1.15.2013

ON MARRIAGE



Yup-taking it up a notch today.

The most frequently asked question I get (besides the infamous baby one)
since being married is....
"Does your relationship change when you get married? If so, how?"
or
 "Isn't it the same as dating if you've already lived together before getting married?"

Really think about those questions for a minute.

I'm not an expert on this subject, considering I've only been married just over 2 years
and we're definitely not perfect {what couple is?},
but I'd like to give my perspective on this topic and get your feedback, too. 

I was that girl before we got married who always said I didn't think our relationship
 was going to be that different once we got married.
I mean, we already lived together for a year on our own before we got married
 (and he practically lived with me and my best friend Lindsay before that)
so what would possibly change?

 

Wrong.

 I honestly thought our relationship together would be the same because we already
went through the whole adjustment of living with friends to now each other...
sharing things (a closet-HELLO, that's a big deal!), learning how the other
 likes to clean (or not to...), etc.
I didn't understand what couples meant when they said marriage is different
and changed things, but I do now. 

I always try to explain to my friends when they ask, but it's hard to explain in words
 just exactly what I mean. 
The best way I can describe it is this-
when you are dating there is always an option to throw in the towel..
to fight over really petty small things, to nitpick..
to wonder constantly if they are or are not right for you.
you may not work as hard at it-therefore you don't get the most out of it.

When you are married, you have more passion and willingness to make your relationship work.
{or maybe it's that you just don't want to kill each other at times...}
you don't want or care about the petty arguments as much. 
 you come together as a team.

 

In my situation, marriage has completely changed our relationship for the better.
Do we still get in arguments? Of course (and then feel really silly after...)
But do we fight over the small stuff anymore? No, not as much.
Our communication is better and it just feels good that we are on the same page!
One of my favorite things that I hear from friends (besides how I'm the coolest person ever, obviously..)
is how much they can see the change in us. That makes me so happy to hear.
Truth is - marriage really is the best and I'm thankful for Billy everyday.
Sometimes I will just look at him and think about how far we've come since our college days
and am so proud and thankful.
 
Marriage takes work and "they say" that.....
 Nothing worth having comes easy

So, here's what I ask of you. 

It's difficult to describe, but how do you think marriage has changed your relationship?
What do you think is different? or has it stayed the same?

I might use some of your answers for a future post of some sort!
{And if you're not married-just be patient. You're time/prince charming will come! :)}

to be continued....


57 comments :

  1. Love this post! Except I found the complete opposite! We, too, lived together {for almost 3 years} before getting married, but I still figured things just had to change once we got married. I mean after all, why were we spending all this money if life was just gonna be the same?!

    But now when people ask me, "How's married life?" I have to be honest and say, "The same as engaged life and dating life for us, except I've got this heavy rock hangin' out on my hand!" ;)

    It is pretty freaking wonderful to say "my husband" though! That part will never get old.

    I really love reading your perspective on this!

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  2. I totally agree it changes for the better. I was the girl that knew our relationship would change, because you always hear it does. But I did not know how it would change. My husband and I wanted to be ready for that! We went to marriage counseling and prayed for god to come into our marriage and work in each of us and as a couple. When we got married I had never been so close and in love with someone. It brought closer than I would of ever thought. Its as if you are one with that person and work together through things! The big thing that changes, in my eyes, is it is no longer you or me, everything is now us! Which is amazing, because when it is us nothing else matters! :)

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  3. I agree that it changes as well. I lived with my husband for 2 years before we got married. We had even already purchased our first home together and moved into it before getting married. While I have only been married 2 months, a lot has changed. I never understood what could possibly change, but it is for the better. I feel a much closer connection. I feel like we are on the same team, and that we really do put each other first now more than ever. Be married is an amazing feeling, and you don't understand it until you have it. Love this post.

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  4. Such a great post!

    I think the biggest change has been knowing that he is my family. When you're dating he/she is just a person you're dating. But not family.

    And hearing him introduce me as his wife always makes my heart melt.

    Marriage is wonderful. But it takes work to ensure a strong marriage. I've been enjoying the ride :).

