As an episode of F*R*I*E*N*D*S so succinctly puts it, women talk. We do. A lot. But there are things we don’t talk about. Not even with those with whom we share every little detail of our lives. Things like post-marital depression, for instance.

Never heard of it? I hadn’t either, till I went through it myself. It’s common enough though. According to relationship experts, it happens to one out of every ten brides. Why? I think there are two reasons. One, we read and repeat and believe fairy tales and romances, where the handsome prince marries the beautiful princess, and they live happily ever after and… the end. And two, we tell ourselves and others that our wedding day is the most important day of our lives.

Believing either of those things is just setting yourself up for disappointment. And post-wedding depression. Here’s why.

The insanity leading to your wedding day is joyful and chaotic, a haze of trousseau patterns, shopping, and wedding playlists. It’s fun. You’re building yourself up for the day when you finally go from Miss to Missus. The excitement rises and rises and rises and then… you wake up the day after your wedding, and it’s all gone. The most important day of your life has come and gone, and for the rest of your wedded life, you’re left with… what?

The messy bits.

The towels on the bed. Morning breath. The quilt hogging. The snoring. The slow realization that the person you’ve decided to spend your life with has a thousand tiny quirks that you knew nothing about. That married life comes with its own set of chores that don’t feature anywhere in a wedding magazine. That you’re going to have to cope with all of this, one argument at a time.

Your wedding becomes the party, ladies. Your marriage, the cleaning up afterward.

Not painting a pretty picture, am I? Sorry. But a real marriage isn’t pretty. It’s hard work. It isn’t the end. It’s the beginning of learning to love someone you thought you already loved. Of making your peace with their idiosyncrasies, even as they learn to make peace with yours. Of discovering how different you are and finding a way to come closer despite it. Of contemplating divorce over tiny things and reminding yourself that you married a good person and that your relationship can survive those socks on the floor.

Marriage isn’t a fairy tale that ends in a happily ever after. It’s an invitation to a lifelong joyride of magic and madness, where you work your ass off to create a happy ending every single day. Accept that, and you won’t be surprised when ”the honeymoon period” of your first year leaves you underwhelmed. Accept that, and you won’t miss the candlelight and roses those sultry romances promised you. Instead, when he offers to do your share of the chores while you’re down with period cramps, you’ll see it for what it is. An act of love. And a sign of a happy marriage.  

By Vedashree Khambete Sharma

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