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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Bump back to earth, reality style

REBECCA Doyle (26) from Carlow had a different bump back to earth after her wedding to William in April -- not least because they were doing it all in front of the reality TV cameras.

"It was all pretty exciting, we had interviews [for RTE's Don't Tell The Bride] for months and months," she recalls. "We were meant to get married in Greece the year before but we both lost our jobs in the same week and everything went wrong. It was a rollercoaster of a year and we nearly killed each other. The day of the wedding I woke up sick with nerves. I never want to feel it again. The excitement was unreal though, and it was a bit bizarre because of the show.

"Other brides might get caught up in the whirlwind of planning their wedding, but mine was done in two months," she adds. "When we got back from our honeymoon the show aired that Monday night. So there was that to look forward to, and it definitely helped with the comedown."

Quite apart from the comedown factor, there are also new roles as husband or wife to get to grips with. Even for long-term couples, the move from being someone's girlfriend to someone's wife is a culture shock.

"People kept jokingly referring to me as 'Mrs Whyte' after the wedding, but it was definitely hard to refer to him as my husband," says Lindsey Kerrigan. "I hate the word fiancé so throughout our engagement he was still my 'boyfriend'. The word 'husband' feels so grown up. I've only used it a couple of times, and I don't think I've heard Paul say 'this is my wife' yet."

"The first year of marriage can be a difficult adjustment for couples as differences in expectations start to appear -- unconsciously the role of husband and wife may be seen quite differently than that of girlfriend/boyfriend," acknowledges Lisa O'Hara. "For instance, our pre-marriage course takes a practical approach to preparing couples for married life which is different to co-habiting. Alas, some marry in the hope that any problems between them will fall away once they marry only to discover that things remain exactly the same and it can be a bitter disappointment."

However, it's not all doom and gloom for anyone hoping to hit their paper anniversary: "I don't understand why brides expect life to change so much," surmises Rebecca. "You can't be a different person just because of the ring on your finger. If anything, I feel content.

"I'm more relaxed now. He still annoys me all the time, with things like throwing towels on the floor, but we're a team now. Nothing compares to the feeling of being married to someone you love, and them loving you back."

Focused

Newlyweds should essentially keep their momentous day in perspective.

The clue is in the title for a start, as it's just one day. If it happens, the key to getting over a post-wedding letdown is to talk about your feelings with friends and family.

And should you find yourself arguing with your new husband about the usual mundane topics -- housework, money, bills, sex -- try to remember that this is par for the course in your first year of married life and a healthy means of readjustment. Above all, try to keep focused on why it is you went through the planning of a wedding in the first place. Once you get over the post-wedding blues and settle into plain sailing, that's where the real joy is to be found.

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