You’ve found the one – that was the easy part. Now on to the challenge of ensuring that the wedding goes without a hitch and that the marriage will be long and fruitful. No pressure whatsoever. Preparing for the big event and for your new life requires so much energy and generates so much excitement that the Jewish custom dictating the couple spend the first week after the wedding focused on each other makes absolute sense. That way, they can not only continue the celebration but also devote themselves solely to their new union – something that’s hard to do during the chaotic planning stage.
In “The First Week,” an essay on chabad.org, Maurice Lamm clarifies the origin of and the reason for the custom: “Moses ordained that both celebration and commemoration be followed by a seven-day tapering-off period, during which one might ponder and accept the intensity of the event and allow it to be gradually integrated into the psyche.”
It’s easy to spend a leisurely week with your loved one, but what should you do if you get the blues once the celebration is over and you have to return to reality? How should newlyweds balance their everyday tasks, chores and errands with the additional responsibilities of their marriage? Rachel Torgerson’s article, “5 Tips for Dealing with Post Wedding Sadness,” published on knot.com, offers some ways to cope with the melancholy.
Her first tip is to “recognize that your wedding isn’t the same as your marriage.” She makes a valid point – it’s smart to approach life from a realistic perspective, realizing that life’s not a perpetual party and the sparks don’t always fly, especially during stressful times. Acknowledging this from the get-go will make the transition to marriage easier. Think of this period as the exciting beginning, the seeds you plant to grow something deep and lasting. The bond, commitment and support that develop are far greater and more enduring than the butterflies felt during the infatuation stage of the relationship.
Still struggling to adjust? Consider consulting the pros, as Torgerson’s second tip, “Be open to premarital counseling,” suggests. Rabbinical pre-marital counseling and classes are a great place to start. To get an idea of what questions you should ask, which issues you may face, and what details can be annoying and disruptive, consult some topical literature. The more prepared you are – whether it be through research or discussion – the lower your chances of suffering from post-marital blues.
Now that you understand that life’s much more about the mundane, how do you enliven those ordinary happenings to make them more appealing? Well, it’s all about your perception and approach. Torgerson’s third tip, “Make everyday events exciting and important,” is sound advice. The more grateful we are for what we have and the more joy we find around us, the more happiness we will attract into our lives.
Her fourth tip is to “redefine your relationship with your family.” That means that you should treat your spouse as your primary family. While your parents, siblings and relatives still play an important role in your life, your relationship with them will be different now that you are married. You may want to talk with your close ones about this to ensure that they don’t inadvertently interfere with the foundation you are building in your new marriage.
Torgerson’s fifth tip is an extension of the fourth; she advises to “look to your new spouse.” You are working on strengthening the bond you have just begun. The process involves time, effort, effective communication and even some occasional discomfort. But if you can get through the hard conversations, you are on your way to a fulfilling and lasting marriage.
PATRICIA RASKIN, president of Raskin Resources Productions Inc., is an award-winning radio producer and Rhode Island business owner. She is the host of “The Patricia Raskin Show,” a radio and podcast coach, and a board member of Temple Emanu-El, in Providence.