After you’ve been dating a long time, you start wondering if anything will really change when you get married.
But as most married couples will often tell you, it is a natural progression and changes are what the both of you will have to expect after marriage. It’s a big step into the future and these changes aren’t necessarily bad but you need to be prepared for them.
So for all the couples who are about to get hitched, expect these 10 changes when you go from dating to marriage.
You Become Less Prudish
There will be lots of times when one of you let out a fart or burp, or perform some embarrassing feat whether the other is knowingly or unknowingly watching.
The only difference between dating and marriage would be that when you’re married, you just may let out a snort as you laugh about it. Of course you still need to watch your manners but it’s not like you have to put on your best front unlike courtship days.
Marriage lets you forget about your inhibitions and quirks – it is natural and the both of you learn to be mature (or childish) about it and laugh it off. You live with your other half without any pretence.
You’re less likely to be vocal about your other half’s lacklustre house habits when you’re dating.
During the dating phase, you will try your best to accommodate the other person because you think he/ she will change for the better overtime. But when you’re married, you will be quick to highlight your cleanliness obsession and frankness about things like this.
Why? For one simple reason. You will be eating, sleeping and living together every day except when you’re at work. Under such circumstances, your patience wears out and believe me, you will be upfront.
That’s marriage – it affords you the luxury of honesty and comfort simply because your walls are down and you’re completely at ease with one another.
“I promise to be true to you for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”
The moment you take your wedding vow, you’re headed to the next level of your relationship where it means getting serious and committed to one another.
It’s not a destination but simply a journey that allows the both of you to see where things are headed clearly and with certainty.
Your lives will be drastically different because from then on, you and your partner will have to go through many episodes together – from money matters, to buying your first home, going through the renovation or preparing for your first bundle of joy.
It’s no longer about you only.
It’s Our Money and Not My Money Anymore
There are no more concerns about who foots which bill or who earns how much. It’s all about understanding how much you both bring in together for the household, and how you build a life out of what you make.
You start second guessing frivolous expenses and sometimes might even decide to forgo a fancy dinner date for V day, just so to save up for more important priorities that the both of you are working towards.
In reality, one of you will eventually become the ‘Chief Financial Officer’ who pulls the purse strings and decides how money should be spent and on what, and how much would go into the savings account every month.
Looking from a positive angle, it also means your ‘CFO’ is serious about building a future with you and making sure the marriage don’t get wrecked by any reckless and incessant spending.
You Learn to be Thoughtful
Your weight, your finances, your plans, your careers – they all change to “Ours”. The plans or decisions you make mean you’re no longer in full control of each and everything.
Marriage puts you in a position where you learn to become thoughtful about your spouse’s feelings. It may sound like not-so-good news, especially for independent souls who find it hard to let go of their reigns but ultimately, you realise marriage isn’t just about coexisting.
It’s also about fitting your plans together imperfectly to make it a perfect one because you respect and care about how your other half will feel. You will also realise that listening and mutual respect is key to sustaining a happy marriage.
Dealing With Your In-Laws
Some parents may find it difficult to adjust to the fact that you are now the priority instead of them. This usually occur to husbands, that’s why you usually hear of frictions between wife and mother-in-law.
Heard of the old Chinese proverb – One mountain cannot hide two tigers?
Yes, it is hard to understand sometimes, but his/her mother is your mother-in-law. And you learn to respect that, no matter how much your spouse loves her, even if she’s the complete opposite of what you’d define as “respectable”.
It also means there are occasions where you have to swallow your pride, and to show them you are doing your part in accepting and loving them for who they are. That you are putting in effort to be a part of the ‘family’.
And this is a big deal, for your spouse especially.
Marriage is all about your spouse and the people that make them who they are, and that is a huge change you need to accept.
Friendship Takes a Backseat
It may start becoming difficult to have your weekly girls or boys nights out.
Marriage is a game changer and once you and your significant other start becoming viewed as one unit instead of two, friendship may no longer be the same anymore.
You start spending a lot more time doing things together as husband and wife. The regular weekend household chores would also keep you both occupied because no one else but you, the owner of this house, is responsible for it.
You need to realize this change is completely natural. It will dawn on you that you may not be able to dish all the juicy details of your dating life like you used to anymore.
You stop kissing and telling because after all, your loyalty now lies with your spouse.
Fighting and Compromising
Every couple fights. It’s a reality.
Getting married also means you will learn to embrace conflict, along with all the good stuff in a marriage. Fighting is a normal and a healthy part of any relationship – even when the both of you were dating.
The point of arguing is not to win anything or to take out your crankiness on your spouse. The point of a fight is to arrive at a solution to a problem that both of you can compromise on. It’s an art. Get it?
Let’s just say that losing the argument sometimes is much better than losing your significant half. This is especially true for the men.
Not Killing Each Other
It can be difficult to sit, sleep, eat, breathe and live with the same person day in and day out. But that is exactly what marriage is. And you are going to face this for the next 40 – 50 years.
And as cliche as it sounds, you start becoming accustomed to each other’s habits – good and bad alike, until it’s impossible to live without one another.
When 2 Becomes 1
If she said yes to the movie, you’ll be going too. If he said you both couldn’t make it because of another party, you utter the same excuse.
You start becoming two bodies, one soul – two personalities gelled so perfectly together that it is hard to imagine a time when you weren’t together.
It might sometimes feel like you’re losing your individuality or your identity but marriage is, ultimately, two people coming together to become one.
For couples who have been putting your plans on hold to settle down, are your parents exerting pressure on you? Why not read about Sandra’s experience in this article.