How did your relationship change in the first year of your marriage? When comparing day 1 of your marriage to day 365, did you sense any specific/notable changes? If the changes were negative, what were some things you and your SO did to get back on track?
Marriage for me has been like running a three-legged race. You’d better be in this thing TOGETHER and in sync, otherwise you’re going to fall flat on your face.
Before Mr. Powder Puff and I got married, we’d make joint decisions. Joint decisions like where were we going to go for dinner. Once we signed our marriage license, we realized that we are now a unit, a family. And we make decisions based on what’s best for the family, not just us as individuals. From little things, like what kind of curtains to get, to big things like where we’ll live and how we’ll spend our money, everything needs to be run past and agreed upon by the other person. This has really taken a lot of trust and compromise that wasn’t as necessary before we tied the knot.
Sometimes Mr. Powder Puff and I get out of sync and have a stumble. But the best part about marriage is you always have a partner to help you get back up. Hopefully with time we’ll become even more adept at working together. Heck, we have an entire lifetime to perfect it! Until then, we’ll keep picking each other up, and working toward our goals…together.
There were two really big changes that happened after the wedding. The first, which I noticed right away, was that I wanted to be a lot more generous with my husband than I ever did with my fiance or boyfriend. If I saw something I wanted him to have, I’d buy it for him, and it didn’t need to be a birthday or Christmas gift; in fact, I actually started to enjoy shopping for him as much as for myself. I started wanting to share things with him (like food, which I’m really, REALLY bad at sharing) if I thought he would enjoy them, which I couldn’t bring myself to do before (it sounds silly, but I’m kind of a food hoarder. Mrs. Spaniel does not play well with others who try to eat off her plate!).
The second, which happened later, is that I’ve noticed I think more about things that could go wrong in our relationship than I used to. I “knew” we were forever before we were married and I didn’t worry when we fought, but now, sometimes, I get scared. What if we have kids and everything changes; will he still love me when I’m sleep-deprived and crazy? What if his business fails and I lose my job; will he still want to put up with me and my money anxiety? It’s like getting married made me finally realize just how much *work* relationships are, and how hard I need to strive to be the person I want to be and that he deserves. There’s no “out” anymore, so I am more aware than ever of just how much work it will take to keep it going.
Mr. D and I are sitting on the couch watching TV and hanging out (which as some of you know, almost never happens on a weeknight), so I asked him.
Year one was about changing our routine, changing what we did in our lives: we moved from Michigan to New York, I quit grad school, we both got jobs and were each on the road 50%+ of the time. We hit the reset button on what people expected us to do, and really struggled with balancing the obligations and duties of our “new life” and our “old life.” It took a long time for the people around us to adopt to our new routine, where we were not always available and around.
Year two was about figuring out what worked for us as individuals. With our crazy work schedules, we had to learn where to fit in time for us as individuals…for Nick it means not feeling guilty if he played video games, and for me it meant going back to exercising in the morning, even if it meant that we didn’t eat breakfast together.
Year three thus far has been figuring out what works for us as a couple. Now that we are more comfortable in being/acting as ourselves, we’re more a team when it comes to the everybody else. This means saying no to a lot of friends and family…so that the small amount of time that we do have with each other at home doesn’t have to be shared with other people. It has been learning to be okay with not being able to please everyone.
The biggest thing we have struggled with has been to make time for us. Scheduling Friday Night Date Night has been very important—no matter where we are during the week (in Boise/Albuquerque/London/Baltimore/Atlanta/Boston/somewhere else), we do everything we can to get back NYC by 6PM Friday night.
After the wedding both of us felt a whole lot more like a team. For me it meant two things… one was that I had a wonderful feeling of being supported and secure and as though someone always had my back and would cheer for me even on my worst days. The other thing it changed was the way we argue. Now instead of being so dead set on “winning” an argument, I see it from a different angle. If he loses, then I lose too. So the goal of most arguments has become working out something that makes our lives better, not deciding on a winner and a loser. It’s amazing what a difference that perspective change has made in our lives.
For us, it sounds a bit lame…but living alone together. We’ve always had roommates, or were living with our parents when we were in our respective countries. As much as we’ve loved everyone we have lived with, it has been really great living together. We work as a team, and figuring out each other’s domestic strengths has been important too. Knowing what it takes for each other to be happy and content at home has been our focus for this first year and a half.
Plus we know that Mr. D is approved to be in the US till January 2013 (we’ll apply for his 10 year card in October) but we no longer have that constant stress hanging over us. At this point, past the fiance visa, past our adjustment of status, we feel more confident going into the next steps of our immigration process.
