Kenya Foy
August 11, 2017 10:25 am
CBS

Although it may not be for everyone, there are still plenty of reasons why a lot of people hold marriage in high regard. But as wonderful as it can be, don’t let the idea of marital bliss take your head *too* far up in the clouds because — shocker — marriage doesn’t change everything about your life or your relationship.

That sounds like a given, but there still exist several common misconceptions about marriage, namely that most aspects of the married people’s lives will drastically change, rendering the world as they know it completely unrecognizable. Those unrealistic expectations may have something to do with couples experiencing a huge decrease in satisfaction during their first years of marriage. It might also have to do with how much pop culture elevates the institution of marriage — if it gets that much credit as being the gold medal of dating, why wouldn’t we expect it to be completely life-changing?

The fact is, marriage doesn’t have as many life-altering tricks up its heart-laden sleeve as you may think. Plenty of things simply *don’t* change after you get married.

1You don’t automatically become wiser.

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Sure, you learn some stuff about how to navigate the world as a married person, but just because you’re hitched doesn’t mean you automatically become an authority on living the perfect life.

The lessons learned in marriage won’t instantly grant you credentials as a guru/therapist/lifestyle expert-in-the-making who has the answers for everything, so don’t be surprised to encounter moments in life where you’re just as clueless as when you were single.

2Your happiness.

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Behold! Another weird thing that happens after marriage. You won’t be immediately any happier than you were before you got married. It can sometimes felt like you were sold something fake. Like, if you could get a refund and your time back from this sham of a supposed life fixer-upper you would (except you love your partner, so you’d never do that).

But dammit, it sure would’ve been nice of someone to warn you that marriage doesn’t make you happier, so you could’ve at least prepared yourself for this biting reality. The good news: While saying “I do” won’t give you an instant boost of happy feelings, studies show that marriage can provide “protection against unhappiness,” the Daily Mail reports.

3You (or your partner).

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If you competed with marriage to see which of you can realistically change the most things about your partner, the battle would end with a tie at zero. Sure, there’s something powerful and profound about vowing to spend the rest of your life with another person, but that potency won’t automatically transform you or your partner into different people.

If your partner was a slob before getting married, don’t expect them to clean up and morph into Mr./Mrs. Clean. It’s completely unrealistic, not to mention the fact that people generally don’t change until they’re ready, and that timeline is rarely defined by a legal document.

4Your level of commitment to each other.

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A common misconception about marriage is that is the end-all be-all of bonds, a covenant that automatically stands the test of time. That’s cute, but there’s a thing called “divorce” that begs to differ.

The chances that your relationship will last forever don’t magically improve because you’re married. It can be a really beautiful thing, but the act of getting hitched and an increased level of commitment aren’t automatically a package deal.

5The desire to become parents.

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Strange things happen in life, meaning you may wake up the day after getting married and suddenly experience a burning desire to become a parent that you never saw coming. If that happens, then great! But to keep yourself from experiencing a huge letdown, it’s best to face one of the many tough truths to consider when your partner doesn’t want kids: Marrying them probably won’t change their minds about being parents.

6The desire to socialize.

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Having a spouse is like having a built-in BFF who accompanies you to all of your outings and is the most accessible of all your friends (like, you live with them, so they’re around a lot). A lot of people naturally assume that if you want to spend the rest of your lives together, you also want to spend them cordoned off from the rest of society.

Yeah, that’s not exactly how this arrangement works. According to Psychology Today, married people with “couple friends” can potentially enjoy increased marital well-being, which is sort of the point of that whole “until death do us part” idea, right? Whether you choose to socialize together or separately, don’t expect the desire to spend time with other people to go away just because you have a life-long partner.

7The presence of problems.

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All the traditional aspects of wedding days would have you believe that marriage involves this supreme, healing change that instantly sanitizes your entire existence, leaving you to lead stress-free life. But the truth is if you had a stressful life or problems in your relationship prior to the marriage, they’ll still be there waiting for you after the excitement has worn off. It will take much more than exchanging vows to solve your problems, like therapy, time, and making a strategic plan to to change your life that doesn’t depend on your relationship status.

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