Posted by: anxiouslyengaged | January 14, 2009

It Takes Two To Tango: Planning a Wedding

Planning a wedding 

If marriage is all about two people, why is it that so often only one person cares about the planning? Granted, we don’t generally hear men confess that since boyhood they have been dreaming of the tapestries that will drape the gift table, or the elaborate flower centerpieces that will be to die for. That doesn’t change the undeniable fact: the wedding day is for both of you to rejoice, celebrate, and commemorate. And that means both of you need to be integral members of the planning process.


A bride needs to be mindful of the groom’s preferences just as the groom needs to be mindful that he should actually (1) have preferences and (2) communicate those preferences. I am sure there are some totalitarian brides who disagree that the wedding is about both partners, but is that really the type of person you are marrying? Or are you marrying someone who wants the wedding day to make you just as happy as it makes her?


Wedding hall décor may not be your forte, and having to decide between chiffon and tulle may make you want to throw up. That’s totally understandable. But not all wedding planning is above and beyond your fields of expertise and interests. What about entertainment? Have an opinion on live bands, versus deejays, versus Uncle Bob serenading everyone? And you seriously have no preference between steak and tofu?


You have a preference. Even if it favors tofu, you have a preference. We all do.


The crazy thing about weddings is that there are literally hundreds of decisions to make when planning. Even though your bride knows you inside and out, planning an entire wedding can still present decisions that even the closest of couples may not be able to answer for one another.


Think of the things that are most important to you. Even if you haven’t been planning this since you were five, you can still come up with some ideas of what wedding possibilities would suit your style best. Your job is to communicate those preferences in an involved yet loving and compromising way. Talk with your bride and participate in the wedding planning process as much as you can. 


Yes, there are some decisions to make that you honestly don’t have an opinion on. But for the rest of the decisions–the decisions that affect you just as much as your beautiful bride–your input is vital in making the wedding day a success and your bride happy. Besides, do you really want to turn down free cake tasting?


by Elizabeth Harris

Posted by: anxiouslyengaged | December 4, 2008

Every Family is Weird


Leo Tolstoy wrote, in Anna Karenina, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”  Historians have found earlier drafts of Anna Karenina, where the line is different.   It reads, “Everyone thinks their family is weird; every family is weird in its own way.  Watch out for the guy who doesn’t think his family is weird.”  It’s certainly less poetic, but I think it’s truer.  (Also, in the earlier drafts, the ending of the novel is different — Anna and The Sundance Kid, a character who was sadly omitted from the final draft of the novel, are killed in a church by the Bolivian army.)

I have always thought my family was weird.  There is nothing special in that belief.  Every teenager knows that their family is weird.  So, naturally, I was a little anxious about bringing my girlfriends around them.  But bring them around I did.

           When I told my parents I was engaged, my Dad was upset.  He said that he didn’t really know her.  I wasn’t sure what he wanted, I had brought her to a family picnic, my uncle’s birthday, and my brother’s wedding reception.  And yet, my Dad swore he’d never spoken to her.  So, I brought her to another family get-together.  My Dad went up to my fiancee and he said, “Why do you love my son?” which I took to mean, “Don’t you think you could do better than that?” (That may or may not have been what he meant…) The sad thing was, my Dad was asking the question honestly, he was not trying to razz me, he was honestly waiting for an answer.  My poor, dear fiancee hemmed and hawed for a bit and I tried to change the subject (mostly because I didn’t want her asking herself that question too much.)  Luckily, by the time we were married, she had inadvertently answered the question so we were okay. 

