Photo: Chelsea Diane Photography
Watching your honeymoon tan fade can be rough. No longer being the center of attention as bride and groom can feel anticlimactic. Losing the focus of a wedding to plan can be disconcerting. In short, life after the honeymoon can be tricky terrain. What do you do now that the wedding's over?
As a couple, your developmental task is to build a newlywed cocoon. What's that? A newlywed cocoon is a new state of mind and a new way of being that's focuses on just the two of you. It's coming off the public stage of bride and groom and entering into your new life as husband and wife. It's about creating boundaries. It's not filling every single evening and every weekend day with plans with family and friends. It's creating a zone of privacy.
What do you do in the newlywed cocoon? Get to know how this act of getting married has already — and continues to — change you both.
What does it feel like to call each other husband and wife? What does it feel like to instantly become family? What's it like to have a new next of kin? What's it like to not worry about the wedding, or, more significantly, to have any worries about who you're spending your future with? These may seem like subtle shifts, but they're not.
By creating a less frenzied atmosphere for your new marriage — admit it, it was pretty frenzied leading up to the wedding, right? — you create the space to connect not only with each other, but with yourselves and your new identities as a married couple. Be curious about how it's affecting each of you — talk about the nuances, the little tiny examples of how life's changed.
What you're going to find is that it feels totally different from how you loved each other while dating or engaged. Many newlyweds report a re-igniting of grand passions between them — new and deeper feelings of connection, engulfing, crazy-in-love, bordering-on-obsession engrossment with their new spouse.
Allison Moir-Smith is a bridal counselor and author. She counsels newlyweds, too. Visit Emotionally Engaged for information.