19 June 2014 by

'I Was Happier Before I Got Married': What Really Happens When The Honeymoon Period Is Over

Like Kim Kardashian, Sam Richards* also thought that the honeymoon period with her husband would last forever. In this week’s Grazia, she explains why she couldn’t have been more wrong…

Are you happier when you're married? [Trunk archive]

Getting ready for a (rare) night out I walked into the lounge where my husband Tim* gave me an appraising look. Yet he wasn’t about to give me a compliment about how beautiful I looked – the sort he’d shower me with when we were dating. Instead, he asked accusingly, “Is that dress new? How much did it cost?”, before going back to the football.

Research claims that married people are happier than the unmarried, but that’s not been my experience. In fact, since saying ‘I do’ in 2012, all romance has gone out the window… leaving me almost wishing we’d never got married.

I met Tim five years ago and was totally bowled over: he sent me flowers at work and whisked me off to Dorset for a surprise romantic weekend.

When he proposed on our two-year anniversary, I flung my arms around him and said yes without hesitation. Tim seemed rather disinterested in anything to do with our wedding but was keen for me to take his name. I’m an academic and it made no sense to disown all the papers that I’d written. But, eventually I gave in, and on the day, surrounded by 100 family and friends cheering on the new “Mr and Mrs Richards*”, I felt absolutely exhilarated.

While we definitely experienced some comedown after our Safari honeymoon, the so-called “post-wedding blues” didn’t bite. On the contrary, it was actually nice to hole up at home, just the two of us, especially after having had such a full-on time when we had been surrounded by lots of other people.

Yet as the weeks turned into months, we didn’t seem to be going out. Before we got married, we liked to surprise each other with reservations for the latest London foodie hotspot, so it was normal for us to drink champagne at Bubble Dogs or scoff Peruvian street food at a pop-up bar on top of an abandoned multi-storey carpark.

My attempts to carry on this pre-wedding trend were always turned down by Tim. He’d say we had to save money to pay off the overdraft we racked up paying for the wedding, or that he was too tired from work. 

I could probably have coped with the disappearance of spontaneity. But little by little, his attitude continued to change.

Kim Kardashian said her and Kanye West are in the honeymoon period and always will be [Getty]

When we were dating, we used to go running together on a Saturday morning, before treating ourselves to a lazy brunch. Tim began making excuses after the wedding and I’d go for a solitary run while he slumped on the sofa watching TV. He complained he was exhausted, but I suspected he’d stopped exercising without the incentive to be in shape for our wedding. Looking good for my benefit now didn’t occur to him. 

As he seemed to withdraw into himself – and stopped making an effort with me – this had a knock-on effect on our love life. Before we got married, Tim and I always had sex two or three times a week. Now we rarely do it – I feel like we’ve been married for 50 years. And not in a good way.

He also changed around the house – we slipped into bizarre ‘traditional’ roles with me cooking and cleaning and him doing DIY and putting the rubbish out. Was this really what I wanted the rest of my life to be like?

And all his little quirks I used to think were so adorable, like misspelling texts and letting his brother crash on our sofa, now drive me insane.

Gone are the surprise presents and romantic trips. On our recent anniversary he didn’t even bother to write the card that came with the bouquet of flowers he’d bought me, instead muttering ‘you’ve got flowers, what more do you want?’. I feel like I’ve become a downtrodden wife, trapped in the Fifties, rather than his equal – someone he used to laugh with.

Perhaps Tim was expecting nothing more from our marriage than just ‘settling down’. And his behavior when we were dating was just an act. In which case, I feel incredibly cheated. As his wife, I want more than that. And I don’t think I’m being unreasonable.

I don’t know why Tim has changed so much. It seems like the gregarious man I’d married was bored of making an effort with me, like he didn’t need to try any more. But my real fear is that now I’ve changed too. I’m not the best friend he fell in love with, or the hot woman he’d forego sleep for. I nag. I bitch about him to our mutual friends. Our wedding wasn’t even two years ago but already our marriage feels middle-aged. If nothing changes, can I really stay in this relationship?

Our families drop unsubtle hints about us having babies, but I'm scared kids will trap us into a marriage that already seems to have run it's course. Given we never have sex, there's not much chance of us getting pregnant anyway.

When I said yes to Tim’s proposal, I thought I was saying yes to continuing the fun and happiness we shared while we were dating. If I’d known marriage would mean such a change in my partner, I would never have said ‘I do’.

So what's your verdict? Join the conversation by tweeting us @Grazia_Live

*Names have been changed


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