Post # 17
We are about to celebrate our 2 year anniversary and still joke that “the first year is the hardest”. In all honesty the first year was a breeze compared to planning a wedding and buying a house at the same time!
The only thing that has changed for me is that there is a sense of security and a greater strength to our bond. We really are partners in everything and we think about each other more before making any decisions (no matter how insignificant).
Post # 18
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
It depends. If you have been together for a while and especially if you have already lived together, not much will change. What I notice is that married couples tend to default to expected gender norms more so after marriage than before marriage. I’m not saying all couples do it because obviously they don’t, but I do notice it more with friends of mine who have gotten married (and it even happened when I got married the first time.)
What I mean by defaulting to expected gender norms is that once married the wives had more of an expectation that their husbands would do “manly” things around the house (i.e. take out the trash, mow the lawn, etc…) while husbands had more of expectation that their wives would do “womanly” things (like keep the house clean and take care of the children.) Even if this wasn’t how the relationship worked before the marriage, by a few years later these expected gender norms just seem to sneak into the relationship.
I think it’s a really good idea to sit down multiple times before you’re married and talk about what expectations you each have of marriage and three or four things you each think are essential to marriage. What were your parents’ marriages like. Whether you want your marriage to be like theirs or nothing like your parents’ relationship. Chore expectations and whether that changes when you have kids or someone loses their job. How you plan to discipline your kids. What religion or philosophy you plan to raise you kids under. Whether you want kids at all. Where you plan to live, how you plan to live, what might happen if one of you gets a job offer somewhere else. How you plan to budget your money. Whether you spend your savings on a house or monthlong trek across Europe.
I say you both write your answers down separately and then trade them and discuss them. There are plenty of books and websites that explain major topics couples should discuss before marriage. Do it. I was naive when I entered my first marriage. I thought nothing would change, our relationship was only going to have an official seal on it so we could file joint taxes and share the same last name. But there are some subtle changes that could end up major problems if you aren’t aware of them before getting married.
Post # 19
It changed in a way that we felt more love, more security, more foreverness, more good feelings.
Post # 20
@megz06: They don’t understand that, even as a married couple that eat, sleep, and see each other every night after work, we still value to time we get to spend with each other on the weekends together going shopping.
Yes! We have already had to deal with this as an unmarried couple living together. We have been living in the same apartment for years now, and over time the majority of our closest friends also moved in to the same complex. It got to the point where not a day went by where it was just me and him spending time together without someone coming by. We used to lock the door and put on our FB statuses “Spending some QT time with my babe!!!” so people would take the hint…don’t bother us, we want to have dinner and watch a movie alone! LOL
Post # 21
DH and I were together 11½ years before we were married, and I have to say that once we walked down the aisle, my love for him only grew (which I didn’t think was possible). Sure, we’ve had some issues in the first year (he has health issues which caused his libido to tank–therefore causing a lack of intimacy, and resentment on my-part), but we got through it. Like PPs have said, there’s a strengthened bond between us now…
Post # 22
Nothing! We lived together for 3 years before we got married and even now, after almost 2 years, things are about the same. It was weird to refer to each other as husband/wife, but nothing else has changed.
As for the whole strengthened bond thing, I really don’t feel more bonded to him than I did before. The promises/vows made at our wedding were things we had said to each other years before. We went through some tough times before marriage AND after marriage, and I feel more strongly bonded to him after those times. Not the wedding.