Advice abounds for people who just tied the knot, and to some degree, hearing about the experiences of others can be helpful.
But too often, friends and family members make awkward, embarrassing, or downright annoying comments to newlyweds.
Here are some things to stop saying to your newly married friends and why:
“How is married life?”
Friends of mine joke about married life being exactly like unmarried life, minus the wedding planning. Another said, “Well, last night we watched six episodes of Criminal Minds, ignored the pile of laundry, and passed out by 11, so I guess it’s going well!” Even though weddings are glamorous, the truth is married life regular most of the time.
People who ask this question absolutely mean well, and usually simply want to hear that you are happy as well as show some interest in your life but putting a bride or groom on the spot in this way adds some extra pressure.
I mean, if they say, “It is okay,” will you assume they are miserable and gossip accordingly? If they say, “It’s amazing,” are you going to roll your eyes at their over-the-top happiness?
“Can you believe you won’t have sex with anyone else your whole life?”
This sounds ridiculous to say the least. One should be sensible and tactful as to not ask newly married couples this question.
When are you having kids?”
Stop asking anyone this question, ever. Why? Because it is too personal, and if your friend who just got married wants you to know their family planning schedule, he or she will tell you.
Don’t ask about fertility issues; don’t assume that a love of kids equals wanting to parent; don’t suggest they will change their minds someday. Whether or not they want to have kids is none of your business, and there’s no reason why you specifically need that information. Also, cut newlyweds some slack.
“Aren’t you a little young?”
Not only does this passive-aggressively suggest they made an error in the timing of their marriage, it reinforces the myth of a right age to wed. Yes, a lot of people nowadays get married in their mid-to-late twenties. But many others get married earlier, right after secondary school, at 40, or in their fifties. Age has no bearing on true love or a willingness to commit. Instead, be happy for them!
“Enjoy the honeymoon stage while it lasts.”
This is rude. Are you suggesting that the newlyweds will fall out of love with each other? People need to stop subscribing to the narrative that marriage is the worst, say goodbye to your freedom and ability to have fun.
“You finally met someone”
At my friend’s wedding, someone said, “It’s so great that you finally met someone!” This statement doesn’t seem so bad, especially if your newlywed friend has gone through a string of bad relationships and you are thrilled they have now found the love of their life.
However, it implies the person was waiting around doing nothing because their life was incomplete without a spouse, which is not true. Find a better way to express your joy for a newly married couple, such as, “Yay! I’m so happy for you.”
“Did you know 50% of marriages end in divorce?”
Not only is this statistic controversial, but it’s just rude to suggest a brand-new marriage won’t work out. There’s no reason to undermine someone’s decision to wed by indicating the research is against them. Remember, people get married with the best intentions, and you can’t always predict which relationships will or won’t work out.
“I never see you anymore”
Anyone who has planned a wedding knows how much time, energy, money, and time it takes. It can easily become a part-time job of managing details. Second, your friend just got married.
Their life did change, and they are going to need some space to shift from being engaged to married. Don’t take it personally if you haven’t seen your newly married friend in a while post-wedding, and certainly don’t make them feel guilty about it.
“Are you sad the wedding is over?”
When all the excitement of a wedding fades away, it’s normal to feel a little sad and wonder, “What now?” Change isn’t easy, and the post-wedding blues are real for many newlyweds. At the same time, a wedding is just one day. Rather than lingering on the fact that the event is over by asking someone this question, talk about what their wedding represents: the continuation of a wonderful life together.