Redirecting your Post-Wedding Day Blues
Redirecting your post wedding day blues: Many newlyweds can recall the many bits of advice they received leading up to the wedding day, “Enjoy every moment, the day goes by in a flash,” “Don’t sweat the small stuff in planning a wedding,” and many other life lessons passed on. However, there’s one thing people forget to share with newlyweds. That you may have a bit of the wedding day blues once the big day is over, and you return to the real world.
Newlyweds are often disappointed and surprised when after the wedding, they wake up to find that their spouse and relationship hasn’t changed since the wedding day. There is this misconception that you will feel different after your wedding day, or that you’re relationship will feel different. While there are people out there who do feel a change the moment they are married (their level of commitment to their partner increased, or their sense of responsibility or maturity is now more), many individuals don’t feel different once married, and many of the same problems remain. For couples in THIS situation, many would say they are happy in their relationship, yet dealing with this sense of sadness at the same time. Once the dress is packed up and stored away, the wedding pictures have long been developed and framed, and the wedding gifts have gradually stopped coming in, it’s clear that spotlight that was once on you has quickly faded. Now you have family and friends eagerly waiting for you to come back to “real life” with expectations of you that had previously been put on hold. This jolt back to reality can be a shock for many who have become used to their wedding plans and their relationship being the center of attention.
The weeks/months after your wedding, it can feel like your car has stalled out after you’ve been going 80 for the past few months. Once the wedding is over you no longer have to rush to the tailor for a fitting, or run to the printer to work on invitations, or sit and talk with your mother or fiance about the upcoming nuptials. The adrenaline rush, the anticipation and attention on your wedding day is gone, leaving you with the question, “Now what?”
REDIRECTING YOUR POST WEDDING DAY BLUES
Take the time and energy you put into your wedding planning and redirect it; put it towards your need for self-care and your marriage. For your self-care, take advantage of all that time you just got back, relax, give yourself a resting period. Make a plan and commitment to exercise regularly; join a gym, a pool, a yoga studio, and use the facility on a regular basis. Just because you’re not trying to fit into that tux or look amazing in that wedding dress anymore, that doesn’t mean you can’t set a goal to feel and look your best. Relationships need to be nourished over time; maintaining your looks and your health is part of the ongoing commitment. An added benefit to this is it allows you a little “me time” away from your spouse. (Don’t forget the saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Remember, your spouse fell in love with you when you had your own life. Re-connect with the friends that you had to put on hold as you approached your wedding day. Find out what their life has been like. Likely you will find you were more “checked out” and focused on your wedding day more than you initially thought. Set up a few couples dates and non-couples activities with some of your friends.
To redirect some of that energy into your relationship, try setting up a weekly tradition with your spouse (cooking class, date night, cooking/eating dinner at home together, etc.). It’s important to nourish and invest in your relationship the way you did with the wedding. You chose to marry your spouse because you wanted to experience life with that person by your side. So here’s your chance! If you are really struggling with not having something to plan or an event to look forward to start planning a couples getaway, or your first “married dinner party” or cocktail hour for your closest friends. Think of it as a chance to use all the great wedding gifts you and your spouse received over the year. As you say goodbye to your previous job as a fiance planning his/her wedding, it is time to begin your new job, which is to grow together as part of a unit in your marriage.
When you’re stuck in the post wedding day blues, it’s so easy to fall into the slump of missing the past, longing for what was. This is the time to be celebrating what IS. You are married. You and your spouse had a dream, set goals, and achieved them. Now invest in your marriage and celebrate the future and the new goals the two of you have begun to achieve. Decorate your place with the recently received wedding gifts, pick out items that represent you and your spouse, start framing those beautiful wedding pictures you finally received.
Take the time with your spouse to identify your long term goals, such as saving up for a “second honeymoon”, have great sex, or having a goal to buy a home in one year. Whatever your larger goals may be, identify the smaller steps that it will take to get there. For example, affording a second honeymoon or buying a home next year both require saving money, and researching locations. To save money, explore with your spouse how you can both do this together and curb your spending, such as taking turns each week to see who can plan the most inexpensive best date, or trying to new recipes to cook at home, throwing a potluck dinner party with friends as way to stay social but also money conscious. Sit down with your spouse on a weekly basis to have a couples meeting. This is a great way to check in on the status of your long and short terms goals, review the progress made, and checking in that you are both comfortable with the changes made, and looking forward to reaching your established goals. Your advantage to having once planned a wedding as a couple is that you demonstrated your ability to work together as a team. Apply your teamwork ability to accomplishing future goals. The added bonus to working towards new goals is that you now have something new to look forward to, and to work towards with the support of your spouse, just like you did during the wedding planning process.
Don’t go through the mourning period alone, open up to your spouse and share your experience with him. In order to successfully do this, use language that signifies you owning your experience, using words like “I,” “me,” “Mine.” Once you accurately share your reality, ask your partner if he/she shares the same perception, or if it’s different? Keep in mind, this is not a chance for either of you to blame or dissuade the other from their feelings, but simply to share experiences and the feelings connected. For example, “Since we returned from our honeymoon, I feel sadness around missing our wedding day, and feel a sense of loss, and I don’t know what to do with my new free time. The day went so fast, I miss it. Do you share a similar perception?” Your spouse may be able to relate to your experience, and in response be able to open up about similar struggles. If your spouse does agree with your perception, ask him/her to share their experience, focusing on the feelings of loss and emptiness. As the two of you share and discuss, keep aware of it leading you to any ideas of how to address your sadness together.
Your spouse may also not be able to relate at all to your experience, and may be as happy as ever in the marriage. However, it doesn’t mean your spouse can’t connect to the experience YOU are going through. This is your reality, and someone who’s committed to a partnership with you needs to be clued in to what you are going through.
Don’t be afraid to talk about your blues to your spouse, or even reach out to other newlyweds, likely they can relate to your experiences. It’s not a topic often discussed, so many couples often think they are the only ones to mourn the loss of their wedding day. It’s less of a struggle once you realize you aren’t alone, and it’s nothing to feel embarrassed or guilty about. With time, honest communication about your feelings, and directing your energy towards yourself and your marriage, new phases and events to look forward to will be here before you know it.
Struggling with the idea of how to redirect your post wedding day blues? Help is available. Call the Center for Growth / Therapy in Philadelphia 267 324 9564 and speak with a therapist today!