A lot of things change after getting married, but some things change more subtly than others. Here’s a list of the changes you might not notice.
Once you get married, you automatically assume that the things you’re used to will change in a significant way–that’s why you prepare and get all your ducks in a row. Whether it’s a spur-of-the-moment Vegas wedding or a year-long, prepped gala, the marriage part always seems to throw everyone for a loop.
The obvious changes include addressing each other as husband and wife, assigning responsibilities in the household, realizing that you can’t break up without a lawyer present, and having to actually share your money without a legitimate reason to resent the idea.
Why do things change after marriage?
Some people think that things don’t change at all when they get married. Surely it only happens when they decide to have kids, right? Not exactly. In fact, some think that everything changes after the vows have been said, and nothing’s the same ever again.
It’s different for everyone, especially when their circumstances aren’t the same. Some people lived together for years before they got married. That’s why it doesn’t feel too different after. Some decide to become intimate after getting married. Now, that changes everything!
The one common denominator in all this is that change is inevitable. When it happens is dependent on the couple, themselves. These simple changes are necessary in order to fully transition into a married couple.
What are the subtle changes that occur after marriage?
Want to know how marriage transforms you as a couple and as individuals? Here are the subtle shifts that marriage leaves in its wake.
#1 The power dynamic becomes more significant. Who wears the pants? The answer is both, but there are some things that cannot be changed due to society’s influence. Women are still paid less, so they have to work harder. Men are expected to provide, but some women earn more than their spouses.
The success of your relationship depends on how much you do or don’t care about these sorts of things. Honestly speaking, it’s still a prevalent issue among married couples.
#2 Spending habits become transparent. Unless there’s a pre-nup, everything you spend can and will be scrutinized by your partner. You don’t realize how important it is until one of you blows the whistle on excessive spending or unnecessary purchases.
#3 The idea of sex changes. Sex every day? Hell yeah! But that can become a problem when couples stop being innovative in the bedroom. Too much of a good thing can be bad–especially if you don’t cultivate a loving connection with your partner. [Read: 10 ways to make married sex feel like a one night stand]
#4 There’s a looming expectation for a child–or a discussion about having one. While a lot of people are considering not having children these days, there are even more who expect it out of marriage. Humans are genetically programmed to procreate, and marriage puts that very huge elephant right smack in the middle of the presidential table at the wedding venue. [Read: 11 ways to know if both of you are ready to have a baby]
#5 Fighting requires a quick resolution. This is not like when you were in a relationship and you could cool down in your apartment, with your phone on silent. You are living with your partner, and the fights that start need to be resolved before you call it a night. Always remember the tried and tested adage, “Never go to bed angry.”
#6 You start hating and needing your partner’s presence at the same time. Living in close quarters can be exhausting for couples, especially if they’re new to the situation. The honeymoon phase lasts a year for most couples, so the next phase is usually transitioning into a family. This means having to see the same person day in and day out, hating them at times, but loving them more than you ever did. [Read: 14 tips to make living together before marriage work for you]
#7 How you spend your time. Married couples are pressured to engage in activities that cater to both spouses. It’s probable that the cause is the new label, but it just goes to show that being married changes how you perceive your daily activities.
#8 How much your family is involved in your decisions. When you get married, you don’t realize that you’ve created a bubble around you and your spouse. The decisions that included your family are now a little less important, because you’ve come to realize that being married means being responsible for you and your partner’s well-being.
#9 You now know more about relationships. Ever wonder why you keep thinking of ways to solve your single friends’ relationship problems? That’s because you’ve reached the Holy Grail and have a wedding band to prove it. You have valuable advice that they can use, and you’re not afraid to tell them. Just don’t rub it in their face.
#10 You find yourself wanting to outdo your wedding feels. You just experienced the most significant event in your life yet. After the bills are paid and you’re back at home starting with new, married-couple bills, you will realize that the next life event needs to top the happiness that you felt on your wedding day.
That’s what milestones are all about. It will be difficult, however, if you spent all your savings on the wedding and didn’t leave enough for the honeymoon.
#11 You start dating other married couples. You still go out as a couple with your single friends, but going out with married couples feels different. They can relate to you more, and you can share your funny married anecdotes excessively without feeling guilty.
#12 Important documents start to actually look important. You are now signing documents on behalf of another person. Reading the fine print is now a necessity, because if anything bad happens, you’re dragging your spouse right into the middle of it.
#13 Fighting scares you and makes you feel secure at the same time. You don’t know if what you said crossed the line, but you feel secure enough to know that your partner can’t leave you yet. The only problem is that you’re terrified that what you say or do might lead to them leaving you. That’s a big problem, because it’s hard to get back together when you’ve done something bad enough to ruin a marriage. [Read: 8 things to tell yourself when fighting with your partner]
#14 Your connection to your family lessens. Getting married means flying the coop for most couples. Unless you’re a family-oriented couple, where you live with everyone, you can expect your communication to lessen. Even if you talk on the phone every day with your family, it’s still not the same as the way you did before. The good thing is, your appreciation for your family increases every time you see each other–especially during holidays and special occasions.
#15 You realize that being married encompasses everything you do. It won’t be obvious at first, especially without kids, but you will soon realize that everything you do is done with your spouse in mind. You are still your own person, but you can’t forget the fact that someone else is concerned about everything that’s happening in your life.
Don’t be overwhelmed after realizing that things are going to change. You’ve been changing all your life–growing, learning, and transforming. This period is just a step up, because it involves another human being. You’ll soon find that it’s a good type of change; the more experiences you share, the more you change for the better.
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