Let’s start with some real talk: my husband and I bickered on our honeymoon. I remember thinking that being on my honeymoon and coming home together would feel like bliss, especially after all the stress of wedding planning. You can read more about alllll of our first year of marriage lessons here!
As a wedding photographer who walks with couples through the engaged and newlywed season, I’ve seen first hand just how NORMAL it is to NOT have the honeymoon phase we all expected.
The honeymoon phase is a part of the relationship where everything is new, you are getting to know each other, and you are just in complete bliss with one another.
I think this phrase started back when people used to have super short dating and engagement periods and then they got married. And they used to get married a lot YOUNGER than we do now.
These days, culturally, people get married after 1-3 — or more– years of dating. You might move in together, you might get a dog together, etc. Point being, you’re sharing a LOT of adult responsibilities. So when you get married, there’s an assumption that you’ll go back to square one and be in marital bliss, but that’s just not the case.
So here are my thoughts on the honeymoon phase:
The first truth is that marriage is not a magical pill you take and wake up and feel different. You’ve already started this foundation of trust and really knowing the other person, and knowing them for their strengths and their weaknesses. You know them for their faults and so marriage isn’t suddenly going to change and make that go away.
The second truth is that marital bliss is a choice. Getting married doesn’t create a euphoria, it’s actually something YOU have to choose to make happen when you wake up and love your spouse, even when you bicker, even when things are not what you thought they’d be like.
So maybe don’t feel those super duper tingles like you did when you first fell in love. That’s actually a good thing because that means you know that person on such a deeper level and you see them you see all of them, not just the things that you fall in love with them about.
But we need to talk about it. The myth of the honeymoon phase can make newlyweds feel so lonely and isolated when they realize it’s not a blissful as they anticipated.
If you’re reading this and realizing that you aren’t as happy as you expected to be in your first year of marriage, or you’re comparing yourself our your marriage to something you see on social media, talk to someone. Find someone you trust or whose marriage you admire. Ask them about their first year of marriage or if they had a honeymoon stage.
Everyone’s relationship is different, but everyone hits rocky spots and you’ll find that you’re NOT alone! Just hearing someone else’s story can help YOU feel a bit more normal and help you have the right conversations to build a healthy, loving marriage that sustains for YEARS to come.
“It is no longer your love that sustains your marriage, but your marriage that sustains your love.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer