Did You Get in a Huge Fight before Your Wedding?


It’s survey time!

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

A man embraces a woman from behind, their arms interlocking.

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.)

—Sydney

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?

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • Sarah

    This survey needs checkboxes so more than one timeframe can be selected (insert laughing/crying emojis here).

    • Aubry

      yeah for real…

  • sofar

    Many, many fights due to our personality and families’ cultural differences.

    But a few weeks before the wedding, I ended up screaming at my soon-to-be husband on the phone in my friend’s yard using horrible language that I’m kinda embarrassed I even said to my husband. We (well, *I*) was in the throws of rounding up RSVPs, when my husband called me up and was like, “Hey! I’m hanging out with Haley and Mike and Dan and they said they never got an invitation? We invited them right?”

    They were not invited. He’d met them three months prior to this conversation. I hadn’t even met Mike yet. My fiance had the same access to the guest-list spreadsheet as I did and could have looked it up. He could have had them added to our guest list and invited when we had sent out the invitations. But, no he put me on the spot in front of them three weeks before the wedding. From his perspective, none of this was a big deal. At. All.

    I do not remember all the things I said in my blind rage as I paced my friend’s yard. But they spiraled into a fight that continued when I got home later.

    Haley, MIke and Dan are still all a bit afraid of me, but they will understand when they plan weddings one day!

    • toomanybooks

      Why is there always one part of the couple who just DOES NOT GET THIS PART??

    • penguin

      Ugh yes to getting asked things that are covered in the mutual spreadsheet that you both have access to. Every time my now-husband would ask me something like that, and I’d say it’s on the spreadsheet, and he’d go “is it the one called Master Wedding Spreadsheet?” YES YES IT’S THE SAME ONE IT’S BEEN FOR 6 MONTHS NOW.

      • Eenie

        I asked my husband to get something from the store the other day, and he responded “Can you put it on the shared grocery list?” I’VE CONVERTED HIM! It took six years. And of course I’d already added it to the list.

        • jazzygingery

          It’s good to know there’s hope….Every time my husband says we need something at the store, I tell him to write it on the board in the kitchen…and he almost never does.

      • sofar

        I feel you. Bonus points if he asks, “Hey my mom wants to know if so-and-so is coming …” DUDE! THERE IS A SHARED RSVP LIST. Check it your damn self and tell your mom your damn self.

        I had to change the name of the spreadsheet to, “Master wedding spreadsheet YES THIS ONE.”

    • Kat

      Sofar, I’ve never met but I wish I could! It sounds like we could be friends. I really enjoy your comments.
      We sent our invitations really early (like 3 months) because we needed to know how many people were coming for us to sort accommodation. Anyway, like a few weeks before the wedding one of my then fiancé asked him if he could bring his girlfriend of two weeks, to which we replied we didn’t really have lots of space. A few days later the guy insists again saying she would pay for the meal, transport and accommodation we were provinding (like our wedding is a concert) to which fiancé replied I’m ok with that, I’ll ask Kat if she is ok with that. THAT was a fight we had later that night. I couldn’t believe he put me on the spot like that. We said ok, ended up invinting another girlfriends because we felt bad she was dating our friend for longer and in the end the initial one didnt come because she “couldn’t find her passport”.

      • sofar

        I feel like we would get along well. And then our husbands could hang out and enjoy inviting RANDOM PEOPLE to formal events, which they seem to share as a common interest.

  • Emily

    We chose to move 2 weeks before our wedding, because we’re idiots. Actual moving went fine, and we were even unpacking at a reasonable for also wedding planning and working full time rate. A week before the wedding I found out that my husband had packed all of the antique vases we had been saving and they were in the back of a storage locker that was at capacity. Screaming started in our house, continued while I drove across town and then icy silence while we unpacked the storage locker and then repacked it. It was accidental, I knew it was accidental, I could not let it go and was sure that our wedding/marriage was doomed.

    • sofar

      OMG that would have been the “Just one more Thing” that set me off too!

    • Lisa

      I honestly don’t remember the month before our wedding because we, too, had a bunch of major life changes around that time (moving, job changes, husband starting school again). I can’t decide if we already had had the fights or if my memory has blocked out any blow-ups in a fit of self-preservation.

  • Eenie

    In the months before our wedding, my place of employment got so bad my husband had to talk me down off the proverbial ledge on a daily basis. Panic attacks and tears were becoming oh so frequent after work activities. He finally asked me to quit about two months before the wedding. So I turned in my notice two weeks with my last day as the day before the wedding. And my company asked if I could stay on an extra week, which meant I’d still get a paycheck while on my honeymoon.

    Did we fight? Nope. Was it super stressful because of money? Yes.

    • Zoya

      Wait, caffeine poisoning? I didn’t realize that was a thing.

      • Eenie

        Oh it so is. We no longer buy five hour energies. It causes rapid heart rate, trouble sleeping (obvi), and nausea/vomiting. Every time we see a five hour energy we are reminded of this fight. It was a horrible, horrible day. We drove 12 hours after packing a moving truck in the snow/sleet, but we left late cause my car broke down and we ended up with a rental car for the trip. So we arrived at the house at 3am, nine hours later than planned.

        • Pickle

          The two worst fights of my entire life were caused by Four Loko. One involved my best friend and I literally screaming at each other over ..something relating to the film “Exit to the Gift Shop”. That’s all I remember about it.

  • penguin

    We definitely got into fights, but none of them were in the immediate one-month lead-up to the wedding (somehow). I think it’s because we had so much go wrong (like our event coordinator getting deported, and his parents “forgetting” that they were paying for the reception) that we just hunkered down and were united against the world.

    • sofar

      Wait. Did I miss the deported story?

      • penguin

        It was part of my giant wall of text wedding update – basically the event coordinator that worked at our venue (who was going to be our day of coordinator and was our only venue point of contact) had visa issues and had to leave the country about 3 weeks before our wedding.

