Happiness Beyond the Honeymoon
Couples Counseling in Bethesda, MD
Wedding and engagement season is upon us. If you’re like me, your social media feed is full of happy couples tying the knot and wedding guests dressing to impress. Flowers, food, dancing – guests will remember the big day and then head back out to their normal lives. For the bride and groom however, their special day is just the beginning of a lifetime as married partners.
Many couples get caught up in the stress and details of planning their wedding. It’s hard not to, especially with the pressure of those Pinterest and Instagram-perfect weddings that seem to be ever-present today. It is easy for couples to get swept up in the big day, sometimes focusing on the wedding to the detriment of their relationship. How can couples ensure that they are focusing on the marriage and not just the wedding?
Invest in your partner. Make sure to prioritize each other and build skills to strengthen your relationship. Speak with kindness and show appreciation for your partner. Premarital therapy is a great way to invest in each other before getting married. Think of premarital therapy as a prevention strategy to protect the health and well being of your marriage. This space allows couples to build skills, like positive communication and effective conflict resolution, that they can use throughout their marriage. It allows couples to put everything on the table, and opens the door to future difficult conversations, like those about sex or finances.
Work on your communication, even through the stress of wedding planning. Weddings bring major stressors: all your family members suddenly have their own opinions on what table runners you should use, there are many small details to iron out, and you’re not sure whether to invite that distant cousin on your mom’s side. Wedding planning can often stir up issues in relationships, including about one another’s families and sharing tasks. Think about how to navigate boundaries with parents and family members. Make sure that you are both comfortable with the amount of planning you are doing, and have systems to set yourselves up for success.
Remember what’s important. What are your goals for the big day? Are they for every single guest to adore your color scheme and centerpieces? Or is it more important to celebrate your love in the company of all your family and friends? Keep your goals in mind as a couple, both for the wedding day and beyond. Discuss beforehand how you envision things to go day of, and troubleshoot any situations that may be difficult.
What other ideas do you have for making it through and past the wedding with your relationship in a healthy place? Sound off in the comments!
Laura Golojuch, MS, LGMFT provides couple, family, and individual therapy, as well as premarital counseling, in our downtown Bethesda office. Call or email her today to schedule your first appointment or a complimentary telephone consultation!