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March 31, 2005

The Happiest Day Of Your Life...Not!

Charlotte Allen is en fuego today. A while back we learned about the desperate lives of American mothers, chained in involuntary servitude to selfish, grasping little monsters who prevent them from leading fulfilling lives. Now, thanks to Ms. Allen we are alerted to another looming crisis facing American Womynhood: post-nuptual depression, or PND:

I am very sorry to say that the post wedding come down hit me really hard and I found it hard to vocalise at the time. I’d say it took me a good 3-4 months to actually remember the most wonderful day of my life fondly, without feeling teary and empty.

[what] I kept going back to was that that I’d never feel that gorgeous again...The first two times I saw our wedding video I sat & cried throughout the whole thing (alright, the second time I was a bit piss*d which didn’t help!). Almost every day I would take out the photo album and trawl through the pictures again and again... I just felt deflated, trapped and miserable.

Lest we be tempted not to take this growing phenomenon seriously, The Guardian, ever on top of the latest trends, cautions us:

'There is no happy ever after,' said Phillip Hodson, a fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, who suggests that at least 10 per cent of new spouses suffer a post-wedding depression which, if left untreated, can lead to despair and even separation.
'PND is a modern phenomenon that is already very widespread and is getting more common all the time,' he said. 'It ranges from vague discontent to full-scale depression. PND can last just a few days, though if left untreated can go on indefinitely, getting worse and more ingrained with time.'

Or you could, like... snap out of it. Oops! Sorry.

Carole Evans, a 28-year-old IT consultant from Surrey who married last year, said: 'We woke up on the first morning of our honeymoon, in this idyllic hotel with the sun streaming down on to the roses plaited round the bed frame, and just felt this black cloud descend on us.
'We couldn't believe it. We'd spent a year planning the wedding and honeymoon but it all seemed so flat and pointless once we were there. It was as if we had invested our whole lives in a single day, and had nothing left to look forward to.'

Well let's see Carole... you just DID spent an entire year planning a single day, and it IS over. Now why don't you invest some time and energy in planning the rest of your life?

More brides than grooms suffer PND, according to Hodson, because women are investing more effort and emotional energy in their weddings than ever; an average wedding costs £13,000, with very elaborate events costing more than £40,000, and the day can take up to two years to organise.

Gee whiz... could the source of this depression possibly be the realization that you just wasted a phenomenal amount of time and money on something ephemeral that didn't amount to a hill of beans?

Sorry. Now here's a person who was ready for marriage:

'I'd never been depressed before and thought it must mean I had married the wrong person. I went off sex and I became withdrawn and uncommunicative.'

Let me get this straight: you spent an entire year putting your future husband in debt over a one-day ceremony, then went into a decline because you didn't like what you bought with your money? Then instead of talking it out, you withdrew from the relationship and withheld sex from your partner after promising to work together as a team?

Got it.

Of course, this woman had a small wedding and still got depressed. She blames it on the planning. And not taking a honeymoon.

I blame it on being self-absorbed.

Of course, it could be all that makeup men force you to wear: it has a way of migrating from your eyelashes and fingernails to your breasts.

And that's just not healthy.

Posted by Cassandra at March 31, 2005 08:24 AM

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My wedding was small, the reception large. We had a three year honeymoon in Germany and came back with a baby.

Of course there is a happily ever after. You have to want it, plan for it and then work the plan. And if life happens, you adapt.


Posted by: Cricket at March 31, 2005 09:07 AM

Well, I guess we now know the reason why people say sex stops after marriage. :-)

Posted by: Masked Menace© at March 31, 2005 09:22 AM

Sex stops after marriage? Dammit! I missed that memo! Crud, now I'll have to let Lovely Bride down gently and disappoint her again! :-o

Talk about something that has gotten better! Whew! Life truly begins at 40!

We had a huge wedding. And a huge reception. Our friends still talk about that wedding even today. A mixture of Damn Yankee, Southern Fried, and Cajun makes for one heckova party. But of course the let down was tremendous. When we sobered up. Six months later! he-he!

