Brides, so often we find that it’s all about us right? Well, what about the poor guy you’ve brought along for the ride? There’s tons of advice about what you should expect and how you can plan, but what about the guys? What should they expect? How are they supposed to handle engagement? Here are a few suggestions, men.
Photo courtesy of Wedding Bliss Lane.
Engagement can be a whirlwind of emotions, and we don’t exclude the men from this. Not necessarily because you’ll have random stress break downs or emotional rollercoasters, but simply because your fiancé will. She’ll be dealing with a whole new experience once you’re engaged, and there could be a few times when you suddenly don’t even recognize her! I know that certainly happened for me during my engagement. Our best advice would be this: lend a hand where you can, be supportive, and if all else fails, back off. Yes, boys, as much as you would love to fix every problem, some issues are only emotional and need to be worked out on their own with a few emotional outbursts along the way. Sometimes it may be best to look into your fiancé’s eyes, red and puffy from crying over the tablecloth colors, and tell her that she’s still the girl of your dreams.
Photo courtesy of Magnet Street.
Put on blinders. It’s so difficult to be a woman engaged and not feel like a nut-case half the time. The more you forgive us and accept our faults, the more likely we are to reciprocate. Also, just know that engagement is a phase, so we’re likely to calm down when life does. Of course, life will often throw emotional curve balls at us, so don’t expect the craziness to disappear altogether. Consider your engagement as an even better way to get to know your fiancé, all of her joys along with all of her sorrows. It’s a chance to support one another and make life easier, instead of creating points of tension.
How to help. Unless you’re employed in the fashion or wedding planning industry, it may not be advisable to get too involved in the nitty gritty of the wedding details. Of course, every bride will be different and will want differing degrees of help. You can make a few unintentional mistakes if you don’t know. If you decide she’d like you to stay out of it, you could paint yourself as lazy and selfish. If you assume she wants a lot of involvement, you could wind up looking intrusive and pushy. Some brides will micromanage their wedding into the ground while others will have a more casual approach. Find her style and contribute accordingly.
Photo courtesy of Boston Wedding Blog.
Find out exactly how much involvement she would prefer. Ask her for a list of items she would like you to help with, or ask if she’d like your opinion before offering it. Also, if you would like something in the wedding to go a certain way or if something is important to you, speak up! It’s your wedding too! Let your fiancé know if you have a “wedding wish list” so that you can have just as much of a perfect day as she will. When helping with her, make it fun! Cake tasting, invitation shopping, and registering can be some of the highlights if you help to relieve the stress and make it light and easy.
Photo courtesy of Image Fav.
I’ll share the ultimate secret to a woman’s heart, and a way to comfort her no matter the issue at hand. You can use this trick throughout the engagement and far beyond into your marriage. Here are the three easy steps: “poor baby,” “would you like a foot rub,” and “how about some chocolate.” Begin with a good deal of listening until your fiancé has been able to vent her frustrations. Respond with “You poor baby” and a hug. (Be sure not to sound condescending or insincere.) This can go a great deal further than trying to fix or change the situation. Women want to be understood and need sympathy before they want something fixed. After that, ask your fiancé if she would like a foot rub. Mostly, she’ll be missing out on her relaxation time and needs a little TLC. To finish it off, ask her if she would like some chocolate, or simply assume that she would and surprise her with her favorite treat. It’s the little thoughtful things that matter most, and if you stick to this basic formula, you’ll have a happier fiancé, and thus a happier engagement. She may be dealing with the bulk of the planning and work, but you are her source of stability and safety amidst the chaos of those hectic few months. Thank you, boys, for all you put up with, all you handle, and for being the rock when we need a foundation. It seems you constantly remind us of the wonderful reasons we fell in love with you in the first place.