        • sofar

          WOW. I’d have hunkered down too

    • Zoya

      Yeah, we had a little bit of “us-against-the-world” too. I found that we were really hunkered down together until we weren’t, and that led to regular (smallish) blowups. In our case, we each had multiple other life things going on that were sucking up all of our emotional energy, and once we got done dealing with all of the external stuff we really didn’t have anything left over for each other.

    • Jan

      Yeah, our big blow-outs happened early in the process and were centered almost exclusively around disagreements on venues and budget. I’m sure we got into other blow-outs about stuff unrelated to the wedding, but that just happens sometimes when we are (mostly me) both really busy and stressed and let things boil over.

      ETA: That’s not to say we didn’t bicker. We most definitely got annoyed with one another in the last month, but we managed to always have each other’s backs in the end.

  • beeethanyj

    No big fight, but I got seriously irritated the night before and the day of because it felt like everything rested on me. Ugh!!

  • emilyg25

    We didn’t get in a fight, but I didn’t sleep AT ALL the night before and I woke up (so to speak) a nervous wreck, queasy, shaky, raw. I really had to take a moment and listen to myself to make sure my body wasn’t telling me something.

  • Angela’s Back

    It wasn’t a *huge* fight but a pretty strong disagreement for us the day before the wedding–we had driven up to the botanical garden where the ceremony would be so we could pick out a good location for said ceremony. My husband is an eternal romantic and wanted the most beautiful possible place, whereas me, the practical one, wanted somewhere with easy access to shelter because rain was predicted. Of course, the place he anointed as most beautiful had zero shelter, and the place I liked–which personally I thought was most beautiful, at his spot there were visible powerlines that would have been in all the photos–had a big covered picnic area. We ended up compromising by having the ceremony at the spot I liked and then the two of us taking post-ceremony photos at the spot he liked (and the powerlines are totally visible in some of them but I choose not to point this out to him because I’m the Bigger Person, ha). But it was definitely a thing that went on way longer than it should the day before we got married.

  • Zoya

    I feel like the year leading up to our wedding was a crash course in how to fight constructively about big unsolvable things. (Our Dark Night of the Soul fight happened a week and a half after we got legally married, and from then up until the actual wedding things kept falling down around our ears.)

    Weirdly enough, by the time we got about a month out from the wedding, we were both so preoccupied with other things that there was no energy left to fight about stuff.

  • Rosie

    Ours was mostly due to stress – we were supposed to arrive at the venue by noon on the Thursday before our Saturday wedding (local-ish destination wedding), and didn’t get there until 5:30 because obviously everything takes longer than you think it’s going to. We fought pretty much the whole car ride about whose fault it was, and then I was up until 1am finishing the place cards; he said he would alphabetize them when I was done, but instead he went to bed (so.. basically the dumbest fight ever, but we were just so stressed from everything else). Cue huge screaming match, a panic attack, and my first Xanax. Everything was SO much better after a night of sleep though and it was all sunshine and roses from there!

  • theteenygirl

    We didn’t have a huge fight, or even a big fight, before the legal ceremony or the actual wedding. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we were long distance for basically the first year and a half of our relationship. Within a year of dating we already knew were each other stood in terms of children, where we wanted to live, finances, family politics, retirement savings goals, etc.. There were no surprises left.

    I do have friends getting married in a few months who are having those pre-marital fights though.

    • JLC

      I mean, our fight was about the fact that my now-husband was late to pick me up to go to the state fair, which we were doing with almost all of the out-of-town guests the day before our wedding. I don’t know how we would have discussed that ahead of time to avoid “surprises.” :P And in fact, usually I am the one who is late for everything between the two of us, but those few days leading up to the wedding I felt like I had planned every single second out, so being off of our schedule really awakened all my anxieties. But overall it was something that might have annoyed me on a normal day, but turned me into a sobbing mess the day before the wedding. Although Meg’s fight was over something a little bit more important, I feel like the whole point of her article is that these fights aren’t a reflection of the strength of the relationship over all…it’s just the way that stress comes out sometimes.

      • penguin

        Yeah our fights weren’t surprise based either – just random stressful things and disagreements.

  • sage

    This is timely seeing as we are closing in on 2 months out from the wedding and I can already feel my anxiety starting to ramp up. Will try to remember this for my own sake in case we start fighting more in the coming months.

  • Alli

    No big fight, but a lot of collective crying. The weeks leading up to our wedding had All of the Things go wrong (Car issues where we were down to one car, then MIL volunteered our other car to be borrowed by family, then AC broke in 97 degree weather, then centerpieces melted, then family drama we were expected to handle, then, then, then…). Idk how none of that got directed at each other, but little things were just sending us both into tantrums. I recall us being stressed and deciding that we would make ice cream to cheer us up, only to realize our ice cream maker didn’t fit our mini kitchen aid, and we both broke down in tears on the kitchen floor.

    • Katharine Parker

      “I recall us being stressed and deciding that we would make ice cream to cheer us up, only to realize our ice cream maker didn’t fit our mini kitchen aid, and we both broke down in tears on the kitchen floor.” I haven’t had this exact experience, but these are the things that cause my breakdowns. It’s always a state of despair over an inanimate object.

      • penguin

        Same. Also I’ve always thought there should be some kind of dessert delivery service. I like pizza just fine but normally when I’m craving something it’s ice cream or cake.

        • Lisa

          In college, there was a local ice cream place that would deliver pints or quarts of ice cream. There were also two different customizable, cookie delivery places. It was so dangerous!

          • Katharine Parker

            We had a cookie delivery place in college that has since opened in my current town. It is dangerous now that I no longer have the metabolism of a coltish 18-year-old.

          • Ashweck

            We have an ice cream sundae delivery place! We always walk there with the pup and we realized how much we were overdoing it when I noticed the owner’s haircut but none of rhe employees had.

          • Anneke Oosterink

            Very dangerous! The ice cream place that we go to (award winning, delicious and cheap HOW?!?!) is a while away, so we go by bike (Netherlands so bikepaths galore) to justify the ice cream. :P If they delivered I would die a glorious death drowning in ice cream.

