Post # 1
I was recently married on December 3rd, and another thread had me thinking… is marriage just a piece of paper? Or does it change your relationship?
I think fundamentally it changes your relationship–it may not change the way you feel about each other–but for the most part, if it didn’t take your relationship to the next level, I don’t think we would have the need for marriage certificates.
For the simple fact that you can’t just break up and walk away without a fight, a marriage license, to me, is a pretty big freaking deal!!
I kind of wish more people thought that marriage and certificates were a big, big deal, and that your relationship is changed to a heightened committment. Unfortunately so many do not see it that way and we wonder why our divorce rate is so high. If the piece of paper wasn’t a big deal in the first place, then why would you have any qualms about a divorce?
My husband and I were talking about how relieved we were to be married, to have the official-ness and grateful our search for a partner in life was over.
I thought it was an interesting topic! Any other thoughts or opinions? Did you feel different after your wedding day?
Post # 3
@deetroitwhat: Agree with you about the fighting thing. Marriage motivated me to really work on changing some bad habits of mine in a way that previous relationships didn’t.
Post # 4
I do feel different in some respects. We lived together for over two years before getting married, so the day to dayness of it is pretty much the same. However, I think we have a larger committment to each other and to the relationship. When we disagree, there’s a lot more at stake and you can’t just walk away.
Post # 5
Agreed. I think our day to day life is pretty much exactly the same. I feel 99% the same as I did the day, week, year before we got married. The 1% that’s changed is that I feel much more protective like “Don’t mess with my husband!!!” and if I feel like someone isn’t treating him nicely or has done something wrong, I get really offended on his behalf and want to go tell the person off! LOL! Maybe it’s more of a sense of “family” if you want to call it that?
On the other hand, I think DH feels different. I noticed that the closer we got to the wedding, and since the wedding, he’s been uber lovey and just the way he looks at me is different. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s a nice thing though 🙂
And I totally agree, when we argue (which isn’t often), I know we’re going to work through it and learn from it. There’s no walking away!
Post # 6
@deetroitwhat: my first thought when we got married (note, we’re legally married, but intending to do a religious ceremony in 7 months, so we’re kind of half married) i thought nothing was different. after a week i thought everything was the same, but the background music (if you will) to my life was suddenly much better.
and now, with the whole sharing money thing, it’s way stressful.
i’ve gotten advice from many couples who’ve been married 20+ years and they say the first year is the honeymoon, but it’s also the hardest. suddenly you have a lot more to work on, and you wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into. (even when they’d been living together!).
fundamentally it’s different. but the difference is so slight, it’s disconcerting. is it better? is it worse? is it the same? ahhh! I DON’T KNOW. lol.
it’s only been a few weeks for us, though. but we’re very happy that we ‘re married. 🙂
Post # 7
We felt that relief as well as the sense of protectiveness Bakerella described. It trips me out to see DH wearing a wedding ring or to think that we’re finally really married, but I don’t think marriage itself changes the nature of a relationship. We’re more lovey dovey and I do feel a little more secure–that there’s no backing out or walking away and that we’ll figure things out together, as a team, instead of just calling it quits (not that we would have done that before, though).
Post # 8
We just got married December 1st, and it hasn’t made a big difference in our relationship. However, there is somewhat a bit of difference that neither of us can quite put our fingers on. When we went out together for the first time on Saturday (I’ve been fighting a cold, so I’ve been staying home), we agreed there was something that felt different, something that we really liked.
Post # 9
@bakerella: I have noticed that about my husband too. He texts me like “I love you my beautiful wife” and stuff like that. Is it not just the sweetest thing??
@ellabee: We had joint bank accounts before we were married. Heck I even changed him to my beneficiary before we were married (not too long before). I understand what your friends are saying – hear that a lot. Soooo wondering what this year has in store for us!!
Post # 10
DH and I lived together for 8 years and had 3 kids before getting married. A piece of paper and two words in front of a JoP did not change anything in our relationship. Marriage didn’t take our relationship to a more meaningful or higher level. For all intents and purposes, our lifestyle was like a marriage. The commitment was there, the love was there. All that was missing was the certificate and the two words.
As for bringing our relationship to a “higher level” or make it more meaningful, our kids did that. We were committed to each other and our kids long before receiving a certificate that said we were legally wed. We had that level and that commitment before marriage.
We felt no different after our wedding than we did before our wedding. The only thing that changed was that I got to use my DH’s last name legally.
Post # 11
Marriage didn’t change anything in our relationship. There *is* sometimes a fluttery feeling I get when I think about being married (a happy feeling), but neither my husband or I feel like anything at all has changed in our relationship or our day to day lives.
The reason for the certificate isn’t to “take our relationship to the next level”, it’s to benefit from the legal advantages/protections of marriage. Simply: we wouldn’t have the same legal benefits without a marriage certificate, but we would have the same relationship and emotional benefits without one. Neither of us were going to just walk away after a fight (actually, we’ve never really had a fight). We were ready to be together forever before we signed the legal contract and lived our lives that way.
Since getting married, my co-worker (I’m not sure how long he has been married) my cousin (married for 9 years) and my dad (married for 40 years this coming April) have all asked how married life is. When I’ve answered “exactly the same it was before” and laughed, ALL have said the same, exact thing verbatim “then you know you got married for the right reasons”.
Also, people can, and do, just break up and walk away from marriages every single day.
Post # 12
Marriage ABSOLUTELY changed my relationship! 🙂
We didn’t live together before marriage, so living together and learning more about the good, the bad, and the in-between of it all was definitely new to us. We made the commitment to love each other no matter what before we learned all each other’s faults, and I think that was the right way to go about it.
We also (for both religious and personal reasons) were virgins up until our wedding night. That, for us, was a HUGE deal.
It’s definitely inspired us to change a for the better and put each other first and foremost.
So, yes, marriage is a big deal. It changed us. I don’t want to start a big thing here, but marriage truly is the most basic unit of our society. You are tied together for better or for worse- and it’s not something you can just walk away from. At least it shouldn’t be.
Post # 13
And, on a sidenote… is it not incredibly sexy to see your man wearing a wedding ring? 😉
Post # 14
@Mrs Grape:LOL we totally do wedding ring fist bumps. 🙂 We are way more protective now. It’s very cute.
Post # 15
@BanditGirl: Thanks for that perspective. You weren’t even just a teensy bit excited/emotional during the ceremony?
@symphony: I think having legal benefits to another person is a level in itself, no?
Post # 16
@symphony: HELL YEAH!!!!!!!!!! LOVES IT!