How Marriage Changes Things

Newlyweds Christina Hendricks and her husband of five months, Geoffrey Arend, talked to People magazine recently about marriage and their new life together. Among a few cutesy things the couple said, Arend admitted that: “Having the ring on my finger it makes me realize this is the person I’ve chosen for the rest of my life. So everything that was a small little problem that could have turned into a fight, just sort of disappeared. We’re both very happy.” Like Arend and Hendricks, I’m a newlywed, too, and still in that stage where, when I run into people I haven’t seen in a while, they ask me: “How’s married life?” I usually just smile and say, “It’s good.” I hadn’t thought to describe it the way Arend does — that little problems have disappeared — and I don’t even know that that’s true for us, but there is a … difference. And it’s a difference I’ve heard a lot of other newly married couples struggle to articulate. Even in this era of shacking up before marriage, when it doesn’t seem like a piece of paper could change things that much, there’s a very discernible difference, noticeable almost immediately. At least, it seems to be the case for most couples, and certainly for my husband and me. Have you felt it, too? How would you describe the difference?