Q. What is your initial response to why people change after marriage?
For many people, marriage is a monumental event that bears huge significance and involves lifelong hopes and expectations. We can’t help but have expectations about what marriage will be like and how marriage will change us, but whatever we expect it to be, it isn’t usually that.
One change to expect immediately or soon after marriage is coming to terms with reality, which a lot of people experience as a let down or like the loss of a dream.
Q. Are there any types of physiological or psychological change that happen when you get married?
Developmental psychology is an entire field that’s devoted to studying how we change not just in childhood, but from birth until death. Certainly marriage doesn’t prevent us from continuing on our normal human development.
A physiological and emotional change is that for some people marriage coincides with their sexual debut.
While we become sexual beings much earlier than when we marry, for many people marriage is when they really begin to explore sexual intimacy. They start to understand who they are and their identity with sexuality with another person. We all have expectations about what sex will be like or should be like, even how sex works, even though it’s not something most people know how to talk about openly and productively.
Sex can be connecting, pleasurable, liberating, exciting if it’s done well, but it’s an art form that takes time to learn. It can be a really powerful catalyst for change.