post-wedding adjustments: the emotional side

One of the gorgeous things about marriage is that it is supposed to be about a couple starting a life together and vowing to take care of each other through it all. That is a beautiful thing, knowing someone has found someone who has decided to love and accept him/her and have decided to undertake commitments, someone other than family who has decided to love you like family and a bit more.

I wonder if people ever talk about the other differences that can occur after a couple gets married. The talk is more often than not centered around the couple itself and what they may have to go through. For example, adjusting to each other’s habits as you live with each other, maybe the wife having to cook and stay at home (depends on who you are listening to), financial concerns and so on. But I have heard quite little about what happens to the people around the couple when they get married and move out of their respective homes. However, from these past 9 months of experience, I would say there can be a myriad of different reactions everyone goes through when a couple gets married.

Firstly, with family. You’d be surprised at how much you can take for granted or simply not be aware of when you move out of the house. My family is quite close-knitted and while sometimes I used to hate how everyone was just up in each other’s business, I realize it actually is a strength and there was always an innate comfort in knowing people really care and are looking out for you, even during the times it pissed you off. You begin to miss the family dinners and conversations, the way your parents may have nagged or pushed you, the way you may quarrel with your siblings about something that may not even have mattered like the internet or TV. This does not mean you are unhappy with your new surroundings, it’s just an adjustment to something different. More so when you see less of them.

I know of other girls who feel the same way, who were anxious to grow up and move out (husband or no husband) and they are the same ones crying after family visits, only because they miss their families. If you act macho like I do, then maybe you realize it a bit later…still, everyone realizes it. You realize you also just want more happy memories to remember, that not all fights are necessary from that point forth.

My mum used to say stuff like ”You may hate all this now, but one day…one day…youuuuu will miss it okay!!” and she was right. I also appreciate more than ever how while growing up, she never told me just what I wanted to hear, but also what I needed to hear. Through life, there will be many instances and something seems amiss where you wonder if people give you that. If anything, that has contributed a lot to my strength and independence.

Maybe it seemed naive, but I didn’t expect there to be certain differences with friends. For some, they felt like this meant a whole new change where you guys do not get to do the same things anymore, may not be able to hang out as often. Honestly, I did not expect it especially with some close friends and it did hurt whenever I saw pictures of them floating about on Instagram and Facebook knowing I had not been invited a few times. It also did not make much sense when I heard some assumed I was busy or could not go out, or felt like they were left behind or I had forgotten them when on my part, I thought I had always reached out. More of it did not make sense when I also had friends who did not treat me any differently after I got married. They still saw me as the person I was, but on a different phase in life and I really appreciated it.

Maybe it seemed naive, but I always felt that once there is love and care in a friendship, it never really goes away. I thought that when people go through these different phases and while some may change (or not), it does not mean that that love has faded. Why should it? If you have been there for the person before, why should it change if the person needs you or wants to spend time with you? I’ve had friction with some friends and sometimes, things never go back to normal. However, I guess you never know for sure of whether it could be even better. It may not necessarily turn out to be for the worse, maybe the friction was needed for you to better understand and grow closer to each other.

From that perspective, I guess there is not a need to take it too personally and to accept that some people grow apart and some grow closer. It may not necessarily just apply to marriage anyway, could be a new job or whatnot. Some may say ”Well, if you care about the person, keep fighting for it” but one of the quirkiness of life is that maybe sometimes the understanding is not quite there. Maybe the person sees it differently from you and rather than tussle and make things beyond irreparable, it may be better to take a step back and just let time go by. Time really does heal a lot of things and who knows, maybe upon reflection you could feel differently. More so since you cannot fault some for feeling the way they feel, especially when they may be pig-headed at the time (I have been guilty of this). I think we all know too well how when sometimes you feel so horrible, nothing anyone says can make it better. So, better to let that phase pass and be happy.

It’s more important to be patient with yourself and I suppose it is a bonus if you have a partner you can really communicate with. You see, that’s the thing sometimes…some people think ”Oh since she has her special one, no one else matters” but always remember no one can actually assume that is what you think etc, no one but God. Not everyone is going to be okay with every decision you make. Also, you’re going to need more than one person at some points in your life, unless you have a Doraemon or a magic genie with you. Be realistic.

You of course have to be honest with yourself and steadfast in what you want. I don’t believe anyone should have to apologize for certain choices they make just because someone else feels uncomfortable with it, if it means your betterment. Feedback is good and while what your family and friends think are important, you should know yourself well enough to make good decisions and not have to apologize for the way you may choose to live life. Just be smart about it.

It also is important to always be patient with yourself and not over think some things. Truth be told, I would rather be happy about this new phase I am going through with Mr Grumpy, my family, friends than be so concerned by how I may not be doing enough in making things easier for people. Life should be simple in the sense if there is a problem, fix it or shut up about it, move on and be happy. No one said you have to be perfect and wallowing in self-pity has a desperate vibe about it, more so if prolonged unnecessarily. Give yourself credit that you may be coping better than you would otherwise and you may cope better tomorrow.

Ultimately, it is important for you to ensure there is a good start to your marriage. Not just for the couple, but for everyone involved. The point is just driven home when you think of how one day, you may have a child of your own and during that time, you cannot just please him/her but have to do what is right in general. These ‘big picture’ scenarios do a whole lot of good in phasing out the petty things. There really is so many beautiful things to look forward to and while the road is long and it may be foggy, the positive stuff will be the cornerstones you will always be able to lean on.

“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease. ~ ” ― Thomas A. Edison

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