Meeting the in-laws can be nerve racking – even if you’ve been married for a while, you’re never sure if they’re going to revoke your marriage license.  But, for me, it’s more stressful to bring her around my family because, as Herr Tolstoy said (I know, I know, “Herr” is German but I don’t know how to say Mr. in Russian), “Everyone thinks their family is weird…”

You think your family is weird because you know them.  The problem is you know them and their quirks so well that it’s sometimes hard to put it all into words.  So you say something like, “Watch out for my Dad…He’s weird…Y’know, just kinda funny, and not funny-ha-ha, well, I mean, sometimes funny-ha-ha but sometimes he’s more funny…y’know, funny…”  And your fiancee gives you a look like you’re telling her that you’re trying to start an all-dog baseball league (which is a great idea, by the way).  Then your Dad comes up and says something like, “Why do you love my son?”  And all you can do is say, “I told you he was funny…”

The sad truth is that your family’s unique weirdness must be experienced to be understood.  And the worst part about that is that the first few times you bring someone around to meet your family, they’re not weird, they’re nice, which is nice, except when you warned your fiancee that they’re weird and now she doesn’t believe you.  It also makes it that much harder on her when the facade cracks and all of a sudden your brothers are running around in their underwear, stabbing each other with sticks, and quoting The Simpsons. 

So, what to do, especially with the big holidays coming up?  Meeting the in-laws is easy, you only have to be charming, polite, compliment everyone for everything, and pretend that you don’t notice that they resent you for stealing away their precious little girl.

What to do about your family?  As we know, you can’t just throw the frog into a pot of boiling water, you have to slowly turn up the heat so the frog won’t jump out (Why do they tell you stories about boiling frogs in Sunday school?  Were the teachers’ manuals written in France? Why are the frogs being boiled alive?  I guess that explaining that chickens should be killed quickly and humanely, then plucked, and thrown into a pot of boiling water, is good for Home Ec. but bad as an object lesson about sin.)  You need to help your fiancee/girlfriend/wife slowly build up a tolerance for your family.  This is best done with short activities and fun getting-to-know-you events like picnics, family home evenings, Sunday dinners, anything where, after a couple of hours, she can get away and tell you how crazy your family is.  You probably shouldn’t jump right to trapping her up in the mountains with your family for a week.  Some people swear by this kind of immersion but I think it yields mixed results.  I think it’s best if you help her slowly build up a family-immunity like you have.

Your family is weird.  But with a little time and a little help, she’ll be able love them just as much as you do.  She’ll understand that your family is weird.  After all, her family is weird too, in their own way.


written by Aaron Rowley

Posted by: anxiouslyengaged | December 3, 2008

Getting on the Same Financial Page


You’ve found the man or woman of your dreams. You’re in love. You’re about to get married. Why should you waste time talking about finances now; there will be plenty of time for that later, right? Wrong! Although money is not explicitly the primary reason for most divorces, it is undoubtedly a recurring factor among them. Money, whether you have a little or a lot, is a potential hotbed for disagreement, contention, and discord.


So what solves the problem? That you’re both frugal? No. That you’re both rich? No. That you’re both willing to eradicate your lives of all types of currency and primitively live off the land without any contact from the outside world? Well, maybe. But an easier approach would be to just communicate.


Communication might not solve everything, but it is amazing how having honest and open financial discussions can change a relationship for the better. We all have opinions about money. Whether our experience is based on picking out ramen noodles at the grocery store or shopping for the next stock to add to our 401k, we each have preconceived notions about spending, saving, and budgeting.


Imagine a couple, while in courtship, never acknowledging each other’s opinions on financial matters. Now imagine that couple after the honeymoon stage—it’s a scary thought, isn’t it? What will happen when one partner begins spending faster than the other partner can earn? What will happen when the budding family goes to make big-ticket purchases? Eventually the conversation on money will happen—but at that point, it may be too late.


Early (and frequent) financial discussions can preempt such heartache. When both partners openly share their financial views and desires, common ground can be found. The point of communicating is to accurately gauge where each partner currently is, and then find commonality. That means that both partners need to honestly express their thoughts.


You will not agree on everything. Recognize that and embrace that. As always, love and compromise should be what fortifies the discussion. When each partner is open about his or her expectations, compromises can be made and happiness reached. But that happens only when both partners actually contribute.


Talk about what spending habits you envision your family having. Discuss what percentage of income should go to your rainy-day savings, what should go to long-term investments, what should go to the charity down the street. See what debt both parties are bringing to the union. Draft a family budget and find ways to incorporate the best of both of your views. Most importantly, get on the same page. When it comes to money, nothing will help more than deciding on and sticking to sound financial principles that were happily developed together.


