Episode # 14 - The Quality of Your Marriage is More Important than the Size of Your Wedding Dress
Wedding dress sizes are so messed up!
Hello, and welcome back to Better Wife Better Life. Today, I really just wanted to talk off the cuff with you guys about a few things that are related to engagement and marriage that are just kind of on my mind. I just think we are in the middle of engagement season and more engagements happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s day or something like that. And so, I have been thinking about that a lot.
It is really kinda the ultimate, I guess, mixture, I was trying to come up with a more eloquent word than that but, but kind of a mixture of a couple different specialties I have. As you guys know, I have specialized in relationship issues and also, I have another specialty in eating disorders and body image.
So, I am often talking to my eating disorders clients who are struggling with body image about their wedding dress and how they look in wedding pictures and that kind of thing. And often, when they get engaged, there is major pressure and stress to diet or to get more “toned so that my arms look a certain way in my wedding dress”.
Or gosh, we know that wedding dress sizes are kind of messed up anyways, so I don’t want to go up to that size, the number matters. So, I am often talking a lot about all of this. On the flip side, for the purposes of this podcast, I want to talk about the WHY.
Ditch the Diet!
When I am doing my social media things, I am often saying “ditch the diet”, you know. And that is because, it is one thing to plan a wedding and I get it , there is a lot that goes into planning a wedding and of course you want to look amazing in your wedding dress, or whatever it is and you wanna look back on your wedding pictures and feel good about that. The marriage is by far the most important aspect of that.
So, I am just a really big believer that we need to focus more on that, and I wish more engagement presents to couples would be more of pre-marital counseling. Not for the purpose of talking them out of it, but so that they can go into it with realistic expectations. And to really know each other and to start or continue a dialogue about some tough issues that will come up in marriage.
Put off getting the wedding dress till the end?
That is one reason that I am a really big encourager of little things like, maybe put off getting a wedding dress till the end. I know that that is usually one of the first things to get, maybe wait until after you get the venue. I know that a lot of seamstresses say that they know a lot of time for multiple fittings, you know, I think that it would be better to focus more on maybe get a dress bigger than the size you need and have more of the alterations and fitting later, much later, focus more on normal eating and normal exercise, normal sleep.
Maybe try not to do things that will alter your body and find ways to be happy and accepting when you look back at your pictures. I often find that the dissatisfaction when looking back at the picture has nothing to do with the size you were in the actual picture. It is often what we make up about it when we look at the picture. It is the narrative that can mess with our minds.
Maybe take your engagement period as an opportunity to do some exposure to pictures of yourself in social media, so that you can get used to that sort of thing. Or have the photographer do different poses that are for you that are fun or meaningful. Or, now they do some really fun pictures that the couple does with their pets. Making sure that you can feel good about your pictures with your partner, and not because you are a certain size, or that your arms are a certain level of being toned. Or whatever it is in those photos. So that this gives us space to focus more on the marriage and that can look like premarital counseling or going through a book together.
Jake and I did both of those things. We went through the 7 Principles for Making your Marriage Work book by Gottman and we did a little bit of pre-marital counseling. So, there are things that are available no matter what the budget is, or the requirements are for where you are getting married. I just want to give some encouragement to that as we are getting closer and closer to valentine’s day. And more and more engagements, whether it is you or a friend or family member that you have.
Help in the meantime:
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Gottman Institute Blog