Am I late or getting married in a pandemic?

It is a reality that many couples have had to ask for psychological help when they had to postpone their wedding due to the coronavirus. These consultations are carried out, not only because of the emotional impact of having to change a plan full of illusions where a lot of time has been spent preparing it, but also because of the uncertainty and frustration that comes with not knowing until when they won't be able to make it happen. It may seem like an insignificant problem compared to the disaster that the pandemic has caused, but for those who suffer from it, it can cause stress, anxiety and other emotional disorders.

It is true that today most couples who take the step of getting married already live together before, for this reason, this setback of having to delay a wedding does not have the same impact that it would have had in an earlier time when one did not begin to live with his partner until going through the Church. But keep in mind that for many people a wedding is a very important ritual that serves to formalize the love between two people and form a family. In fact, today, there are many couples, more than would be expected, who want to have children only after they have married.

In these cases, it is normal to feel emotions such as anger and frustration if the wedding has to be delayed in the end. At the end of the day, these are natural emotions that human beings feel when they do not see a long-planned desire fulfilled. It would be weird not to feel them. However, not everyone who has had to postpone their wedding is emotionally affected in the same way. This depends on many variables such as, for example, the ability to adapt, tolerance to frustration, resolution capacity, stress management by the person who is getting married or the time and investment –economic and emotional– that they have dedicated to it. In my practice I have seen cases where one of the members of the couple has managed the postponement of their wedding well and quickly and begins to build a plan B, while their partner resists accepting the situation. This usually generates a conflict between the two. Another emotion that I have seen in these cases is the feeling of guilt since those affected do not allow themselves to feel bad about something that they consider insignificant compared to the consequences that the pandemic has left.

Here are some tips for those in this situation:

  1. Allow yourself and normalize feeling bad. Suddenly a castle that you had built from many illusions has collapsed. You have invested time, money and involved many people and it would be pathological not to feel anything.

  2. You may be worried about the situation you are experiencing and even help people affected by the pandemic to the best of your ability, but at the same time you may feel anxiety, stress, sadness and frustration about your own situation. Otherwise, we would never have the right to feel bad, because there will always be someone who is in a worse situation.

  3. Accept that the wedding is going to be different from what you had originally planned, but that does not mean that it has to change its meaning or stop being a wonderful moment.

  4. Focus on what is up to you and only what you have control over.

  5. To manage emotions such as the stress caused by uncertainty, it is advisable to plan two scenarios: the official date and the alternative. Having a plan b, a closed date, will provide the feeling of tranquility and control that is so needed at that time.

  6. Communicating the changes to family and friends to re-schedule the celebration will help the couple to receive encouragement and will surely also send them other options that they had not valued.

  7. Do not forget what is really important, your partner.

  8. Pure and hard resilience. When we talk about resilience we talk about the ability of the human being to recompose himself in the face of the negative that happens to him and that it even serves to improve. Frustration teaches us to relax our minds and accept different scenarios. We must be prepared to react in situations where we are not in control, and the key is acceptance. We must learn to accept that things do not always turn out as expected or as we deserve. Since the acceptance of what does not depend on one appears, we will be prepared to find the solution to everything that is under our control.

  9. Make a good choice in the interpretation you make of everything that happens to you. A situation can be seen from many perspectives, that is, a situation has different interpretations, so remember that you choose the interpretation to give to everything that happens to you. Why is it so important to choose a good interpretation? Because depending on the interpretation you choose, it will be your emotions. This way you will find the best solution for you.

  10. Always look for the positive part of a negative experience, not to avoid facing it but to compensate for uncomfortable emotions. Faced with a postponement of the wedding, it is possible to focus on the fact that, by having more time, the couple will be able to organize the wedding of their dreams and that can help them to better cope with the situation. And in the case of carrying it out despite not liking it or agreeing with the restrictions, you could choose the thought that you will have time to celebrate it in a big way, but that you formalize the important thing now.

  11. Remember that the obstacles come alone, but the limits are set by you. The situation is what it is. You have the option of carrying out a different wedding due to the restrictions that the situation has and at a time that, within what is possible, will be part of history or wait until later and celebrate it your way. You decide, but whatever you decide, let it be what makes you happy.


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