Congrats! You’re legally and consciously coupled, and life feels oh so grand, doesn’t it? As newlyweds, you and your partner are excited about sharing your life together. All seems well—until you’re slammed with the brutally realistic barrage of things that change after you get married.
Sure, you finally have the ultimate comeback to the “When are you getting married?” question that used to annoy the hell out of you, but you’ve got bigger issues to contend with. Maybe a rather unexpected and seemingly weird thing has reared its ugly head after you got married, and you don’t quite know how to handle it.
This may come as a surprise, but feeling less than fantastic after tying the knot is actually more common than you think.
Exchanging vows with the one you love is a joyous milestone, but many newlyweds find themselves way down in the dumps after the fact, and sometimes for good reason.
Don’t freak out, but here are seven sad things that happen after you get married.
1You realize marriage doesn’t fix everything.
We know we’re treading murky waters here, but we have to keep it real. Some people go into marriage viewing it as the magical remedy for all of their pre-nuptial problems. We hate to break it to ya, but multiple long-term studies have shown that getting married doesn’t change your happiness.
If this is your mindset, unfortunately you’re in for a rude—and yes, very sad—awakening. While there are certainly some wonderful benefits that come with marriage (hooray for a reduced tax burden), its ability to instantly solve all of your relationship problems isn’t one of them.
2You have to split the holidays.
Depending on how you feel about your family, this may be a good thing, but on the off chance that you don’t actually loathe every single one of your relatives, you might find yourself struggling to adjust to spending the holidays away with your in-laws.
Even if your mom sets aside some of her special casserole just for you, it’s just not the same as being present with the rest of the fam on the actual holiday. It might take some time to get used to all the changes.
3Friends stop asking you to hang out.
Ugh, but whyyy, though?! You’re married, not dead! Your friends are still liking your honeymoon photos on Instagram, but judging by that group pic they just posted (that is mysteriously missing your smiling face), it seems like they’re actively avoiding you. Unfortunately, some friendships change after marriage, and not always for the better.
Perhaps your BFFs are MIA because they’re giving you space adjust to your new life as an official member of “the marrieds.” They might even assume you’re no longer interested in doing things you used to do when you were single, or they could feel a little left out because it seems like your married schedule (whatever that is) no longer syncs up with theirs. Either way, accepting that some of your closest friendships just aren’t the same after you’ve exchanged vows is a bummer, but it’s a natural transitional period.
4You mourn the loss of the single life.
To be fair, this can totally happen to people in long-term relationships, but getting married has the potential to reactivate those longings for the single-and-ready-to mingle life that you thought you’d worked through as soon as your commitment became serious. This makes it even more difficult to enjoy immediate post-marital bliss.
Even if you’re happily married, you might feel sad about stuff you didn’t have to worry about before getting hitched, like warming up to your partner’s family, coming and going when you please, not having to share the bathroom cabinet space. You’ll get used to it, but don’t be surprised if you go through a brief mourning period.
5You really miss your “me” time.
When you get married, it seems like everywhere you go, there your shiny, new spouse is, happily taking up space and sucking up all the oxygen in the room that was once strictly reserved for your respiratory functions. We jest, of course, but it’s not uncommon for people to feel like they’re not getting enough alone time after they’re married.
If you really feel like it’s a problem, don’t hesitate to talk to your spouse. They love you, so they want what’s best for you. Which might mean taking a couple days to recharge on your own.
6Sorry, but you have less sex.
We hate to pile on to all of the discussions about marital sex life being dry as a desert, but where there’s smoke…A recent study on the sex lives of married and single people found that married people have experienced the most dramatic drop in sexual activity since 2014, giving those who have never been married a clear edge when it comes to who gets it on most frequently.
Even though this may have been true in research, that doesn’t mean it has to be true for you. Keep things exciting in the bedroom by experimenting with new positions, sex toys, etc. And don’t forget to keep the lines of communication open. A couple that never talks about sex probably doesn’t have great sex.
7The post-wedding blues set in.
Regardless of all the complaints about how planning a wedding kind of sucks, a lot of brides in particular find it difficult it to recall a time in which invitations, dress fittings, seating charts, flower arrangements and dealing with bridesmaids’ drama wasn’t just another day in the life.
This leads to post-nuptial depression (PND), an actual thing that happens when newlyweds feel complacent and a sense that they lack purpose after the high from getting married wears off. According to Psychology Today, one in 10 women experience depression in the first year of marriage.
But look at this way: You’re married now, which means you get to move on from the wedding (we know, cry it out) and fill your days with other meaningful activities that actually exist. Try to put your full attention and energy into strengthening your relationship and spending quality time with your new spouse. That’s the stuff that will last a lifetime.