If your views on spending versus saving are completely different from your partner's, it would be wise to discuss your finances in very specific detail before you wed.
Getting married should be one of the happiest events in the life of any couple, but as it's a time of great change and readjustment sadly it doesn't always go smoothly.
Here are some of the most common difficulties and how to positively deal with them:
It feels like the wedding is being hijacked
It's simple: you love each other and want to be married, so you're organising a fun party to celebrate that. Except it's causing rows between you two, or it feels like your parents or friends are taking over. Relax, this is normal. Everyone is excited and wants to get involved, which is great. But do remember that this is your big day and, as the couple, you should have the final say on the arrangements (even if someone else is footing the bill).
So focus on what matters: the two of you and your love. Talk to each other and decide for yourselves what sort of day you want, then plan that. If mothers, in-laws, great-aunts or anyone else doesn't like it that is unfortunate, but shouldn't be your main concern. You two should be in charge, because you want to look back on the day as a relaxing and beautiful celebration of your love. Do all you can to keep control of the proceedings.
You have cold feet
Is it natural to be nervous about the wedding? Yes. But if you're lying awake worrying about whether or not you should marry this person, think carefully before going ahead. Is there something wrong with your relationship? Do you find it hard to talk to your partner about any difficulties you may have? Are you anxious about losing your freedom? Don't be afraid to postpone or cancel your plans. It's better in the long run to deal with these issues before you say 'I do'. Research shows that many marriages that go wrong should never actually have gone ahead in the first place – because one or other of the partners was very unsure about it.
The sex isn't working
Whether or not you've had sex prior to your wedding night, marriage is not a magical solution to sexual difficulties. If you suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED), premature ejaculation (PE) or delayed ejaculation (DE), I would recommend getting some psychosexual or medical help sooner rather than later. And if one of you wants a lot more sex than the other, do think carefully about whether the wedding should go ahead. Marriage doesn't sort out mismatched sex drives, so you may want to seek help from Relate before finalising the big day arrangements.
You can't agree on big issues
You'd be amazed about how many couples don't discuss crucial issues before they wed. Perhaps the most important is whether or not to have children. Often one partner will want kids and the other be less keen, but it's common for the 'keen one' to believe that the other partner will change his or her mind and come round to the idea of having a family. This doesn't often happen, so should not be left to chance. If having children is of fundamental importance to you please think hard before marrying someone who has no urge to reproduce.
You're unhappy with your partner's behaviour
Do you feel your partner drinks too much, gambles or takes drugs? If so, talk this out before the wedding. If you're anxious now, think how much worse this might be once you are legally joined especially after you have children. Also, if you are concerned about domestic violence in the relationship, please take note that this is unlikely to improve after marriage. Couples often worry about their loved one's attitude to money, too. If your views on spending versus saving are completely different from your partner's, it would be wise to discuss your finances in very specific detail before you wed.
The honeymoon isn't as fun as you'd hoped
Maybe you don't feel excited now you're there, or you realise your fantasy of how the honeymoon would go is very different from reality. Don't despair: this is common. Your partner may even be feeling the same. It may help if you remember that the wedding has probably dominated all of your leisure time for months so you're almost certainly exhausted. On top of that, you may have drunk an awful lot of alcohol over the wedding period, and unfortunately booze does tend to exaggerate any low feelings you have. Try to relax and catch up on sleep. The chances are that in a few days your honeymoon blues will be a thing of the past.
You thought marriage would bring you closer
Even if you've lived together for a long time before marrying, you might have expected marriage to feel 'different' and 'better' than your life before. Perhaps you thought you would both do more things together as a couple, the sex would improve or that you and your spouse would magically agree on everything. If you're feeling disappointed that your expectations aren't being met, remember that you're married partners, not clones of each other. Your relationship is important – but it's also vital to pursue your own interests, see your own friends and get on with your own career. This is a period of adjustment, try to view it realistically.
You let everything slide
Most experts agree that the majority of marital problems can be traced back to a couple's early days together. So early on, get in the habit of talking things through. The best way to do this is to adopt the 5-minute rule. The whole strategy only takes 15 minutes, so it's an ideal way of sorting things out without either partner feeling that it will escalate into a major row and ruin the entire evening. This is what you do:
Toss a coin to see who should speak first.
The winner of the toss takes five minutes to talk about anything that is a worry. During that time the partner sits and 'actively' listens, but does not interrupt.
After 5 minutes, the second person has the floor for 5 minutes.
You then jointly discuss these issues for a further 5 minutes. You should also agree that during this 15 minute period there will be no interrupting, no shouting, no swearing and no drinking.
You should also agree that at the end of quarter of an hour, you will abandon the topic and do something else pleasant together.
You thought marriage would make you happy - but it hasn't
Sometimes people marry when they feel unhappy, restless or because they're lonely or bored with their lives. Often, being in love and being with the person you adore will help you feel better. But if it doesn't, you need to look at your own state of mind and your self-esteem levels. Consider having some therapy to look at your own difficulties. Marriage should augment your feelings of self-worth and happiness – but it's rarely a cure for personal issues of this kind.
You want to call off the wedding, but don't know how
Once the wedding plans have gathered momentum, deposits have been paid, and relatives have bought outfits, it's very hard to pluck up courage to cancel a wedding. But ask yourself this: if somehow this wedding could be postponed or cancelled, how would you feel? If your overriding emotion would be one of relief, you owe it to your partner to talk this through. Of course all sorts of people close to you may be upset if you don't go through with the wedding, but remember that no matter how tough that is, getting a divorce would most likely be even more painful and complicated.