30 Ways Your Life Changes After Marriage That No One Tells You About
Those vows are no joke.
Marriage marks a new chapter in a person's life. There's a reason why a newly-married couple is often asked if things "feel different" after saying "I do." The answer is likely a resounding "yes!"— and not just because they have a husband or a wife. Once you're married, you're sharing bank accounts, you don't have alone time, and you have to figure out how to compromise. While some of these changes are minor, others can have huge effects on your physical and mental health, and even on your personality. From the heartwarming to the unsettling, we've uncovered all the ways your life changes after marriage.
You work harder.
After you're married, your successes are shared. Every time you get a promotion or a raise, your spouse will also revel in and benefit from your successes, and vice versa.
In an article for Brides, Emma Straub warns that this also means you're likely to work even harder knowing that you're providing for both you and your spouse, even if you both have jobs.
Time goes by faster.
Straub also points out that time moves much more quickly as a married couple. "The time it took for us to get from being strangers working [in] the same office to being married felt like a hundred lifetimes, each with multiple possible outcomes, like a Choose Your Own Adventure book," she wrote. "Being together—married, a team—has made the last six feel like a blink."
You're more open to new experiences.
Since you'll be seeing more of your spouse than any other person in your life after you're married, you'll be witnessing their best—and ugliest—sides. As you grow more accustomed to just letting it all hang out, you might be more vulnerable and open to other experiences as well. After you've let someone completely get to know every part of you, it's more likely that you'll have less trepidation about trying something new.
You're more conscientiousness.
According to a 2017 University of Georgia study, which examined heterosexual couples, husbands became more conscientiousness after marriage, meaning that they were more likely to consider their wives' needs. In an interview with The Cut, study author Justin Lavner said that the change in men "may reflect the fact that their wives are encouraging them to be a little more conscientious, and reinforcing that."
You're more introverted.
The University of Georgia study also found that over the first year and a half of their marriage, men are likely to become more introverted. As a couple, in fact, it's highly likely that you'll become more introverted.
You're less agreeable.
According to the University of Georgia study, both men and women grow less agreeable over the first 18 months of marriage. With that data, it's no wonder they say the first year of marriage is the hardest.
Your emotional stability changes.
The research from the University of Georgia also found that marriage benefits women's emotional stability. The study authors speculate that the commitment of marriage had a positive effect on women's neuroticism, which decreased over time. And for more marriage tips, check out these 40 Secrets of Couples Who've Been Married 40 Years.
You'll likely experience an identity crisis.
Dr. Robyn Zeiger, a therapist who works with the LGBTQIA+ community, says it's relatively easy to fall into an identity crisis of sorts after getting married.
"In a marriage, we often slip into 'roles'—and that can happen on an unconscious level," Zeiger wrote in Tagg Magazine. "You might ask yourself, 'Who am I now?' You may feel confused, but it is quite common as we adjust to this new chapter in our lives."
You'll spend money differently.
Most users on the Married People of Reddit thread said that the way they spend money changed significantly after getting married. More than a few users pointed out that using joint bank accounts felt strange since you're able to see everything that your partner spends money on and vice versa.
On the plus side, it makes you much more cognizant of how much you're spending.
You won't have secrets.
As you can likely imagine, marriage means the end of any semblance of privacy. You'll find that all of your deepest, darkest secrets will now be common knowledge to your spouse. That may sound scary, but it can actually be freeing.
Your phone habits change.
"Your texts are to-the-point. 'What shall we do tonight?' is a simple question that will get you an answer," Fraser says. "There will be no sign of a winky face emoji to throw you off track when all you wanted to know was what you're having for dinner."
Your time with friends changes.
Now that you've officially dedicated your wholly to another person, it makes sense that your time with friends will become more precious. Newlyweds are more likely to plan more laidback activities on the weekends and after work with friends, saving the bigger adventures to do together as a married couple.
You exhibit more self-control.
Statistically speaking, according to a study conducted by Tilburg University, both men and women exhibit better self-control over the course of their marriage. Researchers found that couples refined this skill via arguing.
Eventually, we realize it's better to bite our tongues instead of losing control and saying something that could jeopardize our marriage. Because the stakes are higher than ever.
You forgive others more easily.
The Tilburg University study also found that married people tend to forgive one another with more ease. Plus, marriage made both men and women more forgiving in general.
You no longer feel competitive with your spouse.
Since you're now a team unit, you'll feel less pressure to compete with your spouse—from who makes the most money to who ran the fastest on the treadmill. Now that you're married, you're truly in this together.