        • kayceeee

          We have a cookie delivery place here in Austin – Tiff’s Treats. They deliver fresh, warm cookies.. it is pretty much heaven.

          • Kara

            Yes!!! https://www.cookiedelivery.com/ Right now, they’re in parts of TX and Georgia.
            I can attest, they are delicious, too.

          • kayceeee

            We have lots of clients send them as a thank you or during the holidays. Last year we were getting a box or so a week delivered to my job.. and I definitely am not turning down a warm chocolate chip cookie.

          • Angela’s Back

            I used to live across the street from them, it was a dangerous, dangerous time…

          • kayceeee

            I can only imagine. Thankfully the closest one to me is about 10 mins away so I don’t frequent them unless I really have a cookie craving.

        • Alli

          Check if you’re near an Insomnia Cookie! Or don’t, because it’s dangerous. They’re too good.
          https://insomniacookies.com/locations

          • Lexipedia

            One is opening near me. This is baaaaaad.

        • mjh

          Insomnia Cookies – https://insomniacookies.com/locations

          There’s one in my neighborhood, but they’re in a bunch of states. They deliver [warm] cookies until 3 am.

          • Alli

            Lol we suggested this at the same time! Honestly my saving grace is that I’m outside their delivery area right now. They’re putting a new one up a couple blocks from my work though so that will be rough!

          • L.

            My BFF and I used to order Insomnia Cookies from time to time in college – the best!

        • Zoya

          When I was in college, there was a place that delivered warm cookies and milk. It was THE BEST.

        • SarahRose472

          I legit checked one of these food delivery aggregators yesterday to see if anyone would deliver me a slice of cake…I couldn’t really justify getting 15 bucks worth of cake so I would meet the minimum delivery requirements. But I might have if I hadn’t known husband was gonna be able to get some for me on his way home from work an hour later…

        • jem

          Hi let me make your dreams come true— ice cream delivery in metro Boston: http://shop.thescoopnscootery.com

          • Her Lindsayship

            OMG what have you done

        • Cake-aways are definitely becoming a thing in the UK! I mean, you’re spending as much on a slice of cake as you would on a whole cake in a supermarket, but it’s delivered to your house at 11pm, so still kinda worth it.

      • Her Lindsayship

        I have a lasting memory of one stressful undergrad evening (during exam week maybe?) when I spent forever in a hangry-panicky haze, unable to decide what to make for dinner. I finally mustered the strength to pull together some spaghetti with store-bought meatballs. It wasn’t exactly a culinary accomplishment to begin with, but as soon as I finished making it, I dropped the bowl on the kitchen floor. Cue total breakdown.

      • Ashweck

        I had to debone a turkey breast because he misunderstood what I asked him to buy and the whole process nearly ruined me. “I just want you liiiiiiisten to meeeeee”

      • Zoya

        When my husband and I first moved in together, we had a mutual multi-hour meltdown while trying to assemble a wire shelving unit. After that, we agreed never to assemble furniture together.

        I also had a separate, sobbing-in-public meltdown about which couch we were going to buy for our new apartment. (Spoiler: it wasn’t just about the couch.)

        • Lexipedia

          We paid someone to assemble two dressers after attempting to do one together – best choice ever.

        • penguin

          Assembling furniture together brings out our worst selves.

          • SarahRose472

            All our IKEA furniture pretty much represents a history of our relationship development, complete with dark-night-of-the-soul fights and the gradual process of learning how to communicate properly and compromise…

            That shit is diabolical.

      • JLC

        The first time I cried as a mom (except for crying during the first few weeks postpartum, which I don’t count because of hormones) was because my 1.5 year old wouldn’t take a nap, and I decided to just take him on a bike ride where he would fall asleep in the trailer. Except my bike tire was flat and I couldn’t get the stupid pump to work. Inanimate objects, man. Killers.

  • savannnah

    Our fight happened after the wedding- my husband is one of those people (ahem men) that started saying things like ‘this feels really real now’ 2 weeks before the wedding and didn’t stop saying it the whole month surrounding our wedding. He told me a lot during the 18 months we were engaged that he wanted to be more involved in planning and we both tried to include him more. With no awareness or direction with regard to weddings and a crazy travel schedule it was kind of a failed endeavor from the start. I worked my butt off to plan a wedding I knew we both would love and in the weeks after everyone asked him how the wedding was and he was like ‘it was magic, I didn’t know it was going to be like that, it was so great’ and I was sitting over here being like ‘Yep I am the witch, I made the magic, I’m going to kill you’. We got through it but it was annoying to feel angry about what was essentially an awesome experience even if it did not go down the way I wanted below the surface.

    • Yael

      “I’m the witch, I made the magic.” Perfect.

      • penguin

        I want this embroidered on a throw pillow. My husband is the same way – “it’ll all work out”. It’ll work out because I take care of it! “I’m the witch, I made the magic” is going to be my new motto.

        • Lexipedia

          “Wow! That really came together!”

          YES IT DID BECAUSE I HAVE A MILLION SPREADSHEETS WITH TABS THAT TOOK YEARS OFF OF MY LIFE TO MANAGE. THERE ARE NO WEDDING FAIRIES.

          “We did a great job!”

          FFS.

          • penguin

            Other favorites include “Wow that was so easy!” and “See I told you this would go well!”

          • Lexipedia

            Or, “don’t worry, it will all go fine!”

          • Lindsey d.

            That was my FIL. We were engaged and at dinner with H’s parents. I was talking about some minor wedding-related problem and FIL chimes in “It will be wonderful and everyone loves you.” I really wanted to respond “Yeah, it’ll be wonderful because I’m working my ass off on it.” But that response has now become H’s and my inside joke, so silver lining.

        • Sara

          I have friends like this and it drives me insane. I plan meticulously to make sure it all works out!

