Question: "So how's it feel being married?" Answer: The same as before, but now it's in 3D

August 23 | Guest post by Ang
So how does it feel being married
Thanks to Sarah Maren for submitting this pic of Lisa and Geoff to the OBB Flickr pool.

Yesterday was hubby's and my 7th month anniversary. (If we kept track of those things. It usually ends up, "Hey! It was our monthiversary yesterday!" "Yay us!") I got a chance to reflect on marriageness as opposed to weddingness. Which is good because we're constantly asked by people "So how's it feel being married?" and while our standard answer is "Pretty much the same, but with jewelry", that isn't quite right.

All I know is it's freaking awesome. It's like I've been living life going to the $2 movie theater, and now I'm sitting smack dab in the middle of an IMAX.

Thus, I reflected. Matt and I were together for 8 years before we got married, and lived together for 4-5. Our "honeymoon phase" was over a LONG time ago. I knew about his habits (Which I will not entail here as the payback will be wretched. I'll just leave it at disposal of belly button lint), he is well aware of my snoring, neurotic food habits. ("You cut it on the diagonal. NO NOT LIKE THAT!!! ARGH I can't eat it now…"), and obsession with parenthetical statements. We still live with his family (We pay the bills so they don't lose the house), we still share a twin bed (and chiropractor visits), there are no babies (in spite of my screaming ovaries), we're no more or less romantic then we were before (This is the guy who pantsed me in the middle of a BJs Wholesale Club a scant 2 weeks ago), so for the most part all the changes that are "supposed" to come after a standard marriage haven't. But I can't get past the point that when I sit and think about it, we are most definitely married, and we feel married.

All I know is it's freaking awesome. It's like I've been living life going to the $2 movie theater, and now I'm sitting smack dab in the middle of an IMAX. Or, as a friend of mine used to describe a certain recreational drug "It's like you've had insanely thick work gloves on for your entire life, then you take them off, and for the first time you can actually feel things." This person has chosen to pledge their life to me, and I pledged mine to them, how can that not change how I experience the world? Without getting all mumbo jumbo, I'm part of an entity now, something that is bigger than me, but wouldn't exist without me. It's so weird in a fantasmilogical trippy sort of way. And the extremely primitive harpie in me is all "MINE! Take THAT snotty bitches who lusted after him in highschool! I WIN!"

The world sees us differently. I don't know how I feel about that. For some reason we're considered more legitimate then we were before. Hubby lost his job a few weeks ago. It sucks, but he's making the best of it, and becoming a good little house husband until he finds something. He's so good at it, we might make it permanent. While it's perfectly acceptable for him to do that now, if the situation was the same and we weren't married, he'd be looked at as a freeloading bum, regardless of the fact that we've been together so long. People would be pushing me to dump his butt, insisting he wouldn't be able to provide, and on that basis alone I should wash my hands of the relationship now. I know of similar situations where one long term partner stays at home, and even if it's a woman, everyone insists that they're taking advantage of the working partner. What does the ceremonial signing of a legal document do, that suddenly transforms a gold digging leech into a caring home maker?

At the same time, while before I was looked at as an individual person, now the rest of the population sees me as half a marriage. Before I could make my own decisions, now it's "Let us know when your husband will be home." "What does your husband think?" Believe it or not, being married doesn't render me suddenly incapable of all coherent thought and decision making skills. Plus, if you're talking financials, he runs away screaming when that stuff comes up, and if you cornered him you're going to get an "I need to talk to my wife", so you're better off talking to me.

Another part of how we're perceived, which I REALLY don't appreciate, and maybe it's just me, but people think that us being married now gives them free license to discuss our sex life. Which is iggy on so many levels. Something that was considered dirty and unmentionable before is now apparently everyone's business. It's incredibly invasive, and I've actually lost a lot of respect for a ton of my parents' acquaintances. Not because older people don't have a right to be sexual beings, I just don't appreciate pushiness, such as when I say we like to keep that kind of thing private, I'm steamrolled by "Have you done this yet?" "This one will get you knocked up right away!" "Oh when *insert friend's grandfather* *verbs* my *body part* with his *other body part* I bellow like a hippo!" I get a lot of mental images that I really wish I could burn out of my brain, even if I forget all of elementary school, it'd be worth it.

