There is an old saying that a girl marries a guy hoping to change him and a guy marries a girl hoping she’ll never change. The punch line? They are both wrong.
This is one of the reasons that there is a condition called post-nuptial blues.
We hold high expectations for what we hope will happen after the wedding. But when reality turns out to be different we can become sad and disappointed. That is why we tell pre-marrieds over and over that they should only marry a person if they can accept them as they are – not for their potential. If they never change, can you live with that?
Most guys will change to a degree over the course of a marriage, but they don’t always change in the direction that you want them to. I know that no guy wants to be seen as “a project” and neither does a woman. So if you find yourself thinking in that direction, think again. You both will be happier if you don’t hold that agenda.
Do you have an unspoken list in your head? He will become more spiritual after we marry. She will become more secure and less angry. His work ethic will change. Her work ethic won’t change. I could go on and on – but you get the point.
I have seen another reason for post-nuptial blues as well, this one particularly for the girls. So much of their focus has been put on “The Wedding” and “The Honeymoon” that marriage seems like a let down. It is as if this is the single defining event of their life and now that it is over there is nothing more to look forward to. Instead of being seen as a beginning, it is seen more like an ending.
This is why Nan & I strongly suggest that weddings are better when they are more modest (apart from financial reasons). Somehow when weddings are not overblown there is more focus placed on the relationship rather than on the ultimate party for friends and family. It is often difficult to convince girls of this when they have held a fantasy wedding in their mind for decades. This might be the first major test of the ability of a couple to come to a reasonable compromise.
Then there is sex. It is wonderful when couples have about the same libido after they get married. But this might be a more difficult adjustment than anticipated. And it may be another reason for post-nuptial blues. Fortunately, most couples that truly love each other will work on doing their best to find ways to please one another in the bedroom. Sometimes it takes intentionality to connect or hold back more often than we would like.
The solution for a lot of these issues is often to lower your expectations if you are in a relationship with a partner who has high standards, flexibility and good character. If not, it may be time to move on.