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  #1  
Old 05-21-2007, 11:58 PM
Lizard Lizard is offline
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Why do some people change so much after marriage?

I hear now and then about people who get married and seemingly their entire character changes. They might start sitting around the house, have problems with drugs or alcohol come out, etc. Here's a good example; it's the second letter down.
What I wonder is, what is the psychology behind this? In the letter I linked to, they had been dating for three years--how could this guy hide these things that long? Or is it the physical act of marrying, moving in, or otherwise engaging in some form of serious committment that changes people? Do some people take it as a license to stop trying? What does that say about their character, or otherwise mean?
I'm really curious about this.
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  #2  
Old 05-22-2007, 12:57 AM
sunacres sunacres is offline
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I think your question might be more fruitfully phrased "Why do people wait until marriage to reveal themselves?" Perhaps the answer will become more apparent.
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  #3  
Old 05-22-2007, 02:51 AM
Nava Nava is online now
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sunacres nailed the poor little nail all the way in, but there's also another detail:

Why do people ignore warning signals?

In three years, the guy in that letter probably had made noises about thinking that a married woman belongs in the house. I dated more than one guy whose opinions on what was ok and even admirable in a single woman and in a married woman were sort of incompatible - and it sure came out!
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  #4  
Old 05-22-2007, 07:20 AM
Evil One Evil One is offline
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Age is also a factor. Many people are not the same person at 25 that they are at twenty. Also, people mature at different rates. I refer to this as the "maturity gap" when one person in the relationship is still engaging in behavior that the other one has moved beyond.
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  #5  
Old 05-22-2007, 07:30 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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There are several reasons:

1) Excuse to stop trying. It is exhausting being "out there". You need to constantly stay in shape, worry about your appearance, dress right, spend nights out late in bars and clubs or dating people you can't stand. Often when people get married, they let some of that stuff slide.

2) Focus on other responsibilities - Lets face it, if you have even the slightest sense of responsibility, having a mortgage and kids will take priority over everything else. It's no longer cool to be an aimless 20-something party guy/girl at that point.

3) People are miserable - What was once fun and romantic has turned into a prison. The things you once found cute and endearing about the other person now grate on you like fingers on a chalkboard.

4) People get 'locked in' to the new lifestyle - My friend who's an Ivy League grad married some PWT girl from the Midwest, complete with tramp-stamp tatoo. So she's essentially glomed onto the six-figure NY lifestyle he can provide and I'm sure her folks back home would think she's changed since marriage.
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  #6  
Old 05-22-2007, 04:50 PM
Lizard Lizard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunacres
I think your question might be more fruitfully phrased "Why do people wait until marriage to reveal themselves?" Perhaps the answer will become more apparent.
True enough, but three years is a damn long time to keep your guard up.
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  #7  
Old 05-22-2007, 04:56 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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I think that people do constantly put out information to you about who they really are. But it's easy to stay in denial about it when you're just dating, especially if you feel like you're working towards the goal of marriage. Even if you do see the real person while dating, your ego may convince you that your love for them will change them for the better and it will all work out.
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  #8  
Old 05-22-2007, 05:32 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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In my ex-wife's case, it was a combination of Mental Illness and Poverty.

I was her meal ticket.

So she did everything she could, everything she thought that she had to do. Made every promise, said everything and anything she thought she needed to say or tell me. Without any ethics or intent to keep her word or tell the truth at any point.

Until *after* we got married, when the shit hit the fan.

Then I became the enemy. Everything was my fault, my problem. She was just some poor victim of this nasty evil abuser and never did anything wrong. It was all ME, ME, ME.

Oh, and her parents, and her friends, and her doctors.... Basically everyone but the person she was talking to at the time, who was her only true friend.
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  #9  
Old 05-22-2007, 06:00 PM
henrijohns henrijohns is offline
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The big change when I got married was that all our new friends were married. Not intentional, but from then on couples activities took over the schedule.
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  #10  
Old 05-22-2007, 06:37 PM
HelloKitty HelloKitty is offline
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Interesting question, makes me wonder in what ways I have changed since getting married.

I really don't think I've changed or taken my partner for granted at all. If anything I think I am a better person having been with him for these past 7 years. I think he would say the same...I'll have to ask him tonight!
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  #11  
Old 05-23-2007, 01:12 PM
pbbth pbbth is offline
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The odds are good he gave her clues to his real personality during that 3 years and she just expected he would shape up after the wedding. I am sure that at all of those clubs they went to he got really drunk. I am sure that at least one of those clubs had at least one married woman in it and he made at least one snide comment about how she shouldn't be there. She probably expected that he would change all of his behavior after the wedding the same way he expected she would change hers. This is why premarital counseling is a good thing.
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  #12  
Old 05-23-2007, 01:27 PM
Slithy Tove Slithy Tove is offline
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I mean you can go through the online dating sites until your blue in the face, taking all the tests and screening out all the bad characteristics or just incompatible characteristics, but that's all simply to bad relationships what the Maginot Line was to German tanks. One way or another, the bastards are going to find a blind spot and get through.

No, I propose another method. We replace the sex-on-the-third date tradition with enrollment in couples' counselling on the third date.

Because, as those otherwise wonderful online connections that fizzle within three second of the first IRL meeting demonstrate, there really must be a spark. But if there's a spark, somebody's guaranteed to get burned. Love's a mental illness anyway; might as well manage your disease right from the start.
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  #13  
Old 05-23-2007, 01:31 PM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava

Why do people ignore warning signals?
I agree with this one, too. A HUGE percentage of people ignore warning signals, even ones smacking them right in the face.


ETA: And I mean that literally.

Last edited by Anaamika; 05-23-2007 at 01:33 PM..
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  #14  
Old 05-23-2007, 09:45 PM
MissGypsy MissGypsy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith537
4) People get 'locked in' to the new lifestyle - My friend who's an Ivy League grad married some PWT girl from the Midwest, complete with tramp-stamp tatoo. So she's essentially glomed onto the six-figure NY lifestyle he can provide and I'm sure her folks back home would think she's changed since marriage.
"PWT"? Forgive my ignorance, but what does that mean?
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  #15  
Old 05-23-2007, 09:49 PM
Lizard Lizard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissGypsy
"PWT"? Forgive my ignorance, but what does that mean?
Based on the rest of the post, I'm guessing it means "poor white trash." This may seem like and offensive label, but based on the behavior describes, it sounds like she lives down to it.
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