Written by Elizabeth Harris

Posted by: anxiouslyengaged | October 22, 2008

Winter Weddings: Staying Warm While Keeping your Cool


As a little girl, you probably dreamed of your wedding day. And chances are, that dream didn’t involve standing rosy-cheeked and knee-deep in snow, shivering and praying that the picture taking would be over soon.


A winter wedding is practical for a lot of reasons – it’s between school semesters and, depending on when you got engaged, eliminates the need to wait an extra four months just to get married in the Spring. But regardless of your reasons, taking pictures during winter weddings doesn’t have to be a bone-chilling experience. Winter provides for some stunning backdrops, and with a little advanced preparation, you can stay warm and look great.



·          Choose your dress wisely. Short sleeves may look great, but you may end up wishing you had chosen something warmer when you’re standing in the freezing cold for pictures. There are many beautiful, trendy long-sleeved or  ¾ sleeve dresses that are elegant and much warmer. If you don’t want to go with a longer sleeved dress, you can still wrap up in a shrug or cape, both are popular right now.  Long white gloves are also a beautiful and practical way to stay warm and still wear shorter sleeves.

·          Think of the wedding party, too. Your bridesmaids will also be standing in the cold for pictures, so make sure you don’t pick dresses for them that will leave them freezing. Consider making a warm shrug part of the bridesmaid dress to keep them warm and stylish.

·          Remember you can’t see everything. If your dress covers it, bundle up! Many winter brides opt to wear thick tights, long johns, even jeans under their dress if it means keeping warm! If your dress is long enough to cover your feet and you’ll be outside, you can wear boots or a closed toed shoe. If you’re dying to wear sandals or open toes, save them for the reception where it’s warmer.

·          Take breaks. When you are taking wedding or bridal photos, take breaks when you start to feel too cold. Have your maid of honor keep some gloves, hand warmers, coats, scarves and a thermos of a warm beverage handy for you to warm up for a bit. Very cold weather can also make your eyes water and your face flush, so keep some extra make-up on hand for touch-ups, and discuss beforehand what your photographer’s policy is on retouching weather-induced flaws.

·          Have an idea of what you want. If you already know what kinds of poses and pictures you want, you can speed up the amount of time you’ll be in the cold by letting your photographer know beforehand the types of shots you like. Be sure your photographer has a list of expected group shots to help them go by quickly.


With winter upon us, many brides are dreading the photography that will take place in sub-zero temperatures. These are just a few tips that will help you stay warm and look fabulous for your winter wedding!

written by jill overmyer

Posted by: anxiouslyengaged | October 22, 2008

So…What’s She Like?

A little while ago, a friend I hadn’t seen in a while got engaged.  We started talking and then it just tumbled out:  “What’s she like?”  My friend said, “Well, she’s kinda like Barbie.”  I groaned.  I don’t know much about women but I know that most of them don’t like being compared to Barbie.  (You know women…them and their crazy ideas about being seen as a person.)


 When I was engaged, I hated that question.  What are you supposed to say?  Are you really supposed to sum up the woman who means everything to you in a couple short sentences?  It was like being asked to explain how to correctly perform open heart surgery in 150 words or less.  Usually, I would just mumble something about how beautiful my fiancée is and try to change the subject (that’s also what I do when I’m asked to describe open heart surgery).


This will happen to you, be sure of that.  There are plenty of people who haven’t seen you in a while and they all want to make awkward conversation.  Uncles, Aunts, roommates, former mission companions, even strangers off the street will come up to you and ask, “So, what’s she like?”  When that happens, what are you going to say?


First off, don’t say she’s “hot,”or “sexy,” and don’t say anything about her butt.   Grandma doesn’t need to know that she kisses like a mongoose (also, don’t say that she kisses like a mongoose. Mongeese aren’t good kissers, they bite.)


