This is What Science Has to Say About People Changing After Marriage
“Marriage has changed you” is a phrase we have heard/said at least once in our lives. And it is true; there is definitely a series of profound changes in a person’s life thanks to marriage owing to the fact that it has two aspects: the personal, as in it is a bond that is personal, intimate and binding, and not to mention permanent; secondly, it is socially acceptable and politically “legal”. And despite denying, everyone gets a kick out of that.
A research from the University of Georgia, stated how things do actually change between spouses within the first eighteen months of marriage. This is because of the interactions, personal or otherwise between the spouses and their common circles.
The effect is quite predictable: they become uncooperative and increasingly insensitive towards each other.
Despite the limiting of the research to only cis-hetero couples, the researchers were quite extensive in their approach: taking 169 couples into the study and making sure to check up on them at six month intervals.
The criteria under the microscope were what professionals in the field call the big 5:
C. readiness to experience new things
E. neurotic tendencies
But look at the brighter sides too: the spouses also have better things that get added to their personality rosters. These include husbands becoming more and more sensitive and conscientious (the entire fuckboy to married man transition) and women becoming less angry and less depressed with time, especially evident if said woman has had a history of mental illness in the family (the transition from women depicted in rap ballads, to sensible human beings).
Before you cry out not everyone, or there are exceptions, we are telling you upfront. No, there are no exceptions in this unlike everything else in life. The results were largely constant despite changes in demographics, age and social context.
This was surprising for assistant professor Justin Lavner; especially the fact that the length of the relationship did not matter almost at all.
The fact that couples had undergone, summarily the same changes more or less with respect to marriage, therefore begs the question, is the institution of marriage more profound in this particular case rather than what/where or the how the spouses come from, in their lives?
As a matter of fact, Lavner seems to agree:
“I think these findings point to the fact that getting married is an exciting time for couples but is also one that may involve some adjusting to new living arrangements, increased levels of interdependence and in some cases a coming to terms with the fact that the idealized marriage may not be the actual marriage.”
It is more of the fact that couples actually do come to terms with the fact that things out of books, movies and other things do not necessarily come to life, in real life, when they get married.
So in a way, putting a ring on things sometimes necessarily makes someone grow up.