Wedding Woes
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Not enough time together before the wedding.

Hi all. My FH and I were long distance before I moved across the country ending with him last November. We had been engaged since last May, with a wedding date set for October 1 of this year.

He opened his own bar on August 1 of last year, and since I moved, things have been really hard. Before I moved everything was wonderful and easy. Now with the bar open it just seems like he doesn’t have enough time to work on the relationship. And it’s getting better, I just worry that there’s not enough time before the wedding to get to a place of feeling like we have a solid foundation. 

And I’m worried for our future because of how little capacity he has had for our relationship or wedding planning. This might be catastrophic thinking, though, the first year of a new business is very hard from what I’ve been told and what I’ve seen from other friends. And he has had a lot of capacity in the past, and he for a couple months now he has made time for a weekly wedding talk, even if he’s exhausted from work.

We were in couples therapy, but had to stop because we didn’t have time, we are starting up again. And we are starting weekly relationship talks as well. Again, we’ve tried to do these before, but we just didn’t have time with our schedules.

Has anyone else been through this? Any other fiancées whose FH is starting a new business? Or who have been long distance and moved in while engaged? looking for some camaraderie and support here.

Re: Not enough time together before the wedding.

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    Hi all. My FH and I were long distance before I moved across the country ending with him last November. We had been engaged since last May, with a wedding date set for October 1 of this year.

    He opened his own bar on August 1 of last year, and since I moved, things have been really hard. Before I moved everything was wonderful and easy. Now with the bar open it just seems like he doesn’t have enough time to work on the relationship. And it’s getting better, I just worry that there’s not enough time before the wedding to get to a place of feeling like we have a solid foundation. 

    And I’m worried for our future because of how little capacity he has had for our relationship or wedding planning. This might be catastrophic thinking, though, the first year of a new business is very hard from what I’ve been told and what I’ve seen from other friends. And he has had a lot of capacity in the past, and he for a couple months now he has made time for a weekly wedding talk, even if he’s exhausted from work.

    We were in couples therapy, but had to stop because we didn’t have time, we are starting up again. And we are starting weekly relationship talks as well. Again, we’ve tried to do these before, but we just didn’t have time with our schedules.

    Has anyone else been through this? Any other fiancées whose FH is starting a new business? Or who have been long distance and moved in while engaged? looking for some camaraderie and support here.
    I think your FI is making a lot of effort while very busy - weekly wedding planning talks and multiple attempts at couples' therapy bode very well, overall.

    (For background, we were long distance for several stretches of our relationship and lived apart for the year we were engaged and actually in the same city.)

    My concerns are these:
    1) Did you agree to the bar enterprise? Did you guys ever discuss how much time going forward you should be able to expect him to spend working on this business? Bars are slightly different, but ask anyone in the restaurant business - it is a time thief from the family.

    2) You should expect him to be willing to help with the wedding planning, but consider whether you've pared down to essentials what needs his input. For example - I did not care about the wedding cake. I didn't even really want one; I would have just ordered an alternate dessert that I actually wanted to eat and called it a day. But my H was insistent that we needed one, so he made all the decisions about it. The only thing I had input in for that aspect was budget. If your FI says he doesn't care about table linens, etc., then: If you don't care either, simplify (if it's necessary for good hosting) or skip it altogether. If you're the one who cares, then don't bring it into the weekly meeting for joint decision-making and save some time for when you can just hang out together.
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    Honestly, if I were this weary going into the wedding, I would postpone. I don't mean break up and go your separate ways, but it sounds like you have a lot of lingering doubts about this relationship and are not ready to get married yet. That's ok. 

    It would be much better to postpone and give yourselves time to work on the relationship so that you can go into it with certainty rather than to force it and wind up with regrets. 
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    VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    I agree with @MyNameIsNot.  Being a bar owner is hard work in general.  It will probably take a couple of years just to be able to take a night off for himself.  I think postponing until everyone feels on the same page is a good idea.  It doesn't mean you have to end the relationship, but allowing the time spent for wedding planning to be pushed towards maybe therapy or maybe just reconnecting, might be a better decision that the big party.
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    The bar enterprise was in progress when we got together. We were a re-connect :)
    Even when the bar was open but we were still long distance he made time for me and said he’d keep the relationship a priority. So I trusted that, and we didn’t make any agreement about how much time he’d be at the bar, no. 

    for the wedding planning, I’ve done most of it myself and am happy to.  But I do need some recognition for my work. And he doesn’t show any recognition or gratitude. We’ve talked about it repeatedly including in couples therapy. When I remind him (about once a month, and again there’s been zero gratitude in that time), he gets upset and says he’d be more aware of showing me gratitude if he’d been involved in it more. 
    Even when I remind him I tried to involve him and he told me he didn’t have capacity.  
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    The bar enterprise was in progress when we got together. We were a re-connect :)
    Even when the bar was open but we were still long distance he made time for me and said he’d keep the relationship a priority. So I trusted that, and we didn’t make any agreement about how much time he’d be at the bar, no. 

    for the wedding planning, I’ve done most of it myself and am happy to.  But I do need some recognition for my work. And he doesn’t show any recognition or gratitude. We’ve talked about it repeatedly including in couples therapy. When I remind him (about once a month, and again there’s been zero gratitude in that time), he gets upset and says he’d be more aware of showing me gratitude if he’d been involved in it more. 
    Even when I remind him I tried to involve him and he told me he didn’t have capacity.  
    This seems like a matter for couples' therapy, because I am not understanding it. May come down to communication. What exactly are you expecting from him? What does "showing gratitude" mean to you? (Or to him?) You may need to say, "Hey, I'm gonna let you know whenever I take care of a wedding thing just to keep you in the loop. I'd appreciate it if you said 'thanks for taking care of all that' when I do that."

    But if there's no specific end in sight for the tired and the busy and the communication gaps, I agree with others that there's no need for you to get married right now until you both figure out healthy ways to deal with that. Postponing is not a bad thing.
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    Sorry if I misunderstand but it sounds like you’re now living in the same place, but previously were long distance? 

    How much time are you spending together on average during the week? Is it just for these relationship talks and potential couples therapy? If so… yah I’d say that’s probably not enough. I’m in a different stage of life (married but with two kids, 1 being under a year) and we definitely don’t have enough time together. But we make an effort to have dinner as a family, if we have something we need to talk about we put it on a shared calendar and we both make that a priority, and we maximize the time we have together. 

    That said- if he’s working late at the bar can you do lunches together or breakfast/coffee? Are you able to talk about things unrelated to your relationship and the wedding? Outside of therapy and wedding how is your relationship making you feel? You don’t have to answer that all here of course but maybe something to think about. I can’t tell if it’s catastrophic thinking or if there’s really something here that should make you postpone, but the fact that you’re worried enough to ask strangers makes me think you feel like this isn’t the right time. 
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