As far as gameplay goes, it's humiliating but I have to admit that I turned the difficulty down to Normal. Playing on Hard + Classic (permadeath) was just too stressful and aggravating when one of my characters would die and I had to reset over and over. I needed to either switch back to Hard + Casual (no permadeath) like I started playing on, or Normal + Classic to keep my blood pressure down. I went with the second option. I'm not proud of it, maybe I can restore some of my wounded pride on subsequent playthroughs.
P.S. This whole support conversation/S-rank-marriage-goal thing is stressful. I didn't play Awakening so I'm not used to it. You're telling me that I don't just have to choose who my protagonist pairs up with, I also have to choose who everyone else pairs up with? Playing matchmaker with characters who aren't the protagonist feels very odd.