Happily married couple  (Jose Luis Pelaez Inc | Getty Image)

Sex? Money? The whole commitment thing? Husbands and wives across the country give you the lowdown on marriage.

Back before couples lived together pre-wedding, saying “I do” meant starting a totally different existence—new last name, new address, new (or any!) sex life. But guess what? Even in this era of been-there-done-all-that, marriage still changes things. “It was instant,” says Chip Walker, a 28-year-old pharmacist in New York City. “Immediately after the ceremony, it went from ‘OK, we’re having fun hanging out’ to ‘Make it work, whatever it takes.’” Walker is one of more than 40 spouses—men and women married two months to 20 years—whom Glamour interviewed about the ins, outs, and inevitable sideways realities of postnuptial existence. Even those who began by saying life really hadn’t changed ended up telling us exactly how it had. Starting with…

Your sex life

Wild nookie in a party coat closet? Not for most married couples we spoke to. But familiarity can be pretty erotic, they told us—and, hey, nothing wrong with knowing what works!
“I think you get more adventurous when you’re married. Not that we’re doing anything crazy-kinky, but we’ll say, ‘Maybe we could try this,’ or, ‘That sounds fun.’”
—Jim Sandherr, 25, Chicago; married one year

“It’s OK to laugh. Or if something embarrassing happens, it’s not even that embarrassing, because I know he’s not going to, like, leave me.”
—Lauren Sandherr, 25, Chicago; married one year

“It’s much more intimate and sexier at times. But at others, I feel that for her it’s almost ‘All right, let’s get it over with.’ I haven’t understood that totally. That just kind of caught me by surprise.”
—Eric Daniels, 25, Collinsville, Ill.; married six month

“I am more attracted to my wife today than when we got married. I know that romance has got to start the moment we wake up—sharing a cup of hot coffee in the morning, getting the kids ready so that she can get herself ready, texting her during the day just to let her know I am thinking about her. But I didn’t know that at first. I needed to understand what made her tick.”
—Reuben Ramsaran, 37, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; married 13 years

Your place in the world
Do people perceive you differently when you’re hitched? Wives and husbands say yes.
“I feel I get a certain level of respect now. When I bring in my own car to Jiffy Lube, it’s ‘Take a number.’ But if I bring in my wife’s car, they’re more interested in really solving the problem. Or I’ll be at the grocery store, and the male checkout clerk will ask, ‘You’re making dinner for the wife?’ And there’s that man nod, like, ‘Great job, bro. Keep up the good work.’ I find it refreshing and awesome.”
—B.J. Snowden, 36, Sacramento, Calif.; married seven years