The engagement period, before you officially become husband and wife, is filled with fun things like trying on pretty dresses, tasting delicious food, celebrating with friends/family and planning what you hope is a perfect day.
It is also a time when you will learn more about your future-spouse than you likely ever have before. Sure being engaged is fun, but it’s also a time when you’ll face more decisions, stressors and financial worry than you probably have as a couple before.
I like to think of this time as a practice run for what your marriage could look like. Here are five things I think you can learn about your spouse throughout your engagement.
The list is written as what you can learn about your groom, but these easily could be switched to embody a bride as well.
1. You learn how you handles stress and anxiety as a couple. Even if you’re a seasoned event planner, creating your dream wedding undoubtedly brings a lot of stress, which can put your “fighting style” as a couple under a microscope. How you work through wedding stress together is pretty telling as to how you’ll handle issues in your marriage.
2. You learn how he manages his finances, and if his money-style matches with yours. Sure your parents may be footing most the bill, but almost any couple will face big financial decisions when planning their wedding. If you think dropping $200 per table on flowers is perfectly fine and your groom would rather spend $200 total, then you should probably sit down and discuss your financial expectation and goals for your life together.
3. You learn how he deals with your emotions. There was a time during my engagement when I felt overwhelmed and a little scared of the magnitude of the commitment marriage means. I didn’t have many friends going through the same thing, so I turned to Luke. He could have been defensive or misconstrued the feelings I was having as a dig at him, but instead he listened, empathized and let me know what I was feeling was totally normal.
How your guy handles the emotions you surely will be feeling leading up to your wedding is a great indicator as to how he’ll support you during you as your husband.
4. You learn how “involved” his family will be in your life. You’ve all heard the horror stories of the mother-in-law who completely takes over the wedding planning- steamrolling the bride. Hopefully none of you ever have to go through that (so glad I didn’t!) but if you do, I’d take this a definite sign as to how involved your husband’s family is going to be in your life and the influence they’ll have over the decisions you’ll make as a couple.
5. You learn if he has traditional or modern view on male/female roles. I anticipate I could get some flack for this one, but I think that if your groom is resistant to helping you plan your wedding, it could be a sign that he has traditional views of what his role as a man is in your day-to-day life. This is the guy who could also think that laundry, cooking, cleaning and child-rearing are a “woman’s job” (which isn’t always a bad thing if you have the same views).
Of course there are exceptions, like if you and your mom don’t want his involvement, or if he’s crazy-busy with his career at that time, but if you try to involve him during the engagement and he shows no interest, you may want to have an open discussion with him about his expectations for your roles in your marriage.
Those are the big areas I felt like I learned more about Luke during our engagement. Luckily they were all positives that helped prepare us to be happy in our marriage.
What else do you think you learn about your significant other during the engagement period?