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Many of life’s highs are followed by a natural low or even depression. In her book, The Conscious Bride, (New Harbinger Publications), Sheryl Nissinen describes how marriage is often followed by a period of sadness or depression. This is more common in women but may affect men as well.
Marriage Brings about a Change of Identity
A wedding marks the end of singleness and the beginning of married life. It is a big change as couples adapt to the commitment of living with another person and sharing responsibility for a home and household chores. Women in particular may feel depressed as the days stretch out without the excitement of planning the wedding, opening gifts and imagining their special day.
It’s a natural principle that what goes up must come down. If a bride is prepared for the letdown after a wedding, it may help her cope better. Feelings of lethargy, flatness and depression are common but can be overcome.
Changing from a Bride to a Wife
A huge amount of preparation normally goes into even the simplest wedding. The woman chooses her dress, her attendants’ clothing and discusses menus and reception venues. She wonders about hairstyles and what theme to create in the flowers and reception decor. All her efforts are concentrated on becoming a bride for a day. When the wedding is over, she has to adjust to being a wife and dealing with new routines and demands. This is often a letdown after the preparation for her dream wedding.
How to Handle Depression after a Wedding
Change always involves letting go of something in order to take hold of something new. In a marriage context, there are a number of things a new bride can do to cope with the depression that may arise after the wedding:
- Don’t stuff feelings of sadness away as they will warp into other emotions such as anger that may be more harmful
- Discuss your feelings with your husband or a friend who recently married
- Understand that depression after marriage is common and nothing to be ashamed of
- Take up a new hobby that will give you something to focus on and look forward to in the evenings and weekends
- Avoid any big changes such as moving home or changing job. Your system is struggling to cope with the adjustment to marriage and further changes could add to the emotional overload
- It is alright to cry or spend quiet moments in contemplation but follow these up with something positive like coffee with a friend or a brisk walk in the park
- Keep communication open with your spouse and let him know what you are thinking and feeling
Depression after a wedding is common but often unexpected. A woman spends hours preparing to be a bride and when the day is over, she often feels letdown and lethargic. Depression is a common reaction to a significant life change and is nothing to be ashamed of. Women can help themselves by communicating with their husband and avoiding major change in the months after marriage