Avoid the word “nice.”  Sure, it’s a fine adjective.  It’s easy and inoffensive.  And that’s the problem, it’s bland and boring.  Don’t call the girl of your dreams a bowl of oatmeal.


Don’t go on too long.  When people ask “What’s she like?” they’re looking for you to say something for about 30 seconds and then they’ll say “Oh, she sounds nice,” or “I can’t wait to meet her.”


Remember you’re talking to your grandma, not the LAPD.  Don’t describe her like you’re putting out an APB (She’s 5’6″, medium length red hair, and she weighs about 135 lbs.)


So what should you say?  Saying something about what she does is always good.  Good ones are: “She’s the Relief Society president,” “She’s a nursing major,” or “She’s a geologist” (I recommend saying she’s a geologist because everyone knows that lady geologists are smart, interesting, and fantastically beautiful.)


Make sure that you say you think that she’s beautiful.  Say it at least twice.  Just be sure to use grown-up words to describe her beauty.  Use words like “beautiful,” “pretty,” “lovely,” or “geologist.”


Think of some of her other qualities.  Say that she’s “funny,” “kind,” “smart,” or  “generous.”


You may want to take some time and think up a good, short description of your lady and then write it on your hand so that you’ll always be ready.  You’ll be surprised how often people will ask you “What’s she like?” Just don’t forget to mention how beautiful she is.




written by aaron rowley









Posted by: anxiouslyengaged | October 3, 2008

5 Things to Discuss BEFORE the Wedding!

Everyone loves surprises, except when it comes to knowing your sweetie. Here’s five monumental topics to clear up together before your wedding day.


When it comes to marriage matters, you might think that with toilet seat placement cooperation, the rest will fall into place. But, in reality, there are matters much more complex. Your marriage will require you to make important decisions throughout life. Creating a solid foundation before the wedding will benefit your marriage. If, that is, you take time with your fiancée to review the following:


1. Starting a Family:

Talk about parenthood. It’s normal to never feel ready for such a commitment, but be open about specifics. How many children would you each like to have? When would you like to start preparing for baby number one? The goal here is to come up with a decision that brings mutual comfort. Keep in mind that family plans can change in an instant, but an understanding of each other will strengthen you.


2. Responsibilities/ Roles:

Be ye doctor or janitor, define your working roles. Do you both want to work full time? Is he willing to make sacrifices so you can stay home when babies come along? Do you have a steady job you plan on keeping while your partner goes to school?


When your laundry pile is a mountain, your toilets bubble with bacteria and the baby smells of a dirty diaper, who will take care of it? Work together to assign an equal amount of responsibility. Perhaps you prefer certain chores. Does your partner hate to mow the lawn after being traumatized by running over a snake, and you love the sweet smell of chopped grass? Do you have a fetish for laundry scent? Who will pay the bills and balance the checkbook? Talk it over. If things get tense in the process, be thankful you are wrestling the issue beforehand and press on until it’s settled. (You can do it!) Grab a sheet of paper, chart it out. It works for children, it will work for you.


3. Religion and Values:

You met your partner at a church social. It’s obvious you share the same beliefs, right? You have a testimony, you know you want to get married in the temple, but there is so much more to it!

A fresh starting point will be to examine your attendance to church activities. How important is church attendance to your fiancée? Does your partner want to visit the temple often? Will you participate in sports and other activities associated with your ward?

Take a look at the activities you will hold in your home. Does your fiancée plan to read scriptures together each night? Do you want to hold Family Home Evening each week, even before there are kids? Do you both plan on having family prayer often?

Now let’s move on to the Sabbath. Everyone has different views on keeping it holy. Will you prefer to wear Sunday dress all day? Is television off limits? Are having friends over allowed? You’ll need to come together.

The last thing to talk about is your standards. Do you want PG-13 movies to be viewed in your home? Does your partner not mind if an R rated movie is watched, as long as it is edited or of good nature? Will you block certain websites or programs?

If anything else comes to you, feel free to bring it up. A wise choice when you are going over this subject is to be accepting of each other. Make goals together: visit the temple once a month, make an effort to read one verse daily of the Book of Mormon. Whatever they are, focus on your relationship and meeting in the middle when necessary.


