How to feel married when you already live together

How to feel married when you already live together

One of the things I thought a lot about before our wedding was how to make being married feel different than living together. Like a lot of modern couples, Andy and I lived together for quite a while before we got married — sharing bills, shopping for groceries, spending long hours together, sharing the remote, and seeing each other at our worst — just like we were already married.

I read an article recently that suggested that marriages fail more often when couples live together first. The article claimed that when you live together without marriage you know you can always leave if things get rough. So when marriage feels exactly the same as just living together and life doesn’t change at all, the same feeling of loose commitment can linger: if this isn’t fun anymore, I can just move out without trying to fix it first.

That made Andy and I wonder what we could do to try to make being married feel like something different, something special. I am so happy we lived together first, and I think it was a necessary part of our relationship. I wouldn’t want to commit to a whole life with someone if I didn’t know I could live with them first. It’s so different than hanging out a few days a week when you’re on you’re best behavior. But, besides just falling back into our normal routine after the wedding, it was important for us to take time out to celebrate and enjoy this really great time in our lives. Two of the ideas we came up with are daily photos and monthly anniversary dates.

Every day since our wedding day we’ve taken a second out of whatever we’re doing to snap a quick photo of the two of us with our camera phones. Some of the pictures are really funny, some are downright bad, but it’s such a great way to document our lives. Our plan is to take a photo everyday for a full year and then put all of the photos together in a big scrapbook. We had the first month’s photos printed by PostalPix last week, and they’re so fun! I love this project a lot!

Another simple thing we decided to do is go on a “date” on our anniversary every month for the first year of marriage. This is another really easy way for us to stop and go, “yeah, we’re totally married, and that’s awesome!” Our one month-versary was last week and we decided to try a new restaurant that we hadn’t been to before. It was so much fun to get dressed up and be excited to do something special together, just like we were newly dating.

Do any of you do something else to try to make marriage feel special and different?  Leave a comment, I’d love to hear all of your ideas!!

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