As someone who has never walked down the aisle, I have to say that Allison Scott’s presentation about the prevalence of “bridal blues” was an eye-opening experience. Not only did I learn that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a wedding day survival guide, (as they compare planning a wedding to surviving a natural disaster), but also I learned that most women experience a post-wedding “let down.” The work conducted by Allison and her colleagues found that in the weeks and months following the big day, women tend to experience what she refers to as logistic uncertainty. That is, they feel a little lost and bored without the excitement and anticipation they had grown used to while planning their wedding. Although all of the participants reported experiencing this lull and struggled to make sense of their new feelings, only some reported that this uncertainty led to despair. Interestingly, those who tended to think of their wedding as the “end of the story,” rather than the start of a “new chapter” reported being worse off. This dysfunctional way of framing the wedding led “blue brides” to report identity confusion (e.g., “I don’t know what it means to be a wife”) and relational uncertainty (e.g., “Who are we as a couple?”), which was not seen in happier brides. Whether your big day is flawless or flawed, it seems that looking towards the future of your union and framing the ceremony as a piece of the larger puzzle may help brides overcome feelings of uncertainty and unhappiness.
Dr. Sadie Leder – Science of Relationships articles | Website/CV
Dr. Leder’s research focuses on how people balance their desires for closeness and protection against rejection, specifically during partner selection, goal negotiation within established romantic relationships, and the experience of romantic love, hurt feelings, and relationship rekindling.