Honestly, our first year has been awesome. I mean, it’s not like all our life’s dreams came true or anything–it was in fact an incredibly stressful year in terms of work, school and other issues. But our relationship is as strong as ever. When I first started thinking about this question, I thought “nothing has changed.” But after talking to Mr. MJ about it, I realized I wasn’t giving us nearly enough credit. I was thinking about it in terms of “we’re still great!” but really, we’re better.
We communicated well before, but we’re doing it better now. We meshed our weird schedules well before, but we’re better at that now too. We’ve both loosened up a bit, learning more about each others’ habits, quirks, needs, and reactions to various situations; delving deeper into each others’ personalities and what makes each of us ‘tick’. I can’t remember the last time we’ve disagreed on something to the point of raised voices, but I can think of many circumstances when I’ve thought “well at least our relationship is strong and solid, everything else in life sucks right now!”
Mr. MJ feels the same way: it was good back then, and it’s only getting better. He felt that getting the formalities (the wedding) out of the way allowed us to now settle into the rest of our lives. I definitely agree with him, though it was a slower process for me. Because our wedding was on a weekday and we didn’t have a honeymoon right away (or take any time off, for just us), I didn’t necessarily feel married after the wedding. More like: “I took a Wednesday off and we got our pictures taken and my parents came to visit.” It took me a few weeks to really feel the shift. It was gradual, but definitely there. (Changing my name probably helped it along, in combo with all the random “How’s married life?!” comments from various folks.)
In summary, we’re doing well. Really well. We’re coming up on two years since our engagement date (at the end of February), and I think I can speak for both of us when I confirm now that “Yes, I will marry you!” was the correct answer to his question back then. (Although the answer I actually gave was more of a muffled, sobbing ‘omg’ than anything resembling a ‘Yes!’)
I never thought it would happen to us, then I realized a lot of our blowups in the first few months (however few and far between they were) included, “Well, we’re married now, and…”
That’s not a very specific shitty/awesome change that came with marriage, but it was noteworthy nonetheless.
The wedding, honestly, was a distraction. It was wonderful and we loved it and everyone else loved it and we flppin’ talk about it all the time. But it’s not real life. I think the in-your-face nature of being married to someone hits hard after such a big event like a wedding, and it takes some getting used to. It’s just like any other major life transition, be it graduating from college, getting a job, buying a house, or getting pregnant.
It’s been about 10 months for us, so not that long, and at this point it doesn’t feel like that much has changed besides the fact that I get a little giggly feeling when I get to refer to him as my “husband.” Although our lives will probably be changing a lot in the next few years in terms of job, moving, maybe starting a family, etc., these are things that I always assumed that we would be dealing with together, so getting married didn’t change that mentality for me a whole lot. We’ve always been boring, and we still are. Yay!
Well, the biggest change that happened in my world is that I took the stick out of my ass.
Before getting married I was pretty uptight. I wanted to be with my boyfriend/fiance wherever he was. I wanted to know what he was doing. I wanted people to know that WE WERE TOGETHER. It definitely chalked up to my insecurity. Six months into marriage, it started to relax. People would ask, “What’s different now that you’re married?” And I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew things were changing. I’d say a year into our marriage, I finally realized that I’d loosened my kung-fu grip on my poor husband. I didn’t care where he went. If it sounded boring, I didn’t want to go. I explored my life outside of him. I realized that I felt like we were finally a united front to the world—and I didn’t have to be by his side all the time to prove it.
This is just my personal experience. I was never what you’d call a “cool” girlfriend, nor did I ever try to vie for that title. I was very aware of my insecurities and was adamant that Mr. Peng cater to them. I felt this undying need for us to appear as a “united at all times” couple. Now that we’re married, I think the marriage certificate took care of my need to appear united. We’re united because we’re married. Not because people see us together all the time.
I don’t think Mr. Peng realized that putting a ring on it was the best thing for his social life. Ha.
We can hardly remember our first year of marriage. Around the time of our wedding, Mr. SP was laid off and was the start of the “bad economy.” That threw the honeymoon period right out the window. We both had to grow up quickly and learn to be a TEAM. We had a mortgage, goals, and all these other expectations of one another. We had to make decisions about important “adult” things like healthcare.
Losing his job just manifested in other ways in our relationship. It was easy to blame the each other when things were going south. We pulled through and 365 days later we were more realistic about our goals and expectations of one another. We had to compromise that we could no longer afford to throw parties with our friends, have cable TV, or eat out anymore. It didn’t just affect our finances but our style of life that we envisioned post marriage/house. However, we learned that cooking together was fun and YUMMY! As other friends got married, it was fun having them over for dinner and wine. In addition, Mr. SP is traditional (as am I) and although we had been together for years, some of that “My wife should be this way…” started to come out. And the independent New Yorker in me came out and was like, “Oh no you didn’t!” with a “Z”-head shake. I AM a domestic goddess in addition to all the other things I do daily (like I’m an Engineer), but being so I expect my partner to be 100% up to speed with me! In other words, if I can work, cook, clean, do projects, help friends in need, community service, garden, etc., you should be able to do all I expect of you to, and more! That was a revelation to us both. It’s just not that way all the time. I had to come down a little and he had to step it up a little and we both had to appreciate one another for the things we do do and contribute.
