It’s supposed to be the happiest day of your life — and it probably will be. But the come down can be awful.
Some people get so excited leading up to their wedding, that when the day is over they emotionally crash, explains therapist Dr. Jane Greer. She tells Personal Space that having something like a wedding to look forward to and focus on can later have a negative effect when there’s a hole created in that space afterwards. The honeymoon doesn’t help either.
“An immediate honeymoon can insulate couples from crashing into the new, real world quickly. However, even after the honeymoon, you still need to adjust to the routine of life without all of the hoopla that went into planning the wedding,” Dr. Greer says. “It can sometimes be anti-climactic. It's a letdown because all of the thrill and fanfare is over. People are no longer talking about the wedding, and you're no longer the focus of attention. It can feel like a loss.”
It can lead to depression. Dr. Greer says that if you’re still feeling depressed after six months, it's helpful to “consider seeking professional advice and address what you feel you lost after the wedding, as opposed to what you gained.”
“Post-wedding depression is typically situational — something happens that results in the depression, like a death or divorce. But within six months, the expectation is that you’re now coping with your depression and getting on with your life,” she says. “Beyond the big day, couples can set new goals or things to plan for, such as moving or decorating a room in their home. Something to continue that feeling of excitement and specialness that marks your transition into partners.”
According to The Washington Post, there have been two major studies on depression in newly married women. They report: “In a study of 28 women they conducted in 2016, nearly half of the participants indicated they felt let down or depressed after their wedding, and some participants reported clinical levels of depression. In a 2018 study of 152 women, 12 percent reported feeling depressed after their wedding.”
The study found that “nearly 12 percent of the women reported reliable and clinically meaningful increases in depressive symptoms after their wedding. Using panel data analysis, this study found that increases in self uncertainty, partner uncertainty, and relationship uncertainty as well as in partner interference were associated with increases in depressive symptoms.”
What you can do:
The Washington Post advises that “while planning their wedding, couples should pick one night a week to not discuss it. That way, they can remember what it feels like to be a couple without a big event on the horizon. For example, by shifting their focus from wedding planning to discussing their expectations of married life.”
“Schedule your honeymoon strategically,” and again, if you’re still feeling blue after six months, seek help.
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