The weekend before our wedding we had a blowout fight. Our fight centered around money—more specifically the state of David’s finances, which I discovered when we went to merge our accounts the week before the wedding. (Don’t merge your accounts a few days before you get married, people. Figure that shit out well in advance.)
Having spent the last decade of my life reading letters about couples’ financial fights, I now know it could have been a thousand times worse. He (thankfully) hadn’t accumulated masses of debt while I wasn’t working; he’d just spent through the savings that was supposed to pay for all three years of his law school living expenses at a rapid rate. I panicked. And not in a “Well that was dumb. Let’s work through this!” kind of way, but in a “HOLY SHIT MAYBE I SHOULDN’T MARRY THIS PERSON HE’S CLEARLY PROFOUNDLY IRRESPONSIBLE” kind of way. Cue screaming and my tear-streaked face in the middle of a busy street in San Francisco, and what was, in retrospect, a full-blown panic attack.
Looking back, that fight actually demonstrated exactly why I was marrying David. Because he managed to talk me down off the panic ledge, get me to see that we all make mistakes, and this was just one of many problems we would work through together. Oh, and he said that he was really, really sorry for his mistakes (also key).
All of this came flooding back to me recently when we got a letter asking us to discuss the “Oh shit we’re getting married” fight, and get some data from you guys about how universal this fight may or may not be:
Literally everyone I know has gotten into a major tiff with their significant other before their wedding (somewhere between a month before to the day-of), and a lot of these have been “dark night of the soul” type fights, where it feels like it might all be over in an instant.
It makes sense that fighting with your partner is par for the course, given the size of the commitment and the stress of planning a wedding. But no one talks about this, or the fact that it so frequently happens in the month (or, sometimes, days) leading up to the wedding. I think it would be massively helpful to have a survey out there showing just how many people have these fights, in what time frame, and exactly how bad the fight is. Certainly it would have helped us—I was prepared for it from talking to other women, but my now-husband and many other dudes have been completely blindsided, since apparently, boys don’t talk to each other about hard stuff in their relationships? It would have been great to be able to point to an article and say, yes, see, everyone really does go through this, and it isn’t just couples who eventually break up. It’s literally EVERYONE, so no, this is not a symptom of a larger problem.
We had our blowout a couple weeks in advance, and we were totally chill in the lead up to our wedding, but a few friends have had awful rows the day before. (I’m pretty sure this is why people still tell you to sleep apart the night before your wedding.)
You ask, we answer. So here is a survey (hopefully designed to make us all feel better) about those pre-wedding fights:
Did you have a fight before your wedding? If so, what was it about? Did it rattle you? How did you resolve it?