I've promised my lovely daughter a pair of 1st class tickets to Vegas and will even pay for her to be married in the Elvis Chapel of Love! Since she was a baby in the crib I have always tip-toed around while she was sleeping whispering "elope" in her ear! Think of the letdown after a beautiful Elvis wedding! Oh the humanity!!! :-o

Posted by: JarheadDad at March 31, 2005 09:33 AM

Every time I hear about some made-up "syndrome" like this, for some odd reason there is a pill lurking in TV commercial-land ready and willing to "treat" it.

'Nuptex, for Post-Nuptial Depression. Side-effects include looney moonbat liberal feelings; an inability to face reality; self-righteousness; thin skin; smarmy platitudes in support of contradictory worldviews; lack of personal responsibility; and frequent threats to castrate one's spouse.

Ask your doctor before taking Nuptex. He's paid a percentage of Nuptex profits so he's sure to push it on you anyway.'

Posted by: Ciggy at March 31, 2005 09:44 AM

Sex doesn't stop after marriage. It stops the year after marriage. Here is a test for you newlyweds. Take a jar, and starting on your wedding night, every time you make the beast with two backs, put a dry bean or other object in the jar. Do that for one year. Then, after your first anniversary, every time you do it, take one out. If you ever empty the jar (only counting sex with your spouse) you are doing quite well.

No, I did not know about this.

Posted by: KJ at March 31, 2005 09:46 AM

KJ, trust me, JHD knows what he is talking about :)

I would never have believed it either. Any lengthy relationship has its ups and downs, but almost all of my female friends are 5-6 years older than I am and they agree. Most couples hit a trough when their kids are baby-toddler aged because you're just tired all the time and kids can just be so demanding. The only way to get around this is to schedule time away from the kids - weekend getaways every now and then or an evening when you swap an overnite stay with friends so you have 24 hours kid-free is essential. And this isn't as good as a weekend - most women just take 2 days to fully relax when they are away from the kids - you need to get Mom alone and away from it all so she can concentrate on herself and on YOU. It used to take me 12 hours just to stop worrying about the boys and if they were OK.

Sometimes it persists into the school years as your relationship settles into a comfortable routine and you're preoccupied with work and other pursuits.

But once they're grown up and move away... it's better than anything the first year had to offer, because you know what you like, you know what your partner likes, and you have the time and the skills to indulge both.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 31, 2005 10:02 AM

In all seriousness, so many people have replaced the marriage with the wedding, thinking they're the same thing. The wedding is just a party to celebrate the relationship. The wedding is not a goal in itself. Sadly too many people (one thankfully ex-in-law in particular) see the wedding as the prize. They are in love with getting married, not being married.

The LG and I had a 56 day engagement, April 9 to June 5. We had to delegate a lot of the planning. People would come to the LG and ask which of 3 options she'd prefer. Her response was almost always, "Which ever is easiest for you" or "Which ever you think is better. We put you in charge of this because we trust your judgement." Whether we had white tablecloths or red ones just wasn't important to us, we were getting married, we were starting our lives together.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at March 31, 2005 10:09 AM

The wedding is for the family and the reception is for your friends and your marriage is for YOU.

My mother chortled in her joy when I got married.
The last chick from the nest. She practically dragged me to the wedding, beamed all through the reception (as did my dad), threatened me with bodily harm if I ever left the Engineer, and then told me
to not call her at all during the first year.

She washed her hands of me, dagnabit, AND AS IT SHOULD BE.

She told me once she did get a tad emotional, but it was out of happiness, as she watched the deconstruction of her family and house so mine and my siblings might rise. Those pesky rites of passage.

Posted by: Cricket at March 31, 2005 10:24 AM

I guess I didn't go through a lot of this Menace - we were only engaged 2 weeks.

