Today I've been married for four months.

It's an anniversary of sorts, I suppose, certainly not one we take seriously. On the drive to work this morning Chris replied to my mention of the passing of those four months with a joke about having beaten me into submission for so long. I smiled and nodded in agreement. The reality is that I'm amazed four months have gone by. It seems like we just got back from our honeymoon last week. Of course, that's not true and we've done many things since then but there's still that detachment from time. Even more surprising to me is how much our relationship has changed. Those changes aren't really noticeable to outsiders, they're more subtle alterations to how we communicate and interact with one another.

We lived together for about 9 months prior to the wedding, a requirement since the years prior to that had been spent dating long distance thanks to the wonders of E2 as a magnet for like-minded geeks and oddballs. I thought that we'd gone through every change we were going to by the time we got married. We'd adjusted to living with one another, gotten used to those little quirks and behaviorisms that are different and occasionally annoying. After the wedding things felt, well, the same. When people asked me how married life was my reply was always 'the same as non-married life.' But that wasn't strictly the truth. What changed were the expectations we held for each other. Suddenly I was no longer a "girlfriend" or "fiancé" but a "wife" and he had a new set of expectations for my behavior. I rebelled against these new expectations and we both adjusted. Chris probably feels my expectations for him changed as well, and they probably did but because of the nature of these expectations I have no idea what they are. They are unconcsious thoughts carried with you that are so subtle you don't even notice you have them. The shift is more noticeable to the person they are focused on, at least in my case they were and I doubt I'm unique in this.

It's a funny thing how a change in terminology also alters the behavioral expectations between two people. To some degree the idea isn't alien to me, I expect behavior to alter when there's a change from "coworker" to "boss" but the slight shades of difference between "fiancé" and "wife" are indeed new.