        • Anneke Oosterink

          Oh, I want to google it right now, there is an entire article somewhere written by the woman who plans and the man who just sees the results. She stopped planning anything husband related for like a week or so (or maybe longer, I don’t remember) and he was astonished that shit did no longer work itself out. It never worked itself out, there was his wife working ALL the time to sort all his shit. He just sort of assumed he was very lucky or something.

          • rg223

            This happened to my family when my mom had major surgery. My sister and I were both in high school and I thought that between the three of us (us plus my dad) things would go smoothly but the entire house fell apart. It was insane. Thanks Mom!

      • Zoya

        BRB, putting that on my business cards…

    • Lawyerette510

      Yes, even though my husband was involved in making choices with me, apparently he just made decisions and then mentally moved on. He experienced our wedding much more like a guest. I was so jealous of his surprise and delight as things unfolded. We chose our entire menu and the wines, and as we sat down to eat he said “wow, this menu looks so good! We’re having lamb and fish?” And I said, yeah, that was your idea. He said “it was?” I kind of wanted to punch him.

    • Megan

      My husband gave a little speech at our reception that included “We can’t believe how many of you came to celebrate!” Meanwhile I was thinking, I knew exactly how many people were coming, who they were, and their dogs because I watched that RSVP spreadsheet like a hawk! “Yep I am the witch, I made the magic” indeed!

    • Anneke Oosterink

      Man… This is why I made sure to tell my now-husband-who-I-still-keep-calling-boyfriend what I did, what I organised and how much time it cost. He did organise some things, but the big picture planning was on my plate. I mean, I didn’t mind so much, but if he had pulled ‘this was so easy it all came together’ stuff I’d have strangled him.

    • sofar

      You were the wedding-fairy! Just like, at our house, we have the cleaning-fairy.

      Makes the magic happen. *screams internally*

  • rebecca

    Haha we were too busy fighting w/our families to fight w/each other. Had a very nice ” u & me against the world” vibe going.

    • Jess

      Same!

    • Kyra

      Yeah. That’s what happened to us. Maybe that should be a part of the survey.

  • Katharine Parker

    I don’t think we did have a big pre-wedding fight, but our big fights have specific triggers that did not align with wedding planning. There were definitely things that were annoying (my husband waited so long to order his tux shirt that it only arrived the afternoon before our wedding, both our families were our families) but nothing major. We also may have had some tiffs that I just don’t remember in the haze of wedding planning.

  • Jennifer

    We had several, huge fights leading up to our wedding, the last of which was about 10 days before and at which point I’d asked my now husband to leave our apartment to give me some space. Not only were we dealing with all the anxiety of a wedding and our families meeting each other for the first time, we were also first time parents to a 9 month old that started teething weeks before the wedding. And my husband had been stupidly irresponsible with money several years before, which I knew about, but I did NOT know the exact extent of his debt until we merged accounts, which was more than I had anticipated. On top of all that, his ex girlfriend had taken to messaging him when she was drunk at night after finding out that he was getting married and although he was not responding to her in the hopes that she would go away, he chose not to tell me since I was already so stressed out about everything else. Of course, I found out 10 days before the wedding. Hence the “I’m not sure I even want to go through with this wedding” fight.

    We did go through with it and I’m not very happy that we did. But man. That month before the wedding was rough.

  • Her Lindsayship

    I can’t remember any big Dark Night of The Soul fights leading up to our wedding. I remember about 7 months out being really frustrated with my now-husband because he’d said he would be in charge of finding a photographer and he just. wasn’t. doing it. So we had a good few serious convos where I had to be like, “you told me you would do this thing, and here you are not doing the thing, and this is not the relationship I have come to expect between us,” and eventually he did it. Tbh I still get annoyed thinking about that because it feels like I had to push him to do it – but it was never a screaming match. Maybe that still counts? But I answered no to the survey.

    • Heather

      Kind of a different dark night of the soul. It’s like, you are an adult and I’m not your parent. I shouldn’t have to have a serious conversation about how you’re not doing what you said you would do.
      Dark night of the soul really captures how I feel about some interactions that are probably much more significant to me than him.

  • Ashweck

    Charlottesville threw a wrench in things and we ended up fighting over some of the guests we had invited. I knew it was too late to uninvite them but the idea of being civil with some people really made my stomach turn. Things got worse when he said something dreadfully cruel and apropros of nothing. It was just a mess and revealed some spots where our relationship really needs to be shored up, but we have time to do that now without the pressure of a wedding/the impending in-law swarm. In the meantime we just had to remember we loved each other and that we were not marrying each other’s family.

  • ART

    Sometimes I feel like our Dark Night of the Soul is lingering in the future, because I can’t recall that we’ve had anything like that…I know we were stressed around our wedding, but I seem to mostly remember us being like “that’s fuckin’ TEAMWORK” (a la Tenacious D). Now we have a baby due in 6 weeks and I’m like…is it going to be teamwork time or why-the-hell-did-we-do-this time?

    • ART

      Ohhhh wait, there was definitely something a couple months beforehand…that led to me storming out of the apartment to drive to JoAnn for little craft paintbrushes…and then a block away from the house I felt bad and went to Michael’s which is slightly closer so I’d be home sooner (even though the big plan, whilst storming out, was to LEAVE HIM IN SUSPENSE OF MY RETURN). I do not have a clue what prompted the whole thing, though. I will ask him tonight if he remembers!

    • Sarah E

      It took us 7 years together And 2 years of marriage until we had an actual yelling (well, cry-yelling) match. It may come, and it may take you by surprise (my husband was certainly surprised when I started cry-yelling). But! We’re still together without a doubt

  • Rachel

    We had one of the bigger fights of our relationship two days before our wedding. I can’t even remember what triggered it or how it got so off the rails now. He made me feel like he thought I was stupid and I made him feel like the bad guy big time. We ended up fighting about the way we fight, it was so dumb. I think we both panicked a little in the middle of it thinking we were ruining our wedding, which was made worse by the fact that our wedding was a destination and we were already on the trip and I was definitely feeling pressure for the week to be perfect and relaxed. We ended up hours later holding each other and neither if us sure how to fix it. I laughed and suggested make-up sex, which we had never done. He laughed and said he didn’t think he could do that. I went and took a shower and by the time I got out he had changed his mind, haha. It was the first and only time we’ve ever used that method of dealing with a fight.

