Going From Single To Married – The Transition Kate Is Making
The transition from single to married is a precarious one due to coupling the expectations of the in-laws, as well as of each other. The way we are raised shapes our vision of the typical roles played in marriage. For example, a male raised in a home where the mother is a stay at home wife who caters to the immediate needs of her family will have a hard time adjusting to today’s modern wife – who often has a career and wants their spouse to be an equal partner in the marriage.
Finding a balance with the in-laws can also be a touchy topic that I advise all couples to address. While involved in the planning process, many brides lament about the over-involvement of the future mother-in-law in the everyday life of the couple. On the flip side, I also witness brides who are so dependent on the approval of their mother and father that the wishes of the groom are put to the side by the voice of “Father knows best” – especially when father is paying for the wedding. If a parent cannot see their child for the Adult they are, instead of the little boy/girl who needs mommy to kiss their scraped knees: this will become a problem. Part of making the transition from Single to Married is a very important “severing of the apron strings”. Your future spouse should be your partner in life. Though the advice of our parents shaped us into the person we are TODAY – the advice and support of our spouses will shape who we become TOMORROW. Wallerstein and Blakeslee emphasize that one of the foundations of a healthy marriage is for the bride and groom to separate emotionally from their families and elevate their spouse to top priority.
Another area of balance: TIME. As a couple, you may have worked out a plan for holidays, perhaps if you are lucky, your families all live in close proximity to allow for two Thanksgivings in one day. Many couples are not so lucky. Bethenny Frankel lamented on her show “Bethenny Ever After” about having to spend every holiday with Jason’s family. Though her family was not an option, she was simply stating that there would be SOME times that the family needed to make their own memories and traditions. This is an issue that I suggest is addressed before grandchildren enter the equation. Once you factor grandkids into the equation, the wants and needs of your in-house family will be stifled by the outcry of “unfair” from an unequal visitation schedule. Kate will most likely have royal duties that will keep her from seeing her family, much like Rapunzel… trapped in the castle of Royalty.
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Another issue when dealing with the transition from single to married is an identity crisis. Do you take his name, do you keep yours, or do you hyphenate? It goes beyond that. For your entire life, you have been YOU. Now everyone expects you to change your name. What if you have established yourself in a professional career? Kate Middleton will become Princess Catherine. She will be discarding the ‘childish’ Kate and accepting of the formality of her “new” life.
Kate will be removed from the people she has identified with her entire life. Her life as a “commoner” will be over, as she accepts the position. “Heavy is the head that wears the crown.” This is a problem that most brides will grow to understand. If you are the first in a group of friends to get married, then often times you feel left out – as your single friends continue to mingle in singles bars, and have a different set of priorities than you. Many couples begin to form “couple” friendships – where the wives of male friends bond, and the husband of female friends bond. Sometimes these relationships feel unnatural and forced.
For more information regarding the transition of single to married, I highly recommend The Conscious Bride by Sheryl Nissinen. Feeling uneasy about the transitional period is not a reflection on the relationship, or a subconscious admission of cold feet. These are natural feelings that are discussed indepth within the book. It is also helpful to have a wedding planner that understands what you are going through. Understanding the emotions, and dealing with family issues are often unwritten job descriptions, and All in the Details can handle them all!
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