When my husband proposed in the summer of 2015, it was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me. I know, I know… that hardly sounds creative or surprising — but it’s true! At that point, we’d been dating for just shy of six years, and we had just finished moving into our first apartment together. It felt so good to know we were finally making an official commitment to each other, but honestly — after so many years of dating — it was hard for me to believe that I would actually feel any different once we tied the knot. We had been devoted to each other for so long that it was hard to imagine how marriage could be that big of a change. And in many ways, I was right. The transition to marriage felt pretty natural to both of us in the months following our barn wedding last June. Still, there were new dynamics and quirks in our relationship that I could never have expected, and while none felt too major, they did take some adjustments. Here are five surprising things that happened to me (and may happen to you too!) when you take the marriage leap.
1. Sharing (everything) becomes very easy. I was never shy about stealing food from my now husband’s plate or borrowing a sweatshirt from his closet, but now sharing feels like second nature. On a larger scale, we opted to join our finances a few weeks before the wedding, and while it felt awkward to make joint purchases from our shared account, it’s now entirely natural. I rarely think about things as “mine” or “his,” and I know he would say the same (except when he knows I have my eye on the last of his French fries).
2. You become less protective (AKA neurotic) about spending time with your spouse. Before we sealed the deal, I often felt like I had to guard my time with my man like a nasty mama bear guards her cubs. I was less likely to prioritize time with my girlfriends, and I rarely set aside quality “me time” because it was so important for me to make myself available just in case we could squeeze in an hour or two together (even if all we were planning to do was watch the Game Show Network). And as for bae spending lots of time with his pals? Forget it! Any mention of a boys’ night and I would suddenly get short of breath and panicky, wondering if we would still have the time together that I so desperately wanted. Time, in general, felt like such a limited commodity. These days, we still make date nights a priority and I still cherish our moments together, but I definitely feel less freaked out about our collective schedule. After all, we’re in this for life!
3. Gifts are suddenly intended for both of you — and most of them are for your home. Here’s a hint: The slew of new housewares doesn’t end when you close out your wedding registry. As a married couple, you’ll find yourselves receiving plenty of presents for your home. Gone are the days of personal gifts; now it’s time to start figuring out your preferred method of unwrapping presents as a team. On the flip side, you’ll also start giving gifts jointly, which can be really fun! I love picking my husband’s brain when I’m shopping for the trickiest people on my list.
4. You may suddenly convince yourself that you are pregnant. All. The. Time. My husband and I definitely want to have a family someday, but it’s not the right time for us to start having kids, and it probably won’t be for a few more years. My birth control routine hasn’t changed since we married, but for some reason, I’ve gotten it in my head that because I’m wearing a ring I’m suddenly more susceptible to the infamous loopholes of the pill. Taking pregnancy tests has become a regular occurrence in our household, and my husband finds this new and irrational paranoia endlessly entertaining. Hey, at least we’re in it together.
5. People start treating you like “real” adults. Prior to our big day, my husband and I had been together for nearly seven years, but in the 10 months since we married, everyone seems to perceive us a little differently — both individually and as a couple. Our family takes our decisions and our opinions more seriously, and many of our friends seem to think that we’ve acquired a new level of wisdom about life and relationships. Our decision-making processes have matured and we have a new, longer-range perspective on partnership, but I promise that we don’t feel any different! The most significant news, though, is that I think we’ve officially been promoted from the kids’ table at all family events — and on a permanent basis.
What surprising things have happened now that you’ve tied the knot? Tweet us @BritandCo!