  • BSM

    We got in a HUGE fight a few days before our wedding, and until I thought really hard about it just now, I couldn’t remember what it was about lol.

    I created all the signage for our wedding; nothing fancy, but it was a lot (welcome sign, seating chart, program, table numbers, guest book, photo booth, signature cocktails, etc.). I’d accidentally printed some of them in the wrong size, so I reordered them to a FedEx/Kinko’s near our venue like 2 days before. We live in northern CA but were getting married in LA, so I also had the printers cut the signs down to size, since I didn’t have the time or supplies with me to do it myself.

    We went to pick them up after a long day of driving, and they ended up costing like $100, which, I agree, is a lot for a few signs, especially a re-print. Well, my then-fiance was not shy about pointing that out, and I fucking lost it. I probably didn’t need to get that pissed, but I hated wedding planning and was sooo done, and I didn’t see him figuring out how people would find their seats.

    • Her Lindsayship

      Ooooh I hear you. We made all our own signage too and damn, if I had gone through that endeavor without husband’s help and then gotten shit for its expense? Idk if he’d still be around!

  • Laura C

    No one big fight but a whole lot more conflict than usual. Because he took the bar like 10 days before the wedding and had a clerkship interview across the country in between the bar and the wedding, it was never the right time to have an actual fight. I had a little bit of an anxiety attack about the clerkship interview in San Francisco because I knew I didn’t want to live there, but after my suggestion that we could have a long-distance relationship that year didn’t go over so well, I just put it out of my mind and hoped he didn’t get the clerkship. (He didn’t! He got the _next_ SF clerkship he interviewed for.) I yelled a little when he caved to his mom’s bullying on a wedding-related thing, but then it was like, he just got yelled at by her for a terrible reason and it’s not like he’s happy about it at all, I don’t want to add to it. And then we were in the final days and we were a team trying to be where we needed to be.

    Is Disqus locking anyone else out? It keeps telling me there’s no account with my username, which…there usually is.

    • Amy March

      It’s making me re log in every single time.

      • Emily

        Second that

  • ssha

    Engagement is kind of a blur in my mind. We don’t have big fights; we just don’t. But our engagement was the first time we had any kind of fight, mostly of the variety discussed below, in that I was pushing us to do things and he was saying “we have lots of time!” we also realized we have very different backgrounds when it came to money. I cried a lot. I’M SO GLAD THAT PART IS OVER.

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  • EF

    said no BUT our big fight was like 9 months before/halfway through engagement.

    the big fight a week before the wedding? with one of my bridesdudes. we literally have not spoken since the wedding; it was such a falling out.

  • BD

    We def had a few fights the week of the wedding – most of them weren’t too bad though, and were the result of us both dealing with the stress of wedding planning. We’d already had at least one, probably two Dark Night of the Soul fights when we were dating but getting really serious. So I guess we’d already gotten that out of our systems!

  • Cathi

    Discussions about fighting always have me go through the same cycle: “Oh look, a thing written about how people get into fights” > People are worried the fights mean something significant > assertion that [some] fighting is totally normal > “Oh hey! Interesting stories of how the fighting drew them closer together/indicates passion/proves their dedication to staying together” > “But we didn’t fight. Haven’t fought. Don’t fight. Ever?” > “oh god oh god oh god, if fighting is normal are we abnormal?”

    And suddenly I’m the one feeling insecure. Because my husband and I DIDN’T get into a fight around our wedding day, ha! It’s a pattern I’ve recognized and usually have the humor to dispel in the moment and count myself lucky that my partner and I are conflict free.

    So for those of you in the back wondering if your lack of pre-wedding battles means anything significant: nah, you’re fine.

    • Kara

      Thank you! We didn’t fight either, and to be honest, we’ve never actually fought (in the 13 years together, 8 married). I don’t think is a sign that we’re doomed, or that we hide/ignore things. We both just kinda run things by each other first. If we have questions we ask each other.

      We’ve had some debates, but that’s about it. Nothing is ever heated, there are no tears or raised voices (not that I think fighting requires either).

      • Jess

        I mean look, we cry all the time. And our fights are usually of the “I have all these feelings and I took them out on you.” variety.

        When we have had really big issues flare up, we actually take a few days to just… figure out our feelings. The we sit down and say “this is a thing. How do we overcome this thing?”

      • Lawyerette510

        I think a lot of fighting has to do with communication styles and mis-alignments. My husband and I have really different communication styles and coping mechanism defaults. So, there is a decent amount of tension when it comes to things that need to be communicated about. Often what I consider a fight evolves from me wanting to discuss and finalize something and him not being there yet emotionally/ mentally, and instead of him sharing with me where he is in the decision process or whatever it is, he just shuts it down. Over the years, we’ve learned how to navigate this better, most of the time. If I didn’t need the immediate emotional validation of him engaging in discussion about where he is on decisions before he had made a decision, or he wasn’t so reluctant to discuss something he was undecided about, we’d probably rarely fight.

      • Anne

        We have more of this type of relationship too! I come from a very argumentative family and husband comes from a very low-key, agreeable one, and from those different paths, we both ended up as people who highly value talking things out in a non-combative way. We have pointless disagreements all the time, but never anywhere close to what I would consider “fights” and never about things that matter. And husband has miraculously zero temper, so he just ignores it when I get cranky and irrational about something. I think there’s definitely a spectrum of functional communication styles for different but equally happy couples.

        (That said, I just remembered that we did in fact have a more-high-strung-and-drawn-out-than-usual pointless disagreement on the plane on the way to our wedding.)