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  5. I love this post :)

    With you all the way, girlfriend. I have been living with my boyfriend for 4 years and although at times I feel like we are practically married, I know marriage will absolutely change things. For the better. (We are just clearly taking the scenic route there) :)

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  6. I am getting married on June 1 of this year, and I wonder this all the time... How will things change/feel different once we are married? We have been living together so it's nice to hear that things can only get better & that we need to remember to continue to work on our relationship.

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    1. Courtney,
      I'm getting married June 1st too!!! How exciting :)

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  7. I agree with what you are saying. I've learned that marriage takes work, but it's the best thing in the world. I've learned not to be petty, there is so much more to focus on in our relationship and in life. When we were dating I would get upset about the most ridiculous things, now I focus on the important things. Marriage has made me a better person, much more kind and understanding. You have to see things through your spouses eyes too. It's so wonderful to have a lover and best friend who completely know you-all of you that they might not have seen before you got married. I love that he loves me, even when I act like a whacko! So, for us I think the when we got married our relationship changed a little but not a lot. I think though that's because we weren't together very long before we got engaged and then married.

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  8. Love this!! Great way of explaining!! Marriage is a wonderful thing :)

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  9. I'm not married, but I love hearing your perspective - it gives me something to look forward to in the future!

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  10. That makes so much sense! I've never been married, but I dated a guy for almost three years and anytime we fought, he'd break up with me and say he wasn't happy. Soon, realize that was a dumb move and come back. Once you're married, you can't just walk out after a fight, you have to work it out. I guess I never saw it really from that point.

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  11. marriage is much different. You think you know someone until you share everything with them, literally... There is no hiding, no running away. They see everything from sick to that time of the month. Marriage requires more work than a relationship. There are bigger fish to deal with like finances and babies, and houses and such. I'm not sure I would say its better or worse, its just different. The best advice is to keep communicating with each other. When you stop talking, you stop having a marriage.

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  12. Katie, I love this! So many people that I talk to say things really haven't changed with their relationship since marriage. However, with my fiance & I being together 4 years next month (3 1/2 when we got engaged), & living together for 3 years now - I can honestly say that there was a change (for the good) in our relationship after we had gotten engaged. I noticed it on the drive home from our beach vacation where we'd gotten engaged. There wasn't this cloud hanging over us anymore & the weight was lifted off of both of our shoulders! I can say now more than ever, I feel like there's no more questions of "is he the right one?" "when will he propose?" "if he doesn't propose does that mean he doesn't really love me?" You know, all of those silly questions you go over & over in your head!? There's just no question or any doubt in my mind that this man wants to be with me forever. We too have found ourselves not arguing about the little petty stuff anymore & focus more on the important things in life that matter most.

    So, although I'm not married yet (May!) I can totally relate & I can only hope that our relationship continues to grow as it has the last several months! Congrats to you & Billy!!!

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    1. Hey Shayna! I felt the same way after my fiance and I got engaged! Perfect way to describe the relief! Have fun in the months ahead! We're getting married next May :)

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  13. We also lived together before marriage (as did most of our friends) but my parents are super religious and my mom said "we were playing house" before getting married. So it used to make me wonder if marriage would make anything different. Not only do I agree with everything you said in your post, but we are continually growing together while planning for our future family, buying a house, etc.. We are a unit now that "no man should break apart". We share a last name and are essentailly our own family that will hopefully grow in the not-so-distant future. He is my partner that I walk through this crazy thing called life with and I wouldn't have it any other way :)

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  14. Marriage totally changes things! Jake and I lived together for quite a while before getting married, and I was a little skeptical on if anything would change. But it definitely does. It's like this indescribable closeness. You get this partner that is ready and willing to do everything with you. Laugh, cry, fight, scream, love... everything. Like you said - there's no throwing in the towel. You're stuck together, and personally, I wouldn't have it any other way! :)

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  15. Thanks for this. I'm engaged and am living with my fiance. I hope our relationship doesn't change too much, but I like your optimism in that it changes for the better to make it stronger and happier. I look forward to future posts! :)

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  16. Thanks so much babe, great post today! I think the biggest change is that we've learned to let the small things go and just laugh at them. Like me not putting the dishes in the dishwasher or you not washing your pan that you use to cook your eggs with! Now if i could just get you to see that drinking coffee has health benefits we'll be good to go lol. love you babe!

