What Changes When You Get Married? (12 Major Things)

Last updated on June 11, 2022 by April Maccario

Most times, the prospect of having found your significant other tends to overshadow the reality of life after marriage. So, whether you’re single, engaged, or have already tied the nuptial knot, it’s highly imperative to understand the implications of being married. 

Oftentimes, you hear things like, “getting married changes everything”, this is not entirely accurate, but to a reasonable extent, it does. 

For instance, the problems you were having while dating don’t just disappear once you are married. Likewise, you don’t stop being yourself once you walk down the aisle. 

Before getting hitched, you must have asked yourself, “what does marriage mean?” and to some extent, understand what being a married couple entails. Your life will change, and you’d probably have to stop doing one or two things you used to do before. 

Before you start overthinking or panicking, here are some things that change once you’re married. 

12 Things That Change After You Exchange Vows

1. Your relationship status

Your relationship status

No doubt, your relationship status is the one thing that changes after marriage. Prior to exchanging marital vows with your future husband, both of you must apply for a marriage permit (also known as a marriage license). The marriage license can be obtained from any local registry and it proves that you have fulfilled all the legal obligations to be married. 

During the wedding ceremony, you are then presented with a marriage certificate which you and your partner would sign in the presence of family members. Once it is duly signed and the officiant of the ceremony files the marriage certificate, you’re a married couple. 

2. Your surname

This is the most obvious and predominant change that takes place after you get married. You’re entitled to keep to tradition by adopting the last name of your significant other or adopt a double-barreled surname. The latter is mostly adopted by women who want to preserve their family name. 

There are no legal implications of retaining your birth name the way it is, however, it is imperative you do so to avoid unnecessary disputes regarding the guardianship of your children. 

Signing your marital certificate does not instantly change your surname to your spouse’s surname. 

To effect this change, you’re expected to take your permit, as proof that you’re married, to the institution that keeps records of your name and update your information. This is not as easy as it may seem, changing your surname can be quite tedious. 

You’re expected to notify your employer, the local registry, utility providers, banking institutions, and insurance companies of this change.

3. Your sex life

Apparently, this won’t change for the worse, so fear not, the hopes of every woman is that the sex would get better once you both tie the nuptial knot. Marriage guarantees some level of confidence and boldness in spicing up intimate relations between you and your significant other. 

Simply put, you don’t need to worry about having unprotected sex, getting pregnant, or whatever fear you have held up inside you. There is also a special attraction that comes with being married. You’re free to try new things too, and remain unperturbed if it doesn’t go as planned. 

That’s the benefit of being married- you’re stuck with each other, however, some couples have noticed that sex in marriage ‘can’ become more of a duty than an enjoyable activity, but this simply depends on the couple involved. 

4. His need becomes your need

As a married woman, your primary concern is for your spouse and your family, this is also the same for your significant other. You will literally find yourself placing the needs of your partner above yours. It may feel like you’re putting your husband first, but if he’s doing the same, both of you will simply be looking out for each other.

You must make a lot of compromises to achieve a successful marital life, in making your partner happy, you may have to skip some hangouts with the girls, work trips, or even go late for meetings. That’s just how life on marriage lane goes, it’s no longer just about you, both of you have to think as a unit.

You won’t hesitate to go out of your way to support your spouse in his time of need. You may have been doing the same thing while you were still dating, but it will increase now because the stakes are higher. 

5. Your level of commitment

There’s a whole new sense of commitment that comes with saying the words “I do”. Prior to walking down the aisle, your idea of commitment was staying faithful to your partner. Marriage ups the ante by making it a lifelong commitment. 

Your sense of commitment now translates into complete and unreserved loyalty and trust. You trust him to the extent of not batting an eyelid when he tells you that he might come back a little later than normal, or that he has a special night out with the boys. 

Most couples prefer to write their own vows, while some prefer sticking to the one provided by the officiating priest. Some vows include phrases like ‘for better, for worse’, ‘in sickness and in health’, and ‘till death do us part’. These are very strong words that signify a whole new level of commitment, far different from what was expected in a normal relationship. 

6. The way you handle your finances

The way you handle your finances

Many couples have shared assets and joint benefits, monies cannot be disbursed without the signed consent of the other party. This invariably cuts down on the way you spend money because it is no longer yours alone.

Sharing access to your accounts is up to the two of you to decide, however, your spouse is entitled to a portion of your wealth once you are both married. In fact, in the event of a divorce, you may be granted some leeway in your partner’s finances and vice versa. 

You can actually prevent this sort of entitlement by getting your significant other to sign a prenuptial agreement prior to the day of the wedding. This provides restrictions on assets and properties you wish to keep separate. 

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7. You will open up more

Those already married may have probably realized that after they got married, they felt more open to sharing deep and intricate things about themselves. This is the sort of emotional stability that comes with being married. Little by little, every semblance of privacy will fade away from your relationship. 

