The Five Stages of Marriage for Newlyweds

You fall in love, you get engaged and then you get married. What happens after?

If the plan is to immediately have babies, close the window. I have no idea what motherhood involves. I only know what my mommy friends tell me and what I've seen in multiple Real Housewives episodes, where adorable, yet undisciplined rugrats are brought onscreen to make the audience question "How does she do it?" before nanny no. 3 carries them off, stage right. What I do know is that I have been married for two years and it is nothing (and everything) like I expected.

Stage 1:  The "I Made It" Phase

You flash that shiny rock at every cashier, bank teller and waitress you see. "Thank you. He did well," you blush with each compliment. Ladies and gentlemen, you are officially off the market. Take that, ex-boyfriends, horrible bosses, and frenemies who are loving to hate you right now.  He picked you and that means your life from this point is gravy, baby. 

Stage 2: The "Now What?" Phase

The wedding is over. Your honeymoon was amazing. Your thank you notes are (almost) finished. (He promised he would take care of the last batch and they're just rotting on your desk. Seriously, how hard is it?) You bought a house. You planned a trip. You started a new job. Now what? 

Stage 3: The "There's No I In Team" Phase

You've been living together for years. It's not like anything really changed since the wedding. Tonight, you're going out. It's just one drink and you had a long week. No need to text. He's probably asleep and your phone is dying - dead, actually. You rev up a few more bars of juice to find a message asking if you're okay. What are you doing here exactly? 

Stage 4: The "I Still Got It" Phase

The transition from "newlyweds" to "old married couple" is surprisingly abrupt. You catch yourself saying things like "Remember when we were fun?" From the backseat of your Uber, you ogle swarms of single girls as they awkwardly shuffle by in their stilettos. You count down to your best friend's bachelorette party for months. Well, she's not really your best friend or even a good friend, but you're going. You just wanna dance and your outfit is on point. You shout the words to every song. Your hangover lasts for days. Was that even champagne? You had a blast, but you can't wait to get home. 

Stage 5: The "This Is Us" Phase

Every person you know asks if you're "trying." "Give the people what they want!" their eyes scream with every inquiry. You've been married for what, like a day? Technically, it's been two years, but it still feels new. You're ready for what's next, but you're also holding on to what you have because it feels really good to be comfortable, just for a minute.