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    1. Well if that isn't the cutest thing ever! Looks like he's a big fan of yours! Awwwwwwww.

      And you really should drink coffee. Try it with coconut creamer and 1 splenda :) (Found you through Kristen's blog today!)

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  17. I love being married :) Like you, my husband and I have been married for a little over 2 years and we lived together the entire time we were engaged (9 months prior to the wedding) and honestly it was fantastic. I love having a guy and especially my best friend as my roommate, but of course we still have arguments because no one is perfect! There were obviously some adjustments (like the whole closet thing ahhh!), and every now and then there are petty things we fight about but overall being married has helped up for the better as well!

    Great post, thanks for writing this because we seem very similar when it comes to this!! You and your hubby are so cute btw :)

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  18. Couldn't agree with this more!! You and Billy make such a great {and cute!} couple and I think it's good that people know what's behind that marriage. But of course, I am not asking the question about how marriage really is...I'm asking the baby question!! ;)

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  19. Thanks so much for writing this post. M and I are on 2 years of dating, almost 1 year of living together after our first year of long distance. I don't think marriage is going to happen anytime soon, but I think I'm in the same mindset that things aren't going to change all that much except for that passionate side of really wanting to make it work. We're about to hit some huge life changes so I think this blog post was definitely reassuring.

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  20. I definitely understand what you're saying! Marriage has given me the realization that we support one another, more than I ever thought when we were dating. It has also shown me the importance of making sacrifices and compromises. I'm not good at not getting my way...so yeah :) Married 8 years this past December!

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  21. It is very different {and we knew each other for almost five years, and had lived together for over three by the time we got married). For us, the biggest things were learning how to put each other first before our families. We live fairly close to both families, and it is a learning process to put your spouse before Mama, and other family members in regard to all your decision making (in everything, how to spend holidays, where to live, jobs, etc). You get so used to your parents' opinion mattering so much, and of course, they only want what's best for you, but so do your spouse's parents, you know? Eventually you realize that your marriage is you and him and not anyone else.
    It's also a change to figure out how you are going to handle money. For us, all money is "ours" regardless of whose paycheck it came from. With that said, we had to work to find a saving/budgeting system that worked for us. I think this is crucial, because I ended up needing a surgery, and being unexpectedly unemployed, so it was great that we already had the mindset that everything is "ours".
    You're right, even though neither of us ever considered "taking a break" while we were dating, marriage is a different mindset because throwing in the towel is not an option. You've made your choice in who you want to be with forever, so you make choices for yourself, and your other half. Seeing your spouse as the other half of yourself really helps to keep any selfishness out of decision-making.
    Good post, Katie!
    My husband did a Q & A on my blog recently, and a lot of my readers really enjoyed seeing the male perspective on us .. pretty straightforward. I'll post below if you or any of your readers are interested.

    http://www.shuginboots.blogspot.com/2013/01/that-time-i-begged-hubs-to-guest-post.html

    Thanks again for posting this and have a great day!

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  22. That's really a good way of looking at it. I'm not married, just dating, but I find I get annoyed and question things a lot. I don't expect things to be perfect, but I'm always disappointed when they're not. I know I want to be with him, but in the back of my mind I'm always thinking 'can I deal with *this annoying quality* for the rest of my life?' I'm glad to hear that things are better with marriage. No more questioning, you just know.

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  23. I totally agree, it is hard to put in words. I think marriage is so much bigger (and better!) than I ever imagined. It can be a hard adjustment to suddenly have someone to share everything with, good and bad. I've found that once we got married we (ok, I) needed to try harder to keep things fun and exciting too. Marriage is amazing, and we connect at such a bigger level now!

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  24. I couldn't agree more. Our marriage changed dramatically throughout the first year. Being married made us more aware of making each other happy; not trying to win a fight. Love this post girlfriend.

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  25. I am not married but I have been with my other half for over 6 years and we have been living together for 5 of them. We are not your traditional couple in the sense that we do not plan on getting married or having children. I can understand both sides but I believe if you a truly committed to each other and the relationship, you do not need to be married to make it work. We have discussed our future and have both made the decision that this is it. We are in it for the long haul. I don't think you need a marriage to believe or convince you that the other person is not going to throw in the towel, you just need the right relationship and right person.

