There's a Time magazine article about postnuptial depression, which is a new concept to me.
Here's how the article explains the phenomenon:
"The blues typically hit early in married life, psychiatrists say, as newlyweds begin recognizing that expectations of how their partner or relationship will change post-wedding are unrealistic. Worse, once the Big Day has come and gone, couples are suddenly forced to step out of their much-cherished, and often long-lived, 'bride' or 'groom' spotlight and just get on with real life."
It explains the role of disagreements in postnuptial depression:
"When [couples] start arguing about sex, money or time — issues that all married couples battle over — it can seem catastrophic. Gannon finds herself correcting patients all the time: 'Where did you get the idea that you weren't supposed to fight?' she says. 'You are. It's normal.' It's also normal to remain independent and to be responsible for your own happiness. 'It's unreasonable to assume your partner is going to be everything to you,' says Eagan.
I predicted that couples who live together before marriage might be less likely to experience the effects of postnuptial depression, but apparently not:
"Even couples who cohabit before marriage, and who have presumably tempered their expectations and reconciled their petty differences, are not immune to the day-after blues. 'People who have been living together think they're going to feel something different once they're married,' says Gannon. But there's no magical transformation that comes with signing a marriage certificate."
The wedding planning process itself seems to contribute to the depression:
"The problem may be that after months consumed by wedding preparations and feeling like the center of attention, the sudden shift back to everyday life can be a shock. 'I put a lot of time and effort into the wedding planning process,' says Erin Hastings, 28, who got married in 2006 after an 18-month engagement. 'Where do you redirect your energy once it's over?'"
Their advice for combating postnuptial blues?
"Doctors say couples should get adequate rest and exercise; communicate constantly; focus on the benefits of marriage, such as having a built-in support system; and start thinking about the future in terms of family or finance. Women especially should also stop thinking of themselves as The Bride: throw out those wedding magazines, then plan some social events for after the honeymoon, so you have other parties to look forward to."