Wedding Withdrawal: How can you cope after your big day?

Feeling glum isn't what you want to be doing on your wedding night.
Feeling glum isn't what you want to be doing on your wedding night.
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For many brides, planning a wedding is an all-consuming, full-time job. The to-do list seems never-ending. You have to shop for a bridal gown, meet with the caterer, taste cake samples, consider different locations for the ceremony, select gifts for the guests, hire a band, plan the honeymoon and countless other wedding-related chores and activities. Organizing a wedding is hard work and time-intensive, but many brides find it absolutely delightful. The big day eventually comes and goes, however, and with it so can a bride's positive outlook and sense of excitement. In fact, after the final toast is given and the bouquet is tossed, some gals can get downright depressed. Yep, we're talking about wedding withdrawal.

It makes sense when you think about it; the wedding bubble you've been living in has popped. Once the fantasy dream is over and you wake up to reality, a sense of loss can settle in because you're grieving the end of something so fun and special.

Make no mistake, some newlyweds do exactly what you might guess -- relax! The downtime is welcome relief after months (or years) of wedding planning. For others, the transition is a difficult one. If you're in this group, and the post-wedding blues hit you without warning, don't worry! It won't last. In the meantime, though, there are a few easy things you can do to lift your spirits.

Think you might have a case of the post-wedding blues? Go to the next page to find out if you do and what to expect during this downtime.

Who Suffers from Wedding Withdrawal?

Wedding withdrawal strikes without warning. Type A personalities and laid-back free spirits alike can fall victim to it. If you're used to being busy with wedding-related tasks and suddenly find yourself with nothing to do, it very well could happen to you, too.

If you're done with the planning process months before the big day and there's nothing left to do but walk down the aisle, wedding withdrawal can sneak up on you. It can also arrive immediately after your wedding, the first morning you wake up a married woman. Or it can come on gradually in the weeks that follow tying the knot. It can even happen to you if you're not the bride. If you're the maid of honor, mother of the bride or a close friend who's intimately involved in the planning process, it's possible to experience wedding withdrawal for the same reasons that a bride might.

Generally, guys need not worry about coming down with the post-wedding blues, as this phenomenon is more common in women than men. If anything, your groom is more likely to have an opposite reaction and feel relieved the whole shebang is over. He can finally have you all to himself.

While there are no hard and fast statistics on the subject, wedding withdrawal is much more common than you might think. A quick Internet search will show you that brides are filling up the blogosphere complaining about it. You'll eventually get over it, but wedding withdrawal is a condition that -- unlike your hubby's ex-girlfriend -- is not going to creep away quietly, never to be heard from again.

Thankfully, there are simple steps you can take to make this huge life transition easier. Wedding withdrawal can linger for months, so if you don't want to wait it out, go to the next page to find out how to take matters into your own hands and buoy your mood.

How to Kick the Wedding Withdrawal Blues

Creating a photo album may help you close the book on your big day.
Creating a photo album may help you close the book on your big day.
Comstock/Comstock Images/Getty Images

Tackle wedding withdrawal by first shifting your perspective. Remember, this is just the beginning! The best is yet to come. You have the entire rest of your life to create spectacular memories with your new husband. And you can start now. Here are a number of things you can do to be proactive and dig yourself out of a rut of marriage-induced melancholy:

  • Being aware of your mood or negative thoughts can be half the battle. Talk about what's wrong. Share your feelings with your husband. This is the man who has vowed to love you forever. He's your rock. Let him be that for you as you deal with wedding withdrawal.
  • Wrap up final wedding activities. Is there anything left to do that's related to your wedding? Do it! Write thank-you cards for gifts you've received. Create a wedding album, DVD or slideshow of photos from your big day that you can view with your hubby each year on your anniversary.
  • Focus on your marriage. Use this time to focus on your new husband and the commitment that you share. Spend time investing in your partner and getting used to your new roles as husband and wife.
  • Go easy on yourself. Wedding withdrawal is a common condition, and you're not alone. There's nothing wrong with you. The emotions you're feeling will pass. If they don't, see a professional to make sure the wedding-related depression you're experiencing isn't something more serious.

No matter how blue you're feeling, chances are that within a few weeks or months you'll feel like your old self again. So cuddle up with your hubby and focus on the loving relationship the two of you share. After all, your wedding was only the beginning of the rest of your married life!

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Sources

  • Francis , Allen J, M.D. "Good Greif vs Major Depressive Disorder." Psychology Today. Aug. 21, 2010. (Aug. 26, 2011) http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dsm5-in-distress/201008/good-grief-vs-major-depressive-disorder
  • Lecrone, Hap. "Getting the post-wedding blues." Coxnet Special Edition.
  • Marks Psychiatry. "June Bride, July Blues." May 13, 2009. (Aug. 24, 2011)
  • ---. "Depression Twice as Likely to Strike Women." May 11, 2009. (Aug. 24, 2011)
  • Newlywed Life, the. "Newlywed Syndrome #5: Wedding Withdrawal." July 7, 2008. (Aug. 18, 2011)
  • Rhody, Cheryl. "Wedding Withdrawal." The Plunge Project. Mar. 31, 2011. (Aug. 24, 2011)