Ever since Annie’s comment on this post (where the lovely lady herself pointed out that she had yet to see a post on a wedding blog about couples arguing) I have been all over it like a badger round a shed. I’ve been going over and over the topic in my head and in my notepad. Trying to remember all of the (what felt like) hundreds of arguments Gavin and I had during our engagement.
You see you have to understand that I am in the first year of the marriage love bubble. That’s right. Love bubble. And we’ve been in here since precisely the 27th of May 2011. Anyone who knows it will tell you that, much like having children (I assume) you are in such a state of loved up bliss that you struggle to remember the pain and trauma it all caused way back when. But over the last few days, I’ve been thinking. Thinking and waiting for the ability to take off my rose tinted honeymoon sunglasses, part the marital curtain, gaze back into the depths of our engagement and wait for the inspiration to smack me right in the kisser.
And naturally, it has. At 5:55am. So here I sit, in my study, with the morning sun beating through the windows, a cup of tea and a couple of ginger nuts to hand (that’s ok at this time of the night/morning, right?), ready to talk to you about something a little more gritty than pretty. But very very real.
In the world of wedding land, we are constantly surrounded with beautiful imagery, love, support, inspiration and the thought that everyone looks so gloriously happy on their wedding day.
So what happens when you peel your big happy woman face away from the computer screen only to be faced with another argument that goes something like “You should be cooking dinner tonight! I’ve cut out 2,643 envelope labels!” / “I can’t go for a drink because we have to save, but you can spend 50 quid a month on wedding magazines?” / “Your mother is being impossible about everything” / “You can’t invite them because then we’ll have to invite them!”
And you look into the face of the person you’re yelling at and want to squish their head like a garden pea instead of cuddle into their bones.
In fact, I can honestly tell you all now that Gavin and I went through more turmoil in our engagement than in the history of our relationship together. I am well aware that not every couple is the same. That some of you might just effortlessly sail through the whole process, while us mere mortals are sometimes trying to decide if it’s actually possible to have a wedding without the groom.
At the time, both Gavin and I admitted to having serious doubts as to whether or not we really were meant to walk up that aisle. I have no shame in admitting this. It was tough. You’re operating on lack of sleep (thank you wedding nightmares), lack of money, lack of time, lack of social life and lack of perspective. You become engrossed in planning the wedding. You become frustrated that your man isn’t as ‘into it’. Your man becomes frustrated with how ‘into it’ you are. You have issues to deal with that can potentially affect the emotions and dynamics of your family and friends. You have to change your lifestyle in order to afford anything. When you look at it on paper, that whole process equates to a pretty stressful time.
Throw in a bunch of loved up moments on the sofa together, lightening strikes of inspiration, massive senses of achievement and the knowledge that your working hard for a beautiful future together and you’ve got your self a mega-huge-emotional-roller-coaster that sometimes shudders and breaks down on you. Now you have two choices, be carried off the roller coaster into the sunset by a buff fireman or stick out the roller coaster with your beloved and come off it on the biggest loved up adrenaline high you’ve ever felt.
I chose option two. And boy am I glad I did. My heart swells so full of love for Gavin that sometimes I feel like my body isn’t made for it. I love him more now that I ever have and I honestly believe that love has been born of all the difficult times as well as the delightful times. But when I think back on it, he was a nightmare during our wedding planning. He would stress out about money constantly and rightly so. We were skint! And he was pulling 12 hour shifts to make ends meet while I spent money on things like heart shaped hole punches and 64 colours of ribbon. On the flip side, I was a complete huff monster.
In fact, I was probably the Queen of Huff. I would happily lose hours to wedding planning and blogging, laugh my head off at the computer screen and then Gavin would say one little thing that p*ssed me off and that was it. Death Silence. Which was generally followed by Cleaning Rage where I would slam everything that had a door. Which would sometimes evolve into Snide Remarking when my slamming antics were met with ignorance and indifference from Gavin. Eventually he would bite and the whole thing would end in Cryin’ Eyes where I would crack and sob all my worldly woes. Poor Gavin had just been through an emotional sh*t storm in about 10 mins and the woman he’d asked to marry was a wreck. And you know what? Apparently that’s normal.
So are the screaming arguments. My beautiful friend Selina said something to me years ago that has always made a whole lot of sense to me. “It’s ok to argue. You want to be with someone who has their hand on your back pushing you toward the right thing the whole time, but they shouldn’t have to take your sh*t and they shouldn’t be afraid to put your back in your box when you’re wrong.” She’s right. You need to keep each other balanced and sometimes that means you end up saying things that hurt and cause arguments. Just try not to say things that hurt for no reason.
I’d like you share something with you all. It’s quite personal and I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone this before. But I feel this post is the right place to put it. Gavin and I had a little phrase we used throughout the planning of our wedding. It was a disarming phrase that was used in the middle of many an argument that would instantly make me gain perspective on everything and see that the whole ordeal need not be as serious as I was making it out to be.
“Keep it light”.
We would say this to each other pretty regularly. It was our way of reminding each other to have fun, lighten the load, laugh it off and remember to enjoy our engagement. We also made an effort to talk-it-out all the time, go for walks together when one of us was stressed out and pep talk each other through the difficult bits. If you can do all this and shrug off the occasional rant/rave/bicker then I honestly believe that, like me, you’ll be looking back, straining to peer through the glossy marital love bubble and struggling to remember what the holy fudge balls you ever argued about back then.
Until 7 months later a $300 speeding ticket arrives through your door of your Perth apartment with your husbands big stupid man face behind the wheel in the picture!!! Seriously. $300.
The thing is, throughout your life, arguments are only as serious as you let them become. So try to keep them in perspective, enjoy your engagement, laugh it off and ‘keep it light’.
What about you lot then?
Are you having any more arguments these days?
Finding yourself a bit of an Emotional Emily?
Do you have a tactic to stop arguments arising?
Let’s get a good old RMW discussion going. I think it will make us all feel better to know we’re not the only ones having the occasional barney…