I am so glad that I live in a blessedly enlightened state where same sex marriage is legal, so all my local friends and loved ones are afforded the same privileges that "marriage" provides us. I hope and pray that it becomes the norm across the world.

So anyways chicas, that's my take on marriage so far. The part between hubby and me is wonderful, its the rest of the world that has sucktastic parts, but that happens regardless of what it says on your tax forms.

Go forth and be committed! To loved ones… not the other committed thing…

Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME

  1. "I'm part of an entity now, something that is bigger than me, but wouldn't exist without me."
    What an interesting thought you've imparted on me Ang. I shall have to go forth and ponder this…

    3 agree
  2. Ok, I used to live in Massachussetts, so I know what a BJs is, but I still read that sentence as "pantsed me in the middle of a BJ". >.< Just a side note.

    3 agree
      • BJs is a New England chain of wholesale clubs like Sam's Club or Costco.

        http://www.bjs.com/

        I've edited for clarity's sake.

        It was in the middle of the Pizza/Produce aisle… Poor traumatized people only wanted Bagel Bites…

        1 agrees
        • I empathize completely. My FH pantsed me at my nephew's birthday party last week. Horrifying for all parties involved. -sigh-

          Funny in retrospect, not funny when 12 pubescent boys are freaking out.

          1 agrees
          • My (younger)brother pansed me at my (younger) sister's Bday Party…In front of my long term boyfriend and My whole Family…I kinda Wanted to die, but I laughed it off and Pansed him back. At Least I was wearing Cute undies….

            2 agree
  3. I come from a fairly conservative Christian, traditional Chinese family. Before I got married, my mom was very insistent that I needed to find a husband who would be able to "take care of" me. She had all these requirements about income and education level and talents for home and computer repair. I, of course, ignored her and married the man I love and somehow it's all worked out to her liking anyway despite the fact that my husband doesn't meet half her ridiculous pre-marital criteria.

    Now that I've gotten married, my mom is constantly nagging me about whether I am doing a good job of "taking care of" my husband. When we visit my mom, if we women go somewhere and my husband decides to stay at the house, she'll insist I call my husband if we plan to be out later than we expected "just to let him know." If this occurs over lunch, she'll say that I must call him to make sure he has something to eat, as if he is incapable of figuring out that he can eat the mountain of food she purchases before our arrival or walking across the street to the supermarket or diner or taking the car elsewhere to buy something. When I don't want to call she'll accuse me of being a bad wife. If I tell her I'm going on a vacation without my husband she'll ask, "Is your husband ok with it?" It's funny how one day I was her precious baby that needed someone to watch over her and the next day after signing a piece of paper, I became an indentured servant.

    4 agree
  4. "Oh when *insert friend's grandfather* *verbs* my *body part* with his *other body part* I bellow like a hippo!"

    That cracked me up. I read this on OBT, and didn't have a chance to comment but this is something that I am already starting to encounter. Now that we are 2 months from the wedding people now ask me about my sex life already!

    Now, I do not talk about my sex life- to anyone. Ever. I might say the sex was good, but details- no way. I've never been comfortable with that and because some people are, I'm expected to 'dish' about size, length of our sexual duration and all those wonky details. NO.

    1 agrees
    • I've noticed the same thing. In particular one fairly conservative and always very 'decent' friend who I don't think has ever said the word sex to me before suddenly wants to have whole conversations about it! Very strange.

      I'm kind of hoping that one will die down from lack of participation on my part.

      1 agrees
      • The alternative, of course, is to go into explicit, totally fictitious detail about your active participation in the BDSM, swing, or furry scene. Just, you know, for color. 'Fess up, of course, when they get embarrassed–but make sure the "Wow, isn't it uncomfortable to be forced into this kind of conversation?" VERY apparent.

        5 agree
        • I've actually done that. The reactions are hilarious. It helps that I have very little shame and have no problems bellowing something out in, say a crowded pub.

          2 agree
    • Been married 9 months and soooo glad that I've missed out on the sex talk somehow!!

      Or maybe it was just that people in my life were already very open about sex and didnt need to go any further….

      1 agrees
  5. My husband and I are currently separated by like 700 miles. It's a job thing, nothing we can do about it, but now that the wedding is over, we're moving on and things are going about their ways…now I'm getting the pity sympathetic stuff of…"Oh he's where again?"

