Cold feet?????? Help!!!!!!!!

hoerlelJune 20, 2004

I am the mother of the bride (second wedding for her) and we were planning a small wedding (about 40 people)September 26th. My DD is having second thoughts about getting married. I just paid the deposit for the reception that she does not know about yet and now I am getting very worried. They have been together for 11 years and she was the one that wanted to get married all along. Now that she has this beautiful ring and plans made, she is thinking that she does not want to marry him.

What can I say to her??? Is she getting pre-wedding jitters or cold feet? Please help!

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If your daughter is having second thoughts, she shouldn't jump into a marriage that she may later regret. Have she and her fiance had any pre-marital counseling? If not, it would be a good idea to have some. By talking through issues with a neutral party, they will be better able to see problem areas in their relationship. That should help her to determine whether she is just nervous about getting married or whether there are serious issues that need to be dealt with before a wedding takes place. I know that it is hard to lose money on the wedding and reception, but it is better to lose it now than to see her make a mistake.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2004 at 11:47PM
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You asked:

What can I say to her??? Is she getting pre-wedding jitters or cold feet?

The second question is really not possible for anyone here to answer. She probably doesn't even know herself. But anyway, your first question is your real one, I think.

And I think that the answer is the hardest one to hear: there is really nothing you CAN say. But you can do something much more valuable to her as she makes such a big decision: you can listen, and you can let her know that you are ready to listen without telling her what to do. After all, you really can't tell her what to do anyway, can you? (And it's just as well. It would be terrible if that were your responsibility.)

She's going to do what she's going to do anyway, no matter what you say (think about it -- isn't that the way it's always been? Same with everyone.) So it's not about what you say. But let her think out loud with you, in a "safe" way -- i.e., safe from feeling like you will judge her feelings or actions or even give advice. That's what most of us find the most useful when facing a confusing, complicated, difficult decision.

I realize how frustrating it is that she announces this to you just after you've paid the deposit. But Sweet Pea is correct that it is much better to lose a deposit than to enter an unwise marriage. Rings and wdding plans loom large now, but they really aren't important. So don't mention that stuff or the deposit to her -- it's the same money whether she knows or doesn't know, right? And you might even try to call and explain and see if they feel they can still fill that date and will return all or part of your deposit (they'd rather have a full event than just your deposit). All they can say is no!

My heart goes out to both you and your daughter. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 12:53AM
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I agree with the pp. Let her know it's ok to talk to you about her feelings and whatever she decides. If they have been together 11 years and she's having doubts, I think it's more than pre-wedding jitters but then that's just me.

Be glad it's a small wedding that is planned. It would be even more stressful if the guest list was 200 instead of 40!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 1:16AM
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I know you are probably all right, but part of the problem is that she has not even told me yet, she told her sister. Her sister had this weighing on her mind and had to talk to me about it. I am hoping my daughter does tell me soon herself so I can hear her concerns and doubts and maybe I would be less anxious about the whole thing. My other daughter said the bride to be wanted to leave her job and move down to NC.......leave a relationship, leave a great job, leave the state and her family. I'm scared! I can't imagine what she is thinking.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 2:18AM
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Possibly the best thing you can say to her is, "Would you like to go out for coffee tomorrow?" Then, as gellchom recommends, listen to her talk. Do your best to give as little advice as possible. Let her know you are here to back her up now and in the future, no matter what her direction.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 6:12AM
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There seems to be more here than just the 'marriage' issue, and as a Mom, I understand your concerns. Our daughters sure can put us through the wringers, can't they? Call her. Express your concern about her 'lack of enthusiasm' about the marriage....not sharing her planning with you....ask if there's something she wants to talk about and yes, our best conversations have always been in a neutral zone such as a restaurant over a nice, long lunch. Tell her you feel there's something amiss, and if for any reason she feels she has issues about continuing with the wedding plans, then she has your full support - whatever she decides. How old is she, btw? This sounds more like a life decision than a marriage one; perhaps she wants change in her life but needs some counselling to think it through. Not all life-altering decisions are bad...but getting 'stuck' in a marriage just for the sake of a wedding or wanting a change in her life would be so sad.

When you talk with her, ask her about her work, how satisfied is she with it...Does she live with her fiance? Have they recently moved in together?

She's running from something, or she's running to find herself. Reassure her that you're on her voyage with her.

I hope everything turns out for the best...please keep in touch with us....we're concerned, also. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 9:42AM
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Glitter, you're right on the money. I love what you said about reassuring her that you're on the voyage with her.

Andrea :o)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 12:38PM
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That really was a wonderful way to put it, Glitter. Whenever my brother or I were facing a big decision, including ones our parents didn't think were the smartest, my dad would tell my mom, "Whatever they decide, we'll back them 100%." Knowing that was REALLY important to us, the best support there could be, because it took out the whole factor of worrying about being judged, rejected, yelled at, criticized, shamed, etc. And, as a big bonus to everyone concerned, it makes it much more likely that the kid will actually talk to the parent about the issue.

Given that she hasn't raised the issue with you, you might not want to avoid raising it directly. I love Duckie's suggestion: "Would you like to go out for coffee tomorrow?" If she doesn't bring it up, it's probably best that you not do so, but if you really really feel you must, I'd be sure not to put her on the spot. Let her know it's okay for her NOT to talk if she doesn't want to. Something like, "Honey, I understand from [sister] that you seem to be going through a rough patch right now thinking about your upcoming marriage. I want you to know that if you feel like talking about it, I'm here to listen, and whatever you decide, I'll [or "Dad and I will," if appropriate] back you 100%." (My dad wouldn't mind your using his wording!) Anyway, whatever you say exactly, the point is to create an opening and some reassurance without putting it in the form of a question -- that way, she doesn't have to respond right on the spot.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 1:02PM
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