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  26. As someone that has been married over 10 years now (and dated for almost 6 before getting married), I believe that marriage fundamentally changes your relationship. If it doesn't, I don't think that bodes well for the long term. I have way too much to say on this subject for a comment so I wrote a post on it. http://foodwinematters.blogspot.com/ Marriage is definitely one of life's toughest but most rewarding experiences, IMO. It's too bad that so many people don't realize what they have to put into it to make it work (on both sides of the equation). Great post -- very thought provoking!

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  27. I love this so much. I was so worried when we were engaged that nothing would change when we got married---not that I didn't love our life as it was but I wanted FEEL married, even though I didn't know what that really meant. Now, I realize that our day-to-day life hasn't changed but our whole lives have changed. We rely on each other, we're a team, every thing we do big or small we do for or with each other and it's amazing. Now we're working on adjusting our relationship to not only husband and wife but as mom and dad...and let me tell you, it's not easy but we have that foundation where we know we can get through it.

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  28. Great post!! I have been living with my boyfriend for almost 3 months now, and although this has already brought us so much closer together, I am looking forward to seeing what happpens in the future and the changes that being engaged and married bring. And as I was scanning the comments to see what everyone else thought, I smiled when I came across your hubby's comment...so sweet! He sure is a keeper!! :)

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  29. Love this post! I definitely think marriage changes things. There's more meaning behind our relationship than when we were dating. And as you said, when things don't go perfectly, marriage gives you motivation to make it right and not give up. Of course, we aren't perfect (shocking, I know!) and we still disagree at times, but we talk about it, come up with a solution, fix it and move on. I think a lot of the communication skills and patience also come with just being together longer and growing up together. We're no longer 21 and in college! :)

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  30. I love this. And I want this. Exactly this. "Some people are settling down. Some people are settling. And some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies." I'm waiting on the butterflies. ;)

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  31. I needed this lil reminder. I wish my Hubby and I had had that time to fight about the stupid lil picky stuff...we are going through all that now and working on our communication and living with each other. It's been a huge adjustment and there have been some ridiculous fights, but you are right. When you are married...it's the passion to make it work that makes it worth it. We just have to keep reminding ourselves that we are on the same team! Thanks for sharing this :)

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  32. Couldn't agree more with your post! My husband and I have been dating since we were 15. No break-ups, no time-offs or time-outs, just a serious relationship since 15. FIFTEEN. Sometimes I can hardly believe it's been so long! We moved in together when we went away to college together and were engaged at 21, married at 23. It was a lot different, despite everyone assuring me it wouldn't be (and my telling myself it wouldn't be, either. How could it?!).

    But it was. Also, I feel like in relationships, you're always changing. Heck, no one is the same person at 15 as they are at 18, or the same person at 18 as they are at 21. Everyone is constantly growing and changing, and I think being married really made me put 100% of my effort into growing WITH my husband. Like you said, you can't just get mad and leave when you're married. You have to make the effort, because you've made a life with that person. It's really taught me how to communicate and now that we're parents -- holy wow. I'm still working on that communication game! Haha.

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    2. Love this!! My fiance and I have a very similar story: dating since 16, engaged at 21, and an upcoming wedding at 22. I think it's encouraging to say we've made it through so much without letting petty fights get in the way of our relationship, we work through it and come out on the other side stronger!!
      And aren't we all still working on that communication game, ha ha
      http://thehonorarysoutherner.blogspot.com

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  33. mine has stayed exactly the same way and I love it :)

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  34. Love this post and your honesty! I'm not married and waiting on my prince charming!

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  35. What a great post Katie! I can't offer my opinion on life after marriage, but I'm looking forward to it one day :)

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  36. I just got married last month and I had my first "a-ha" moment this weekend so it's really funny that you posted this today! I didn't think anything would change for us either since we've lived together for about 2 years but this weekend totally changed my opinion. I was mad for some stupid reason about the house not being clean and being a total B to him and then this light bulb went off in my head... This was stupid! Why are we fighting over this? He is my HUSBAND now and there's no reason for this little nit-picky thing. Before, I would have ended up in our bedroom pouting. haha.

    So, yes, I am in total agreement with you on this. Things change for the better once you're married!!!