Your home base changes.
Though you may not have thought much about this fact, your home base probably existed with a parental figure of some kind before you got married. If you ever lost your job or experienced a difficult setback, you would rely on that family member to help get you back on your feet. Now, this responsibility lies on your spouse's shoulders. Your home base exists with them, which can be a huge change.
Sex will be much better.
While it is true that your sex drive is likely to decrease once you tie the knot, the increased intimacy that comes with marriage will also make you more willing to try new things in bed.
According to NaDasha Elkerson, a relationship expert and coach, this newfound intimacy is the key to better sex. "The pleasure is more intense because there are less uncertain moments. You know one another very well and feel comfortable, and relaxation translates into being able to orgasm more easily," she says.
You'll feel less guilty about wanting alone time.
Even if you lived together before you got hitched, living together as a married couple is wholly different. Suddenly, you literally share every aspect of your lives together.
As a result, your alone time becomes that much more precious, so it's likely that you'll both feel more comfortable acknowledging the fact that you need time away from each other every once in a while. Whether that's through hanging out in different rooms in your home or dedicating nights to spend with friends or other family, you'll feel more comfortable finding a way to make alone time a priority.
Your holidays will change.
Before marriage, where you spent each holiday might not have been highly contested. You likely felt secure going to a family Thanksgiving or Christmas celebration without your partner.
Now that you're married, however, it's almost a requirement that you attend your holiday gatherings as a duo. As a married couple, you're required to make collective decisions about your holiday ventures, which will likely mean making some sort of sacrifice. Which brings us to…
You'll learn how to compromise.
While you shouldn't completely compromise your own happiness and well-being for your spouse, learning how to listen and compromise on contentious issues is something you'll learn through marriage. In fact, compromise is the key to a lasting and healthy relationship.
You'll gain weight.
According to research out of Ohio State University in 2011, women are more likely to pack on the pounds after marriage. For men, weight gain is more likely to occur after a divorce.
You'll have more responsibilities.
When you get married, you have someone else to take care of and worry about, which is a huge responsibility.
But in a practical sense, it's important that you establish who's responsible for what exactly in your lives and homes. "The burden spouses experience managing household responsibilities interferes with individual well-being and expressions of intimacy," a study from The Atlantic concluded in 2013. "Couples that established a shared understanding of their respective responsibilities were less likely to monitor and critique each other's behavior."
You're willing to have awkward conversations.
As Reddit user magictravelblog noted on the Married People of Reddit thread, you're far more willing to have difficult conversations if it means keeping your marriage healthy. "Once you start thinking about being together for decades, you become more willing to get into awkward conversations if they're going to contribute to the long term health of your relationship," they said.
Your sleeping patterns change.
According to Sheri Stritof of Very Well Mind, your sleeping patterns change when you're lying next to the same person night after night. Whether you now have to become acclimated to sleeping in a different position entirely or get used to the fact that your partner snores or moves around throughout the night, you'll inevitably have to make some adjustments to mesh better with your partner.
You spend more weekends at home.
After you get married, you're less likely to make elaborate plans every weekend. In fact, you'll even start to prefer stress-free weekends full of relaxation.
Others take your commitment more seriously.
On the Ask Women Reddit, there's a shared sentiment that others take your relationship much more seriously if you're married. The Redditors even felt like as soon as they told someone else who might be flirting with them that they're married, the person instantly backed off, more so than if they said they had a boyfriend or girlfriend.
You become more invested in your health.
According to Harvard Medical School, numerous studies point to the fact that being in a happy, healthy relationship tends to prolong your life, seeing as it positively affects your mental health and willingness to exercise and eat healthier. After all, now that you have someone to do it with, working out isn't so bad.
You feel more stable.
As a whole, users on the Ask Women Reddit said they felt much more stable about everything in their lives once they were married. Not surprisingly, that stability also translated to their relationship. "Fighting is different," one woman wrote. "There is no longer that small bit of fear I used to have that, 'Okay, this one could be it. This could be the start of a break-up.'"
You might be more opinionated.
Now that you're completely comfortable with someone, it's more likely that you'll express your opinions more openly with your partner—and even with others, eventually.
Expressing yourself fully doesn't seem to have severe consequences in a marriage because, to a certain extent, your spouse will be there for you no matter you do or say.
You're more intuitively connected to your spouse.
You don't become your partner, but you are more intuitively connected after you've been married for some time. Since you know them so well, you're able to predict their next move with precision and their likes, dislikes, and habits might even rub off on you.
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