What I’ve Learned After Being Married for a Month

As I write this, its been exactly one month since Adam and I made this thing official. We are married! We have signed on the dotted line, exchanged our vows, had a kickass honeymoon and returned to reality.

Before our wedding I had prepared myself for a bit of a wedding hangover the next day. Not one caused by too much Prosecco, but one caused by a full year of wedding planning being all over in a very short 24 hours. Friends had warned me of the sadness they felt when their wedding was officially over. The slight disappointment when things just didn’t feel any different. My way of combating these feelings have been to take note of any and all new experiences. Soak up any of the “newlywed” nuances and I think it has really helped! So below is my list of all the small (and big) changes I have noticed since we’ve been married:

Things that were once “ifs” have now become “whens”

I had always been very careful about planning too far ahead. You don’t want to scare your partner away by dropping the “when we…” bomb too soon. So, you always tread carefully, if’s are used instead of whens and some things are simply never assumed. Once you are married, you don’t have to be quite so careful. And let me tell you, I like it.

Your perception of commitment is altered, even if you thought you already knew what commitment is all about

Adam and I lived together for over two years before we became engaged. We had a joint bank account and expenses. I thought we had a pretty good handle on commitment and felt that we had already reached “ultimate commitment levels”. But I was wrong. Making things official, is all very… official! People say marriage is just a piece of paper and maybe it is to many people. Speaking for myself, I felt a shift.

Your definition of family changes

I always considered us to be very blessed in the family department. We both get along well with one anothers families and consider our siblings’ friends. I thought that we had reached maximum combined “familiness” but nope, I was wrong again. People’s attitudes altered, albeit subconsciously but they do. The hug might be a bit longer, the greeting may be a bit more loving or personal. You might get a phone call you normally wouldn’t or including in a conversation only for family. Very small but very lovely changes.

You want a home, not just a house or apartment

Adam and I love our current apartment, its filled with furniture we picked together and many wonderful memories. We got engaged in this apartment and I have always been very happy here. But we don’t own our apartment and that never bothered me, until we got married. Now, I can feel a major shift in our focus, wanting a home to call our own has swiftly moved up our unspoken priority list.

It’s now socially acceptable to tell someone that I am going to “speak to my husband” before making an important decision.

This is something I noticed almost immediately. When just dating and I wanted to get Adam’s opinion or talk through something with him, I always felt that I couldn’t tell people I was waiting to discuss it with him before making a decision. I felt as if I was breaking every feminist rule out there by wanting my boyfriends’ opinion. But, now that he is my husband, that’s 100% acceptable – no questions asked, no raised eyebrow.

All of a sudden, the idea of starting a family becomes slightly more acceptable to us, selfish late 20-year-olds

Before we were married, having kids was so far down our to-do list and it still is, for the most part. The one thing that has changed is our willingness to consider them in decisions that could affect our future.

But, people assume you will have kids very soon

We were warned about this, and it is very very true. People just assume its next up on your to-do list. People, stop asking newlyweds when they are having kids – it is none of your business and maybe the answer is never!

I think that at the end of the day what I really wanted was to continue to feel all the love, happiness and excitement that we experienced for the 12 months of our engagement and wedding planning. I think that is what everyone misses once it is all said done.

When we are little, dreaming of our wedding day, our dreams never stretch to the day, or month or even year after our wedding. The wedding is the goal – and that’s where we go wrong. The goal should be our happily ever after, acknowledging every day the privilege of sharing our lives with the one you love.

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19 Replies to “What I’ve Learned After Being Married for a Month”

  1. Yes, great list. I look back at my wedding and see that it was truly a step in our relationship. In my opinion it’s not the huge step that some think it is, but it’s certainly a shift change in your commitment.

  2. Yes, that ceremony is much more than a piece of paper and a party. There is a mind shift and change in expectations for you and those around you.

  3. I enjoyed this! I got married at the end of Oct but things are slightly different – we’ve been together for 8 1/2 years, already set up home and I’m 36 (he’s in his 40’s), so we did a lot of the stuff already. We decided a long time ago that we didn’t want kids, but even though we’ve only been married a few months there’s a number of people that have asked the baby question haha! We had a lovely wedding but if i’m honest the only thing that I felt afterwards was relief that it went well and that I didn’t have to do anymore planning, and it took me a little while to deal with the amount of headspace I had left over haha! All the best for your future lives together!

    1. michellevdhouten@gmail.com says: Reply

      Congratulations on your recent marriage & all the best!

  4. You should have done what I did to avoid the last part about having kids: Have them BEFORE you get married! Oops! Haha. In all reality, it doesn’t help. People just start asking when you will have the next one!

    1. michellevdhouten@gmail.com says: Reply

      It’s always something, isn’t it!

  5. First off congratulations on your Marriage and I wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart. Secondly, your post is amazing, written well, engaging, relatable and 100% real.
    This is a reality that no one really talks about, we look at marriage and only think about our wedding day when it is just the beginning of the rest of our lives.
    Everything about our Lives changes when we get married, it is now ” our” ” us” ” we” and the word “I” becomes extinct!
    Marriage is a wondeful journey and you should enjoy it to the fullest before those little ones come along.

    Awesome post and wish you all the best!

    1. michellevdhouten@gmail.com says: Reply

      Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words!

  6. Congratulations! Very insightful for you to notice those changes. Live simply, laugh often, love deeply!

    1. michellevdhouten@gmail.com says: Reply

      Thanks for the love!

  7. Congratulations on your wedding! A wedding brings a whole new level of commitment and it is exciting. As you mentioned, the future seems a lot more stable when you get married. Enjoy being newlyweds!

    1. michellevdhouten@gmail.com says: Reply

      Thank you so much Keri!

  8. Congratulations! The newlywed phase is one I thought I’d never get out of, it’s such a beautiful period of new. I love that you wrote about ‘the new’ you noticed. The socially acceptable checking with your husband on major decisions is awesome. If you plan to travel often internationally, it’s rarely mentioned but being married is helpful.

    1. michellevdhouten@gmail.com says: Reply

      It is all very lovely isn’t it! Thanks for the travel tip 🙂

  9. I love your perspectives on marriage. I’m currently engaged and excited for all the “shifts” that will take place in my life as well! Wishing you and your hubby a lifetime of happiness!

    1. michellevdhouten@gmail.com says: Reply

      Thank you Annie! Enjoy your engagement, you so miss it after the wedding 🙂

  10. I can totally relate to all of these! I got married last summer and it’s so interesting to be in an position where you are actually planning things rather than just talking about “one day”!

    1. michellevdhouten@gmail.com says: Reply

      It is such a wonderful feeling! Congratulations on your marriage!

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