He’s perfect, she’s gorgeous and the two “just click.” It goes from flirting to dating to engaged and then onto happily ever after….or so you think.
But once the rock is on her finger everything becomes about her, the wedding of her dreams, what color the bridesmaids will be wearing, getting the perfect locale and maybe not so much about the relationship.
“Some women get wedding obsessed,” said Dr. Britta Ostermeyer, chief of psychiatry, Ben Taub General Hospital, part of the Harris County Hospital District. “Planning a wedding can take on a life of its own and the bride may get ‘high’ going through wedding magazines and visiting stores in the quest of making her fantasy come alive.”
But at the same time, Dr. Ostermeyer says some couples lose reality of what marriage is really about — commitment.
“Couples may not realize that there is a problem with their relationship because they are preoccupied with all the wedding preparations,” says Dr. Ostermeyer. “Some are so invested in making their perfect day come alive, they don’t realize that it has become more about the wedding day than the relationship.”
What can couples do to ensure their wedding day is just the first day of many years of happiness and not just a short-lived marriage?
“It’s important for couples to focus on their path, their common desires,” says Dr. Ostermeyer. “Their wedding day is really just another day. In the midst of planning, couples need to focus on each other and not the big day. Check to see if both are still in it for the right reasons.”
At the same time, some soon-to-be brides and grooms may feel pressured to get married in order to avoid the humiliation of being a runaway bride or groom.
The reality for many Americans is that more than 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Ostermeyer says that marriage is work.
“From the start, couples need to be mindful that it takes both parties to work on the marriage and relationship,” says Ostermeyer. “Marriage can be whatever you make it — from great to miserable.”
Dr. Ostermeyer offers these tips:
• Focus on each other’s needs
• Listen to one another
• Be willing to compromise
• Do not push each other’s buttons when angry
“Marriage is a give and take like any other good functioning business relationships. It can last well and remain successful if both parties are willing,” says Dr. Ostermeyer. “Couples need to nurture and feed love and happiness with kindness, care, attention and devotion.”