I never even got an engagement ring - the Unit offered to buy me one but it just didn't make sense: we were so short on money it seemed like a waste. I asked him for a puppy instead, but he wouldn't get me one because he was afraid no one would rent to us if we had a dog (he was probably right, but it made me mad at the time - I had seen a German Shepard puppy with big pink ears and frying pan feet in the window of a shop and was determined to take it home with me).

My son's wedding (which I planned) was likewise simple: a country wedding held in a garden at a French Inn. I made all the decorations: dried floral arrangements with a garden theme that we gave to the family afterwards so nothing went to waste. The table decorations were set inside grapevine wreaths and had birdhouses and live ivy and flowers in them that went right into my garden after the ceremony, and the trellis they were married under is now in my side yard.

It was, like, totally organic. We even had local beer from a Frederick microbrewery. My daughter in law only took 2 hours to find a wedding dress and I made her veil myself to match the dress - she's a sweetheart. I can't see why people get so wrapped around the axle about this stuff - it's not rocket science.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 31, 2005 10:25 AM

The good news is that the second (or third) wedding doesn't cost $50k.

Posted by: George at March 31, 2005 10:40 AM

Hey! How about showing a little empathy here? I understand what these women are going through. I am a chronic sufferer of post-vacation depression. The happiest days of my life are suddenly shrouded in the black clouds of personal responsibility! There is no *sob* happily ever after.

Posted by: spd rdr at March 31, 2005 10:49 AM

2 weeks?
*bows in worship of the blog princess*

I wasn't sure if we could get it done in 2 months at the time (Given our schedules it was 2 months or 2 years, pretty obvious choice). But now that we've done it, I am a big fan of the short engagement. You don't have the time to get wrapped in details that really just don't matter. All you really need is for everyone to show up.

Post-Vacation Depression, spd? I know a good pharmacist that could get you some drugs for that.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at March 31, 2005 11:06 AM

Actually Menace, you're dealing with a wimpy Daddy's girl. My father did most of the work as far as planning the wedding was concerned - he is amazing. He laid on the chapel in at CINCLANT in Norfolk and the reception across the street. He was an aide to two 4-stars, so I don't imagine a piddly little wedding was much to him.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 31, 2005 11:12 AM

You know, it doesn't hurt to plan for some things, as my parents set aside some money for us all to get married.

But what I found out was that there are some things that should be celebrated, and a wedding is one of them. It is one of those rites of passage, a change from the old to new, and to make your own way with your loved one. That does indeed call for a celebration.

However, it is the ever after that is even more exciting. It has been a challenge to stay together through deployments, schooling, kids, moving, pregnancies, illness and whateverelse comes your way.

Waiting it out can be hard too, but that is why most women take up knitting or sewing.

Posted by: Cricket at March 31, 2005 12:00 PM

You know what really makes me sick? People who live together, pop out a few kids, and say they don't get married because it's too expensive! Getting married costs a couple of bucks for a license. It's the "Princess for a day" weddings that cost so much.

Cricket, marriage should be celebrated. But with premarital cohabitation so rampant,weddings don't have anything to do with rites of passage; they're just huge "look at me this is MY day" parties. No wonder people are depressed. It's tough to stop being royalty and go back to being a real woman.

KJ--the sex is supposed to STOP? I guess I missed that memo, too--25 years ago.

"It's my party and I'll whine if I want to."

Posted by: MrsPurpleRaider at March 31, 2005 12:12 PM

So...do you think these dippy sob sisters are pre marital co habitors? (sounds like an alien invasion). I was wondering if someone was going to say that...after I read some of the links, the impression I got was that one woman was depressed because they went right back into their same old routine.

Well, what did she expect? Like I said, the ever after is the exciting part, if you keep the committment.

And if you are in a rut of safety, with a perfect life, a perfect house and children, enjoy it. That would be a challenge.

Posted by: Cricket at March 31, 2005 01:36 PM

I think part of it too is that everyone puts off having a family for so long - it's like they have to be super-prepared for everything, with little 401K's and college funds for each child in place before they can conceive.

