Surprising Pressures That Come With Marriage
Marriage means different things to different people. Some individuals get married because, in their eyes, it allows to them make further commitments like living together, joining bank accounts and having children. Meanwhile, many couples already do all of those things before tying the knot today, and getting married just gives them a long-awaited chance to celebrate their love in front of friends and family, but it doesn’t really deepen their connection or commitment. You can write a full manifesto on what marriage means to you and your partner, email it to all of your friends and family, and you still can’t expect them to get fully on board with your understanding of this union, or to dispel their own expectations. Here are surprising pressures that come with getting married.
If every realtor in town has dropped his or her card off at your front door recently, they probably saw the “Just Married” words written on the back of your car or noticed all of the wedding gifts showing up. Somehow, people have a hard time wrapping their heads around a married couple renting, and renting an apartment at that (rather than a house). Many people will start asking you when you’re going to buy a home, and offering to introduce you to their realtor.
Getting your career together
Something about coming together in marriage makes people think that your entire lives will come together, as individuals. This extends to your career. Deep down, many of your friends and family may think it’s strange to get married if you don’t yet own your own business, aren’t a partner in some company, or aren’t a successful novelist. Get ready for the questions about where you see your career going now that you’re married.
Preparing for retirement
Now that you’ve started your lives together, friends and family will want to know where you plan on finishing your lives together. Yup—retirement will come up, even when you’re just fresh from saying, “I do.” Your parents, in particular, will pressure you on this topic. They just worry about the things they may not be around to help you with, like retirement, and now that you’re “officially” with your partner, they feel like they can talk to you about these types of things.
Keeping things “exciting”
You may feel pressure from inside and outside of the marriage to keep things exciting. You don’t want to be one of those “boring married couples” who just watches TV and goes to bed early on the weekends. That’s exactly what you did before you were married, and it didn’t bother you then, but now you feel like you’re living up to some stigma.
Keeping up your sex life
Every couple can feel a little paranoid that their sex life will drop off after they get married. That paranoia can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, which can cause a lot of stress on a marriage. Furthermore, if your friends find out you and your partner don’t have much sex, they might make jokes about marriage being the cause of that. But look: if your sex life wasn’t that of two jack rabbits before you got married, you shouldn’t be worried if it isn’t like that after marriage either.
Maintaining an active social life
People assume you and your partner will drop off the face of the planet once you get married, which makes you feel like you need to work extra hard to prove you won’t. Even if you weren’t the most social of couples before tying the knot, people will blame your marriage for your hermit ways now.
You knew this one was coming, but you may not know how aggressively. Your parents, in-laws, aunts and godparents asking you about kids? Sure. You saw that coming. But don’t be surprised to find that your peers and friends your age pressure you to have kids. Since many don’t or won’t have any kids of their own, they want to live vicariously through you and get to snuggle your munchkins.
You’ll host for the holidays
Once you and your honey tie the knot you’ll become the unofficial parents for any of your friends who don’t have their real parents nearby. People will assume not only that you and your partner will be hosting things like Thanksgiving dinner and New Year’s Eve brunch, but they’ll assume they can come over.
You’ll “calm down”
If you and your partner were partiers before saying, “I do” people might be surprised to find that you still like turn up. In fact, some family members might suggest that now that you’re married it’s not appropriate to be getting bottle service and dancing behind the DJ’s booth with your friends.
No more fighting
As if you don’t have enough to deal with when you and your partner get in a fight, now your friends will worry the marriage is in jeopardy, and they won’t do a very good job masking their concerns. Friends and family can be very fast to suggest couple’s therapy. It’s not like you and your partner never dealt with fights before you got married.
No more money problems
Many people can be shocked to find that a couple with debt got married. Some individuals can judge and think you should work out your personal financial issues before tying the knot. This is a bit of an idealistic viewpoint, considering that many people have debt—like student debt—follow them around into their forties. You shouldn’t have to wait to get married until then if you don’t want to.
More time with in-laws
Your in-laws already felt like family before you got married, but now that they are paper-official-family, they could make themselves quite at home. This means they may call you more for favors, show up unannounced, and even expect that you and your partner will vacation with them. And your presence will certainly be expected at every family reunion, anniversary party, birthday and holiday.
A tidy home
While getting married is a very adult thing to do, not everyone who gets married has every aspect of adult life on lockdown…like a clean home. If you were in the habit of leaving dishes in the sink and clothes on the floor for a couple of days before getting married, you won’t just instantly become a neat freak after signing the marriage certificate. That being said, your mom may comment, “You really should keep a clean home now that you’re married…”
Being attached at the hip
“No hubby?” “Where’s your better half?” and “You came out stag—good for you!” are just some of the things people will say when you see you out and about without your partner. It seems some folks believe that getting married is the same as being sewn together.
Sharing a religion
Religion is a very personal thing, and it remains so, even after getting married. While you respect your partner’s beliefs and practices, you are in no way obligated to taking them on just because you’re married. But some of your friends and family may think otherwise, and may seriously pressure you and your partner to be a part of the same religion, for the sake of your future children.