Unhelpful Husbands-to-Be

Costa Sister Productions

May 9, 2016

Dear Kat, I’d love some advice on how to get my fiancé more involved in the wedding planning without being accused of harassing him or being a bridezilla!? Essentially, I want to know how we can make it fun for both of us and not appear to be a chore. I’m happy doing most of the organising, but when it comes to the stuff I can’t really do (such as his suit) or things I need his input on (the guest list, the music, the food) he just rolls his eyes, huffs and gets annoyed! Help!

Men are such interesting creatures aren’t they? I have to admit, at first I was completely stumped on how to reply to this because its something I struggle a bit with too! I am very action-oriented. I hate to sit on things that need doing, whereas Gareth will take forever to motivate himself to do something and it drives me fucking insane. Granted, when he does get to whatever the task is, he always does a brilliant job (whereas my penchant for rushing right in sometimes ends up with a bit of a haphazard result!) But sitting around waiting for him to do things is very frustrating. I guess what I’m saying is I totally feel your pain!

Instead of trying to answer this myself, I actually decided to chat to Gareth about this, as he’s much more likely to be able to see things from your fiancé’s point of view. Here’s what he had to say. I hope this helps.

“Well, it’s a tricky one with such little info, because there’s going to be an underlying issue which is causing him to get so easily annoyed. It could be as simple as he’s got something on his mind which is really bothering him (finances, health, work) or it could be more difficult to tackle problem like anxiety or depression.

The trouble is, once a subject like picking a suit is raised frequently enough at the wrong time to cause anger, it becomes a trigger point forever more. So even mentioning it at a good time can lead to a reactionary outburst.

I think there are two tasks which need to be undertaken to work around the situation. First, try to get him to talk to you about how he is feeling in himself generally. The key here would be to do it in a neutral location, so go out for a nice meal in a place with no distractions where you both feel at ease. Take your time, order drinks, starters, remind him frequently that you love him while you bring up the fact that you’re worried he might be finding something hard and that you’d like to try to understand what he’s feeling. Don’t try to solve anything at this stage, you’re really aiming to open the channels of communication (and that’s really not easy for a lot of us guys – we’re raised to be emotionally self-reliant).

Secondly, the more practical aspects of the wedding still need to be sorted and there’s a couple of approaches which could work. For things like his suit, you could find a safe option on his behalf. A dark off-the-peg suit from a high-street store will never look out of place and they tend to be very easy to find all year round so availability shouldn’t be a problem. You don’t necessarily need to tell him, but if you can satisfy yourself that this option exists as a fall-back then at least you can sleep at night knowing he won’t be turning up on the day in his vest and pants.

Additionally, maybe his best man/groomsmen could be pulled in to help motivate him. I know for myself, when I’ve gone suit shopping with male friends it’s a very different experience than when I go with my wife. It could be a good excuse for the guys to get together on a Saturday, visit a few retailers (which you’ve maybe short-listed for them) then go for a beer afterwards to talk it out. Maybe even give him a call a few pints in to get his opinions on what he liked/disliked?

For the tasks that need his input, but aren’t entirely up to him (such as the guest list), do the same thing. Make a list of people you think he’d want there as a fall-back to ease your mind. Perhaps allocate another 10% to account for people you didn’t think of. Then, get his best man/groomsmen to hang out with him one evening watching a movie/playing Xbox/drinking beer, and make a list themselves.”

Thanks Gareth!

As a final note, I’d like to encourage you to focus on the positive aspects of having a fiancé who seems a bit apathetic about wedding planning. After all, that means you basically get to have exactly what you want which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Your husband-to-be may not care as much as you about the finer details of the wedding, but so long as he cares about the finer details of the marriage, I promise things will get much better from here on in.