At a couples dinner last night, former bridesmaid Julie posed a question that several (hundred) people have posed to us in the past few months ... one that Julie herself has posed in the past ... and one that we've posed to other couples after their own weddings.
"I know you guys said nothing changed, but something had to change by now! What's different now that you're married?!"
Despite being together for almost seven years, and living together for five of those years, I suppose it is reasonable to assume that things have changed in the last 6 months. That we sleep on opposite sides of the bed. That she developed ticks. That I cry in my sleep.
In honor of Julie's persistence and the thought of embracing change, I've mustered up 3 things that have changed around here, not including the stripper pole that I removed from the den.
(Like we even have a den...)
1. I have no $. And no, I don't mean to suggest that I'm broke as a result of the wedding. Rather, I have no money of my own. 2Es dragged me into our local Chase branch at the end of the year and promptly closed my checking and savings account. The Chase representative who assisted us was unmarried, his left ring finger evenly tanned. I could see stone cold fear behind his professional gaze.
"It's just easier this way," she says to me, patting my hand, comforting me the same way you might comfort a child who just gave his favorite toy to charity. "Plus, I get to keep track of everything you spend, and you have to work extra hard to buy me things in secrecy, and when you're not making enough money, I'll be the very first person to know!" That second part was implied.
2. On that same note, I suppose our roles are more solidified. 2Es accepts that she handles all of the finances in the house, and I perform essentially all of the same functions that Alice performed for the Brady family.
Truth be told, being a husband means I'm the "man of the house" more than ever before. And ladies, there's nothing sexist about that; the men know what I mean. It's a role for us that translates into taking on more responsibilities (like moving the car at 7AM, like preparing a "go" bag for emergencies even if we think it's absurd) and taking better care of our better half.
3. We've had a jump-start in the love department. Not that we were ever worried about being bored of one another or our relationship becoming lackluster after that 6-year mark ... but the wedding gave us a swift kick in the ass, reminding us why we began this journey in the first place; teaching us a great deal about each other when we thought we already knew everything there was to know; and giving us the "OK" to talk about things like having children and a stable income and long-term goals. With that swift kick, we're reminded that we're not getting any younger and -- at the same time -- how young our relationship really is in the course of a lifetime. And there's so much to look forward to.
4. Oh, right, and -- I cry in my sleep.