    • We don’t fight, and it does worry my sometimes that we’ve just got no framework for disagreements. At worst, I get a little snippy, and he gets a little sulky, and usually it’s because we’re both hangry.

  • Maggie

    We didn’t have a huge blowout fight, but the day before, I did get super pissed and very (VERY) strongly told my now-husband that he had said he wanted to pick the ceremony music and edit our dance playlist; after many, many reminders he still hadn’t done it; the wedding is TOMORROW; and it had damn well better be done by the time I came back from getting my nails done an hour later.
    He also frequently said that he couldn’t help more on the ceremony, etc because he didn’t know what he wanted! it didn’t feel real yet! Amazingly enough, it felt “real” enough to me to just get it done and not do it the night before.

  • When we got married, I decided not to have a seating chart. (I’m not a huge fan of them, and I was going for a more low-key, find a seat wherever you want vibe.) 1-2 weeks before the wedding, my husband brought up seating charts, wondering if we should have one. (I ultimately realized his mom must’ve been nagging him about it, because she definitely wanted a fancier wedding for us than the one we planned.) I just said, “Oh, I think it’s too late to make one now,” because I’ve been on the internet and know that nowadays if you’re gonna have a seating chart, it needs to look pretty, and I just didn’t have that kind of time to take on a new crafting project.

    Fast forward to the Wednesday before we get married on Saturday. We’re on the plane flying to my hometown where we’re getting married and my husband turns to me OUT OF NOWHERE and says, “If I made it, could we have a seating chart?” I had a full-blown meltdown on the plane. (God bless the poor person sitting beside us.) Had to explain to him (in between sobs) that it wasn’t the time it would take that was the problem– I just legit did not want grown-ass adults to be assigned a seat at my reception. It was probably a bit of an overreaction, but it was also WAYYY TOO LATE to suggest a new wedding project, and I was already super stressed. (Spoiler alert: Everyone was able to find a seat at the reception and my MIL had nothing to complain about.)

    To this day, I have no idea how he thought he was going to post that seating chart at the wedding– was he just gonna write it out in Sharpie on white paper and tape it to the wall?

    • Lawyerette510

      “was he just gonna write it out in Sharpie on white paper and tape it to the wall?” Yes, probably that would have been his solution. I mean, not to stereoptype, but that would have been the solution of every guy I know (including my husband) who would state this aloud a few days before the wedding.

  • Abs

    TBH husband and I have had fights like this around all the big milestones in our relationship. But I think of them as less dark night of the soul and more like eclipses–because of where we are at that moment, for a second all we can see is the scary stuff, and we can’t see the good stuff. And then if we breathe for a minute, the sun comes back out and it’s all okay.

  • Alexandra

    Looking back, this fight was prescient of a recurring conflict in many aspects of our relationship. I’m more creative and open-minded (read: flaky/flighty), and he’s more conservative and traditional (read: buttoned-down/boring).

    I wanted to have our recessional to an upbeat version of “Oh Happy Day” sung by the school choir (I work at a high school, and the choir sang at our ceremony). He felt like our ceremony had become so show-y that he just couldn’t handle another performative thing. “Can’t we just recess to the same thing everybody recesses to?”

    NO! No no no no no! I actually stamped my foot. I have directed the school play a couple of times and I LOVE performance. I had a VISION for the recessional. I had actually teared up at that vision. It was HAPPENING!

    He tends to knee-jerk shoot me down whenever I have any kind of idea like this. It makes me feel like I’m the queen of hair-brained schemes. It was a fight that assumed symbolic importance. Is this really what I’m getting into? Some dude who is always going to make me feel like a weirdo and not appreciate my cool originality?

    TBH this buttoned-down quality of his still sometimes gets to me, but at this point I’ve also noticed that I am way, way flakier than he is and that once he’s on board with something I’ve dreamed up, there is no way the plan will fall through. A lot of times his tendency to nay-say has to do with his firmer grip on reality. I can usually talk him into stuff, and the things he vetoes usually turn out to have been bad ideas.

    Oh…we compromised on the recessional. The choir didn’t sing, but the pianist played “Oh Happy Day” in a very upbeat manner.

    • Pickle

      I feel like this fight is coming for me soon. I’m a huge music person and fiance is not (he literally got Morrissey confused with Jim Henson in a recent conversation), and in an offhand conversation he was recently like ‘oh, aren’t you supposed to have just instrumental music with no words for the processional and recessional?’ I held back then but I’m not looking forward to explaining that in fact, the only part of my wedding that I’ve been fantasizing about since I was a kid was which of my favorite love songs I will walk down the aisle to.

      • Kari

        Morrissey. Jim Henson. Can’t tell the difference.

        This made me laugh very hard, sorry.

        Totally on your side. Music at my wedding is basically the thing that matters most after love, as far as I’m concerned.

        • Pickle

          Haha, no need to apologize, this happened months ago and I’ve been making fun of him about it at least once a week since. My only explanation is that his brain went Morrissey–> Jim Morrissey–> Jim Henson, resulting in “Morrissey. ..that’s the Muppets guy right?”

          He also suggested “Wild Horses by Tom Petty” as a first dance song and I spent some time searching for this Tom Petty cover of Wild Horses before realizing he’d just confused Tom Petty with the Rolling Stones.

          • I now desperately want to believe that there is a pocket universe next to ours where “Jim Morrissey” does Muppets and Tom Petty is Mick Jagger

          • Pickle

            Oooh that alternate universe theory would explain a lot of things about my fiance too like why he thinks it’s normal to make a tuna sandwich on cinnamon raisin bread!

      • he literally got Morrissey confused with Jim Henson in a recent conversation

        This is entirely me. My current one is the inability to disentangle Travis and Jarvis (Cocker), and describing a lot of artists as “they don’t have an N in their name, but they sound like they ought to, like maybe they rhyme with something with an N in? They’ve got a song with a number in” (Long Blondes, because I was thinking of Kenickie).

