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Pre-Wedding Tips




Pre-Wedding Tips

Is Premarital Counseling or Education for You?

Deciding to get or stay engaged?

Premarital / Relationship Inventories

Bonding & Marriage Success

Guide to Guys


Cold Feet

Your Mother and You

Interfaith, Intercultural and Interracial Marriage

Balancing Togetherness & Individuality

What's In a Name - Changing Yours?

Pre-Wedding Stress Management

Pre-Wedding Time Management

Pre-Marriage Couples Counseling

Marriage Facts

Radio program on marriage success research that couples should hear!

Seven Keys to Success

Stages of Marriage

Five-to-One Ratio

What are the most important factors in marriage success?

Differences, incompatibilities and marriage success

Who’s in control in your relationship?

Communication & conflict resolution

Becoming Parents

Financial issues

Balancing Family and Work



Married sexuality

Marriage-Related Books We Like

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Your Mother and You


The pre-wedding period is a sensitive time for your relationship with your mother. This time often brings closer contact than either of you may be accustomed to.


The increased contact generated by wedding planning and other pre-wedding activities is at odds with the normal developmental task of separation involved in marriage. Your primary family identification and affiliation is shifting from your family of origin to the new family that you and your partner are creating. This can be true even for people who have established a life that is very independent.


The prospect of change can bring up deep feelings for both you and your mother as it comes closer. Nothing could be more natural. How you each express and handle these feelings depends on your personal qualities.


Sometimes problems can result when a mother seeks, consciously or unconsciously, to hang on to the child she is losing--you. Likewise, you may be overly-sensitive to "intrusive" acts by your mother because you may be feeling a little inexperienced in your new role. You'll both be feeling a bit excited and stressed by the change and by the demands of planning a wedding.


Consider talking with your mother about your expectations for the pre-wedding period, the wedding itself and your marriage. Tell her what you want, and ask her about her expectations and wishes. What does she want out of the wedding?


Some mothers have wishes for themselves, but they are afraid to intrude with their desires. They can still get upset if they their expectations aren't met.


Other mothers can be a bit too forthcoming with their own viewpoint. They may assume that you need their advice or that your wishes will be congruent without checking it out with you. You may need to gently, but firmly, set limits with your mother. It's your wedding and your life. Be as firm as you need to be. Talk to your mother about what you really feel and want.


You may hear some of your mother's reservations about your partner. These may be hard for you to listen to. Realize that these are normal. No one could ever be perfect enough to marry her baby. She can't help worrying about your future. Make sure that she knows that you hear her concerns and appreciate her point of view. This doesn't mean that you have to change your viewpoint. Other families become so enthralled with the prospective new member of the family (your partner) that you feel neglected.


Make some special time to spend with your mother, especially time that has nothing to do with wedding planning. Protect some of your time together by making a rule not to talk about the wedding. Take in a movie, go shopping together, spend a few hours at a spa.


This is really the beginning of a process where you will eventually change places. In the long run, you will become increasingly capable and competent, while your mother's may become less strong over time. This is a critical time to your relationship with new patterns and definitions being set that will influence your lives for a long time to come, so devote just a little of your time and energy to it.


Prepare yourselves to keep all your family relationships growing throughout your marriage. Consider attending a Marriage Success Training seminar with your partner. MST helps couples handle the increased stress of the pre-wedding period in a much more healthy way, so that they can use the pre-wedding experience to deepen their intimacy--not stress their relationship-- during this special time. Click here to learn about the benefits of MST.



Are you the parent of the bride or groom? Those of us who are married know how valuable premarital education can be. Marriage Success Training makes a great engagement or wedding gift. Click here to learn about gift certificates.


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Copyright 2003, Patricia S. & Gregory A. Kuhlman. You may copy this article for non-commercial use provided that no changes are made and this copyright notice, author credit and source citation are included.




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