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  37. I've only been married for 4 months and before that we had a long distance relationship because after college his job moved him out of state. For us it's been a huge learning experience and great growth so far! I love your perspective and love this post- thanks for sharing! :) xo

    LIFE AS A WIFE

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  38. Marriage changes things for sure, but in a good way. No longer is it about "winning," it is now about putting the other person's needs before yours and finding ways to make each other happy. It's the little things like notes in lunches or doing the dishes. Happily married going on year #4. :)

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  39. totally loved reading this post and the comments! i'm not married yet but we're planning our next step to move in together this year at some point and it's great to read all of these :)

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  40. I am so glad you posted this! My boyfriend and I have been together nearly 3 years and have been thinking about moving in together. While our parents hate the idea I think it's good to see how you act when you live together. I am glad to know that the little petty fights in the beginning will hopefully fade so we can focus on whats really important. You and Billy are so adorable and an inspiration! :)

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  41. Great post! I often read your posts/see pictures of you guys and find myself feeling a little jealous of your relationship (even though I know you're normal people just like everyone else and of course you don't blog about every single thing)! :) We've been married for 2.5 years and it has truly been a wild ride. We met/started dating in high school, dated all through college, lived together for a little while, and got married at 23. In the beginning, it sort of felt the same as it did when we were living together. About a year into our marriage, we dealt with some really difficult things and we are still dealing with them. I've learned that marriage has the potential to be so so wonderful, and it can also be rough at times. But....you're so right about the feeling that "we're in this for the long haul." Marriage has been harder than I ever dreamed it could be, but those wonderful, happy times where everything just works out are so worth it.

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  42. For us I REALLY didn't think it would change much. When we got married, we had already been together for 5 years and we had been living together for 3. I think it was very similar at first because our lifestyles didn't change. I was working full time and in college and he was working FT. Once I graduated college and ONLY worked full time, it was a lot different! We actually grew closer together since we were able to spend more time together. Now that we threw a baby into the mix we've grown even closer! Of course we have our fair share of disagreements, but I would say we had way more before we were married. Our communication has improved a lot since when we first started dating 10 years ago!

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  43. Such a fantastic read!!! And I couldn't agree with you more... I thought after living with my husband for a year, that being married wouldn't change anything. But it actually opened up ourselves to each other more. Whether it be laughter, tears, or short spats... We grow more together from each experience. And though it is definitely not easy some days, it brings us closer,stronger, and more in love than ever.

    beingbracco.blogspot.com

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  44. This is a great post and so nice to hear! I am one of those girls who has been with their fiancé 6 years (4 of which we've been living together) and I'm struggling with not getting to experience the "newlywed" phase. But my friends (and your post) reminds me that things will not all be the same (not that things are bad, they're great). Thanks for sharing!

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  45. I'm not married (far from it actually) and I'm hoping marriage would only change our relationship for the better!

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  46. My husband (the ever so eloquent man he is!) always says,"Unless we'd divorce over something-it's not worth fighting over!" hahaha He has a way with words, doesn't he? :)

    We've been married for 3.5 years next week and we went through a lot trying to start a family the last year. I can honestly say that as much as things evolved when we got married-going through what we did to get pregnant really bonded us together. Plus...we're a whole new level of comfort now! ;) That man knows more about me and what happens to my body than I ever dreamed of..and he still wants to be around me! hahaha

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  47. i 100% agree with you. there IS a difference in your relationship after marriage, a wonderful, positive difference.

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  48. my husband and I have been married for almost 4 years (and dated 4 years before getting married), and I have to say that I absolutely agree. I thought I knew EVERYTHING about Josh before we got married since we'd been together for so long, but I learn new things about him (both things I love and dislike haha) every day even after all this time. I think marriage is what you make it, and sometimes arguing about something has brought us closer together because we find out about something that has been "festering" for awhile that we both had chosen not to voice.

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  49. I completely agree, there is more passion and drive to make the other happy along with the relationship.

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  50. It's funny because I lived with Tim before we got married, and people have asked me whether things have changed much since we got married. I've been responding that they really haven't changed that much, but I think you hit the nail on the head. It is so true that we really don't get in the silly nit picky arguments that we would before. We still argue on occasion, but it's different. THis is a great post.

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