How marriage changes a relationship

Getting married

Many relationship experts and couples’ therapists agree: marriage changes a relationship. Even couples who have been together for many years tend to see a shift in their marriage once the wedding rings are on. Below, we explore the ways in which marriage can transform your relationship.

Many people are surprised to find that their relationship changes once they get married. Even in instances where you are a low-maintenance couple and the exchanging of your wedding vows didn’t include much dazzle, you can feel a very big difference to the quality of your relationship. Emma Straub, a writer at Brides magazine, beautifully explains how being married feels in contrast to what came before:

“It took be about three seconds into the ceremony to know that things were going to change. For starters, our rabbi (also a yoga teacher) called us husband and wife, and the words were immediately and acutely electric, funny at first and then wonderfully serious. We started saying them all the time, to waiters and flight attendants and friends, working them into every conversation. I suppose as a writer (ahem), I shouldn’t have been surprised by the power of words, but these started to feel enormous and weighty, as if our whole bodies had been dipped in gold instead of just our rings. I hadn’t thought anything could feel more serious and permanent than when we moved in together and combined our book collections, but being married made everything that had come before feel like a dress rehearsal.”

As Emma writes, marriage allows your relationship to take on a more serious tone; it can lead your relationship to feel more like ‘the real deal’, in some cases.

You see conflict differently

In most cases, marriage will change how you handle conflict. Before marriage, conflicts can easily jeopardise the stability of a relationship; but after marriage conflicts impact your relationship in a different way. As people begin to feel the impact of being bound together by law, they can begin to approach conflict in a more constructive manner; living together day-in-day-out for the long term can mean that people start to change the ways they approach and resolve conflicts, often supporting each other to fight in better, more productive ways.

Wedding kiss

Others perceive you and your relationship differently

This is especially true in the cases of family members, who will feel that they also have a stake in your relationship and will perceive themselves as having some responsibility in helping to support a healthy and stable marriage.

However, perceptions of your relationship could also shift in other ways and you may be faced with some unwelcome misconceptions of what your married status implies. For example, some co-workers may suddenly pressure you with questions about children, while some friends may feel that you are no longer up for adventurous getaways. New, unwelcome perceptions of your relationship may have to be challenged and worked with.

Finances will impact you more

Even if you lived together previously, your new legal status and shared finances will prove to impact your finances in a new way, as The Huffington Post notes:

“Your financial status is now tied, legally, to another human being. Your debts are now your spouse’s debts, and vice versa. How you spend your money is no longer just your business. This takes a lot of newlyweds a while to get used to, but it’s what most married couples fight about, so don’t go into marriage pretending like your beloved’s credit history won’t be an issue.”

Marriage brings many changes

Marriage will certainly change your relationship in a variety of ways; once the glow of your wedding day has worn off, you and your partner will start to feel different, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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