51 Things You Should Know Before Getting Engaged: A Pre-Ring Must Read


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It’s that time of year again: engagement season. To prepare pre-bling bridezillas, who may have an inkling that there’s a proposal in their future, I reviewed “51 Things You Should Know Before Getting Engaged.”
51 Things You Should Know.JPG
51 Things You Should Know Before Getting Engaged
This pre-marital manual looks like something you’d pick up in couple’s counseling and bring home discretely in a paper bag. Written by a psychotherapist named Michael Batshaw (not Dr. Batshaw), it smells a little too self help for this bridezilla. But if it saves women from getting lured into a bad marriage by a 3-carat princess cut from Tiffany’s, it’s worth reviewing.

Some of the advice seemed obvious. My big bridezilla wedding took place almost four-years ago when gerber daisies were the hottest trend. I’m well aware how important it is for both of us to have social lives (no. 46), that we shouldn’t discuss every random thought I have about him with him (no. 27) and that lingering family baggage should be checked and not carried into marriage (no 17). Common sense right?
Then I came to “You’re going to have to deal with your in-laws, like them or not.” (no. 20). Everyone who is married will tell you this. You’ll brush off their advice with an uncomfortable half smile and mother-in-law joke.
Inside, you wonder what the big deal is: you’re not marrying his family; you’re marrying him. You tell yourself he’s nothing like them and when you jet off on the honeymoon, you’ll be leaving his freakish family of traveling gypsies behind. Wrong.
Even if you like your in-laws, the first holiday as a married couple you may find yourself curled under a blanket, sobbing and drunk because her pot roast isn’t your mom’s and who-the-hell are these people anyways?
Do not ignore your future mother in law’s seething side-glance when you show her the proposal pictures (first sign you’re engaged to a momma’s boy). As “51-Things” points out you are marrying his mother and his scheming sister with the Harley Davidson tattoo. Marry someone with a family you can tolerate.
No 32 – Never say “You never” or “You always.” Speaking in absolutes is a habit harder to break than chocolate. It’s like me saying, “You never read bridezilla anymore.” Those words immediately put you on the defensive, don’t they? “Of course I do! I read it all the time…so what if I haven’t checked back in awhile. Take me back. Take me back.”
No. 12 — “Daily Habits are More Important than You May Realize.” Luckily, my beloved groomzilla and I share the same clothes-on-the-floor-dishes-in-the-sink moderate sloppy habits. We both suffer from the opposite of OCD (the ability to ignore a mess until the show “Hoarders” knocks on the door).
Daily habits have never been much a problem for us, because we share a compatible living style. You may have to deal with his mismatched socks and inability to put ketchup back in the fridge forever. If his habits have almost sent you to the psych ward, he may not be the one.
Although this manual didn’t have much meat; it’s a great start to talking and thinking about marriage. And it’s just small enough to hide from your future fiance. I give it a bridezilla B-.

Straightforward marital advice in a purse-sized book that’s small enough to hide from your future fiance.

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