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The Truth About Marriage: What No One Ever Tells You

megumic

Brilliant_Rock
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Mar 8, 2009
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I feel like the article did not add anything to how I already feel about my marriage...
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
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I think this probably applied more to people who didn't live together before marriage.

DH and I lived together for 4 years before we tied the knot and other than changing my name and some nice new bling nothing else changed. Then we had a kid... and even with that, I don't see that big a difference in our relationship other than both being more tired, less desire to DTD but more desire for a nice hug and a cuddle - oh, and sharing our bed with our daughter!
 

somethingshiny

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 22, 2007
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Those are things people ALWAYS tell you.

What they don't tell you is that one person cannot fulfill all your wants, needs, hopes, and dreams. So don't expect them too.

Pandora~ You're one of the few people I've met who says that marriage didn't change the relationship much after living together. Most people I know equate it to the person who says, "I have a puppy so I'm completely prepared to be a parent."
 

Pandora II

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somethingshiny|1305678497|2924401 said:
Those are things people ALWAYS tell you.

What they don't tell you is that one person cannot fulfill all your wants, needs, hopes, and dreams. So don't expect them too.

Pandora~ You're one of the few people I've met who says that marriage didn't change the relationship much after living together. Most people I know equate it to the person who says, "I have a puppy so I'm completely prepared to be a parent."
Hmm, I wonder if that has anything to do with my having lived with 3 other men before I met my husband. When I met him it was liking meeting my favourite cosy jumper in human form (poor husband don't tell him I said that!) and so very, very different from how it was living with any of the others - and hence why I married him! We also still have separate bank accounts and we owned our house before we married.

I also think that a lot of people have some strange idea that once they've got the rings on their fingers that things they don't quite like in their partner/relationship will miraculously vanish in a 'prince's kiss' type way and are somewhat disappointed to find that it's actually just same old. They still water the bathroom floor when taking a shower, still leave their socks rolled up in a ball and still want to watch TV programmes that you hate...

I'd be interested to know how the relationship changed after marriage for those that did live together for a reasonable amount of time beforehand. By reasonable I mean that the saucepans don't have price-stickers on them anymore, you know whose side of the sofa is whose and ironing his shirts or doing the grocery shopping is no longer 'fun'...
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 16, 2009
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somethingshiny|1305678497|2924401 said:
Those are things people ALWAYS tell you.

What they don't tell you is that one person cannot fulfill all your wants, needs, hopes, and dreams. So don't expect them too.

Pandora~ You're one of the few people I've met who says that marriage didn't change the relationship much after living together. Most people I know equate it to the person who says, "I have a puppy so I'm completely prepared to be a parent."
Granted I've only been married for 6 months, but I feel the same way that Pandora does. During the months after the wedding, people kept on asking "so how's married life?" and I would say "the same as life before marriage, but now I have access to his bank accounts." We lived together before marriage and we had a routine. Our roles in the household were defined. Nothing really changed in that regard. We did mingle finances, but that actually didn't change much because we were using his account as a checking and mine as a savings before we were married.

I think the biggest difference is in how professionals and administrative people treat us. Before we were married, I was his "friend" when there was a medical emergency and the hospital staff wouldn't tell me a thing about him even though he was lucid and telling them to keep me updated! Actually that hospital stay was his inspiration to propose. I was sitting in the waiting room for 9 hours without so much as a word from the staff and spouses were allowed to stay together! He was furious when I finally got to see him (after he was discharged). He had the ring about a month later. He spent the drive home from the hospital repeating "but I live with you, you are my family!" So I guess marriage made that official. It also helps with customs when we're traveling.

ETA: I had a thread in newlyweds about how to deal with sharing stuff after marriage. When we were first married DH felt that everything was automatically shared. I wasn't super comfortable with sharing my car, computer, and camera when he has his own car, computer and camera to use. We stopped sharing those things (unless we ask the other person) so now we're back to how things were before we were married.
 

elrohwen

Ideal_Rock
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somethingshiny|1305678497|2924401 said:
Pandora~ You're one of the few people I've met who says that marriage didn't change the relationship much after living together. Most people I know equate it to the person who says, "I have a puppy so I'm completely prepared to be a parent."
I've been married for a year and a half and feel the same as Pandora. We lived together for over three years before the wedding and I honestly don't feel like anything has changed. There was a slight adjustment when we first moved in together, but none when we married. We had already acted like a married couple for a few years, so it wasn't a change.

I agree with the others that the article doesn't really say anything that was a revelation for my own marriage, though it's good advice for people who didn't live together or make financial decisions before marriage.
 