For Pete's sake, we were poor as churchmice. Even our kids were talking the other day about having to buy a house before they had their first baby! I said WHAT THE HELK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? YOU SLEPT IN OUR FRICKING CLOSET IN A 1-BEDROOM APARTMENT!

And the minivan thing - what the helk is up with that? You don't need a minivan for a baby. We had a toyota that you could barely fit a carseat in and it worked just fine. And we didn't own a washer and dryer either until I had my second baby - I didn't notice that it killed either of us to walk to the laundomat. In fact, as I recall the baby rather enjoyed it.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 31, 2005 01:55 PM

You know, Cass, I am SO GLAD you said that! At least baby had a place to sleep. There is a fear factor though, and in talking with other parents, of what is 'expected' of them as providers.

We had decent apartments and quarters and houses for our family, and I remember the Toyota Corolla we had after we were married. HEY. It was a car, it ran just fine and it seated four people, had a functional radio, A/C and heat. Not bad for a '78. We paid 400.00 for it.

When we did our very first move to a larger place, all our stuff fit into the cargo area of a full size van...about the size of a cord of wood.

Posted by: Cricket at March 31, 2005 02:15 PM

"Or you could, like... snap out of it."

This is why I like reading your blog.

Posted by: Grumpy at March 31, 2005 02:22 PM

All mini-van drivers should die a fiery death crashing and burning in Hell!

I have issues! :-o

Posted by: JarheadDad at March 31, 2005 02:26 PM

Minivans are not my vehicle of choice either.
I drove a full size van until it was totalled, and now I have the Precious.

We need 'full-sized' vee-hickles because we are a full sized family. I have two teenage boys that are not small (the 12 yo is nearly as tall as I am and I am 5'8') and the 11 yo is one inch shorter than his brother. The four year old lad is as tall as his 7 yo sister, and she is four feet and some inches tall. They have their own space, can watch movies on the laptop, spread out and be QUIET!

Somehow, I just can't picture them getting out of a minivan with any degree of cool.

Posted by: Cricket at March 31, 2005 02:58 PM

Big families need big cars, Cricket. We had compact or full-size station wagons when I was ferrying the boys to soccer and car pooling to private school (no buses). You can't fit 4-6 boys and a weekend's worth of assorted soccer and camping gear in a tiny Toyota.

But 2 newlyweds with a single baby do NOT need a minivan.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 31, 2005 03:06 PM

I once got a min-van as a loaner while the wife's big SUV was in the shop. It was brand new, teal with racing stripes and other assorted ge-gaws. MAN was it goofy looking. My eldest daughter was just about to get her license, so I parked the thing in the front driveway and put a big sign on the windshield "HAPPY 16TH BIRTHDAY SPDETTE!!! WE LOVE YOU!" Then my wife and I waited for the school bus to drop spdette off. The look of horror on that girl's face was the funniest thing I've ever seen. We damned-near died laughing. Of course, I had to torture her further before I finally told her it was just a joke. Bad daddy.

Posted by: spd rdr at March 31, 2005 03:41 PM

Somehow, the patriarchial influences have steered this thread into a discussion of cars. So, you might ask, is this a bad thing? No, of course not. It's not as depressing as talking about confused young women who ahve just been married and have suddenly discovered that it's not like any of the episodes of "Sex and the City" or even "Everybody Loves Raymond".

I just bought (last month) a 2001 Audi A6 Avant Quattro to replace my '98 Honda Civic, and it's a REALLY nice ride (and FAST). A kissing cousin to the Volkswagen Passat wagon and a distant relative to a Porsche (it has Tiptronic shifting available, really cool, that was first developed for Porsches). After taking several long trips with the family this winter in the mini-van in the winter wonderland that was Ohio this year, I decided I wanted a safer car to haul them around in. The all-wheel drive wagon was the answer.

