Honeymoons are dubbed as holidays and last only a couple weeks at best, but the honeymoon phase could last for months. Three newlywed couples share their stories of post-marriage romance and reality
When Afra Anjum, then 19, first noticed a senior classmate chanting a song every time he was around her, she never thought it would change their lives forever.
After five years of university life, both still sing the same track, "Ekhon to shomoy bhalobashar...," wearing the wedding rings.
"During our engagement ceremony last month, two families arranged the Akth – a sudden decision, and we said kobul – it felt like a wonderful dream. We both don't want to get out of the dream – is this the honeymoon phase?" Afra asked.
Each married couple, like Afra and her husband, faces their honeymoon period, often without knowing the term. The honeymoon phase may include a honeymoon trip, but not always.
Kobul or vows or seven pheras, hundreds of camera clicks, kachchi and borhani, new faces and formalities all around – that's how the lawfully-socially verified couple's account begins. So does their honeymoon period, with the biggest challenge: 24/7 with the other half, under the same roof, sharing the private space.
According to experts, the average honeymoon phase lasts around three months, but it can absolutely be longer or shorter, depending on the relationship.
"The marriage brought harmony for me. We used to date in secret because my family is conservative. After marriage, we can now hang out with greater social acceptance. This is the happiest part of the wedding," Afra chuckled.
Another newlywed couple, Turna Musharrat and Arafat Hossain, both working in the private sector, considered sharing life round the clock as a major change in marriage.
"I have never shared my bed with anyone since childhood, nor has my husband. Sharing my private space initially caused me a lot of trouble, like an anxiety disorder," Turna said.
"True that before marriage we loved to stay glued to each other. We tend to be less clingy now. It just happened," Arafat added.
Samiul Islam and Merina Mitu got married six months ago, after two-and-a-half years of dating. Mitu is a journalist and Samiul works in the advertising industry. They had not spent an official honeymoon, but they experienced the differences.
Samiul explained, "Marriage has significantly changed the way we argue and resolve. Back then, I promised the moon and the stars to win her heart. Now, I try to keep a careful balance between romance and reality so she sees the reason."
Like many unmarried lovebirds, Mitu and Samiul fantasised a lot about their future. They now dream of what is practically possible.
"Before the marriage, we only thought about the two of us. We now include our parents and extended relatives in our plans," added Mitu.
"Since my new family list must include unknown persons, my parents ask me to be a better version of me," Afra argued.
Md Zahir Uddin, a trained family therapist and assistant professor at the National Institute of Mental Health, explained further.
"The partners show a social and positive version of themselves when in a romantic affair. Usually, they return to their regular personalities after marriage. It's better to share the regular self earlier; otherwise, it will shock one to see a different picture of their partner," Zahir said.
Some say the honeymoon phase is the best part of the relationship, while others say the most fulfilling part begins after completing the phase.
Long story short, some couples never leave the honeymoon phase, some never experience it first, and some couples experience those butterfly-filled honeymoon feelings together all along.
All these scenarios are normal and sweet in their own way.