriage success research that couples should hear!

Seven Keys to Success

Stages of Marriage

Five-to-One Ratio

Demanding Careers & Marriage

What are the most important factors in marriage success?

Differences, incompatibilities and marriage success

Who’s in control in your relationship?

Communication & conflict resolution

Becoming Parents

Financial issues

Balancing Family and Work



Married sexuality

Marriage-Related Books We Like

Guide to Marriage Success, our premarital education book


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"...Easy to relate to and highly effective…. Exactly what I was looking for…. A must."


Cold Feet


It’s not at all unusual for couples to experience doubts about marriage and commitment, even (and in some cases, especially) when they have announced their engagement or set a date. 


Don't cancel the wedding yet!


When we are first involved with someone, we tend to focus on the things we have in common with them--our similarities--and even our differences with them can seem exciting. As intimate relationships progress, differences come more to the fore and lead to conflict and even feelings of alienation. This is normal, but many people are confused by this dynamic and it is a big source of affairs.


Many people have the notion that there is a 'perfect match' for them and that the happiness and success of marriage depends on finding this match. With this view, there is a lot of pressure riding on the choice of partner. Normal differences between partners--including natural differences in intimacy and communication styles--induce doubts about compatibility. If you're expecting everything to be conflict free and close to perfect, it can produce a lot of uncertainty when the reality isn't that way.


The fact is that even the best matched couples have 5 - 7 areas of difference and that differences in intimacy and communication styles are nearly universal. Couples need to learn to expect these issues and agree on success strategies to help them work together to manage these in their relationship. (See our article on Differences for more about this.) It is frequently the case that as couples get closer to marriage, they encounter new areas of conflict that surprise them.


The terrible thing about these feelings is that they can be a lonely burden. Most people view cold feet as unacceptable feelings that cannot be shared--certainly not with their partner. Contrary to this impulse though, you should consider talking with your partner.


Of course, it's not easy to share your doubts. Your partner's first reaction may be discomfort. If your partner loves you, they will eventually understand and accept your feelings. They may even have some of their own to share. There are many stories of all night, soul-searching conversations that brought partners closer together than they had been beforehand.


Since the feelings can be normal, the important thing is to understand the reality of the challenges that you will face with your partner in your marriage and what you can do to make negotiating challenge a growth experience that will strengthen your bond and deepen your intimacy.


If you haven't done so already, consider taking one of the many excellent relationship inventories available. The assessment will help you understand each other, differences in your expectations, your styles and the challenges you will face. We encourage couples to do their inventory as part of a pre-marriage prep program like MST, so that you'll be prepared to address the results in the most constructive way for your relationship. Click here for more info about relationship inventory options.


Of course, there are a number of very valid reasons to have serious doubts or concerns about your choice of marriage partner. If you have experienced physical or emotional abuse, betrayal, dishonesty, addiction, differences in sexual orientation, drastic disagreements about crucial issues (e.g., whether to have children) in your relationship with your partner, you'd be well advised to seek counseling. Don't be reluctant to postpone the wedding to seek counseling in these circumstances.


MST will help you identify and work though some of the underlying sources of your concerns. It will give you and your partner more confidence in your capacity to succeed in your marriage.  You will be reassured by your improved understanding and preparation for the reality of marriage, including its tremendous prospects for enriching your lives.  MST will maximize the success potential of any couple’s relationship.


Deciding whether to get or stay engaged? Click here for more info.


Click here for info on private premarital prep packages and consultations including phone options.


Click here for info on premarital educaton seminars.


Click here for related reading and references list.


MST helps couples handle the increased stress of the pre-wedding period in a much more healthy way, so that they can use the pre-wedding experience to deepen their intimacy--not stress their relationship-- during this special time. Click here to learn about the benefits of MST.


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Copyright 2003-2005, Patricia S. & Gregory A. Kuhlman. You may copy this article for non-commercial use provided that no changes are made and this copyright notice, author credit and source citation are included.




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