I have been married for a year, so I’m still early in — however, we have been together for about 6 years total.
Honestly? The first year of marriage has been the best year of our relationship, period. I found it very easy. A lot of the long-time stress that we had in our relationship came about BECAUSE we weren’t married — I was nervous that he never wanted to marry me, he was obviously dawdling, which made me feel more insecure. While my family treated us the same before and after the wedding, there was an OBVIOUS difference in how I was treated by his family once we were engaged, and especially once we were married, even though we had been together for 4 years, living together for one, when we got engaged.
We bought a house this year — so that was exciting. I think the “marriage is so hard” bit tends to be reserved more for couples who wait until after the wedding to move in together. My day-to-day life didn’t change much after the wedding, though my spirits and attitude did. We were already acclimated. We didn’t have the pressure of, “Will it work out after we get married if we don’t live together until then?” or more regrettably, “We waited until we married to move in together…now I can’t stand him. Panic, panic, panic.”
I can’t blame the latter group for feeling that way. You’ve just married this guy, then BOOM, you’re struggling right at the outset. It was a few months of adjustment for me, living together with my husband, and it was hard.
But, got that out of the way before marriage.
It really depends on where you’re at in your relationship. If you’re just moving in together, it’s gonna be a wake-up call. While my husband and I were together near 24/7 before moving in together, managing chores, visiting family (together), managing bills, etc., is a sensitive dance.