Jennifer W

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No change here, either. I don't even have a new name or access to new bank accounts. Just the same old. I know everyone says that having a child changes relationships, but to be honest, that didn't either.
 

MonkeyPie

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Apr 23, 2008
Messages
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Elrohwen|1305723633|2924718 said:
somethingshiny|1305678497|2924401 said:
Pandora~ You're one of the few people I've met who says that marriage didn't change the relationship much after living together. Most people I know equate it to the person who says, "I have a puppy so I'm completely prepared to be a parent."
I've been married for a year and a half and feel the same as Pandora. We lived together for over three years before the wedding and I honestly don't feel like anything has changed. There was a slight adjustment when we first moved in together, but none when we married. We had already acted like a married couple for a few years, so it wasn't a change.

I agree with the others that the article doesn't really say anything that was a revelation for my own marriage, though it's good advice for people who didn't live together or make financial decisions before marriage.
Big ditto. Marriage felt like a formality to me, though I did love changing my name.

Also...anyone who didn't know all that stuff about marriage is in for a rude awakening. It's naive not to think of those things.
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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No change here either. DH and I lived together for 6 years before getting married and nothing changed after the wedding. Now a kid, on the other hand, definitely changes things!
 

Black Jade

Brilliant_Rock
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Aug 21, 2008
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that's interesting.
From people who lived together before marriage I always heard that actually being married was quite different because the edge of the insecurity (especially for the woman) was gone. And that relationships with in-laws and so forth changed (sometimes quite a lot) and that sometimes it was better and sometimes it was worse but that the two people relaxed more with each other now that the relationship had become permanent, as opposed to being sort of in the'trial ' stage and feeling tested.

I wonder why it didn't change so much for you guys.

Were you already very secure (if I were living with someone I think I would always have a fear they might leave me, adn I think I would especially be afraid of this if I had been in other live in relationships that didn't work out) or are you not actually completely secure now (divorce being a possibility in our society, too, though still somewhat harder to do than jsut moving out).

I'm honestly asking. I have no experience with this and also don't know many people who live together--so I cna't ask them (plus it might be embarrassing if I asked--they might think I was being judgmental, which I'm not).
 

elrohwen

Ideal_Rock
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Black Jade, I think those are all valid questions!

For myself, I didn't feel the least bit insecure in our relationship after the first year or so, which is why getting married didn't change anything. Both of us were completely relaxed with each other for a while before we got married (I'd say we felt that way when we got engaged even). I guess that's why we got married in the first place! My previous relationship was rocky and I always felt insecure, so when I got together with DH I just knew there was a huge difference and I completely lost that insecurity.

I think your observations could definitely apply if a couple lived together for less than a year (or something around there) before getting married, but we had that "trial period" for a whole year, plus two more years living together before it was official.
 

Jennifer W

Brilliant_Rock
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Black Jade|1305732624|2924816 said:
that's interesting.
From people who lived together before marriage I always heard that actually being married was quite different because the edge of the insecurity (especially for the woman) was gone. And that relationships with in-laws and so forth changed (sometimes quite a lot) and that sometimes it was better and sometimes it was worse but that the two people relaxed more with each other now that the relationship had become permanent, as opposed to being sort of in the'trial ' stage and feeling tested.

I wonder why it didn't change so much for you guys.

Were you already very secure (if I were living with someone I think I would always have a fear they might leave me, adn I think I would especially be afraid of this if I had been in other live in relationships that didn't work out) or are you not actually completely secure now (divorce being a possibility in our society, too, though still somewhat harder to do than jsut moving out).

I'm honestly asking. I have no experience with this and also don't know many people who live together--so I cna't ask them (plus it might be embarrassing if I asked--they might think I was being judgmental, which I'm not).
I'd say that nothing practical changed, but I would also say that it's a nice emotional and hard-to-define state, being married. I prefer it to not being married, because it's fun and it's an extra commitment and connection, even if it didn't make a real practical difference. It's an added extra for me, not a relationship-defining change.

I didn't get married for security, nor do I believe that getting married would achieve that if it was my aim.

I don't think I ever felt insecure in my relationship with my (now) husband, but if I had, that would have suggested to me that I should slow it down and re-think taking it any further, rather than that I should get married to increase security. if I felt insecure, I think that would be an indication that something wasn't right. He was free then to leave, as he is now (and from my point of view, more significantly so am I). I genuinely believe our relationship / marriage will end when one of us dies, though. Either way, I don't fear him leaving now or before we were married, because a) it isn't terribly likely and b) in the over all scheme of it, worse things happen.

