How Marriage Changes Your Personality

Hitch yourself to another human being for long enough, and eventually, you’ll notice yourself starting to change in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Maybe you’ll take on some of their weird habits, or find yourself watching the same TV shows or buying the same brand of clothes they like. Maybe you’ll attach new meaning to certain words or phrases that only the two of you understand. Maybe you’ll start to look alike.

Here are some changes in your personality after marriage:

    Husbands become less extroverted:

    This makes sense. After all, half of the reason men leave the house is to meet women. The best part of being married is that you can finally sit at home in your boxers like God intended.

    Wives become less neurotic:

    The logic here is that as women take on their new role as a wife, they ease into the comfort and stability of marriage. After all, you no longer need to worry that he’ll never propose or call things off at the last minute. Of course, this often changes later on, especially once you get to the age when men are most likely to cheat.

    Openness:

    Wives showed decreases in openness. Perhaps this change reflects their acceptance of the routines of marriage.

    Conscientiousness:

    Husbands increased significantly in conscientiousness, whereas wives stayed the same. The researchers noted that women tend to be higher in conscientiousness than men, and this was the case with the husbands and wives in this study. The increase in conscientiousness for men probably reflects their learning the importance of being dependable and responsible in marriage.

    Both become less agreeable:

    Both husbands and wives became less agreeable over the course of the study, but this downward trend is especially noticeable for the wives. In general, women tend to be more agreeable than men. This data suggests that these wives were learning to assert themselves more during the early years of marriage.

    Extraversion:

    Husbands became more introverted (lower in extraversion) over the first year and a half of marriage. Other research has shown that married couples tend to restrict their social networks compared to when they were single. This drop-in extraversion probably reflects that trend.

    Neuroticism:

    Husbands showed a slight (but not statistically significant) increase in emotional stability. The wives showed a much greater one. In general, women tend to report higher levels of neuroticism (or emotional instability) than men. It’s easy to speculate that the commitment of marriage had a positive effect on the wives’ emotional stability.

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