    I figured we would get pressure almost immediately for grandkids for my parents, but I have successfully avoided that with him by saying, "Let's get us in the same state."

    The sex thing…haven't quite gotten it yet, maybe I'm going to just attribute that to my distance thingy..

    • I have a similar situation- my husband's in one state, about to begin military training, and I'm far away in another state for school. Definitely getting some of that pity, as well as the semi-condescending: "Wow, that must be so hard…*I* could never do that."

      I was wondering- do you get the feeling that you need to explain yourself? I sense people find it bizarre to live apart from one's spouse, whereas if one was "just" in a long-term relationship (no wedding), it would be more understandable. The husband and I lived far apart for a while when dating, and people seemed to have less shock over that.

      • Totally agree! It wasn't a big deal when we were dating. Even when we were engaged, it wasn't that big of a deal. I have given up with the idea that I need to explain myself, as many people actually ask me if he's military.

        Now I'll admit it just makes me mad.

        1 agrees
  6. I can't wait for the mental switch from 'freeloading bum' to 'house husband', if that really happens. My boyfriend/roommate finished school in May and has a had a helluva time finding a job that fits the criteria for his law internship. My family is also for him being a lawyer, but they don't grasp that he can't do that without an internship *first*. Also, we live in Michigan, where finding work for anything involves Gladiator-style fights with every other unemployed person. Blargh.

    This was a wonderfully written post and thank you for it. You've made me realize how awesome I have it, even if we aren't married, and you've given me enough hope that I won't try to strangle my mother through the phone the next time she calls. πŸ˜€

    1 agrees
    • Brittany, I'm so with you on that one, except that we're in Nevada (which is right up there with Michigan in terms of the dumpy economy!). I don't know how many people have said "your boyfriend needs a job!" or "I can't believe you're still with him!" Nevermind the fact that he's there with dinner ready when I get home from school. Or that he does all the dishes because I've got homework to deal with.

      • I'm happy to have a sister-in-arms, but less happy that your boyfriend is also jobless. At least yours does dishes. πŸ˜‰ Mine does dinner and laundry (sometimes), so that helps!

        Good luck to him on finding a job and stay strong against those naysayers! I'll be rooting for you while shaking my fist at the state economy in the Midwest. XD

        1 agrees
    • And also, YES. Me too! My boyfriend's a carpenter, and he's had a terrible time finding work for the last year. He's a wonderful house-boyfriend, and desperately wants to contribute (and I don't put up with freeloaders), but I still started hearing some negative stuff about him from my girlfriends in the last few months.

      Why is that when we ladies choose to stay home it's a lifestyle, but when the gentlemen are at home (whether they want to be or not) they're freeloading bums?

      1 agrees
      • "Why is that when we ladies choose to stay home it's a lifestyle, but when the gentlemen are at home (whether they want to be or not) they're freeloading bums?"

        Don't worry, equal opportunity discrimination is becoming more common nowadays… πŸ˜‰
        I am a lady who stays at home without a regular paying job, and I do my share of contributing to the household and relationship… yet I have heard plenty of negative feedback, even to the point of a huge fight with one family member whom we now do not speak to.
        I sure hope it changes after we're married.

        2 agree
  7. The title reminded me of an incident that happened to me recently. About a month after our wedding, I ran into an older couple I see occasionally around town. They had heard through the grapevine that I had gotten married and congratulated me. Then asked me about married and asked if I had gotten all the boxes unpacked yet. Thinking they meant the wedding gifts I yep! It wasn't until a few minutes later that I realized they had assumed my husband and I had not lived together before the wedding. We had been living togther for a year and half! Lol! I never bothered to correct them after that.

    2 agree
  8. That was wonderful! Thanks for the insight. We are on the engaged getting married in a year path but I do wonder about what life is like once all is said and done.
    The comment about people bringing up the sex life was interesting. I've heard from pregnant women sort of the same thing, that pregnancy seems to entitle everyone you've ever known to comment on your body/pregnancy.
    That sounds like a social psychology thing. Wonder why people think that's acceptable. Kind of interesting.

  9. So any advice for those brides who aren't living with their FH's until they are married? (No need to explore my reasoning why, it's our choice and please don't judge us for it). I just sense that being a newlywed who has already being living with their partner for X amount of years is very different to those living together for the first time.