Mini-vans are great for most family trips, but they have their weaknesses.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at March 31, 2005 05:22 PM

Well, mean, nasty old nag that I am, I was after my spousal unit to stop and test-drive the new Z4 and Porsche as we drove by all the car dealers last weekend. He was giving me arch looks but he is definitely weakening, idiotic talk of budgets and car payments notwithstanding (I pay the bills - I told him to be quiet and let me worry about that). This is how we ended up with the RX8 in the driveway.

I am taking bets on how long he can hold out against me. Heh...

Posted by: Cassandra at March 31, 2005 05:30 PM

What color is your Audi Don?

Posted by: Cassandra at March 31, 2005 05:34 PM

I heard a great line a few weeks ago to explain how the Brad/Jen break up could happen. "No matter how hot you think that gal/guy is, just remember that someone out there is now, or in the past became, tired of f*c*1ng that gal/guy."

I think that is relevant to this discussion, but if it isn't, sue me.

Posted by: KJ at March 31, 2005 05:59 PM

If that's all you have going for your relationship, it will never last. Because you're right: no one's that great in bed and everyone's eye wanders from time to time. There has to be a reason to keep you from hopping the fence. Hopefully you choose wisely and settle on someone who holds your interest for a variety of reasons and is worth the work a serious relationship takes.

And anyway, 9/10 of sex goes on in your mind - people who don't realize that are fooling themselves :)

Posted by: Cassandra at March 31, 2005 06:10 PM

I think you left out the word "with" in that last sentence Cass.

Posted by: KJ at March 31, 2005 06:51 PM

I meant what I said and I said what I meant.

An elephant's faithful.


Posted by: Cassandra at March 31, 2005 07:28 PM

It seems to me that these women think they have crossed the finish line.

In reality they have just crossed the starting line.

Let's not put down mini-vans, people, there are some uses for them.

Cass, pay off the RX8 first, then let your eyes wander over to the BMW.

Posted by: Purple Raider at March 31, 2005 07:31 PM

Purple, in the unlikely event we got a BMW or something else, it would replace the Mazda.

He drove it in the snow and it really did not handle well at all - I am not happy about that. Otherwise we love it: it's really fun to drive. But it snows far too often here to take a chance like that and he has over an hour commute. I have no idea whether any of the others would be any better but it doesn't hurt to test drive a car and do a little research.

IMO, if I have to pay extra for something that is fun to drive AND safer, I would pay a lot of money for that. I can budget - I'm a military wife, and he's been busting his butt for years. I just want to see him have a little fun, but I want him to be safe, too.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 31, 2005 07:44 PM

Cass says: "And anyway, 9/10 of sex goes on in your mind."

Ummm, have you shared this "science" with the Unit? And he buys it?

Oops, I asked one too many questions.

Posted by: Spot On at March 31, 2005 08:06 PM

BMW's are terrible in the snow, regardless of all the new stuff like ASC-T traction that they have added. I drove my BMW 325 through many winters, and it always scared me to drive it in the snow. The back end always wanted to swing around and fishtail. Even the dealer recommended against driving it in the snow (northern Ohio). Otherwise, it handled great.
I don't have first hand experience with Porsches' (someone here does, though, I'm sure), but since the whole 911 series have the engine in the rear over the driving axle, I would think they were better in the snow than regular cars.

The Audi Quattros (all-wheel drive) are real tigers in bad weather. Also consider a Subaru. I was gonna buy a Forrester, but the Audi was too good a buy. It's gold colored, Cass.

Ya know, about the subject of this thread, I think, illustrates something else. This sort of thing has been happening since before the beginning. I mean, Eve was showing signs of being restless when she let the serpent talk her into eating the forbidden fruit.
It's just now there are vast herds of pseudo-academics to perform some kind of social study on the matter, and eager news people looking for somthing to fill up their papers (or blog postings) with. Everybody has SOME experience with marriage (even second hand, like watching your parents), so everybody has an opinion.
Dumb luck, good judgement, bad judgement, stupidity, avarice. All the weaknesses of the flesh will decide if you have a good life or a bad life, and if you make a bad choice in mates, it just doubles the pleasure/pain of it all.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at March 31, 2005 08:10 PM

Try not to be an idiot, Spot.

