Marriage can change anyone’s life in a short time. Quite obvious since forging new bonds and nurturing new relationships means changing priorities too. Your life is no longer only about you but also about that special person with whom you are starting a new journey. Now you might be wondering what is new about this information? Hasn’t this ‘wisdom’ been doled out to newly married couples again and again? Well, this time it is science which is telling us how our life will change after marriage – more specifically after the first 18 months.
The Effects Of First Year Of Marriage
The first year of a couple’s marriage is full of many firsts. It is also full of new challenges and situations that demand crucial decision-making from the couple. While some people might be used to taking decisions individually before marriage, making collective decisions could definitely be a first for them. Therefore, the decisions taken during the first year of marriage, or more precisely, the first 18 months of marriage can have far-reaching effects on a marriage.
A study was conducted on the changes that the first 18 months of marriage brings about in most couples. This study was carried out in 2017 to study the patterns, associations, and predictors of personality changes in newlyweds. It showed that the changes in this duration are pretty significant and go much beyond the choice of movies a couple prefers to watch together. Apparently, couples undergo a huge change in the way they think and feel. Since they are involved in constant negotiation, adjustments, and communication while forging new relationships, the decisions they take create lasting effects on big life choices made later on like buying a new home or planning a baby.
The research team studied nearly 150 couples for this study. These couples were measured across race, location, age, and the amount of time that a couple would have spent together before marriage. Apparently, all these factors did not change the behavioral pattern demonstrated during these crucial months together after marriage. It was nearly the same for all couples after marriage (1).
The Good Outcome…
The results of the study threw up new outcomes – some good and some not-so-good. Here are the good ones to begin with:
- Most husbands become better at thinking and planning long-term goals
- Most husbands also become more reliable
- Wives too were found to become less anxious, calmer, and comparatively happier than they were before marriage
- Husbands also showed better emotional stability although it was not as huge as the wives demonstrated (2)
…And The Not-So-Good
The study also highlighted certain personality changes in couples that are anything but welcome. It found that most men became less socially oriented after these important months of marriage. They often preferred to stay at home rather than hanging out with friends as they did before marriage.
As for women, they became less open with their husbands compared to how they were at the beginning of their marriage. Maybe the negative reactions of their spouses to certain scenarios made them do so. Such negative experiences keep them away from being open with their spouses.
The common negative change that both husband and wife showed as the marriage progressed was being less willing to compromise. Wives especially became less agreeable with their husbands compared to the way they easily gave in during the initial months of their marriage (3).
The results of this study may not come as a surprise to married couples, especially those who have been married for a while now. Most people state that being married is the same as being in a committed relationship. This study proves beyond doubt that actually marrying and living together with a person can result in personality changes that go way beyond sharing the bedroom or accommodating personal choices. Marriage does change you a lot!