So marriage cleared up a lot of space in my life to not have to think about that.Now I can use that effort to put someone else first, and it's not a wasted effort."—*Aaron, 30, Minneapolis; married three years *Your family and friends Marriage can squeeze out the singles you used to hang with, but it gifts you with a new entourage of relatives to call your own.
Even in this era of been-there-done-all-that, marriage changes things.
"Immediately after the ceremony, it went from OK, we're having fun hanging out' to Make it work, whatever it takes.'" Walker is one of more than 40 spouses—men and women married two months to 20 years—whom interviewed about the ins, outs, and inevitable sideways realities of postnuptial existence.
Working on the house and our careers became our goals, not individual ones. Guys, we go to Target, buy a $3 deodorant, some shampoo, and we're good to go. I'll be honest with you, I've thought about opening a secret account."—"Eric bought a $200 jointer tool three weeks into the marriage, and I said, You did what?
For females, it's easy to spend 100 bucks on a face wash…and then there are the manicures and pedicures. ' Had he said, You know, I want to buy this tool,' I would have been, Yeah, honey, go.' I was definitely upset.
But at others, I feel that for her it's almost All right, let's get it over with.' I haven't understood that totally.
That just kind of caught me by surprise."—"I am more attracted to my wife today than when we got married.
If people were dancing, I never wanted to—I didn't feel 100 percent comfortable in that way.
But now I'm always the one saying, Hey, let's get up there and do a little dance.'"—"My weight has gone up and down, but my husband reassures me every day that I'm beautiful.
I know that romance has got to start the moment we wake up—sharing a cup of hot coffee in the morning, getting the kids ready so that she can get herself ready, texting her during the day just to let her know I am thinking about her. I needed to understand what made her tick."—Your place in the world Do people perceive you differently when you're hitched?