Leave and Cleave….and Grieve 

With wedding season upon us, there is much to celebrate in new families, new plans, dreams, and exciting honeymoons. With all the changes going on, it is easy to overlook the grief cycle that ebbs and flows when two become one. This occurs for both the individuals and the families of origins. Marriage brings about a lot of change and though most is positive change, acknowledging loss and that things will be different can be helpful. A few things to consider and process are changes in name, identity, holidays, family time, roles and norms as well as expectations.


In today’s culture, there is most often a larger time gap between the leaving and the cleaving which can also be both good and challenging. If you have had time as a single adult, chances are you have already left physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually and possibly geographically. This can make the grieving family of origin changes easier but it can also be tough as the single life is a unique stage. Whether you are coming to marriage straight from your parents' home or a bachelor pad, self-awareness is key. 


Create check-in points as you start your new life together to reflect on the good of previous stages, the good of marriage and make plans to find the best balance. Giving space to discuss freely when leaving and cleaving causes mixed emotions is healthy and beneficial for building intimacy and being fully known.