4. Money:

Money is the most common cause of divorce. Discussing your finances thoroughly will keep your marriage balanced. Share your thoughts on bank accounts, savings accounts, budget plans, etc. If there is a large purchase you plan on making in your near future, let your partner be aware of it. Talk about any debt you currently have. Get in the habit of resolving and analyzing together from the start. This isn’t guaranteed to prevent every fight over finances in the future. It’s something you and your spouse will need to figure one paycheck at a time. Begin the process now. If the marriage will start with any debt, create a plan to eliminate it as soon as possible.


5. Long Term Goals:

You will now find that most of your long term goals have been brought up. It is wise, however, to focus on where you see yourselves in 5, 10, 20 years. Write down the things you want to accomplish. Talk about what you are doing now, and where they will take you years to come. This can be an exciting experience for both of you. You may even invent long term goals that you hope to achieve together. Don’t be afraid to dream big.


Congratulations, you made it through some topics that aren’t easy to bring up. Now that you are free of unwanted surprises, you can start practicing your Oh, you shouldn’t have face for the good surprises coming your way.

written by kylee wilkins


Posted by: anxiouslyengaged | September 12, 2008

Keeping Kids Happy

You’ve probably heard that kids and weddings don’t mix. But if you have a large family with lots of young children, you more than likely want them to be included in your special day. And with a little advance preparation, your wedding and reception will be fun for everyone.

The first thing you’ll want to do is decide whether you want the kids to be included in the reception or not. You might be conjuring up mental images of children running amok, weaving in and out of tables and sticking their fingers in your wedding cake, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. Kids can stay entertained at the reception and their presence can liven things up as well with the following ideas:

Set aside special tables for kids. A couple of tables and kid-sized chairs can create a fun gathering place for kids. Cover the tables with white paper (if you have a local newspaper office, they will often give rolls of their newsprint out for free or a low cost-perfect for covering tables) and provide crayons and markers. You can also take a few pages out of your guest book and put them on the tables so the kids can “sign” it too.

  • Serve some kid-friendly foods. While crab cakes, chicken marsala, or sushi rolls are great for adults, if you set a plate full of that in front of a child, they more than likely won’t touch it. Instead, set up a special table for some finger foods kids would like – chicken nuggets, sandwiches cut in different shapes with cookie cutters, cupcakes, or apple slices are a few easy ideas.
  • Have a kids-only dance. Having a song or two geared toward the kids is a great way to get them involved and keep the boredom at bay. Kids will have fun getting their energy out, and it makes for some great photo ops as well. And on the off chance you aren’t up to par on the music tastes of grade schoolers, speak with your DJ beforehand and have him or her recommend a few.
  • Let the kids participate in your send-off. Many party stores will sell small vials of bubbles specifically for weddings. Hand these out to the older kids (say, three and up) who will be at the wedding, and let them blow bubbles as you leave with your groom. Flower petals and rice will work too. (But don’t forget to assign someone to clean up.)
  • Have activities just for the kids. Chances are you don’t want your wedding to turn into a carnival, but you can set up a small corner or area in the reception hall and have someone do simple face paintings or balloon animals, which will keep the kids happy and entertained as well. You don’t even have to hire someone-ask around the ward, work, and friends and see if anyone has any hidden talents they’d be willing to share to keep the kids happy.

 When you don’t want children at the reception…

Many brides also opt to not include children in their reception, and this is perfectly acceptable as well – after all, it is your wedding. Most reception halls or stake centers have designated areas that kids can go and play. Find out how many children will be in attendance, and then find a babysitter or two who will keep them happy and entertained while your reception takes place. If your reception is taking place in a stake center, be sure to get the keys from the nursery leader. The sitters can set up special activities for the kids, such as a treasure hunt with little treats or toys, movies, and puzzles and games.

