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.
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