In-laws - I have chosen and set the 'tone' of my relationship with DH's family because I'm the one who has to live with it. They've complied. ;)) If it was different in their eyes before we were married, they were smart enough to keep that to themselves.
 

sonnyjane

Ideal_Rock
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Black Jade|1305732624|2924816 said:
that's interesting.
From people who lived together before marriage I always heard that actually being married was quite different because the edge of the insecurity (especially for the woman) was gone. And that relationships with in-laws and so forth changed (sometimes quite a lot) and that sometimes it was better and sometimes it was worse but that the two people relaxed more with each other now that the relationship had become permanent, as opposed to being sort of in the'trial ' stage and feeling tested.

I wonder why it didn't change so much for you guys.

Were you already very secure (if I were living with someone I think I would always have a fear they might leave me, adn I think I would especially be afraid of this if I had been in other live in relationships that didn't work out) or are you not actually completely secure now (divorce being a possibility in our society, too, though still somewhat harder to do than jsut moving out).

I'm honestly asking. I have no experience with this and also don't know many people who live together--so I cna't ask them (plus it might be embarrassing if I asked--they might think I was being judgmental, which I'm not).
I had some serious long-term boyfriends before, but my husband was the first that I lived with. Like so many others have already mentioned, when we got married, absolutely nothing changed. We lived together for a year before marriage and have been married for 2.5 years now, and I honestly don't notice any change, whether logistically or emotionally, since we officially married.

I think it's for two reasons. The first is that yes, I was very secure in our relationship. While we weren't officially engaged yet when we moved in together, we had been dating long distance for about a year and a half, so we were just ready to move on to the next step and live in the same house. We never had to discuss "do you want to get married" because I think we just always assumed it was coming, and it did. I was never once worried about him leaving me, if anything my only concern was if I was ready to "settle down", but I was and am glad that I did.

The other reason that I don't think anything feels different is because we still maintain separate finances and "chores". I do my dishes, he does his, I do my laundry, he does his. We have separate bathrooms so we each clean our own. We work entirely different schedules with different hours and days off, so we cook separate meals and go grocery shopping on different days. He has his own personal hobbies (boxing, working out, working on his car) and I have mine (weekly movies or drinks with friends). I know this might not work for everyone (and am well aware that it doesn't sound very romantic when you read it!) but it works really well for us. I think because of this we still feel like very independent people, just as we were before, so we don't feel that different now that we are officially married.

Also, I should mention that my husband's family lives on the east coast and we are on the west. I have only seen them twice in five years, but that's as much as my husband has seen them as well. We keep in touch occasionally through Facebook or email, but they are not a very close family so they don't have any really influence on our marriage.
 

Black Jade

Brilliant_Rock
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Thanks for your answers. I appreciate that you were willing to share with me.
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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Black Jade|1305732624|2924816 said:
that's interesting.
From people who lived together before marriage I always heard that actually being married was quite different because the edge of the insecurity (especially for the woman) was gone. And that relationships with in-laws and so forth changed (sometimes quite a lot) and that sometimes it was better and sometimes it was worse but that the two people relaxed more with each other now that the relationship had become permanent, as opposed to being sort of in the'trial ' stage and feeling tested.

I wonder why it didn't change so much for you guys.

Were you already very secure (if I were living with someone I think I would always have a fear they might leave me, adn I think I would especially be afraid of this if I had been in other live in relationships that didn't work out) or are you not actually completely secure now (divorce being a possibility in our society, too, though still somewhat harder to do than jsut moving out).

I'm honestly asking. I have no experience with this and also don't know many people who live together--so I cna't ask them (plus it might be embarrassing if I asked--they might think I was being judgmental, which I'm not).
We were about as relaxed as you can get before we were married. There were no off limit topics. DH says he knew I was the one for him when he felt comfortable picking his nose in front of me (EWWWWWW). We're fairly odd (or gross) though and spend half of our time together trying to burp/fart on each other. You have to be pretty comfortable together to manage that.
 

soocool

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 10, 2009
Messages
2,827
Everyone's response was very interesting. I am in my 50's as are most of my friends. Not one of us lived with our spouses before marriage. I know many of them had a hard time adjusting, but for those of us who dated our spouses for awhile adjusted quite nicely to married life, except for the intrusive in-laws. While my sister gets along quite well with her ILs, I never got along with mine just like the majority of my friends. But then our in-laws are in their late 70s through their 80s and so this generation is entirely different to begin with.
 

NewEnglandLady

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I lived with D for seven years before we were married, and I felt very different after we were married.

