It’s been almost 6 months since I walked down the aisle to the man of my dreams and promised to live my happily ever after with him. So what of that first 6 months of marital bliss? A bubble of rosey, hazy perfection, right? Well… Here’s my brutally honest account of the first 6 months of marriage…
The Best Day of Your Life
“It’s the best day of your of life”. You grow up with this message instilled in your brain. Your wedding day is supposed to be the best day of your life. True to form, ours was a perfect day. Nothing like I imagined, but a perfect day. Bitterly cold and spitting rain, but a perfect day. He was handsome, I scrubbed up pretty well too; most of our friends and loved-ones looked on with dreamy faces, and our DIY decorated reception was absolutely worth the late night labours of love that led up to the big day.
I’m not disputing that we had an amazing day and that I will look back on it with love and dreaminess for the rest of my life, bore our (future) children with the wedding photos and join the throng of other happily married couples who insist it was the best day of their lives.
But in actual fact, I remember the next day, panicking that it hadn’t been. I mean there are so many contenders. What about the day we spent enjoying the sights in Brighton before Andy suprised me with a proposal on the beach? Surely that was worthy of the title of best day of my life. Or what about the day I met him. That’s the day that led up to all this. That’s the day that changed my life forever – that was a pretty awesome day. And then what of the days to come – is it all down hill from here on out?
This was what was going through my mind as I packed my remaining things for our honeymoon in New York – a place I had longed to visit since I was a child. Surely touching down at Liberty airport was going to be the best day. A life-long dream fulfilled.
As this notion went through my mind I started to feel guilty. Truth is, there had been so much pressure to feel like my wedding day was the best day of my life, and when I had a glimmer of realisation that maybe it wasn’t, I wondered what was wrong.
There isn’t (never was, and never will be) any question of my love, devotion and adoration of my husband. There isn’t anyone else in the world that I would rather spend the best days of my life with. So why was I getting so wound up about all this?
Shaking it aside, I picked up my passport and determined to ponder on it another time. Let the honeymoon begin…
I cannot express how utterly incredible New York was. Rosy, hazy perfection? Definitley. I’d been waiting for those 6 days all my life. Roll in an amazing new husband and Christmas away from home, I was doubly high on life. As we should have been – it was our honeymoon.
I was prepared to feel all of this – the famous ‘honeymoon period’. What I wasn’t prepared for was the crash down to reality and the sinking feeling that took hold of my heart when we opened the door to our home and walked into the aftermath of our wedding day.
Skipping off straight to our honeymoon the day after the wedding was magical – a delightful whirlwind – but there was something so sad about coming home to deflated balloons, half drunk glasses of champagne and wilting rose petals strewn all over the floor. Reality hits- the whirlwind’s over. Back to real life.
Maybe it’s just the jet-lag, I told myself. 3 days of tears later I realised, maybe it wasn’t.
I felt lost. I felt empty. What now? I’ve just experienced two of the most incredible things I have dreamt about my whole life. I’ve married the love of my life, and I’ve been to the only place I’ve ever been desperate to go. What’s the next goal? Where do we go next?
I remember exactly how I felt – it was like mourning. But mourning for a feeling you knew you’d never experience again. At that moment I felt I would never feel the way I did on our honeymoon – that elated on life. I knew I’d feel equal highs at some point, but nothing ever quite like that.
Don’t get me wrong- I was excited to start my new life with Andy, thinking of all the things that we will do together, from the little things to the major life events. But where do we start? What’s the focus?
Mrs Haworth? Who’s that?
Before the wedding I was having a real dilemma about my name. Do I keep my maiden name, double barrel or let it go and take his. A stickler for tradition I opted for the latter but in my head I knew I would struggle with losing my name. But in actual fact, changing my name to Haworth was one of the easiest things to come to terms with. I didn’t really have to ‘come to terms’ with it at all – it was just so natural. I’m Andy’s wife – I’m part of him now like he’s part of me, forever – of course we’ll share the same name.
No, it was the “Mrs” part that knocked me off my feet. Not for the way it sounded or how it looked on my utility bills, but for what it symbolised. I’m no longer Hannah the girlfriend hoping for a proposal, or Hannah the finacee planning our wedding. I’m Hannah the wife, but what does that mean? Where do I fit in?
We’re not yet parents so we don’t fit into that category either. So what do we focus on? What are our goals now? I kind of felt like I was in a transition period – I can’t quite explain that.
Andy is a strong believer that you don’t need goals and you can just ‘be’. I wish I shared his laid back philosophy. It makes perfect sense. But it’s not the way I’m wired. I need to have something to work towards.
(I know I’m rambling here but I am going to get to a point eventually! Keep with me…)
An obessive planner, we both knew I would need something to occupy my time after the wedding. So, rightly or not, I threw myself into finding us a new home. We’d been saying for ages that we needed the extra space.
So I found us one. A lovely big sunny house in the countryside, about a 15 minute drive out of town. Sounds perfect right. Wrong. From the minute we moved our boxes in we’ve hated everything about the house. I think it has a lot to do with moving away from town and adopting a whole new lifestyle while we’re still finding our feet as a newly married couple.
Cue more tears.
By this stage we had received our wedding photos back, and as excited as I was to see them, part of me didn’t want to. The memories, so incredibly happy, would make me sad now I was feeling so low. Same goes for our New York pics. I couldn’t look at them without getting watery eyed.
Surely newlyweds aren’t supposed to cry this much… where’s my rosey, hazy bubble I was promised by every fairy tale, movie and book I’d ever seen or read.
After a couple of months I was so concerned, I turned to our other married friends and family for advice. And you know what they said…. “yep, I remember feeling like that – perfectly normal!”
You’re kidding me right – I’ve been sat here feeling guilty for being so low, and all the while it was perfectly normal?! If everyone I know felt like this after their wedding, why was I not prepared. Why was there nothing of this on the hundreds of wedding blogs and in magazines I’d rifled through on the months leading up to the wedding Where was the honesty?
If I’d been prepared for it perhaps I wouldn’t have let it eat me up so much. I would have accepted it and shrugged it off instead of scrutinizing and analysing every aspect of it.
At that moment I decided to allow myself another big cry, put the kettle on and really looked through our wedding photos. It really was an amazing day…
The best day of my life
6 months down the line, sitting out our last month on the rental contract of this house, looking forward to more pastures new, I am finally coming to terms with being a wife.
I’ve never been very good at dealing with change, although I loathe to admit it. Every major shift in life stages I’ve had a bit of a wobble. But this time it was different. This time, I had my amazing husband by my side, listening and wiping away my tears.
Truth is – I think too much. I worry too much. But that’s the way I am, and he knows it. He knew I’d get out of it the other side, as much as he knows we will go through it all over again if/when we eventually have kids and I have to come to terms with being a mother. And I know he’ll hold me close while I cry, he’ll listen and he’ll always be there. That’s the man I married. Love of my life…
The funny thing that gets me is that the more time that passes since the wedding, the more I look back and think ‘it really was the best day of my life’. Maybe it’s just me slowly slipping into the conformity of married society, or maybe it just takes time and a bit of perspective to really appreciate the day.
Although touching down at Liberty airport is a very close second…