For my friends who are still in the honeymoon phase, when I ask them, “How’s it going?” and they give me that look and reply, “It’s good” while letting out a huge sigh, I tell them, “It’s okay.” It’s not perfect the first year, and that’s okay!
I can honestly say it was exactly the same. We had lived together for three years before our wedding, and we knew exactly what we were getting into. Other than having fancier towels and place settings, and finally having a beneficiary for our life insurance policies, nothing changed from day one to day 365.
Well, maybe that’s a lie. One huge change was how much easier it was to end a fight. Now there wasn’t that fear of “he could break up with me and leave if he ever gets mad.” Gone were the worries that he would change his mind. Of course, because I had my major “oh my goodness this is FOREVER” freak-outs before the wedding, our fights no longer turned into “What have I done?” and instead turned into us finding a reasonable way to get ourselves heard.
We’re only just approaching 8 months of marriage, but I can honestly say that nothing has changed with our relationship.
I already pretty much guessed that nothing would though. I’ve written about it several times before, but Mr. C and I having lived together for 8 years, dated for 7 years (no, those years aren’t wrong, we were roommates and just friends first), and having known each other for 10 years when we got married meant that we were ready for this whole marriage thing. We really are each other’s best friend, and for us, our wedding was a way to celebrate our relationship and make official what has already been in place for a long, long time.
However, on other fronts, lots has changed. Mainly, our finances, and how we spend our time. I hate to say it, because I was REEEEALLY into planning our wedding, but on the other side of our big day, we have so much free time for, well, everything! Not that I didn’t 100% love planning every minute detail of our wedding, but we have time for doing so many more things now, instead of spending every free waking moment DIY’ing. But I definitely wouldn’t change our 15 month wedding planning experience for anything, as it made us appreciate the time together we have not wedding planning now! Of course, that time is now spent planning every minute detail of our financial future and how soon we can buy a home, since we have a whole lot more extra cash every month, now that we’re not spending it on wedding stuff!
Ehhhhh nothing much has changed for us. We have been married for 11 months. Remember, we got married in Tokyo in March 2010. We lived together for two years before we got married and I feel like we got a lot of our relationship problems out of the way then. We had communication problems (mostly holding things in) and different interests and priorities. Once it got down to the wire of marriage we had worked most things out and were working towards Mr. G’s visa, repatriating, and planning our new life. We had to work together and think about what we wanted in our marriage and that really brought us close. We’ve certainly come a long way from those wee hours of drunken debauchery to now. We’ve had a pretty blissful newlywed first year!
I’m not sure that a lot changed in our first year of marriage. By the time we got married, we’d been living together for three years, and we’d even bought a house together; it didn’t feel all that different. But getting married did coincide with my graduation from law school so, for the first time, I had a real job and we decided to become a single financial unit. This was something that took some getting used to, and quite a bit of tweaking. We definitely didn’t figure it out overnight. In fact, the Dude kept forgetting that his money was our money, so he’d go out and buy me something (like an $80 power cord) without checking with me first, thinking he was being really sweet. I remember the pathetic look on his face when I said, “You know that you didn’t just buy that for me, right?” But once we ironed out the kinks, combining our finances was so great that I wished we had done it sooner. I felt a huge sense of relief that we were planning for our lifetime together in a really concrete way.
Oh so little and oh so much. Mainly, life is heavier.
The hubs and I rarely engage in trivial fodder, cute date conversations about funny things that happened while we were walking to the cafe down the street. (Never mind the fact that we never walked down the street to a little cafe.) Now, with these rings, our nightly conversations, daily conversations, emails when we should be working all revolve around MAJOR LIFE CHANGING LIFE DETERMINING IF WE DON’T DECIDE NOW WE’LL NEVER KNOW WHERE WE’RE GOING type things. Topics like, when will we have kids? (This answer changes depending on my mood.) Will we ever live in a city again or is it suburbia forever? What jobs do we really want to have? Should we open a business? When did the dog last go to the bathroom? Should we spend the extra money on fixing the gutter (him) or new baking appliances (me)?
This all being true, we now have these exciting life changing topics to discuss because we’re a team and we have family, married, team goals. So really, it’s a good thing. Until Mr. Pencils tells me he won’t pay for me to move to Paris to go to pastry school, while also saving up for me to get my PhD so I can stay at home with the kids while I write my dissertation. What gives, Mr. P?
So, maybe what’s changed after being married 9 months is that we want everything and we feel like we can have it because we have each other.