When we lived together, there were things I was unwilling to do until after marriage. Namely, buy a house or have kids. Also, we split all joint expenses and household chores equally. Once married, that changed.

After getting married, it was nice to be able to focus on the "next steps". We bought a house. We started started focusing on starting a family. We played to our strengths: he pays the mortgage and I run our house like a well-oiled machine. I think that if we'd moved together LATER in our relationship with the goal of setting up our household as if we were already married, it would have been different.
 

Haven

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I don't think this article shared any new truths about marriage that haven't been shared before.

As for us, we dated for four years but never lived together before marriage. (Well, we bought a new house and moved in one month before the wedding, but I was out of the country for two of those four weeks, so we lived together for two weeks before we married. :cheeky: ) We did not have a difficult time adjusting to married life at all, but I think that had to do with the fact that we were a bit older when we married, and had already spent some time living on our own. We also spent four years dating, during which time we traveled together and spent long periods of time at home together.

That being said, being married did change things for us. Prior to marriage I felt that we were a team and we were very close. After marriage we are a family, and not just close but one and the same. (Not in a weird mind-and-body-melding way, more in a we're-a-unit-don't-mess-with-us way.)

I have friends who had a really difficult time adjusting, but to be honest all of those couples are the type of people who DH and I jokingly say "Life is hard for Sarah" about--meaning, no matter what they face in life, they have a difficult time. I'm not saying all people who have a hard time adjusting are difficult people, but of my friends the more laid-back and rational couples all had an easy time adjusting, while the uptight and pessimistic ones didn't.

I think it also helps to go into marriage with realistic expectations. I knew my husband is a bizarre clean freak who, for example, is likely to obsess over whether or not there are enough coasters laid out before a party, so I didn't freak out when I woke up to a house filled with coaster-riddled furniture the morning before our first big get-together. (I did remove some of the coasters when he wasn't looking, but come on--we didn't need a 3:1 coaster to guest ratio.) Likewise, my husband knows I have an irrational desire to put every single piece of paper in its place so he doesn't even touch the mail until I give him his pieces in a pile, and he knows it's a bad idea to move any piece of paper without first consulting me. Realistic expectations about (and reactions to) your partner's neuroses go a long way. :cheeky:
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
12,450
I agree with the others who've posted before me. There wasn't any earth shattering news in that article. My husband and I bought a condo and moved in together 2 years after we began dating. We lived together for 3 years before getting married (together now for almost 8 years). Nothing has changed since getting married, really. Our relationship is the same for the most part. It's still work but well worth it. Like Haven, my husband and I consider ourselves a family (a small one, at that, since we don't have kids). We really like that. It's comforting.
 

Pandora II

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Black Jade|1305732624|2924816 said:
that's interesting.
From people who lived together before marriage I always heard that actually being married was quite different because the edge of the insecurity (especially for the woman) was gone. And that relationships with in-laws and so forth changed (sometimes quite a lot) and that sometimes it was better and sometimes it was worse but that the two people relaxed more with each other now that the relationship had become permanent, as opposed to being sort of in the'trial ' stage and feeling tested.

I wonder why it didn't change so much for you guys.

Were you already very secure (if I were living with someone I think I would always have a fear they might leave me, adn I think I would especially be afraid of this if I had been in other live in relationships that didn't work out) or are you not actually completely secure now (divorce being a possibility in our society, too, though still somewhat harder to do than jsut moving out).

I'm honestly asking. I have no experience with this and also don't know many people who live together--so I cna't ask them (plus it might be embarrassing if I asked--they might think I was being judgmental, which I'm not).
I was a few weeks short of 36 and DH was 33 when we got married and we'd both stopped living at home at 18 (and in my case I'd also been at boarding school since 12) so the whole 'keeping house' stuff was very old hat to us.

I didn't feel in the least bit insecure with my husband before marriage - I was a bit unhappy pre-engagement because he didn't like the idea of marriage (parents had messy divorce) and I was sick of my relatives telling me that he would have proposed by now if he really wanted to. But even when I knew he wasn't that into the idea of marriage I still knew that he wanted to be with me on a permanent basis. I also believe in maintaining a level of independence (part of why we don't have joint bank accounts) so I would only suffer on an emotional level if something had gone wrong while living together.

We don't see divorce in our future, and I can't believe that anything could happen that would make it that way - unless one of us suddenly becomes a psychotic axe murderer or something similar!

I never felt that we were living together as a 'trial' either. I've tended to live with people for practical reasons - why pay two rents if you pretty much spend all your time at one person's house - rather than 'let's see if I want to marry this guy'. I was also always the one who left the previous relationships so I didn't have any fears of being left or abandoned.

