When people get married, they are absolutely terrified to see how things could change. Men worried that the women married to them will become someone they don't recognize. Women worry that the men they're walking down the aisle with will end up bailing on them once kids happen.
The fact is that marriage does change certain things - but it doesn't change everything. Married couples often will tell you that marriage is worth it, but only if you understand what you should expect to see change, and what you should expect to remain the same.
Here's what does and doesn't change after marriage, according to experts.
Marriage doesn't really change relationship dynamics - unless one of the partners had marriage as a means to a particular end.
For most couples, marrying will not change relationship dynamics. If your fiancee is not giving you enough sex right now, marriage does not change that. If your fiancee is treating you poorly, marriage will not change that. If you constantly argue or are dealing with cheating, marriage won't change that either.
This is why you need to figure out your relationship issues before you marry, and why you should never marry to create a bandaid for your relationship. If they promise to fix things after marriage, you shouldn't marry that person.
The only time that this isn't true is when one partner is using coupling up as a means to the end - such as control or financial stability. If you marry someone who is using marriage for a status symbol, a source of income, or a way to maintain control on you, chances are that marriage will only change your relationship dynamics for the worse.
Marriage does change how easy it is to break things off.
A break up is something that does change after marriage. If you marry, it's a lot harder to leave your partner - even when compared to a couple that has been cohabitating for years. There's a reason why marriage is what people typically see as "locking it down," and that reason is because of how hard it is to leave a spouse.
The reason why marriage is so final in many cases is because of all the legal red tape involved in divorce proceedings. Depending on how much a former spouse chooses to drag things out, divorces can take years to fully finalize.
Divorce is also very expensive, and that means that some people literally can't afford to leave their spouses. If you do marry, make sure that you're in it for the long haul. Otherwise, you may end up paying out of pocket for that mistake.
Marriage doesn't change who your partner really is.
While people do change over time, the fact is that marriage itself doesn't change who you are as a person. A person who was hoping to make their partner change by marrying them will be sorely disappointed when they realize that their partner has stayed the same after the ring has been slipped on. Marriage does not change your significant other into a better person.
On the other hand, knowing this is really good if the person you married is actually really awesome as-is, and is genuine about showing you who they are. This means that they won't change, and that they will stay a great person no matter how long they are married.
Marriage does change the way people perceive you.
Politicians, CEOs, and public figures who want to appear wholesome will often marry - and there's good reason to do so. Aside from the fact that having a wedding can often give news crews some good press to gab about, society has a tendency of seeing married people as better than singles.
If you think about it, most married people are seen are more responsible, more family-oriented, more likeable, more accomplished, and more stable than singletons. If you're running for office, being perceived as having these traits can definitely do you some favors. Public perception is something that does change after marriage.
It's important to note that perception isn't the same as reality. There are plenty of unstable wrecks who are married, and plenty of stable singletons. But, it'd be a lie to say that society doesn't see people this way.
Marriage doesn't change the fact that you still need to live your life and pay the bills.
We sometimes tend to romanticize marriage as this perfect "happily ever after" mode that fairy tales told us would happen once we meet The One. But, here's the thing - we don't live in a fairy tale book. We live in real life.
This means that we still have to pay bills on time, that there will be times when money is tight, and that you may even end up hating your partner at times. Having moments where you actually have to be an adult, work, and clean up may suck, but that's life.
So, if you're looking for a life route that has no work and where it's always fun, don't marry. You're looking for a dream world, not a partnership. If you can't handle the downs with the ups, you shouldn't marry this person.
Marriage will end up changing how you live your day to day life, though.
Scheduling and everyday life will change after marriage. You will fill up your schedule differently when you're actually married to a partner. You will have to take your partner's work times into consideration, you may have to call up your partner to notify them if you're late, and you might live in a different neighborhood than you used to.
Chores might also be different. You may have more housework to do than usual, or you might find that chores suddenly shrank now that you have a partner. Basically, little details will make a huge overall change in lifestyle. If you're lucky, those changes will be good.
But, overall, marriage doesn't really change much.
Marriage is one of those things that grows stronger the longer you're together. If you have the right partner, you will feel like a 20 year marriage will still be relatively new. Of course, this takes work from both partners, and that's not something most people are willing to do these days.