Life

A wedding therapist says it's OK if your 'honeymoon phase' isn't happiest time of your life

Business Insider US
It's OK if your "honeymoon phase" isn't the happiest time of your life.
Obradovic/Getty Images
  • People expect the months after a wedding to be the happiest time of a couple's life.
  • But it's normal to have a range of emotions during that time, according to a wedding therapist.
  • Change can be difficult to adjust to even if the new things in your life are positive.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

When most people picture the first few months of marriage, they imagine the "honeymoon phase": a couple glowing in the happiness of their new union, spending every waking moment together, and feeling nothing but joy about their life together.

But in reality, it's rare that a couple would feel completely happy after getting married, and it's not uncommon for the months following your wedding to be anxiety-ridden for some people, as Landis Bejar, a wedding therapist and the founder of AisleTalk, told Insider.

"What is usually talked about as the honeymoon phase is similar to wedding planning and being engaged, because there's a pressure from society to be elated, euphoric, everything sunshine and rainbows," Bejar told Insider. "When in reality, it is the direct aftermath of a major life transition."

Change is rarely easy for people, even if the new things coming into your life are positive, like marriage, as Bejar told Insider.

It's not unusual to feel anxious after your wedding.
laflor/Getty Images

So it's natural that you wouldn't be happy 100% of the time after you tie the knot.

"We don't talk about it because it's one of those times where society tells us, 'What do you have to complain about? You are travelling around, you married the person of your dreams, you don't get to complain,'" Bejar said.

"We have that expectation of being happy confronted against the reality of a major life transition and identity shift, which is usually not all happy," she added.

Bejar encourages her clients to take a more nuanced approach to their feelings, as they will feel better about their marriage if they understand it's normal to have myriad emotions, including during the weeks and months after their weddings.

"So much of therapy I think is just learning to hold two or more truths at once," Bejar said. "They are not black and white. They're not happy or sad. They are happy and confused, happy and bored."

For instance, Bejar said that some people might find themselves bored after their wedding is over, as they are used to having the responsibility of planning a wedding and their full-time job.

You might also be anxious as you start dealing with things you said you would put off until after the wedding, like looking for a new job or house hunting.

Whatever mix of emotions you're feeling, you can take comfort in the knowledge that it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with your marriage if happiness isn't the only feeling you have in the weeks or months after you say "I do."

As Bejar puts it, "you can have a lot of feelings at once, and they're valid."

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