Jake Fowler, a recent groom and writer at Besides the Weather (a humor blog that exists to inspire more stimulating conversations) shared with us how married life is going.
I've heard that conversation a million times. It’s usually followed by a shrug, laugh and “whatever” face scrunch that’s supposed to suggest spending $20-$60K+ on a celebration and committing to someone for life is just like any other ‘ol birthday party at Concrete Cowboy.
I tied the knot almost exactly one year ago and have news for everyone. It's not true.
It's casual and cool to say, but married life isn't the same.
Whether you’re about to get married, just want to be left alone to say married life is the same or single and currently fantasizing about my wedding ring getting caught in the garbage disposal, hear me out. There’s something useful in here for everyone.
The first reason married life is better is because you go through a JOURNEY together and come out the other side. You tell your friends you get along great with her parents now, but wait until her mom tells you to wear a black tux after you’ve spent two hours on Pinterest looking at grey suits. Wait until the pen you buy for the guest book isn’t classy enough! You make nitty gritty decisions together as a future family, and it ultimately brings everyone closer. (For the record, six people signed our guest book - but surely those six people loved how our smoothly our pen slid across the page. No bitterness here.)
Before the wedding, the bachelor/bachelorette party is a wonderfully chaotic Tiesto-remixed symphony of old friends, new friends (not counting Chastity), sunburn, crippling countdown anxiety, penis straws and common ground. Different friend groups from your entire life uniting is a magical feeling. I swelled with pride a few months after our wedding when my college friend included my work friends on a group text about a boozy brunch.
The actual wedding is a dream. Not the fairy-tale kind where you’re riding a unicorn or you’re married to a real-estate tycoon by day, romance novelist by night with both of your golden locks flowing in the Nantucket breeze. But the kind where all your favorite friends and family from every part of your life join you for a party. A party where you set all the rules (donuts instead of cake because #renegades). A party where people say nice things about you in speeches and your family gets to finally see Brock in his natural dance floor habitat. It’s amazing, stimulating, exhausting and surreal.
After the wedding, from a more day-to-day perspective, you feel closer to your best friends and conversations about real life are more interesting for some reason. I don’t really know why yet, but you feel so much better at Thanksgiving when your parents ask how Nick is doing and you actually have an answer.
As a couple, you think about a life together in a deeper, more meaningful way. There are conversations about children and buying a home and if we just want to open a dog-friendly patio bar somewhere warm and live our best lives.
That’s the boring, adult stuff. There are fun, random reasons married life is better.
You go to Target more. Yes, we have 27 new kitchen appliances from our registry, but we didn’t get a waffle maker! Speaking of carbs…
You get fat. It’s so fun and liberating but then you realize you can't be that fat forever so you have to hit the gym a few times in-between sets of snacks. But you do the elliptical instead of Barry’s Bootcamp because…your knees. And you already have the in-shape pictures from the wedding and you have to get caught up on Chicago P.D.
You focus on hobbies and can confidently answer the question, “What do you like to do?” instead of stammering and saying, “I like traveling, and I like eating and I like my friends.”
I started emailing podcasts and sold a printer I got for buying my first out-of-college laptop (still fresh in the box) on Craigslist for $40. My wife planned an elaborate fur-st birthday paw-ty for our dog and circulated a Change.org petition to allow Ruth the elephant to be relocated to an animal sanctuary. We made banana bread together.
Overall, you feel more at peace and wholesome and purposeful. Maybe you’re supposed to feel that way all along, but for some reason, mentally, I thought I had to get all my immature fun in before I said “I Do.” It's actually the opposite. The calm that washed over me was unexpected and great, and the thought of my growth and maturity matching my emerging gray hairs was very satisfying.
I didn’t come to all these profound realizations right away, but when you have the same, “so, how’s married life?” conversation 267 times, you do have some time to ponder it.
Knowing I was really onto something deep here, I ran the idea that married life is actually different by my wife, convinced she would have even more great reasons why it’s better (while showing the sensitive side she loves so much). I giddily broached the topic, outlined my thoughts and asked, “So, what do you think? Married life feels different right?”
After a thoughtful pause, she said,
“Yes. Married life is different. Because of my new last name, I had to go to the DMV and update my driver’s license, sit on the phone with Southwest for an hour to change my credit card information and had my work email stop working for an entire day. So yeah, I’d say married life is different.
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