Ron and I had a blissful wedding day. It was filled with friends and family members. We danced outside under bright twinkling lights, we said our vows in our beloved college chapel, and everything went according to plan. We got married. But after the wedding, almost immediately after, I began to experience a familiar tightness in my chest.
On Instagram, honeymoons are filled with tasty cocktails, cozy beaches, and lots of lovely time spent in love. But for some people, I am one, my honeymoon was spent with quivering anxiety-- a voice telling me I had made a mistake. I knew I hadn’t married the wrong person, but a host of feelings including uncertainty, anxiousness, and insecurity surrounded me. I kept quiet for about two days because that’s what anxiety tells you to do. When I opened up about it to Ron, he was gentle and caring and reassuring. All the things I’d needed at that time.
As I’ve come to process this time and other anxious times, I’m learning I’m someone who prefers certainty, and also a way out if I need it. I like to make decisions knowing I’ll have options of escaping. So with marriage, it felt like a be all end all. I just vowed that my person would be in my life forever. That is certainty. But it’s also inescapable.
Here’s my point. Following your wedding, you might feel happy and calm and in love and excited. And that is wonderful. But, evidently, I wasn’t alone in my struggle with post-wedding anxiety. I’ve heard it described as the slump after the wedding. This is more than a slump. I was not depressed that our wedding day was over. I was plagued with anxiety and it dragged all my unsure feelings onto center stage. Anxiety causes you to question your decisions. You question your partner. Your life together. Everything.
Today, Ron and I have been married for 4 years and it still continues to baffle me that no one talks about this feeling. Yet, I’ve continued to meet more and more newlyweds who feel the relief of saying out loud how anxious they truly are. So for the sake of all people who are quietly hiding in the corners of their rooms, stuffing in the anxiousness, or muffling their cries, you’re not alone. Take comfort that just this week I’ve talked with three married women who have all noted their anxiety post-vows. And these women are still married, they’re happy, and their anxiety has quieted. I am still married. I’m very much in love. And I still wrestle with anxiety, just not as much around our relationship.
Be open, be honest, and find your community. You are not alone.
Written By Anna Radcliffe