The idea of marriage, for some — especially those with a wickedly intense fear of commitment — can be paralyzing when it may be time to take a relationship to the next level.
Some people start to feel that by putting a ring on it, they'll have to drastically change their relationship dynamic.
Some, on the other hand, just begin to feel stuck, and that feeling is even more suffocating when they've signed a legal document joining them with another human being.
But for others, it seems marriage is a breeze and perhaps even easier than life as just a couple.
Things may seem to make more sense now that finances are shared, the living situation is more defined and a sense of security is laid out in the form of mutual five-year plans and goals.
Because everyone's view of marriage is different, I talked to six real women who admitted why marriage was NOT what they thought it would be like and who revealed why that is.
1. We fight more.
I thought marriage would end up being like dating, but it's not. We fight so much more. Like, we fight about stupid things, but the fights are realer and deeper because we kind of feel like we're stuck together. We mostly fight about money because we share accounts, and it's always about why I'm spending our money on things that only benefit me. It's so lame.
— Carrie L., 29
2. We share too much.
I've been married three years, and I feel like I never would have guessed marriage was as much about sharing as it has been so far. I honestly feel like I don't have my own personal space anymore. Every time I want to do something, I have to run it by another person. We share everything, including bills, food and the one room we have in our apartment. When we were dating, it was way easier to get personal space.
— Brielle P., 31
3. I miss "girl" time.
My husband and I have a post-work dinner rule that no matter how busy we are during the week, we eat dinner and watch TV together. On weekends, we can go do our own thing. The problem with this rule, which we've only had since we got married, is that watching shows like 'The Bachelor' or anything on Bravo TV with him isn't the same. I miss girl time with my friends post-work, and I don't like that, in marriage, you have to set rules like this to keep your relationship strong. I never thought it would be this hard. Dating was much more casual.
— Lisa C., 27
4. I hate compromise.
I figured marriage was going to be easy and not much would change, but instead, I'm seeing that it is a lot of compromise — and I hate compromise. We live together now, but we didn't before marriage. We both have very different tastes in food and activities, and because we do a lot of things together now, we are always trying to compromise. I hated when people said marriage was about compromise, but they are totally right.
— Rochelle S., 31
5. It's shockingly easy.
I thought marriage would be hard. I thought we'd fight and stop having sex. I thought I'd be hiring a divorce attorney after 10 months of marriage. However, I was surprised to find that it's so shockingly easy. There is nothing hard about it. It feels the same as when we were dating but with less drama. We don't bother fighting about dumb stuff because we know we're trying to stay together forever.
— Claire F., 29
6. It's ugly.
Marriage sucks. It just does. The day of our wedding, everyone was pressuring us to have kids. We didn't even get a chance to be newlyweds because we were so busy trying to buy a house and make enough money at our jobs. What got ugly was, with all these 'pressures' put on us to be a happy family, we started being a terrible couple. We fought. I moved out for a month. We've been to couples therapy so much. We are still trying to remind ourselves that we love each other and love conquers all, but it doesn't. We have to take a step back and realize everyone else's lives are not the exact blueprint for our own. And I think, because we don't see that, marriage is a nightmare right now.
— Lauren E., 27