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Dear Wendy

What changes after marriage?

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Viewing 8 posts - 13 through 20 (of 20 total)
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  • #744413 Reply
    Guy FridayGuy Friday

    Well, it’ll be 6 years for me in April, and I’ll say I still get a goofy grin and a surge of pride when I say “my wife” to people. I don’t really mean that in a possessive way, but it’s kind of like “She chose ME. I get to come home to HER every night. She’s badass, and she could have had anyone, and she chose ME.” So maybe it’s a tiny bit possessive? 🙂

    Anyway, I’d echo what Kate said:
    Don’t expect to feel differently or anything, but take the long view. You want to be in this for life, so you have to act in a way that’s conducive to that.
    I think the people who say you should never change anything about yourself for someone you marry are being too broad. Sure, you don’t necessarily change major aspects of your personality, but you kind of have to become a different person to some small degree at least. Put another way: it’s easy to SAY you’re willing to sacrifice for the sake of your marriage, but it’s harder to actually pull the trigger and DO it. You’ve got to make sure your mindset is about balancing how it advances you individually vs. both as a team. It may mean swallowing your ego a little. An example: My wife just got an award for her awesome work in advancing the STEM movement for young girls, and it was a big fancy cocktail party and speech thing. And, yeah, I’ll admit I was a tiny bit jealous, because no one’s throwing awards at me for winning jury trials. But mostly I was proud that other people saw her the way I saw her, and when she got up there for her speech she thanked me for doing all the background things that freed her to go do these things that got her this award, and that made me feel like the award was shared a little, and it showed me she valued me as well, and that made me feel special too.

    So, yeah. The best part about being married, in my opinion, is that the highs are higher because you can both celebrate them, and the lows are softened because you can lean on one another. Yeah, it’s like that in relationships too, but it just felt a little more like that to me once I got married.

    #744438 Reply

    My husband does a sport league and I have never gone with him, really not my thing. I finally went the other day and some guy blew his top thinking my husband was having an affair with some married woman (me). Guess he never noticed his ring. Husband said guy knows nothing about him, I guess one of the group he doesn’t interact with as much, plus husband doesn’t really talk about his personal life too much. Pretty funny. I told he we should’ve played along and messed with the guy.

    #744464 Reply

    I didn’t feel that my relationship changed when I got married. The commitment and connection were already there. Having kids was a much bigger relationship changer than marriage.

    If you want your relationship to last you need to protect it and nurture it. Part of protecting it is to not share the intimate details of the marriage with others so in general keep your sex life private but also serious conversations and decisions. You need to be making decisions with your partner and shouldn’t need to make them with your family or friends. You need to spend enough time together that you maintain a healthy emotional connection. You need to have fun together and you need to talk and share your day to day life to keep connected. You need to respect differences of opinion. You need to try to make change work for both of you so that you are both happy. Your marriage can only be as happy as the least happy partner so make sure that things work for both of you. Realize that each time you have a major life change like moving or the birth of a baby you will need to come to a new balance about who does what. Even a move in the same area changes commute time and changes your living space and you can end up needing a new balance in who does what. If someone commutes just ten more minutes each way that is twenty minutes per day or 100 minutes less time at home per week. That is less time to be able to do things at home. If you have another child you will need to rebalance time spent on childcare. You will be meeting the needs of two children plus managing the interaction between those children which will take much more time than one child.

    As Kate mentioned you need five times more good times than bad to keep your marriage happy. Figure out ways to make your marriage good. Don’t try to force your partner to do things they don’t like and don’t try to spend a lot of time doing things you don’t like. The overall affect will be negative so try to find things to do together that you both enjoy. Try to keep the load of chores fair to both of you. Make sure you don’t underestimate what your partner does. Most people underestimate the amount of time that their partner spends doing chores.

    The last important thing that I can think of right now is to keep the emotional intimacy in your marriage. Don’t start confiding in someone outside of the marriage because that builds emotional intimacy outside the marriage and weakens the marriage. Make sure your spouse is the one you tell important things to first. Share your excitements and disappointments with your spouse before anyone else. You tend to say more the first time you tell something. You share more of your emotions and thoughts and that builds your connection and maintains it. If you share with someone else first then your spouse ends up with an abbreviated version or nothing at all because you’ve already met your need for sharing. People destroy marriages by not sharing with their spouse and instead building an emotional connection to someone else. That is also the way that many affairs begin. If you spend more and more time sharing outside the marriage you build a strong connection to the person outside the marriage and weaken the connection to your spouse and that ends many marriages. Sharing inside the marriage is a good way to keep the happiness balance high and sharing outside the marriage is a way of weakening your connection. Save the emotional intimacy for the marriage.

    #744466 Reply

    Granted, I’m a fairly recent newlywed, 7 months next week, but so far, nothing has changed. I still get asked “how’s married life?” and from the start, I disliked the question. My answer is always “it’s good, it’s the same.” I think that’s because before we tied the knot, I felt married to him. We’ve always been a team.

    #744467 Reply

    I mean, when I got married at 21 and we’d never lived together, and we moved overseas for his military station, THAT was an adjustment, and certainly a lot changed.

    But if you’re already living with someone and have a kid, I don’t think it’s going to feel any different. I think things change slowly over years, though.

    #749343 Reply

    I’ve been married for 9 years now. (Dang) Not much in our relationship changed when we got married. I was 21 and we hadn’t lived together before so I moved out of my parents and in with my husband which was an adjustment but I don’t think being married will change much for you guys there. It’s kind of weird calling someone your husband/wife at first. You could pretend though. Be like dude we are married ALL THESE SHEETS ARE MINE! And be a total blanket hog. haha.

    I totally agree with Skyblossom that kids are the real changer. Moving out/marriage was nothing compared to bringing a baby home. Since you guys have already navigated that potential minefield I don’t think it will be a big deal. I mean I’m a monster of a human being when I’m pregnant (like before the stick is even pink) but thankfully we have 3 kids now and are done with that.

    #749344 Reply

    Someone once described it to me as dating is like a war-game. You participate for a certain amount of time and then you go home. If it does badly, no biggie. Marriage is the war-you’re in it 24/7 and you need to find resources for compromise, agreement, cooperation, etc that weren’t necessary before to survive it.

    #749345 Reply

    @Fyodor that sounds rather depressing…

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