 Including kids in your reception can be a blast – as long as you’re prepared. These ideas will keep even the smallest attendees happy and entertained, and their parents, too!

written by jill overmyer

Posted by: anxiouslyengaged | September 8, 2008

A Man’s Guide to a Girl’s Best Friend…

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you’re thinking about buying a ring.  They fall into two categories: the practical, technical information about diamonds and regular, old advice.


First the advice, the most important rule of buying a ring is: never ask a girl to marry you if you don’t already know her answer.  Or you can always follow my roommate’s advice: Make sure that the jeweler has a nice return policy.


Tradition says you’re supposed to spend three month’s salary on the engagement ring.  That’s a nice frame of reference but don’t feel like it’s set in stone. Everyone wants a great ring, just remember that no one wants to start married life off with $40,000 on your credit card because she said she had to have the Hope Diamond. Now that I’ve got the big brother lecture out of the way, let’s get down to brass tacks.  When you decide to get that diamond, look for the 4 C’s: Carat, Clarity, Color and Cut.


1. Carat — The weight.  Bigger diamonds are harder to find so they cost more.  Some people say bigger is better and some people save some money by getting a lot of little diamonds on the ring.  Small diamonds are more common and so one huge diamond costs more than a pile of small diamonds, even if they total weight is the same.

2. Clarity — Sometimes not-diamonds get into the mix when the earth is making diamonds.  When they do, the diamond can get cloudy spots. The scale for grading diamonds’ clarity goes from Flawless, which means they can’t see anything when they magnify it 10 times, to Included, which means you might be able to see something if you look at it in the right light. 

3. Color — The color of a diamond is graded on a scale from D to Z.  A through C are so colorless they are invisible and consequently quite hard to find. The less color, or the closer to D you get, the more expensive the diamond will be.  When the diamonds is below Z, they say it’s a funny color on purpose and they charging you more for it.

4.  Cut — This doesn’t have to do with shape.  It has to do with the facets, which are the flat planes on the diamond, and the angles.  And that affects the way the diamond catches the light, they’re what determine how sparkly the diamond is.  (And you thought that you’d never need geometry…)


What’s important is to remember is that you’re buying the ring for her.  Make sure it’s what she would want.  Don’t grab what you think looks cool or what is the cheapest.  She’s gotta walk around with that thing on her hand all day, every day.  Be kind.  But most importantly, don’t ask her until you know what the answer is.


Written by Aaron Rowley





Posted by: anxiouslyengaged | September 2, 2008

12 Week Planning Calendar

Yea! You’re engaged! After perusing your school schedule, and his, figured in when missionaries are coming home, when babies are being born, and picking the soonest date humanly possible, it’s decided! So, now you have 12 weeks to plan a wedding. No worries! Even though your non-member friends may balk, it’s been done before. Thousands of times before…with success. Here’s an outline to help you stay organized and have the wedding you’ve always wanted.

