Today is the first time that Jonathan and I have been apart for more than 24 hours since getting married eight weeks ago. Major boo. Since I’m all in my feelings, I figured I should go ahead and answer the one question I’ve heard the most since our wedding day: so what changed after marriage?
I Sleep Better
I didn’t necessarily have trouble sleeping before marriage, but now I have much more restful sleep for this reason. Even just cuddling releases oxytocin which relieves stress and pain, and I can definitely say that I am way less stressed than before (perhaps also partially because I’m no longer wedding planning!). All the loving has made me re-evaluate my concept of bedtime (as well as what I wear to bed), and we’re still trying to train ourselves to get in bed earlier, knowing that we’re likely not going right to sleep!
We Argue Less
I am well aware that marriage is not a cakewalk and that conflicts are bound to arise, but we argue wayyy less than we did before getting married for two important reasons. First, we’re no longer planning a wedding. That made up probably 85% of disagreements we had between the engagement and the wedding. More importantly though, we learned through pre-marital counseling how to handle conflicts and disagreements more effectively. The first major lesson is coming into a conflict knowing and believing that your spouse is not intentionally trying to hurt you. Secondly, we did some personality assessments and family history reflection to help us understand why we approach conflicts differently, so we can focus on the issue at stake, and not get upset at the way it is being dealt with or understood.
I’ve Learned a Few Things
Jonathan will be the first person to tell you that I’m not exactly the tidiest person in the world, but I did think I knew all there was to know about home decor and organization, considering I’ve replaced wedding Pinterest-ing with home decor blogs and Apartment Therapy. But he recently taught me that I’d been making beds the wrong way my whole life (the few times I made them)! You’re supposed to place the flat sheet wrong side up so that when you fold it back over the comforter, the pretty design shows on top. This whole time your girl was either just folding it down and not caring the design was hidden, or folding it in a tri fold (down then up again) in an effort to get the design on top. So basic.
My Uterus is Now People’s Business (So They Think)
As soon as we got married, I’ve received comments both in person and online from people speculating about whether we were pregnant. On the honeymoon, the staff warned us that their location was “very fertile” and the Jonathan drinking Dragon Stout was a sure way to make a baby. People on Instagram mistook a picture of customized sneakers as a baby announcement and tried to interpret a cold as a pregnancy symptom. I get that people are happy for us (girl I’m REAL happy too!), and saying things in half jest, but there is absolutely no need for anyone to voice thoughts about my womb. For the record, don’t hold your breath for any babies until I’m done with my PhD.
My Other Relationships Changed
The biggest change post-marriage is that my relationship with my parents and my friends have changed. I am extremely close to my parents and my core friends, but I really value that everyone has kind of fallen back and gave me space over the past few weeks as I began to cultivate my marital relationship. Before, I used to tell my mom, best friend, and Jonathan things at roughly the same time (often I’d call or text them all back to back). Now, I make sure that Jonathan is the first to know about anything in my life. Then after we discuss it, I’ll inform others if need be. He’s my partner, so he should know things first!
We Pray Together More
Before getting married, Jonathan and I would pray together over meals or for guidance with big decisions and opportunities. Now, we pray regularly for our marriage, our families, our friends, our future, people in need, and the world. We take turns praying together, and sometimes read the Bible together. It’s actually become my favorite thing to cuddle up and pray right before falling asleep!