    • Hi Grace, there is NOTHING wrong with not living with your SO before you get married, and I hope I didn't imply that, I was just describing our situation.

      Getting married and then moving in together probably shares a lot of the same issues that moving in together does in general. When I came into the household there were a lot of speed bumps, things you don't even think about. Like when I have tuna fish, I use Miracle Whip Light on toasted bread with salt and pepper. He thinks it's disgusting, and uses mayo on plain bread. We fought, each trying to convert the other, and in the end, if we're eating tuna, I just make two batches. It sounds silly, but this is the daily stuff you just take for granted, and when you make a life with someone, it suddenly isn't just your decision anymore, it's something that affects both of you.

      It's likely you're going to be very very different in your every day lives, and it's going to take some adjusting. I wouldn't give up on the tuna issue, but I did switch to his brand of laundry detergent. We both slept on the same side of the bed, so he switched. Think about all the little things you do in the day, from waking up (Do you hit the snooze or pop out of bed?) to going to sleep (Do you snore? Is he a blanket hog?), these will all be an opportunity to grow together and learn give and take or compromise.

      I wish I could give you more, but I can only tell my story. I will never know what it's like to be married before you live together. Hopefully those who have will be able to pitch in in the comments. πŸ™‚

      1 agrees
      • Thanks for your reply, and the few others. i figured it wouldn't be easy, but hearing someones story really puts it into perspective. It's certainly something to be wary of- thanks so much! (And i'm on your husbands side with the tuna thing).

    • I moved in with my boyfriend shortly after college. We spent the month before that sharing his room at his old roommate's place, and all of our stuff shared it with us. Let me tell you, being FORCED to share really helped us get along better! πŸ˜€

      What if you each made a list of what was important to you in your daily lives? Examples: Healthy meals, meals eaten together, dividing up chores, bargaining not to do chores you hate, sleeping in a dark, quiet place rather than falling asleep with the TV on, etc.

      I hate to put it so negatively, but if you each think of your absolute WORST case scenario roommates, you'll be able to identify what bothers you the most and least. Same goes with making a best-case-scenario list–if you both have solid definitions of what will make or break a co-habitational situation for you, you'll be able to find a much happier compromise.

      And remember–BOTH of you have to compromise. Not just you, not just him. Both of you.

      1 agrees
    • Kudos to you for staying strong in your conviction to wait until after marriage. Younger people might gives you funny looks and call you old fashioned, but you have every right to wait – just as other have every right to move in together. πŸ™‚

      Compromise is a huge thing, but don't always be the one compromising, because that's less compromising and more doormat-like. And compromises don't always have to be over the same thing; I get to have peanut butter in the house and he gets to stay up until 3am playing video games. Stuff like that!

      The one advantage/disadvantage to moving in together first is that we know each other really well. We won't get to have the after-marriage adventure of learning about the small details like you will. You both are obviously very strong people, so you'll make it just fine. Congrats!

  10. Great post– but my initial reaction was "OMG SOMEONE ELSE WHO ONLY EATS DIAGONAL SANDWICHES YESSSSS."

    • LOL. In case you haven't noticed my food neuroses are plentiful. Always nice to know you're not alone!

  11. I loved everything about this post. Absolutely everything. I'm the freelancer who works from home, so I totally feel the 'freeloader' thing. Oddly, my mum, a career woman and epic mother, has made comments along the lines of, 'Sure, but once you're married you won't have to worry about money so much, because he has a steady salary.' Erm, ok.

    Also, your home life sounds loving and great and all Γ’β‚¬β€œΓ‚Β and *tough*. Kudos for helping the family and keeping sane in a small bed πŸ™‚

  12. "Oh when *insert friend's grandfather* *verbs* my *body part* with his *other body part* I bellow like a hippo!"

    I am dying laughing. Oh my god.

