8 People Explain How Their Relationships Changed Once They Tied The Knot


What changes when you get married?

I've said this a lot lately, but I need to preface this article with an announcement to explain why me, a man — who “shouldn't” be interested in marriage stuff, according to traditional gender norms — is so keen on love and the prospect of marriage.

Well, I'm engaged.

The reason this is so spectacular (to me) is because I once had a bleak outlook on love. I was incredibly skeptical of the prospect, and after years (and years) of failure, I didn't believe it was in the cards for me. My deck was all spades.

Then, when I confidently concluded I'd call off the search for my soulmate and just be single in a home with two basset hounds (which I was fine with, I swear), I swiped right on a vegan baker.

When we met, I honestly didn't believe I was worthy of this Hallmark love, but for some miraculous reason, she felt the same way I did about her. It was revolutionary. Plus, she's a total babe. I hit the jackpot.

In a way, I was reintroduced to love. For the first time ever, love was not only a possibility, but also an actuality. So, newly engaged, I decided to seek knowledge from couples who've been married (or married and then divorced) to determine what it is about marriage that changes — or has potential to change — a relationship. Because it does in a way, doesn't it?

As I would soon discover, it does, but the answer isn't so simple. Of the 20 plus responses I received from my callout, most read like miniature novels. They were long, but I shouldn't have been surprised.

Love, no matter how alluring, is complicated and can no way be summed up in a mere phrase.

These are the eight most varied insights (because there was overlap) I've received from various married couples across North America.

1. In a sense, marriage is a business.

— Irwin, 74

2. Marriage makes things official and more committal.

— Tsara, 42

3. Marriage changes people.

— Zera, 27

4. People have different views on what marriage “should” be.

— Dayna, 48

5. Marriage offers security.

— Elisabeth, 50

6. Marriage makes things more comfortable.

– Lori, 28

7. Dated gender roles become expectations.

– Brittany, 26

8. After marriage, people just want you to have babies.

– Kat, 28