Arousal is as much a mental as a physical phenomenon. Otherwise people would not be able to reach "nirvana" in erotic dreams, now would they?

You're showing your ignorance.

When you seduce someone, you seduce the mind long before you seduce the body - if you can't attract the mind, you won't hold the body long either. Any woman worth her salt knows that. It's not rocket science. And yes, I think the Unit would very likely agree with me on that one if I were to ask him.

In fact, I may just do that.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 31, 2005 08:20 PM

Oh. Correction.

Maybe if you make a practice of sleeping with small-minded people then you don't have to bother with the mental aspect.

Some people will just sleep with anyone who's good looking or rubs the right places - nothing else matters.

Perhaps that's what you meant to say? It's all physical?

Posted by: Cassandra at March 31, 2005 08:24 PM

Was this response before or after you spoke to the Unit?

i suggest you ask your Unit how often he thinks about sex before you recognize his desire. If he's honest, I think thatlike most women, you will be be very surprised at his answer. If you don't believe me, throw it out as a question for your male readers tomorrow.

That said, Cass, I agree with you 100 percent: sex begins--and romps freely--in the mind. BUT, it travels hopefully to the loins more often than we can even comprehend. The average male is waiting always for our nod, for a "please let me get lucky" smile from their lover/spouse/best girl. Our job is to show up. I think we agree on that. I apologize for my clumsy delivery.

Posted by: spot on at March 31, 2005 08:59 PM

We are discussing traction and sex. As to traction, throw a couple 100# sacks of sand in the trunk.
You will get traction.

I like my Precious because it is heavy and doesn't like to fishtail. It has 10 pistons and last weekend hauled TWO SUVs out of the mud...one being a Suburban and the other being a GMC full size SUV Suburban wannabe. The two gents who got stuck in the mud in the first place were doubting.
The Engineer proved them wrong. The Suburban got
stuck trying to haul out the GMC. He hitched them both together to the Precious and out they came.

Not that there is anything wrong with Chevrolet/GMC SUVs, but these two drivers were not the wisest...

As to sex, Dr. Ruth says it happens in the mind.
Naturally, when it comes to interludes, and one thing leading to another...heh.

Posted by: Cricket at March 31, 2005 09:10 PM

Oh, I imagine I'm clueless a goodly amount of the time, although I've gotten a lot better about picking up on the signs. I also imagine I'm not as attractive as I used to be when I was younger, so maybe he doesn't think about it as often as he used to. But I could be wrong about that too.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 31, 2005 09:14 PM

We got a Chevy Subdivision the last day of December to replace the Dodge pickup with 130K miles on it and a funny sound in the rear end. I think I miss the Dodge a little - the Subdivision wanders all over the place when a gust of wind hits it. The Dodge was a higher-profile vehicle (with a topper on it), so maybe it's the fact that the Subdivision doesn't have Michelin tires on it. I might sell these and replace them - I really love Michelins.

Cass - check out a Saab. Our first car was a Saab, kept it for 135K miles but had to offload it when we went to Saudi Arabia because we didn't think there was a dealer there (we were wrong). The Saab is Alaska tested and passes all tests, except the windshield defroster test -ours (1984) had the vent blowing into our faces instead of onto the windscreen. I drove it the first winter in Alaska without even putting snow studs on it, but the second winter I was quite pregnant and MathMan wouldn't let me drive without pegs in the tires. We drove it to Fairbanks on 7" of ice for a couple hundred miles at 70 mph - stuck like it was on dry road. Be sure to get a turbo, though, with an intercooler. That might be all they make now.

The Saab is fast, fun to drive, you can drive 12 hours without getting aches and pains, and you can haul a washer or dryer in the hatchback. Yes, we did.

Posted by: MathMom at March 31, 2005 11:55 PM

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