You’ve spent the last year of your life planning the most specific details of your wedding, investing time, effort, and energy into that most special of days. You’ve run around daily, cramming cake tastings and fittings and venue viewings into the already crazy busy-ness of your life, carving out moments between work and school and other obligations. You’ve partied as a bachelorette, and you’ve walked the long aisle, sharing the moment with friends and family, and, of course, your significant other. You’ve managed to plan and afford that special trip for your honeymoon or getaway, and you’ve returned refreshed to start your life with that special someone.
So why do you feel so let down? Why are you regularly experiencing the blues? Post-wedding blues are a real thing. According to the NY Times, the build-up of excitement and anticipation for the big event can be followed by an emotional crash after the wedding has occurred.
The pre-wedding planning and endless activity come to a sudden, abrupt end, and once the moment has arrived and passed, brides and grooms often find themselves searching for a subsequent “high” to match that feeling. If you are in the throes of a post-wedding let-down or simply want to avoid them, there are some things you can do.
Spend some time memorializing the day. Sometimes doing things like scrapbooking candid photos or blue boxing your wedding dress can help you keep the day in perspective. If you see the day as one of many that preceded it and as a link to all the others that are subsequent to it, you will begin to understand look forward to the many incredible days that will follow. Allow yourself the chance to relive the experience from a respectable distance, and find a way to situate it in your mind as a transition from one part of your life to a new aspect of life that you are entering.
Recognize that the wedding is a beginning, not an end. As mentioned above, weddings mark the beginning of a lifetime with your partner. Rather than perceiving it as a capstone moment, an ending that marks an achievement that has come and gone, think of it as a doorway to a new life. Set aside a certain amount of time to reminisce about the events of the past, but begin talking about what’s going to happen in the days and weeks after the wedding. Think about what married life will look like, and talk with your partner about the expectations you have with regard to lifestyles, living arrangements, and family planning. This shift in perspective will help you see the ways in which your wedding serves as a gateway, an entrance into a new and exciting life.
Be open to counseling. Whether it is premarital or post-marital counseling, post-wedding blues are something you can talk about. By talking to a counselor, you are putting the focus where it belongs--on the relationship, not the wedding. Counseling can equip you both with the communication skills that are necessary to compromise, problem solve, and deal with disappointments in the days and weeks and years ahead Counseling is a proactive step in ensuring the future of your relationship. The more connected you feel with your partner, the more likely you are to discuss issues and concerns and worries that you have moving forward.
Enjoy every day. Connectedness can also be achieved by enjoying everyday events and celebrating other milestones, big and small. Buying a new appliance and making dinner at home can be a cause for celebration if it is done with purposeful and intentional planning. Or maybe you can think about and plan for day trips to new places you’ve not explored together. Spend time doing the things that make you feel safe, warm, and loved. The focus, then, is on the smaller, but long-term events that build your life together on a daily basis. You may also want to begin thinking about long-term goals, such as going back to school, endeavoring on a new career, or updating your home or apartment to make it more reflective of who you are as a couple.
Turn toward your spouse. Learning to live together and work together in a new home you are creating may seem difficult or scary. You may feel reluctant or embarrassed to share your feelings with your new spouse about your post-wedding malaise, but it’s important to begin taking comfort in your partner. Sharing your discomfort or unhappiness will propel you forward in your new life. Remember that depending on your spouse does not mean that you are leaving or abandoning your family. Part of becoming half of a couple means that you reinvent your relationship with your parents and siblings, so that, while they remain your origin, you are able to move on as an independent adult and part of a couple.
How are you handling the post-wedding blues?