Dear Rosie & Sherry,
I am 32 years old and I just got married two months ago. Transitioning into marriage has been very smooth and my husband and I have a loving relationship.
However, my wedding day was an absolute disaster and it is continuing to haunt me to this day. It is hard to describe the pain and stress I went through on my wedding day because it is so intense and embarrassing. Let’s just say I did not feel well and hated the way I looked that day. I felt as if I was not ready for my own wedding, but it had to go on “ready or not.” I want nothing more than to be married to my husband – but this is not how I pictured the day would be.
All in all, I faked my happiness throughout the day and couldn’t wait for it to end. Thinking about the day makes me cringe and I hate my wedding pictures. I am trying to get past this but it has not been easy.
I am angry at my best friend for taking away this newlywed phase from me.
My best friend just got engaged and I am embarrassed to say that I am extremely jealous of her, and angry at her for taking away this newlywed phase from me and my husband. It hurts me when people call us "the old married couple" because I never got to experience that amazing newlywed phase. Most people get married on a high and then have to work to transition into regular day-to-day life. While I feel the transition to daily life was easy for me and my husband, I still feel gypped for having never reached that high.
My husband feels horrible that I had such a painful wedding day experience, but he does not understand how it still affects me. He also feels bad about himself when I say we have never reached that high. He is an amazing husband, who loves me and takes care of me, but I do feel bored at times with him in comparison to other guys who I have dated. Yes, those guys were jerks who broke my heart, but then why did I have to experience such amazing highs with them? My husband never had any other serious relationship and I was the only woman he every really liked.
I know there is a lot here but I really would appreciate some guidance.
Rosie and Sherry's Answer:
We understand how disappointed you are about your wedding day and how much pain you’re still experiencing from it. Most young women dream of having a perfect wedding and feel cheated when something doesn’t go according to the months of planning, and years of dreaming. Some of us experience family fights, caterers who serve the wrong food, rude photographers, bridal gown wardrobe failure, and even an outdoor chuppah in the pouring rain.
All these events can mar the happiness of that long-awaited day, but when the couple looks at the big picture, they’re happy to be together and can slowly put the disappointment of the less-than-perfect wedding behind them.
When a hurt isn’t resolved, a new hurt may open the old wound.
We’d like to say that your disappointment will ebb with time, but when we see someone struggling as you are, we suspect it’s because of an unresolved hurt in the past. Can you think back about anything that happened in your life that made you feel this upset? When a hurt isn’t resolved, or when you haven’t gotten closure, a new hurt may open the old wound. You may have trouble moving past the disappointment of your wedding day because you never moved past an earlier event.
If you’ve identified an unresolved matter from your past and can see the connection to how you now feel, that knowledge, in and of itself, may help you start to move past your current disappointment. To resolve the old hurt, some people engage in stream-of-consciousness writing which they find cathartic; others work with a therapist; others simply talk it through with a supportive person.
Your jealously about your best friend’s engagement is related to your disappointment about your wedding, but is also probably related to something else. You know that it’s common for women your age to get engaged, so it seems that just as your difficulty getting over your disappointing wedding day may be rooted in something from the past, your reaction to your friend’s engagement may have a similar root. Could there be a rivalry? Disappointment that she stole your thunder in the past, or that someone else did? Once again, writing about your feelings or talking them over with someone you trust can help you better deal with them.
We have another suggestion that you may find helpful. There is a Jewish concept called “shana rishona” (lit: the first year), whereby the new husband and wife are expected to spend extra time together (e.g. every evening, with minimal exception) in order to really bond and establish a united connection. You and your husband are still in this “newlywed year,” even if others are calling you (with humor) “the old married couple.”
We suggest making a special effort to act and treat each other as newlyweds. Plan some romantic things together: walking on the beach in the moonlight, dressing up and enjoying a candlelight dinner, packing a picnic and going on a drive to see the leaves turn colors in the fall. Talk about fun things you haven’t yet done together and make time to do them. Have a date night each week, and a special romantic date night each month. Take a beautiful picture together, frame it, and put it on your wall.
Your disappointment may be tied to unrealistic expectations.
You write about an emotional high, and indicate that you feel cheated you didn’t have it with your husband, both on the wedding day and when you were dating. Here, your disappointment may be tied to unrealistic expectations. We’re led to expect these “fireworks moments” by movies, TV, books, and the occasional time we may have experienced it. But in the overall scheme of things, that elated feeling is temporary and has no relation to long-term marital happiness. It’s really just a chemical reaction, and when you felt it with some of the men you dated who were “jerks,” it felt exciting but was false. Sometimes that feeling is present when a relationship develops into something enduring, but for most people it isn’t. Instead, there’s a gradual growing feeling of closeness and that you’re right for each other.
What is ultimately important is that you both feel right for each other and are building a good life together. The high fades for everyone, whether they are right for each other or not – but when the couple is right for each other they have the gift of emotional closeness, trust, affection, and friendship that are the mainstays of an enduring marriage.
We hope this is helpful and we wish you and your new husband a beautiful life together.
Rosie & Sherry
Dear Rosie and Sherry, Thank you so very much for this response. I am now doing much better. My relationship with my husband has continued to flourish and has become much stronger and more fulfilling. I am so embarrassed about the second half of my original letter to you. I think the reason I said I found my husband "boring" at times compared to past guys I dated was only because I was in such a bad place at the time due to my wedding day trauma. And so everything in my life seemed dull and unexciting. Every time I read the letter you published on Aish.com, and get passed the wedding part, I feel little sympathy for Hillary. She does seem quite spoiled, complaining about so many things in her life. There are so many people who are suffering with much greater problems. However, I did write it at a time that was extremely hard for me and so I am that much more grateful to no longer be in that place. I am so much happier and so much more able to truly appreciate the wonderful husband I am blessed with.