You’ve decided that he’s the one, survived your wedding night and now settled down to the rest of your life together.
Everything is the same, and yet, its not. Whether you’re weeks, days, months or years into your marriage, here are seven things that every married couple will recognise.
1. Being together is the norm
Every day (unless one of you is away) starts and ends together. You co-exist in your household. You most likely get ready to go out together and come home together.
Getting ready is more structured, sharing the bathroom, arranging the babysitter or arguing over why you left so late. That feeling of butterflies when you first lay eyes on each other when you came from separate places has gone.
The upside is that you now never have to have the ‘your place or mine’ discussion.
2. Communication is more perfunctory
Before you were married, text messages were late night missives, full of flirtation, love and missing each other. Now, they’re a more perfunctory way of making arrangements.
Whereas once the mention of dinner was an invitation, it is now a question, or a reminder that it’s your turn to do the shopping.
On the other hand, you can tell your spouse your inner most feelings face to face.
3. Home is no longer just a dream
Home is not a ‘one day’ kind of daydream, but your reality. Previously you could pretend you’d live in a scandi-inspired minimalist flat which was always tidy when you were grown-up.
But you are now grown up and married and you still live in a slightly run down place furnished with an eclectic selection of inherited furniture mixed with a few wedding presents, and you still always need to tidy up.
It is hard to realise that ‘grown-up’ is along the lines of ‘tomorrow’; definable but never actually reached. On the positive side, you’ve two of you to pay the rent/mortgage and bills.
4. Time to yourself is treasured
Before you were married, you longed to spend all day (or evening) together. Now, you’re grateful and happier when you can have a little bit of time to yourself.
Whereas once the other person heading to an event to which you weren’t invited was either a bit of an annoyance, or a reason to go out with your own friends, now it’s a chance to catch up on the week’s TV and eat your own preferred ‘filthy food secret‘ (aka cheese on toast whilst watching the X Factor).
5. How you spend money is different
Before marriage, money was clearly separate. Now, it’s joint. No matter how you arrange the finances, spending money on each other as a surprise can be difficult; likewise, feeling like you’re being treated to a meal out somehow feels different when you know it’s coming from a joint pot, and money on a dinner here means less on something else there.
On the upside, it’s two salaries, not one.
6. You have to juggle other responsibilities more
Children, cats, or simply family and friends that need you, these all require time and attention. Before marriage and living together, these were things that either didn’t exist, or didn’t impact the relationship as you’d simply do them when you weren’t together.
You now juggle a lot more hats (spouse, parent/guardian/carer, friend etc).
7. You reach a new level of intimacy
You see your spouse in all and every state; happiness but also sadness, or illness or when they’re hormonal and grumpy.
Your boundaries and barriers have come down, so whilst you might now pee in front of each other, you also can’t hide when you need supporting or when you need telling you’re being out of order.
You see the worst in each other, but also the best. You are truly yourself and that new kind of intimacy can be a very comforting thing.