Monday, July 7, 2008

Newlywed Syndrome #5 - Wedding Withdrawal

It’s Marriage Monday at The Newlywed Life, and this week we’re tackling wedding withdrawal, a syndrome that catches most brides by surprise and with their guard – and their dresses – down.

I’m no exception. I didn’t expect to have wedding withdrawal either. I was thrilled that my wedding day seemed flawless. It turned out one hundred times better than I imagined. Then I spent a week relaxing at a luxurious five-star hotel on the beach in Mexico with my new husband rubbing suntan oil all over my bronzed body. Yup, married life was looking and feeling pretty good at that point, until I got home and … wham!... wedding withdrawal came crashing out of nowhere like a big blue tidal wave and wiped out my picture-perfect fantasy.

What is wedding withdrawal? It’s when you miss the excitement, anticipation, craziness and stress of planning your wedding. You’ve lived and breathed your wedding for probably most of your life – or at least the past six months. It’s only natural to miss this. Wedding withdrawal can happen to the compulsive organizer or the carefree planner. Whether you had a five-course meal with 300 guests or an intimate dinner with immediate family and friends, planning your wedding can be as taxing as having a second full-time job.

Your wedding consumes so much of your mind and your time then all of the sudden in one day you’re done. It’s over. Your wedding day has come and gone. No more appointments wit the caterer. No more flowers to choose or pretty silk ribbons to tie around tiny bottles of bubbles. No more fantasizing about what your wedding day will be like, and the hardest part of wedding withdrawal: nothing for you to do.

But, that’s not entirely true, you do have things to do – lots of things to do – it just feels like you don’t. And truthfully, the post-wedding wrap up is not nearly as exciting as planning the wedding. There’s a void that comes after you’ve spent several months of your life living and breathing your wedding. You would think that any sane person would welcome wedding withdrawal and a much-needed break, but no, that would be too easy and not a likely thing for a new bride to do.

OK, so the fact is that most of us go through some sort of wedding planning withdrawal – whether it’s missing the excitement of attending your first bridal expo, or the joy of thumbing through stacks of bridal magazines, or some other aspect of planning the biggest event of your life. And, let’s be honest, many of us miss truly being the center of attention. It’s the one day in your life when everything is all about you! Missing that is normal as long as you keep it in perspective.

Pay attention to your feelings, talk about them with your husband, and then let them go. You have something new and exciting to focus on now – your marriage! Sometimes it’s easy to forget this, but that’s really what the wedding is all about, not the music, nor the flowers, nor the delicious little crab-cake hors d’oeuvres. You are entering a very impressionable time in your marriage – the beginning – and you don’t want to start it off on the wrong foot, especially a selfish one!

And, don’t expect your husband to completely understand what you’re going through. Wedding withdrawal is not a man thing. In fact, he’s probably happy to have the love of his life back, and to lose the chart-seating maniac he just married.

If you’re having trouble letting go, curl up with your husband and relive the day by watching your wedding video. Now is also the perfect time to knock out those “thank you” notes, get your dressed cleaned, and do some paperwork! Besides, handling the after-wedding wrap-up tasks can help ease the pain of the wedding withdrawal blues. They will pass before you know it. Think of it as a transition period to ease you gradually out of your intense and sometimes neurotic planning mode into the exciting and eventful world of marriage.

And remember, there’s nothing wrong with not knowing what to do in your marriage, but there is something wrong with not finding out!

Winks & Smiles,