You’ll also discover that all your darkest and deepest secrets are now made bare before your partner. The peace of mind that comes with having let go of a secret is priceless. In terms of opening up about your problems and challenges, you will invariably find your spouse to be a dependable and trustworthy friend. 

8. Your phone habits

The degree and manner in which you call or text other guys will significantly reduce once you are married. This also relates to how you correspond with your significant other through the phone. You’ll discover that your texts are straight to the point and the calls are as brief as possible. 

Living with a person and regularly spending time with that person sometimes makes you more cordial over the phone. However, you shouldn’t get too familiar with your spouse and allow it to affect your social life. You may feel like shutting most people out and spending all your time with your husband, but it’s important to keep in touch with friends and family.

The importance of maintaining good communication with your partner cannot be overemphasized. Minimizing how you chat, text, or call other guys can save you the stress of being under suspicion from your partner. Incessant texting and hanging on to your phone can arouse suspicion.

9. Your relationship with friends

This is one of the obvious and likely changes that will take place after you’ve got married. Newlyweds are likely to withdraw from friends and devote all their time to their spouses. It’s only right that after you have dedicated your life to another person, that you spend considerable time with that person.

The love language of your significant other may prompt how you respond to him. He may crave more attention and care from you than he did when you were dating. It’s only appropriate that you oblige him for the sake of your marriage life. Marriage is a lifelong union that should be met with a high measure of commitment. 

10. Your tolerance

Tolerance is arguably the most important virtue to ensure a happy marriage, it strengthens affection between couples and offers some degree of stability to the marriage. With time, you will learn to tolerate the excesses of your soul mate and grow to accept his flaws, and respect him for who he is. 

This is not a small ask for anybody, especially when you know you will be expected to do so for a long time. Having an increased tolerance threshold will help you and your spouse coexist peacefully with each other. It can also help you communicate better in the face of misunderstandings and arguments. 

Trust me when I tell you that your patience will be tested and tried, however, you must hold onto your resolve to ‘put up’ with your partner no matter the provocation. This will help the two of you settle disputes faster and more amicably. 

11. Your workload

Your workload

This is definitely one of the things that change, no matter how hard you try to prevent it. Now, I’m not referring to your typical office work. On the contrary, your responsibilities at home will experience a significant increase, this is because you now have someone else to look after and worry about. 

Ultimately, your responsibilities will increase and it takes a bit of skill to manage it. You are responsible for the welfare of the family, the home, and the overall well-being of your spouse. You both have to ensure that the home is in order and that everything moves according to your collective vision. 

Life will be much easier when both of you are not just thinking as two separate individuals, but are working together to ensure your home stays peaceful, loving and joyful. That’s why it’s important to ask, “what do marriage mean?” before getting into it.

12. Resolving matters in court

In some countries, as a married woman, you cannot be forced to give testimony against your spouse in civil and criminal cases. Spousal privilege is one of the many benefits of being married, couples are shielded under two separate privileges; the spousal testimonial privilege and the spousal communications privilege. 

Spousal communications privilege guarantees legal protection for the contents of communications between married people from being disclosed in a court case. Spousal testimonial privilege on the other hand protects spouses from being forced to testify against the other in a court matter.

Both types of privilege were primarily enacted to encourage harmony in the relationship and to prevent couples from having to castigate or be castigated by their partner. However, you need to note that spousal privilege varies by jurisdiction.


What changes once you're married?

Once you get hitched, you will need to update your information on sensitive documents like your driver’s license, passport, bank account, payroll information, and your social security card. Your priorities and needs will become aligned to that of your partner and you’ll also begin to experience new levels of sexual intimacy and passion. 

Do things change after marriage?

Change is inevitable in marriage as both parties involved are expected to undergo a lot of it. Some of the possible changes could be minor at the initial stage of the marriage, however, as time goes on, the changes will greatly affect your personality, mental, and physical state. Your relationship also becomes more stable than it was before you tied the knot. 

What changes legally when you get married UK?

Under United Kingdom laws and statutes, married partners can own joint properties without agreeing to a contract. Also, if your spouse is from a European Union member state, he is entitled to a residence permit. Under UK spousal privilege, you are legally protected against testifying against your spouse in a civil or criminal case. 

What are the benefits of marriage?

Despite the many negatives associated with tying the nuptial knot, there are still numerous benefits to getting married. From financial benefits to psychological and health benefits, the list is endless. Marriage offers stability in a relationship, you’ll hopefully get richer, find lasting happiness, and live longer. Other benefits include tax cut benefits, health insurance benefits, social security benefits, and reduced stress. 

Why do husbands change after marriage?

It’s not easy transitioning from dating to a marital relationship, circumstances, and situations of life can ultimately change a married man. The change could either be positive, or negative, an unfaithful boyfriend can turn a new leaf and become a faithful husband. You must understand that change is dynamic and must be adequately prepared to adapt to it.  

To Summarize

Now that you understand the stakes of getting married, you can now make an informed decision on your next line of action. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences by leaving them in the comment section below. Also, kindly share this article with your friends and loved ones. 

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April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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