12 Weeks Before:
Figure out a budget (get the moms in on the action)
Decide which temple to be married in, and where receptions will be held
Contact the temple, select a wedding date and time, reception dates and endowment date (if necessary)
Register for institute temple prep or marriage classes, if available
Find a photographer (no, really, they book up quickly)
Find a videographer (see above)
Book a band or DJ (am I being redundant?)
Choose your color scheme or theme
Find a wedding planner or consultant, if desired
11 Weeks Before:
Schedule a temple recommend interview with your bishop
Ask parents for their guest/announcements lists
Pick out and order a wedding cake and groom’s cake
Hire a decorator or pick out decorations for the receptions
Hire a caterer or plan the food for the receptions
Decide where to live after the wedding
10 Weeks Before:
Find a florist and pick out flowers
Make an OB/GYN appointment and decide about birth control
Decide who you want in your bridal party
Set up a hair and makeup appointment
Pick out and order your invitations
9 Weeks Before:
Shop for a wedding dress (have fun!)
Plan the honeymoon
If there will be a luncheon or dinner on the day of the sealing, decide who will be in charge of it: delegate!
Pick out bridal party dresses and tuxes
8 Weeks Before:
Have engagement photos taken
Arrange for any special transportation (limos, rental cars, pogo sticks)
Consolidate your guest/announcement lists and collect any needed addresses
Shop for your headpiece/veil
Shop for wedding rings
7 Weeks Before:
Register for gifts
Address invitations (have a bridesmaids’ sleepover and make it fun!)
6 Weeks Before:
Coordinate with moms about their dresses
Mail announcements
5 Weeks Before:
Shop for accessories: cake cutter, sign-in book, garter, etc.
Prepare a submission for the newspaper and find out when deadlines are
4 Weeks Before:
Schedule a final fitting for your gown
Arrange for time off work
Delegate reception responsibities
3 Weeks Before:
Check the marriage license requirements in your state
Shop for gifts for your bridal party
Write placement cards, if necessary
2 Weeks Before:
Finalize details with the photographer and DJ
Make sure the bridal party attire has been fitted
1 Week Before:
Start packing for your honeymoon
Make sure all your bills are paid through one week after getting home from your honeymoon
Groom: Get a haircut
Confirm honeymoon arrangements and reservations
Give the final headcount to the caterer, if necessary
Arrange for your address change, if necessary
Wrap bridal party gifts
Delegate anything else that needs to be taken care of (that’s what bridesmaids and family are for!)
The Day Before:
Get a manicure, pedicure and massage. Relax and pamper yourself.
Go to bed early. (Okay, read that one again…no, really…)
Your Wedding Day:
Eat a light, healthy breakfast
Go to your hair and makeup appointments
Laugh a lot!!
Go with flow and enjoy your day!

Posted by: anxiouslyengaged | August 26, 2008

The Difference Between Men and Women

Men and women are different. When I proposed to my wife, I already knew that. In fact, that was one of the things I liked most about my wife: she wasn’t like my roommates. But I really had no idea how deep those differences were.

Before we began planning our wedding, I thought I did a pretty good job understanding my wife. I said, “Do you want to marry me?” And she said, “Yes.” I assumed that she meant that she was willing to spend the rest of her life with me and I was right. I was off to a great start.

As we started planning the wedding, she would call me and say something like, “I need help with the flowers.” Now, as a man, I assumed “help” was an action word. I believed my fiancée wanted me to do something. I thought she wanted me to buy some flowers, grow a large patch of flowers or lift something heavy. In fact, what she wanted was for me to listen while she explained what she thought about the flowers.

I was confused. She’d asked me to help, but instead I was just listening to her. I didn’t feel like I was helping; I felt like I was wasting my time. I had things that I needed to do, Halo certainly wasn’t going to play itself.

But when I let my fiancée know how I felt by groaning, rolling my eyes, or trying to leave, she would get upset. She would say something like, “Why don’t you want to help me? This is your wedding too!”

Now, technically that may be true. But all men know instinctively that it’s not their wedding. It’s their wife’s wedding. Or maybe, sometimes, their mother-in-law’s wedding. But it’s never the groom’s wedding.

But I could tell by the look on her face that this was not the time to argue that point. (I can understand my wife some of the time).

Where did I go wrong? I’d forgotten that men and women are different. When men ask for help, it’s usually because they are physically unable to do something. Most man-help situations involve lifting something heavy, using someone’s truck, or asking someone’s ugly friend out.

When women ask for help, it usually involves “listening” and “feelings.” (As a married man, those are words are going to come up a lot).

Listening is a lot more difficult than most types of man-help, even driving someone to the airport. It requires you to be interested and involved in things that don’t matter to you like colors, accessories, or Brangelina’s baby bump.

Now, you may be thinking, “That was an amusing anecdote. But what does this have to do with me?” (That’s a very selfish attitude) Here’s what this has to do with you. Someday, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but soon, your fiancée will call and say, “Honey, I need your help with something.” When that happens, remember that her idea of “help” may be less hands-on than you would expect.

Women appreciate it more when you listen than when you do some heavy lifting for them. But, if it makes you feel better, you can always tell your friends that you helped her out by lifting a piano, rebuilding her car’s engine, or fighting a rabid mountain lion.

written by Aaron Rowley


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