We’ve been married for almost 7 months now… (not a full year yet, but definitely long enough for it to have settled in!) We got married at such a transition stage in our lives. The changes we’ve experienced in the last 7 months include living together for the first time ever, moving to the East Coast, and both entering into post-college life. I would say that the circumstances of our life right now have really forced us into the truest union; we’ve had to experience the so-called “leaving and cleaving” stage that people speak of in its most extreme sense. When we’re not at work or school, it’s just the two of us. In our home, on a walk, on a date, at the store… all the time. At first, we truly did not know a soul for 3,000 miles. We even joked that our theme song was that classic Bill Withers hit, “Just The Two of Us.” You know, “building castles in the sky,” and all that jazz? That’s us… haha!
As an individual, I’m at a strange place in life. I’m a just out of college, lifelong over-achiever, feeling 100% lost career-wise and just in general. I hate to admit it, but I’m truly in a “What am I going to do for the rest of my life?” phase. So I think that having only Mr. Turtle to rely on has been a good thing for me, and for our marriage. In my freak-out moments, when I’d usually run to one of my girlfriends, or head straight for my parents’ house, Mr. T is all I’ve got! And I’m all he has. It’s weird, and kind of surreal, but it has given our already existing bond a depth that I never could have imagined. And that is something that we will be able to take back with us, when we eventually head back West to settle near our family and friends.
To sum it up, when we were dating, and even engaged, I always felt like as much as I loved Mr. Turtle, I shouldn’t “put all of my eggs in one basket.” I used to feel guilty for spending too much time with him, and would often ditch out on him for a night out with my friends, etc. But being married feels so significant and substantial. The whole “till death do you part” thing is so real and so special. I know that I’ve been a bit wordy, so to sum it up, this is what’s been the biggest change: Before marriage, we were Mr. Turtle and Miss Turtle. Now we are Team Turtle. And rather than making me feel weakened as an individual, I feel stronger this way. Together, we’re more ready to handle anything that comes our way! 🙂
I don’t think our relationship has changed much since we got married. If anything, it’s back to the way it was before we got engaged and started building a house. I think the two planning processes stressed us out and now we can relax again.
If anything changed our marriage, it was the addition of a puppy a few months ago. It has been a lot of work, a lot of compramise and a lot of prioritizing of time. Let’s just say we can’t wait until she’s not a puppy anymore. 🙂
We were engaged for 1.5 years, and in that time, I floated through air totally in love. Our relationship was magical, for lack of a better word. That time solidified our love, and marriage has only deepened it. (Gawd, sorry for the cheese.) Since being on WB, we’ve moved, Mr. Peep was laid off, and we really hunkered down and found our strengths. The great news: Mr. Peep has a great new job and I know that we can get through the hard stuff. My one piece of advice: live up the good times and relish the hard times. Oh, and keep all communications open. Talk every day, for five minutes or 60 minutes. Relationships need tending.
And one thing that you can bet: I say the word ‘Husband’ as often as I can. I still get a thrill out of saying it.
Hmm, what has changed? Since we’d been together for 5 years and already living together before we were married, I didn’t expect much to change, but there were some little things.
Instead of being a couple, we’re a family. And our original families treat us as a family now. Not that anyone treated us badly before marriage, but since our marriage the families treat the new member like they’re going to be around forever, not just like they’ve been around for a while, it’s a subtle difference, but I defnitely noticed it.
Between the two of us, I feel more of a permanence to our relationship. We make decisions based on our future together rather than our separate futures. We enjoy calling each other husband and wife.
And last, but not least, the question from everyone changes from ‘when will you two get married?’ to ‘when will you two have kids?’. Sigh.
The Pin Cushion marriage is still young, but in the 7 months since our wedding, i can honestly say that we have been happier together than we ever have been. There is a quality of contentment, and settledness that we did not have before. And we have had barely a tiff since the wedding (knock on wood).
This happiness could be our honeymoon period (in which case, I don’t want it to end, and maybe Seal and Heidi Klum know what they’re doing when they get remarried every year). Or, like Mr. Pin Cushion suggests, the happiness and lack of fighting could be due to not having to plan a wedding anymore (and in that case, Seal and Heidi are crazy for putting themselves through the planning process every year).
When people ask how married life is, I fee like a cheese-ball when I reply it’s even better than I thought it would be. But it truly is. After being together for 10 years, I thought marriage wouldn’t change anything. I feel lucky that it did! It’s a bit of domestic bliss-we cook more together, we go grocery shopping, we buy new furniture, and when I come home from work I get to be with my husband. It’s everything a girl from Oakland could ask for.
How about you? How did your relationship change in the first year of your marriage? When comparing day 1 of your marriage to day 365, did you sense any specific/notable changes?