      • rg223

        Late to this but I am actually laughing so hard I’m crying about confusing Morrissey with Jim Henson. For some reason I replaced Henson with Morrison in my mind so initially I was like “Well Jim Morrison and Morrissey isn’t great but understandable” but then I reread and I am now dying.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      That sounds like a great combination of skills to have on the same team, once you work through the initial discomfort of approaching a project from completely different perspectives.

  • Anne

    Context: Husband and I do not fight very much. We have pointless and lighthearted disagreements regularly, but we are very good (especially him) at having non-combative discussions about things that are actually important to us. But the planning stress did get to us. I’ve written here before about how the hardest part of our wedding planning was the last couple weeks of planning remotely, before spending the week before the wedding in our hometown where it took place.

    When we were on the plane on the way to our hometown, ready to finally get this wedding show on the road, we got into a rare big fight about the wedding playlist, of all things. This was the one planning job husband had full ownership of and was very invested in, and he had carefully crafted a mostly-extremely-good playlist and was very pleased with himself and proud of it. I stupidly expressed that maybe he was trying to make a bit too much of a statement about what music he thinks our guests SHOULD want to dance to, rather than what people actually want to dance to. At that point I had reached peak crazy worrying about whether all of our guests were going to have any fun and if the whole thing was going to be a Pinterest-unworthy dud. So the argument circled from there and only ended when we landed and had to be civilized with other human beings. Of course, by then we were so relieved to finally be there and for real doing this wedding thing, and the rest of the week was so blissful and exciting and love-filled, that the whole thing was forgotten (literally – I couldn’t remember if we had had any fights until I read these comments).

    But because I am petty, I will say that based how the dancing ultimately went, I was probably right, and the argument almost certainly improved our music selection.

  • AbFab

    We had a decently terrible fight right before our rehearsal dinner. I had ordered some mylar balloons to use in the photo booth, and he had decided to use the air compressor to inflate them. He didn’t listen when I told him to stop, and the balloon that spelled out love in cursive popped, and it was just that ONE LAST THING and I completely freaked out. I stomped out of the house in white hot rage and took a walk barefoot to the bridge where I would come as a kid when I was upset. I just sat there for awhile being unsure of the idea of marriage and partners who don’t listen and if I was even the kind of person who should get married.

    I eventually walked home and we talked and I told him I thought less of him for wanting to marry me. But he said he still did, and I knew deep down I did, too. We were late to our own rehearsal, but it all worked out.

    His freakout happened in the middle of the night the day after the wedding when I wouldn’t go to the drugstore to get him a thermometer at 4am. At least we staggered them?

  • Ros

    Can I go with ‘no but we should’ve’?

    Because my husband is a peace-maker and can’t find his backbone in the face of conflict (seriously, I have to try SO BAD to fight fair, I guess it’s good for personal growth and shit but man sometimes I just wish I could be pissed without having to temper it) and he bent over backwards because of one specific family member (by which I mean: spent all his time and energy on her, let me carry the stuff he was supposed to be carrying, yay… teamwork??) And I didn’t have the time or energy to have a productive fight about it so I swallowed it.

    And y’know what? It’s a fight we had a year into our relationship, and that specific relative is still pushing the fucking boundaries and driving me around the bend, and I kinda feel like I should’ve had it out THEN. It would have saved me a year of grief, nicely bookended a changing life status, and probably I’d be less peeved at the relative in question 6 years later.

    Learning to stop swallowing crap and have it out as an argument was a learning curve. I wish I’d learned earlier.

  • E.

    We didn’t fight before the wedding, but has anyone else noticed a pattern of a big blow out/crisis before getting engaged? Both my sister and my husband’s sister had huge conflicts (values clashing, emotional infidelity, sleeping apart for a few days level blow ups) and then got engaged after working through it. For us, I had emergency surgery. My theory is working through something like that strengthens your relationship and helps you realize you’re ready?

  • suchbrightlights

    My husband and I have never outright fought, but we do have disagreements and get on each other’s nerves and all those things that are part and parcel of living inside each other’s pockets for years. We really annoyed each other a couple of weeks before. When I am stressed, it’s better for everyone around me if I just take a long walk and don’t talk to anyone. I did not do that. I decided that right then was the optimal time to try to press husband on the subject of a more organized household and honeymoon budget, because I make spreadsheets in my sleep and planning gives him hives, so we don’t always succeed at meeting in the middle. He said something to the extent of “this feels like it will be just like X time when you worried about a thing that didn’t end up happening” and I had to bite my tongue hard on “IT WAS BECAUSE I WORRIED THAT WE HAD A DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW TO PROACTIVELY STOP THAT FROM HAPPENING” because that was going to be a rabbit hole. But I fumed about it on the walk I eventually took. He’s right- I do worry and sometimes it’s purposeless anxiety and other times it helps me solve a problem.

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  • march hare

    Oh yes! This speaks to me so much.

    I have never been able to live down my epic fight.

    It happened later, during our honeymoon, when … I discovered that the husband hadn’t washed his hands with soap after he assured me he had. (We were in a tea garden, and mucking around outside. Came into the hotel room to freshen up quickly before dinner.)

    I don’t know WHY this meltdown happened over something like WASHING HANDS. Husband was appalled that I was sobbing on the floor because he didn’t use soap. I tried to tell him about how it wasn’t SOAP but the fact that he LIED TO ME and what was our marriage but a flimsy papertowel. And he kept insisting that he was legit distracted and didn’t hear my question properly, and just answered a random “yeah” while washing up in the bathroom.

    In retrospect, it was obviously just months of wedding stress catching up with me + me finally feeling safe enough to act batshit crazy without the risk of extended family and friends overhearing us.

    So I sobbed on the floor for one whole hour, before suddenly discovering I was ravenous. Then the husband bought me a sundae the size of my face as a peace offering, and I began to suspect that my marriage might survive after all.

    • penguin

      “what was our marriage but a flimsy papertowel” – I laughed out loud at this. I do the same thing if I get into a meltdown spiral and it’s awful at the time but can be funny in retrospect.

