The 6 Biggest Surprises of the First Year of Marriageby Meredith Bodgas on April 23, 2012
Unless you’re one of those people who doesn’t believe in pre-marital sex, you likely have a solid idea of what being married will be like. But the first months of post-wedding life offer plenty of unexpected things — no matter how long you two were dating before you got hitched. My husband and I had a 12-year-long courtship — and we lived together for three-and-a-half of those years — and we were still surprised by the following.
Everyone — and I do mean everyone — starts asking you when you’re having kids.
Sure, you may expect your nosy great aunt to inquire about your baby-making plans and your best pals to give you the third degree, but you probably don’t realize that people you aren’t even close with will have the same question on their minds — and won’t be afraid to ask it. Of course the usual suspects questioned me, but other probers included an intern in my office, a person I had just met at a party, a blog commenter, and a flight attendant.
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You somehow feel more responsible for each other.
Maybe it was the prompt arrival of cemetery plot brochures after we exchanged vows, but you feel more compelled to do things like let each other know where you are when you’re not together. And since your expenses are more shared now, you find yourself thinking twice about buying that designer shirt because of the joint money goals you have.
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You’re relieved you’re done with wedding planning.
I heart weddings, and I thought I’d be desperate to plan another party — housewarming? one-month anniversary celebration? — as soon as we came back from our honeymoon. Instead, I was ecstatic not to stuff envelopes, plot out a seating chart, or deal with wedding party drama. You will be, too.
You’re wistful that the wedding’s over.
Despite that relief, you can’t help but mourn the fact that you’ll never ever (with any luck) have a wedding again. There won’t be another first dance with your new spouse. Or speeches from people you love, toasting to your happiness. And it’ll be a long time before you have a good enough excuse to drop thousands of dollars on an event that all of your favorite people happily attend.
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The everyday annoyances don’t vanish when you say “I do.”
During our engagement, I constantly heard, “It’s different when you’re married!” Except in a lot of ways… it’s not. My husband snores as often as he did when we were merely living in sin, and I still leave dirty dishes out for days at a time. Marriage doesn’t magically change any of that.
You feel smug for hitting the romance jackpot.
It’s inevitable that your single friends are going to go through rough patches in their dating life. And being married won’t stop you from supporting them. But you’ll experience something akin to survivor’s guilt when they’re having trouble finding the one and you’re thanking your lucky stars you’ve married your soul mate. Fortunately, as long as you don’t offer unsolicited advice or rub your happiness in their faces, your unmarried friends won’t think you’re a jerk for coupling off.
Meredith Bodgas is the blogger behind the wedding, marriage, and baby blog MeritalBliss.com. She’s written about weddings for Glamour.com, pregnancy and kids for WhatToExpect.com, and other sexy subjects for women’s publications like Redbook and WomansDay.com. She’s married to her junior high school sweetheart and lives in her native New York. Follow her on Twitter @mereditor.