  13. I sure hope you're right about people looking at us differently when we're married… at least in the non-working partner aspect.
    I am a 'Housewife in training,' as my fiancé and I have affectionately titled it. I take care of everything (and I mean everything) at home, I volunteer, and I am also constantly working on my art (which I hope to successfully get into the art scene and market some day)… yet some people think that because I do not bring home a steady flow of $$ I am a bad person or I am 'using' the man I am with. *rolls eyes* Some people need to open their minds, and their hearts! πŸ˜›
    It's nice to know I'm not alone! πŸ™‚

    1 agrees
  14. I totally get the freeloader-to-housewife transition. I'm a full time student (graduating in December!) and DH works full time. People make snide comments all the time about how I'm such a cute housewife and how nice it must be to have all the time in the world to dedicate to cooking and cleaning (nevermind these were the same people who told me that I can't have a test two days before my wedding – Doesn't my professor know I'm a *bride!*). I've even been asked if I'm going to drop out now that I'm married because my husband has a career. Erm, the wedding date was set for over a year – it didn't jump up on us unexpectedly.

    We don't get the whole sex life intrusion thing quite like how it's discussed here, other than people who never talked about it before are now open (but we always were). People, however, think they're free to comment on our choice of not having children until I'm out of school, we're established in our careers, and we own a home. Apparently that's selfish and irresponsible?

    1 agrees
  15. i'm in the situation where even though i have a steady income and a regular job, but because i have health issues (which we chose to keep very private between us two) i'm called a free loader. we're hoping that after the legal stuff is taken care of and we're a "legitimate" couple those comments will stop.

  16. My partner and I were together for 13 yrs before marriage then decided we did want the wedding after all…I never believed we could possibly feel any differently about each other after marriage and derided friends who suggested likewise. However my experience is different from the above as we have found ourselves completely regoing through the "honeymoon" period and it's fab! Also I still do a little smile to myself whenever I refer to 'my husband'….

    1 agrees
  17. I love this post! My husband and I were also together a long time before getting married, and our normal response to "what's it like" questions has been along the same lines: "the same, but with nicer stuff." Our relationship hasn't changed at all, but there is a tiny difference that makes me feel a little more settled in my skin, somehow. As far as the 'honeymoon' stage goes, I've pretty much decided that since it's been nine years, that 'stage' isn't leaving us anytime soon. : )

    1 agrees
    • "Our relationship hasn't changed at all, but there is a tiny difference that makes me feel a little more settled in my skin, somehow."

      This! I've been with my husband for 6 years, and married for just about 6 months. We started living together 5 years ago, so pretty much know each other inside and out.

      I suppose the one thing that has changed in our relationship are the strength of our goals. About 18 months ago, we were of the mind that we would buy a house, have kids etc "one day". After the engagement, we realised that if we're going to make an official commitment, then maybe it's time to make some official plans… babies and property purchase are still many years off yet, but it's nice to now have that kind of agreement with my partner.

      Ang – great post πŸ™‚

  18. For the first few months of marriage we had the exact same reply as you, "just like before but with more jewellery". And thats totally what it felt like, nothing had changed, we both felt the same.

    But very gradually, so slowly that I've only really noticed now that I'm thinking about it after 9 months of marriage is that there is a very subtle shift.

    The best way I can explain it is that we have been a team for the 4 years before our wedding, but now we feel like a real family.

  19. For me, the shift occurred when we got engaged. It dawned on me, this guy isn't going anywhere. That provided a comfort and reassurance I'd never known before.

    But for as how things are different after we're married (in October) not a whole lot. We'd lived together a couple of years or so, and it just feels like forever. I can't really remember what it was like before him or living alone.

    I work a lot more than him (40 hours to his average 2 days a week as a contractor) so he's sort of my house husband, and he's always on top of the cooking and dishes and laundry and trash day. Pretty amazing guy, and no one's concerned really.

    And people have stayed out of our sex life, but they seemed to come out of the woodwork to bother us about when/if we're having children–people I don't even know–which I consider just as private and weird to discuss (probably because sometimes I feel like one of the few ladies on Earth who's not so sure about making babies is terrified of them!)

    1 agrees
  20. We got this question A LOT for the first few months. Still do, sometimes. My standard answer has been something along the lines of "How would it change? We've been together for 6+ years." The Hubs says this "When guys at work start up with the stereotypical "old lady" complaints. I just can't relate. And I don't think I ever will."

    1 agrees
  21. Great post Ang. I feel the same way and have some of the same annoyances, although the questioning of the sex life has not happened to me yet, and hopefully never will. The pantsing joke make me spit out my tea!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.