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Does being married really “feel” different?

Feb 2, 2018

Yes, Kelly took this photo. We love her so much. 

Hi all, Neal here today, switching things up on you. I’m excited to unveil a new “marriage” series on the blog today. Where we’ll take turns writing about popular relationship and marriage-focused topics. Plus, we’ll be answering reader questions related to both! 

As you probably know by now, Jess takes her reader feedback very seriously. One common theme we kept hearing out of her most recent reader survey was that you wanted to hear from me more (for real?) you wanted to hear more real-life relationship advice, and to get to know us and our relationship on a more personal level. We figured a “married life” series was a great way to encompass all of those things! Thus, why I am here talking to you today.

Before we dive into today’s topic. First, let me say thank you. It is so cool to be a small part of Jess’ work and passion.

Second, I’m flattered that anybody cares what I have to say and even more flattered that Jess agreed to marry me – so here I am.

Okay, now let’s jump in!

If you missed it, Jess and I just got married this past September (quite the story in itself–the short version is published here. We’re withholding the long version as Jess is hoping to get it published on a cool wedding website as is “the thing” these days, as I’m told.) 

Since getting back from our honeymoon and settling back into normalcy, married life, in short, has been so much more fun and rewarding than being engaged–if not just for the fact that the awful, stressful process of planning a wedding is over and we can get back to just being ourselves.

But does life really change once you get married?

On the surface, the answer might be “not much”.  

We already lived together, already owned our condo together, and we have certainly been together for a long time (5 years flew by pretty quickly!) Due to this, we didn’t experience a lot of the post-marriage growing pains that a lot of people do. In a lot of ways, we already felt married. 

The simplest change: I FINALLY get to introduce Jess to people as my wife.  

I finally get to wear this gold ring that seems to make everyone around me think I’m “mature” and “established” . Which let’s every woman in the bar know that I’m happily taken. Most importantly, it is a constant reminder of the one person in the world that matters the most. 

So I guess what I’m saying is the somewhat superficial stuff that comes with being newly married has actually been a lot of fun for me.  I have a wife.  I have someone that depends on me. And I also depend on one person for an equal (if not greater) level of support.  

But really, it’s a lot more than that.

We wrote our own vows at our wedding and made those promises to one another in front of 130 very important people who have influenced and shaped our lives for the better. Marriage is really about those vows. (Fun fact: Kelly was the sole person we picked to proofread both of them prior to the wedding–she told us they were within THIRTEEN words of one another in length. How crazy is that? We had never discussed a length limit!) 

It’s not the rings you wear, or what you call each other, but how you treat each other, how you feel about each other, and how you learn to build a life together that you can both love, cherish, and be proud of.  Because of this, our relationship has so much more… validation.

So, what exactly changes after marriage? The long and short of it is, nothing, and everything. 

We’d love to hear about your experience–did post-marriage life feel different from you? Or did it stay the same? What went differently than you expected? 


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