I don’t know about Meri, but I’ve certainly had quite a few people at work and in other social situations ask the standard, “So how’s married life treating you?” question. Every time, my answer is the same: a halfway-confused response of, “Well… the same as it was before, but with a ring on.”
I wonder how much of the standard, American perception of married life is based on reality, how much of it comes from media (and more specifically, TV shows like The Simpsons and Married With Children), and how different we may or may not be from all of that.
Is it really such a struggle? Is there really so much faux-animosity? Am I just too young and naive, still?
The optimistic side of me realizes that our situation is probably quite different than most others. We’ve been a couple for eight years, have lived together for the last four, and didn’t even get engaged until less than a year ago. There are no secrets, no surprises, no false expectations.
Anyone that knows us is well aware of how much we enjoy spending time together, and generally have little interest in persuing separate “girls nights” or “guys nights”… we’re together with everyone, and that’s the way we like it.
We had something in our wedding ceremony about marriage being a union of two people, yet those two people retain their individuality and respect for that and blah blah blah. It was one of the pieces that I wasn’t fully 100% on agreeing with, but I didn’t particularly disagree with it, either. I just wasn’t sure that it perfectly explained how we are together. (If that was the least of my concerns with all the wording, I’d say that’s a pretty good thing :P)
So what’s the point of all this? I’m not entirely sure, myself. The curious side of me is thoroughly intrigued to see if the supposedly-naive side of me is correct in thinking that we’ll never be one of those couples making lame jokes about how different marriage is down the road, getting on each others’ nerves, etc.
Of course, I can’t possibly predict how things change if/when children enter the picture.
For now, though… yeah, it’s the same. But with a ring on. Which I’m finally used to wearing and am not constantly fiddling with.
I’d have to assume (and this from a never been married perspective, so…yeah) that having lived with each other for some time already, as well as having so many similar interests really helps with the “transition” from single to married life.
It’s not like one of you loves spending all day shopping for shoes while the other sits around drinking beer and watches ESPN all day. You’re both (and this is coming from a fellow one, so no insult intended) nerdy and share in your nerdiness together (among other things I’m sure, I’m just going by what you put out there for the world to see).
So yeah, there weren’t any nasty habits that were kept secret suddenly coming up or major differences in opinion that you didn’t already know about.
You played it smart and got married knowing what you were getting into, as opposed to just saying, “Pretty lady! Let’s get married!” after just meeting someone like (it seems) so many other people do. Divorce rates aren’t high for nothing.
“Well… the same as it was before, but with a ring on.” I feel like you stole the words right out of my mouth. I’ve also said this to many people, and typically no one seems to understand. It’s like they think marriage is some magical thing which allows you to see everything differently, or they think it’s the worst mistake you could make. Though, my wife and I dated for just over 6 years and have been married for about a year and a half, so like you, nothing really changed… except we got a rings and her last name changed. Incidentally, once you get really used to it you won’t realize you have it on, but you’ll know when you’re not wearing it. It’s weird.
Speaking of children, it would be so funny, down the road, if your kid(s) was on the podcast. That would be the day.