    • Ashley Meredith

      Where I burst out laughing (in recognition; it’s so true) was “Then the husband bought me a sundae the size of my face as a peace offering, and I began to suspect that my marriage might survive after all.”

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  • Eh

    We had lots of fights in the months leading up to our wedding (including some big blow out ones) but nothing in the month before. Things were really tense the month before our wedding because of a family feud in my husband’s family. My BIL wanted my husband to fire him as bestman (instead of him quitting). My BIL and his wife were also refusing to come to our wedding because they claimed my husband said something rude about my SIL at their wedding. My husband told my SIL “I never said that and I’ve never felt that way” – my SIL did not accept that. So my inlaws blamed my husband for the fact my BIL/SIL weren’t coming to our wedding and told him just to apologize even if he never said it – which my husband refused to do. My FIL then wanted my husband to pick a new bestman (note: BIL never quit/husband never fired him) because he had never been to a wedding without a bestman (my FIL was actually trying to get my husband to pick him as bestman). My MIL came up with a “story” to tell people at our wedding if anyone asked why my BIL and his family were there (her story was an emergency came up – I told her if someone told me that the groom’s brother and bestman couldn’t make it to the wedding because of an emergency I would think that someone was dying). Anyways, there there too much stress from all this other crap and we decided to be there to support each other.

    We did have a fight on our honeymoon when I realized that my husband did not know how to navigate.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Did they end up attending the wedding? How was all that resolved?

      • Eh

        The morning of our wedding my MIL went to my BIL/SIL’s house and was crying. She begged them to come to our wedding. (My MIL is very much about appearances.) My SIL did not book the day off work so she had to work and was unable to come. My BIL went to our ceremony as a guest (not as bestman – my husband’s cousin was our second witness). My nieces had lice so they couldn’t come and my BIL needed to go home because they didn’t have anyone to watch them during our reception.

        Before our wedding, we requested that BIL/SIL and MIL/FIL and us all sit down to discuss the problems. This was bigger than our wedding and it was bigger than this accusations against my husband. My inlaws and their families were treating my SIL like dirt. They didn’t like her because she has two children from previous relationships and they thought she was after my BIL for his money (e.g., someone at their wedding said that she wasn’t good enough for him, and people were betting on how long the marriage would last). My inlaws also use her as a scapegoat. My BIL is the Golden Child and whenever he does anything his parents disagree with they say that she made him do it. My inlaws also treat their biological granddaughters (i.e., my BIL/SIL’s youngest daughter and our daughter) differently than my BIL/SIL’s older girls (who my BIL has legally adopted). (They flat out say that they don’t treat the bio-grandkids differently but my FIL calls them his “special” granddaughters, and my MIL gives them gifts nearly every time she sees them.) My inlaws refused to admit that they are part of the problem and refused to sit down and talk about things.

        About a month after our wedding we sat down with my BIL/SIL. We talked things through and got to a point where we understood that there was a lot of hurt feelings and miscommunication. It took a bit to regain each others trust but now everything is fine between us and them. It’s been a longer road with my inlaws since my BIL/SIL have to do all the work, but they have decided to do it because family is very important to them. (Note: this has been made more difficult because my FIL likes to cause friction between his sons and their wives by egging his sons to do things that might get them in trouble with their wives – when it is pointed out that this behaviour does not help his relationship with his DILs his response is that their parents did it to them so it’s his “right” to do it to us.)

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          Your inlaws sound horrible.

          • Eh

            They are but to the rest of the world they seem like wonderful people. I did not know what a narcissistic family dynamic was until someone on here suggested that I look it up when I was going through all of this. My husband wants to maintain his relationship with them, so I support him with that which means having boundaries and enforcing them.

  • tad

    We’re getting married in February. and while not quite Dark Night of the Soul, we got into a pretty serious fight a couple of days ago about representation in media; especially how women are portrayed. His only response was that he liked the specific show that started my rant (I also like that show, for the record, but was just making a point). I cried, kind of a lot.

  • macrain

    Maybe it was because I had found APW when mine happened, but I didn’t feel the same sense of shame that many of my friends experienced when it happened to them. I have a dear friend who must have suffered considerably on her wedding day due to an insane fight she’d had the night before with her fiancé. She didn’t breathe a word of it to us until months later. So, um- YES let’s talk about this more.
    There is a DNOTS story in Jessi Klein’s book “You’ll Grow Out of It,” which I would highly recommend for other reasons, too!

  • Aubry

    Our fight was after the actual wedding, between the little reception and the after-party as we dubbed them. Well, less fight and more I blew up? The issue: hubby hadn’t made any arrangements for where his son was going to stay or who would hang with him after the wedding (he was visiting from another province where he lives with his mom). His son was almost 13 at the time. We were staying in a hotel that night and hubby hadn’t even flew the idea of watching him past his brother or anyone. it was one of the only things he actually had full responsibility for in the entire event. I found this out when he left the little reception with us rather than with anyone else. I completely lost it on him, in the presence of my newly minted step son I very embarrassingly admit. Not my best moment. I was so stressed about the wedding and how everything was going, and disproportionately upset about little things not working and part of my clean up crew bailing and leaving everything to like 3 people. I think it remains the most mad I have ever been at him.

  • nutbrownrose

    We had Dark Night of the Soul about 9 months before our wedding, about halfway through our engagement. If the garage we were living in had had a person door to the outside, one of us would have walked through it, and ‘m not sure he would have come back. Luckily for me, it did not, and we were able to come down, but it was hard to come down. I don’t remember fighting much right before the wedding (I mostly remember being glad I’d sent the spreadsheets to others weeks before, because people were thanking me for than and I was like I don’t remember sending you those but awesome! also where’s my head?), but we had smaller variations of the almost-walking-out fight quite a few times over our engagement. Pros to long engagements–you have more time to spread the fights over. Cons–you have more time to spread the fights over.