I know, I know. I'm not a bride. I haven't been a bride is nearly four years. However, I am currently reading Marg Stark's What No One Tells the Mom (a gift from bff Maega) and since I'm not ready to share thoughts on that book, I decided to start with Stark's prequel (also a sweet gift from Maega when I got engaged in June 2005).
Going into any book of this nature (self-helpish, advice-giving, etc.), you obviously need to take what you read with a grain of salt. Not every situation in this book applies to every bride. However, while I think that there is such a thing a too much information (especially during marriage and pregnancy - oy), I think that if you're interested in reading about your current life situation from others who have lived through it, then by all means go for it. Plus, when someone is as humorous and easy to read as Stark, the pages basically turn themselves.
Stark gets into the nitty-gritty of engagement and newlyweddedness. Obviously, there's going to be a transition period between single life and married life. For different people this transition could be tiny. For others, it's huge. Family traditions come into play. Family names become of uber importance. Money. Sex. All these issues come up - and if they don't come up in the engagement period, they come up in early marriage. Stark wants brides to be ready.
Many brides think engagement will be blissful. Everyone will be happy for you. (Actually, some won't and it'll be surprising.) You'll be utterly thrilled and happy planning a party for a hundred people or more. Thing is, Stark says, in reality you may not be so happy. And guess what? That's OK.
Again, not every situation applies to every woman. My hubby and I have never, ever had a fight about money, so chapter five didn't stick with me. But, other chapters did. And if anything, it's the overall message that I hold on to. Women have been led to believe that they must act happy about things that should make them happy: engagement, marriage, children, etc., even if they're not. Many of us continue to perpetuate this phenomenon by refusing to admit when things aren't going our way and not asking for help.
In reality, we should share our struggles and fears with each other. It feels so good to know other people have your same fears, share your same hopes, and that you're not alone. And even if what these books or the things other women share don't apply to us currently, it doesn't mean it won't later on. And we'll be glad we learned now.