Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Our First Wedding Fight

Dude and I are very fortunate in that we rarely fight.  In the 7-ish years we’ve been together, I can only remember two really big fights.  Of course we bicker sometimes, he drives me nuts, I drive him nuts, but we’re both usually pretty level-headed when we disagree.

So when I read horror stories about how stressful wedding planning can be on a relationship I kind of laughed and said to myself “not me and Dude, we’ll never be like that.”

Boy was I wrong!!  Planning a wedding is stressful and it brings up a lot of opinions that couples have probably never broached before.

I can tell you with reasonable certainty that Dude and I never discussed any of the following before we started planning this wedding:
  • Flower colors, flower arranging, flowers in general
  • The differences between charcoal and dolphin grey.  Or really colors in general other than the fact that I love teal and he loves ugly colors like baby poop brown and pea green.  
  • Church (besides the original “Are you religious?” questions when we first started dating)
  • Our cousin’s significant others and how “serious” they are
  • Registering for gifts 
All of these topics have come up and started a disagreement between Dude and me.  Thankfully, we’ve been able to work almost all of them out without a giant blow up. 

All of them except flowers.  Our fight about flowers was the worst one I can remember and resulted in both of us going to bed angry for the first time in our relationship. 

I won’t get into all the details but it basically boiled down to the fact that I don’t particularly like and/or care about flowers, so I struggled to come up with inspiration pictures for our florist.  I asked Dude for his input and ended up being very negative about his suggestions which snowballed and eventually ended up with both of us thinking the other “didn’t care” about the wedding.

We did eventually work things out and ended up with some awesome inspiration for the florist and I think she’s going to be able to create some awesome bouquets and bouts with what we gave her.

Bring the type-A, analyzing kind of person I am, I spent some time after our fight dissecting it, trying to figure out what I could have done better to avoid the fight and what we both can do when we see disagreements starting to expand into arguments. 

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • When you ask for help, be willing to accept suggestions given and really consider them even if they aren’t what you think is best.  By the time I asked Dude for help looking for floral inspiration, I was already so irritated with the process that every suggestion or picture he showed me I instantly shot down.
  • When you ask for help, remind yourself that the suggestions given are not meant to hurt or offend you in any way, they are exactly what you asked for – HELP!  This is a big one for me and something I really need to work on.  Whenever anyone offers me a suggestion about my work, I immediately get defensive; and instead of listening to the suggestion I defend my own choices.
  • Don’t sit and stew, if you are upset, irritated, or need help - ask for it before you pass your boiling point!  There were many times during the time when I was looking for flower inspiration where I saw Dude playing on his phone or watching TV or doing something other than looking for flowers and it pissed me off and made me feel like I was doing the bulk of the work for something I didn’t care about.  Instead of speaking up and asking him to find inspiration to share together later, I just kept quiet and got more and more pissed off, which ended up instigating the fight when I finally did speak up. 
  • I know this is going to be a shocker for you, but boys are different than girls.  Accept that you both have different but still good ways of preparing for this wedding.  Dude’s not going to spend hours checking out Pinterest for wedding inspiration and there’s no way I’m going to order a bunch of ties just to see what they’re like before picking my favorite.  My way of preparing for our meeting with the florist was to gather a bunch of photos of bouquets and pull things from them to create something I liked.  Dude’s way of preparing was knowing what colors he liked for flowers (bright orange, blue, green), what flowers he likes (orchids and tropical), and what he doesn’t like (roses, pale or fall colors).
  • You are not the only one working on wedding stuff.  Whether you see it or not, you both are working on completing tasks for the wedding.   Dude and I both said during our flower fight that we felt like the other wasn’t doing anything for the wedding.  And we were both completely flabbergasted and immediately started listing things we’ve done.  We both should be more aware and appreciative of the things the other is doing. 
  • Remember a fight is just a fight.  It means nothing about your relationship, your future marriage or how your partner feels about you.  Sometimes I get a little too “in my head” where every single word Dude utters has a second meaning (it doesn’t) and every fight we have is another nail in our marriage coffin(it’s not).  Yeah, sorry for that strange metaphor…   In the end this and every fight we have is something we’ll get over and our relationship will be stronger because of it.  Each time we fight, we learn a little bit more about one another and come that much closer to becoming Lee and Morty!  You need to work at any relationship and having to work doesn’t make you a “bad” couple or doomed to fail. 
I’m gonna wrap this up with one last sentiment - shut up and remember nothing is more important than your wedding. 

Not the reception.  Your wedding.  The part where you promise to love your partner forever.  It doesn’t matter what flowers you’ll be holding when you walk down the aisle. 

What matters will be the look in his eyes when I read him my vows.  What matters will be the sweet, almost shy smile I know I’ll see when I walk down the aisle.  What matters will be the moment we become husband and wife. 

Oy vey, I’m getting teary thinking of those moments, so lighten things up for me - what was your first wedding-related fight with your fiancĂ©?  What is something stupid like flowers?  How did you get over it?

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