You may have spent a year or more planning your wedding, and you may have spent a lifetime dreaming about it. Through all that planning and dreaming, you may have been focused on the big day itself but didn’t give much thought to the many days that follow it. Did you dream about that first week after your honeymoon? The first month? The first year? Even if you did, it’s unlikely that your dreams will match up with the reality.
You Have A Lot Of Work To Do
The “fallout” from the wedding is almost as much work as planning the wedding itself. The work isn’t over after you’ve jetted off into the sunset for your honeymoon. You’ve got a lot more left to do! When you get home, you’ll need to sort through your wedding gifts and write the “thank you” notes for them. You’ll need to figure out what you want to do with your dress. If you want to preserve it, you’ll need to do that as soon as possible. If you want to sell it, you’ll need to get it professionally cleaned and steamed so that you can have it looking its best for the sale.
You will likely want to make a wedding scrapbook. That means going through all the pictures your friends and relatives took, as well as meeting with the wedding photographer and choosing those you like. It also means putting together all the mementoes, such as the programs, the pressed flowers from the centrepieces, the table cards, the menus, the signs, the notes, and any other bits and pieces. You’ll have to organise it all and put it together in a scrapbook the way you want it.
If you didn’t live together before your wedding, the biggest job you’ll have will be setting up the house with your new spouse. You may have to move two houses, or you may have to negotiate consolidating two houses into one. You may need to shop for new things, and you may need to open new bank accounts, start utilities, or combine your insurance. If you’re a woman, you may need to get your name changed and get a new social security card, as well.
You May Feel “Let Down”
There is so much excitement leading up to the wedding and to finally being married. Once you are actually married, you may feel a bit of a let down. There is no more excitement – nothing else to look forward to. You may carry over a little of the buzz from the wedding, but you may feel a bit of emptiness also.
Know that it’s OK to have these feelings. They don’t mean that you’ve made a terrible mistake or that married life is going to be horrible. You just need to adjust your focus and find new things to look forward to together.
You May Feel More Connected
The first couple of months after a marriage aren’t called “the honeymoon period” for nothing. Many couples feel a deeper sense of connection after they are married. They retreat into each other, creating a bit of a cocoon in which they shut out the rest of the world. They feel a deep sense of intimacy, which ignites great passion.
These are wonderful feelings to have, but again, you shouldn’t feel like these feelings portend your married life to come. If you expect all of your marriage to be full of passion and a deep sense of connection, you may be disappointed and think that the love is gone when those feelings aren’t there – and there will be times when those feelings aren’t there. Just try to build on those feelings and to reignite them when you are lost in routine over the years.
You May Have A Lot Of Fights
If you are moving in together for the first time when you are married, you are almost certain to have a lot of fights as you make major adjustments to living together. You may not like that he gets expensive coffees every day and eats up your budget. He may not like that you leave the books you’re reading in a pile on the coffee table. You will have to adjust to each other’s quirks, and the transition may not be easy. You may even discover things about each other you didn’t know.
But even if you lived together before you were married, you may still have a lot of fights. Being married puts a point on issues that wasn’t there before. All of a sudden, you don’t just get annoyed that he’s leaving his dirty clothes on the floor of the bedroom – you start thinking about how you will have to put up with that for the rest of your life. Everything takes on more importance, and it can cause a lot of tension.
Give yourselves a break. Know that there will be a transitional period, and try to give each other space and a little bit of forgiveness.
You May Feel Sudden Pressure To Have Kids
What’s the next thing you do after you get married? Have kids! Right? Well, a lot of people think so. You may suddenly feel pressure to have kids right away because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do, or you may feel that pressure because you have people like your parents or your in-laws actually yammering in your ear constantly about how it’s what you need to do.
Just relax! You have time, even if it doesn’t feel like it. Making choices under pressure is never the right thing to do, so give yourself time until you come to the decision naturally.
You may feel a lot of conflicting emotions after your honeymoon. Just know that it’s all normal! Try to keep an objective perspective, and then focus on the things that made you excited about getting married in the first place.