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On marriage

August 27, 2010

It has been about 4 months since we tied the knot, and we are finally taking our big honeymoon trip (as you read this!).  It seemed like an appropriate time to share some reflections on marriage.

If people ask, I tell them married life is much like unmarried life, except we don’t have to plan a wedding.  This is not the whole story, but it is definitely the easiest answer when making small talk.

If you think marriage is going to drastically change how you feel about each other, you are (maybe) wrong.  I’m not more committed to T now that I have a paper saying we are legally bound.  I do not love him more, except in the way you love someone more and more each day.

For a lot of people, it is the money stuff that changes.  In my mind and heart, the money stuff was a gradual shift.  From us not really sharing any details with each other, to us sharing most expenses and all information, to us thinking of our money as shared (even if it is still in many accounts).  When we were engaged, or maybe when we moved in together, I stopped thinking of it as mine only.  It was ours.  We still don’t have the money stuff totally smooth.  We are working towards a cohesive one-pot approach, but we aren’t there yet just because the law says now that we are married, we’d split 50/50 if we divorced.

For me, the family stuff has had the biggest impact.  We used to split up on holidays since our families both live far from us and each other.  We still may do that occasionally, but I expect it to be rare.  It means learning to think of his family as my family, my family as his, and most importantly, him as my primary family.  That’s big – but it is also something that happens over time.  Legally, we became a family on our wedding day, but emotions don’t always follow the law.

When we were “just dating” (yet already life partners in our minds), it was annoying to hear married friends gush that being married was SO much different (and of course, so much better), as though your relationship entered some new level unattainable by those without wedding bands.  That may be true for some people (or so i hear) but it is not universal.  Our relationship evolved over time from being two people crazy about each other working to intertwine two very separate lives, to two people who are fully connected, promised to each other for the rest of forever.  And I felt promised to T long before he asked me to marry him.

This isn’t to say I didn’t love our wedding, didn’t love having our family and friends celebrate our love, and didn’t love taking the time to mark our commitment to each other.  I loved all that.  I do think it was important – not because it changed our relationship, but because it celebrated the relationship that was already there.

Our relationship is constantly changing, growing, and entering new levels.  The wedding wasn’t THE MOMENT.  It was one very significant moment of many moments, and there will be many more to come.

And you know what?  I can’t wait!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 27, 2010 8:26 am

    Very honest reflections, and very realistic as well. I can’t stand those people that say stuff like: life is so much better, now I feel as we are one, bla bla bla. I want to ask those people: so…how did you feel before you were married then?

    Have great time on your honeymoon!

  2. August 27, 2010 9:03 am

    I loved this post. It is exactly how I feel about getting married and how I expect to feel. I’ve been committed to F for a long time now. And I think what will change when we get married is that we will be more actively planning our future (kids, house, etc.). I definitely don’t expect to have “a moment” or that things will magically become easier after we are married.

  3. August 27, 2010 9:20 am

    I understand where you’re coming from, but I also think that I am one of those [hopefully not condescending] people who believes that marriage does change things. Maybe not in the one-defining-moment sort of way, but since we got engaged, I do feel that things are different. Things are becoming “ours” and I am trying to get used to thinking of each other as our primary family. I think that this is more in preparation for us having children in a few years, but I want to make sure that my future husband understands that *our* family has to come first.

    Also, although we’ve been together for a long time and have known for years that we were on this path, I think that getting engaged gives you a level of comfort in knowing that this person has chosen you, flaws and all, and will not leave you no matter how ridiculous the fights you pick are.

    • Sp permalink*
      September 7, 2010 4:18 pm

      I do agree that there was a shift – probably more when we were engaged and moved in together rather than the marriage itself.

      The “ours” and “primary family” thing are really big deals. I don’t mean to say they aren’t, and for me, I suppose a lot of those feelings were shifting during our engagement and still shifting shortly after marriage.

      But I do also think that for some people, they make that shift without ever marrying, and that the wedding is (somewhat) beside the point. Very fun and happy, but still, love is love and commitment is commitment.

      (Then again, I would not have been satisfied with never marrying and just being committed. I’m not sure why, but I know I would not have liked that. So there is something to it, but I don’t think my emotions drastically changed in the instant)

  4. August 27, 2010 11:24 am

    I loved this post. I’ve been with Rambo forever and although I honnestly don’t see myself marrying him today, tomorrow or even a year from now, I see marrying him eventually. And that will just be another moment in our crazy lives that we’ve already been working on and enjoying for years. 🙂

  5. August 27, 2010 1:44 pm

    I’m glad you’re so honest

    My friend told me: I got married, and aside from the big party and fun honeymoon.. there wasn’t much else that changed, except I spent the next 3 weeks changing my last name


  6. August 27, 2010 6:42 pm

    To be honest, while marriage is v. important to me – and represents a full realisation of our commitment to each other – I don’t anticipate a lot changing.

    I already consider him my family, as i’m not too close to mine (although that may be more of a change for him), we share a lot of our money, and yeah, we already live practically as a married couple.

    I don’t intend to change my name, either.

    I guess for me, it’s more symbolic than anything else. And on a practical note, I’d like us to be married before we buy a house.

  7. September 1, 2010 8:50 am

    Thanks for this post. I hope you have an amazing honeymoon!


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