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Marriage Prep 101

From the burning questions you should ask each other before you walk down the aisle, to the jitters and cold feet, here’s a crash course in building a marriage that can last a lifetime.
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From Jitters to Cold Feet continued...

While the jitters are relatively normal, one step up on the ladder of wedding anxiety are cold feet -- a phrase that sends chills down the spines of pending brides and grooms everywhere.  How do you tell the difference between the jitters and cold feet?

“One sign is that you are really picking your fiancé apart and are hypercritical of him or her all the time,” says Moir-Smith. “While you might not be ready to call the wedding off, having cold feet means it’s time to do some emotional work around getting married.”

Therapy and some serious one-on-one time with your spouse-to-be are both smart choices; sifting through your thoughts and concerns is the only way to make it to the altar in one piece. But if still doesn’t feel right, calling it off can be the right decision, even if it’s last-minute.

“If you’re going to call off a wedding, the sooner the better,” says Moir-Smith. “It’s far better to call off a wedding than get divorced, and while it will be painful, everyone will be better off in the long run.”

Marriage Tips

Whether it’s surviving the hard discussions on kids, religion, and money, or getting through the jitters and overcoming cold feet, experts give WebMD some seemingly simple but powerful tips on making a marriage work that every couple should keep in mind:

  • Start at the beginning. “Brides and grooms expect themselves to know how to be married to each other,” says Moir-Smith. “But they should allow themselves to be a beginner at being married and not compare themselves to their parents who have been married for 30 years.” 
  • Love your spouse and your life. “There is a big difference between loving someone and making a life together you both love,” says Piver. “One without the other is no good.” 
  • Look before you leap. “Always date for one year before you make a proposal before marriage,” says Weston.  “You need to see how the other person behaves 365 days of the year -- birthdays, deaths, Thanksgiving, etc. You learn how they treat these events and treat you before, during, and after they occur. Give relationship a full four seasons before you think about marriage.”
  • Don’t forget the checklist of life. “A wedding may last a weekend, but a marriage may last you a lifetime,” says Weston. “Give issues like kids, religion, money, and sex proportional attention before you get married.”

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