Because of our ages and because we are both financially independent, our parents are more like friends than parents and we are huge boundary setters. DH and I are also each one of 4 kids. MIL and FIL are divorced and remarried and each of their new partners has 3 kids from their previous marriages, so there are a lot of people for them to focus on which means that they are all thrilled to see us but too busy to interfere. MIL is also terrified of offending her DILs (she has 4 sons) and so is uber-cautious about advice or anything.

DH's parents had been very worried about him for many years as he had been very unhappy and never seemed to meet the right person. When they met me they all said what a huge change there had been in DH and how it was obvious that we would be a permanent fixture and this was how we were treated from day 1. My parents felt the same.

To be 100% honest if DH had proposed 2 weeks after we met I would have accepted without a second thought (and this from the girl who turned down 3 marriage proposals!). My parents got engaged 2 weeks after they met, married in 6 months, are still madly in love with each other and celebrate their Ruby Wedding in July so I had great role models for a good marriage.
 

lliang_chi

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 13, 2008
Messages
3,740
I lived with my DH for 1.5 years before we got married. He moved into my condo. It was a BIG difference when he first moved it. Mostly because he treated it as "My Place" and didn't really do anything. But then my girlfriends sat him down and talked to him and all of a sudden it was "Our Place." I think the next place we move to it will be better.

The biggest thing after we got married was the family aspect. In his head, my family was HIS family after we got married. So all the drama and etc I went through he no longer swept in a corner and left it for me to sort out. He still isn't up in everyone's business, but he's there for me, and he lets me know that. Also his family treated me as FAMILY after we got married. They're still not very close, but now I'm a family member and not an outsider.

~LC
 

somethingshiny

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Jul 22, 2007
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6,746
I don't know anyone IRL besides my SIL who got married after the age of 30. One of my friends got married at 30, my SIL was 35. Everyone else was married by the age of 25. Maybe that's the reason for the significant changes. None of us had 10-15 yrs on our own before marriage.

I knew I was going to marry DH 3 weeks after we started dating. It kind of scared me at the time because I had just turned 17, but I knew he was the one. My mom knew with my dad within the first couple weeks too. My grandma and grandpa met and were wed 6 weeks later. We don't just fall in love, we crash. lol
 

elrohwen

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SS, I think that's a very good point. The longer you've lived alone and the more relationships you have under your belt, the less of a transition it will probably be.

DH and I got married at 25. We had lived on our own in college, and knew each other as friends all through college, but didn't start dating until 22. We lived one for a year before moving in together. I think there definitely would've been a bigger transition if we weren't friends for so long before getting together, but we already felt like we knew each other so well by that point.
 

Octavia

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My DH and I informally lived together for a couple years (I had my own place but spent the vast majority of time at his) and then formally for a little over a year before we got married. We were engaged for nearly two years of that. Still, when we got married, there was a big adjustment in mindset, if not in the day-to-day practical aspects. I'll admit we had a stressful first year. In retrospect, it was not a good idea to get married when we did; I was in my third year of law school and there were also some quirky timing issues that cropped up around the wedding day itself which made the lead-up week pretty hellish for me. The wedding itself was lovely but I don't have the best memories surrounding it. If I could go back, I would definitely have waited until after I graduated and took the bar, because I look back on that whole year as one big ball of stress and that's not a good way to start a marriage. My DH also had some adjustment issues, namely that he blamed everything that wasn't perfect in our relationship on being married now. I snapped at him? Must be because we're married, I never did that when I was his girlfriend. Less sex? Apparently that's what happens when you ge married. Etc, etc. It took a long time for me to get it through his head that I was snapping and less frisky because I was constantly tired, overworked, fearful about the job market, and not sure I had chosen a good career path but felt stuck in it. He knew all those things already, but somehow couldn't put two and two together. Finally, I had a visceral negative reaction to "being a wife" which I never expected and couldn't have planned for; while I do love being married to him, something about the societal role in which I was now cast really got under my skin.

We've been married about a year and a half now, and things are finally feeling good. Not just better than before, but actually good. And from my perspective, the things that can really make marriage hard are the things other people can't tell you because they are so situation-specific. Sure, you can tell someone, "don't get married during a time you know is stressful," but you can't tell them how it will actually affect the relationship. You can say, "expect some mental adjustment," but what an article says about it and how you actually end up feeling/reacting will probably be somewhat (or a lot) different. So while these kind of articles might be a bit helpful to some people, I think the value is actually pretty limited.
 
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