At the present time, I have almost been married for nearly three whole months – so, obviously, I’m an expert on marriage. We probably knew a lot more about marriage before we were married, but we’re still new enough at it to think we’ve got it all figured out. And since we were married just shy of 90 days ago, I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me, “So, how’s married life treating you?”
I find it to be an incredibly awkward question… Although I am an extrovert, I don’t like small talk, and I think this question is among the smallest of talk. How’s married life treating me? Well, it’s awesome. Obviously. We’ve only been married three months, we’re still newlyweds and all lovey-dovey. It’s great. Are you looking for me to go into more detail about that? You probably don’t want more details because we’re still newlyweds and all lovey-dovey and the details about THAT would be very, very, very socially awkward.
Plus, if things weren’t going well, do you think I’d open up to you about that? What would I say? Well, a friend of a coworker’s friend, I’ll go ahead and let you know that getting married was among the bigger mistakes I’ve made in my life, and I wake up every morning regretting it deeply…
How’s married life? It’s one of the best things I’ve ever been a part of. My husband is a great man, whom I love deeply, and although our marriage is still very new, he’s already proven to be the perfect partner for me in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer (richer being when we opened our wedding cards, poorer being when I spent it all on furnishings for our new home).
It took me a few tries, but it was actually returning one of those wedding gifts that led me to the perfect answer to my (now) most frequently asked question (keeping the details vague, to protect the identity of the gift we rejected – really, of the person whose gift we rejected…). I walked into the shop, presented the gift and gift receipt, explained the situation (it’s lovely, really, just not our taste, thanks) and waited to see what kind of store credit I would be working with (because store credit is always to my taste, thanks).
The clerk peered at my receipt and the item. “Hmm, usually we only accept returns for the first two weeks…”
“Well, we’re only three weeks out, and I was on my honeymoon for one of them, so that one doesn’t count, right?” I replied, smiling. She nodded, faked a smile (you know how it is when you’re on the clock), told me the amount, and I got to browsing.
After what seemed like an eternity (to me, and to them – they kept checking up on me), I’d made my selection and was back at the counter with a monogrammed cheeseboard (yes, that’s right) and a bracelet, when it inevitably came: “So, how are you liking married life?”
“You know what? It’s great.” They nodded, bored. Maybe I should have made my joke about regretting it…
“Yeah, we actually didn’t live together before we were married.” They perked up a bit at that. “So now, instead of saying good-bye at the end of the evening, we just say good night… and then good morning. It’s the best.”
I recently ran into an old coworker, a person I adore. She’s been with her now-husband for over ten years and although they were living together they just got married about two months before we did. The last time I saw her, when I asked her “How’s married life?” she sort of paused, and shrugged, and said, “Good… you know. Not a lot has changed, but good.”
Now that David and I are married, everything is different about our relationship. He’s still the second-funniest person I know, still takes me on great dates, still is my favorite person to talk to and process things with. But now he’s the man who cleaned the house for my birthday, and learned how to operate the coffee maker for me when he doesn’t even drink coffee, and to whom I say “good night” instead of “good-bye” at the end of the day.
Our wedding day was so much more than a beautiful dress and a great party (and trust me, it was a great party). It was the day I went from being a single girl, in her own apartment, who was in a wonderful relationship with an incredibly sweet and good-looking guy, to a woman fully committed – body, heart, mind, and soul; living space, finances, and fertility – to the man with whom she will spend the rest of her life.
How’s married life treating me? It has changed everything – for the better.
Photos by: Courtney Smith Photography