By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD
(publication date 10.28.14)
Your wedding should be a joyful day for you and for your guests. This is the day you invite those you love the most to join with you in celebrating a major change in your life. As the day gets closer, so should the joy of anticipation. But that is not how it often plays out.
Your Girly Thoughts Cause Major Stress—Yes, Even on Your Wedding Day
So often as you see your wedding day approach, you feel the stress mount. Why? Your girly thoughts, that toxic inner dialogue that keeps pointing out where you are lacking, where you are to blame, is there telling you what to do . . . and they rob you of the pleasure you deserve to be feeling on your special day.
Girly Thoughts Wedding Stressors
Here are some of the girly thoughts that have the potential to ruin your special day:
1. I’m fat —Interesting that this is the first girly thought I list in my book, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan. This is a girly thought that follows us wherever we go. But why let it take up space on this, your special day?
Tell this less-than-helpful, energy-draining thought to get lost. Your weight, whatever it is, is perfect for today. With all of the other stressors heaped on you, you don’t need to stress about losing another five pounds.
2. Your wedding day has to be perfect for everyone—Your girly thoughts say you have to consider everyone else’s feelings when you make your choices for your wedding and reception—the seating, the songs you’ve chosen, the color arrangement, even the flowers you’ve picked. With all the personal decisions you’ve made, there are sure to be some decisions that those close to you won’t like.
Claudia’s sister was upset because she choose a song that her sister claimed as her own. . Her mother thought daisies looked cheap. She put her two aunts—who hadn’t spoken to each other in fifteen years—at the family table. One bridesmaid didn’t like the color of her dress.
Invite your family members to be the adults they claim to be. Push back with resolve, albeit graciously and with a smile and a squeeze of their hand to let them know you understand their pain but you deserve their support.
3. You are responsible for everyone having a good time—Recognize this for what it is, another girly thought telling you to put your needs second, even on your wedding day. This girly thought tells you that you need to earn love by figuring out first how to make everyone else feel loved and honored before you can expect him or her to show you love and support.
Actually, your wedding is an opportunity for those closest to you to celebrate you and your new spouse, not for you to magically solve all the long-simmering issues in your family or between your friends. Treating those you invite to your wedding as honored guests—who you expect to know how to take care of themselves—is a gift you are giving to them.
How to Enjoy Your Wedding
Don’t base your happiness on what others think of you. Make this the day you want, and invite others to join in to the best of their ability. After all, you’ve done your part . . . so let loose from those girly thoughts and enjoy what you have created!
Patricia A. O'Gorman, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice. She is noted for her work on women, trauma, and substance abuse and for her warm, inspiring, and amusing presentations that make complex issues accessible and even fun. She has served as a consultant to organizations across the country in preventative and clinical strategic planning. Dr. O'Gorman is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, and she has held positions ranging from director of a rape crisis center to clinical director of a child welfare agency, and director of the division of prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). She is a veteran of numerous television appearances, including Good Morning America, Today, and AM Sunday and is the author of eight books including: The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan (2014), The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013), and Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting (2012) 12 Steps to Self-Parenting.