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Being pronounced man and wife is an amazing experience, but it may not leave you feeling "married" just yet. That realization often doesn't come until a small, but pivotal event occurs, and the change in your life status suddenly hits you. Here are those moments for nine recent brides.
"As newlyweds, my husband called in a takeout order, and I stopped by the restaurant to pick it up on my way home from work. There was quite a crowd, and I was pretty early, so I took a seat and waited for my name to be called. I sat there for 45 minutes, then went up to the counter to ask if there was a problem. Turns out there was: the clerk had called my
name (twice!) but I wasn't used to being called Mrs. Mason, so completely tuned him out. I apologized, paid, then went home and told my husband the story while we heated up the food in the microwave." — Erica
"We lived together for five years before the wedding, so I didn't initially feel any different. Then some mail came addressed to Mrs. Icorn — my husband's last name — and it hit me. Wow, this was like my parents' grown up stuff — the real deal, forever!" — Jamie
"Filling out medical forms in the doctor's office. When I got to the place where it asked for an emergency contact I started putting down my mom's information, as always, then stopped myself and thought, 'Wow, the closest person to me is my husband, and put his name down instead.'" — Ivy
"After we got back from the honeymoon, the photographer sent back the proofs from the ceremony. Watching the actual moment we said the vows made me feel the truth of that moment." — Tina
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"A few months after the wedding, Ted's dad had a stroke. When I went to the hospital to visit, I was told, 'Only family can go in.' I said firmly, 'I am family! —' in that moment realizing, 'Wow, I really am!'" — Yvonne
"Six months after the wedding — when we filed our first tax return together is when I really felt it. It doesn't get more joined together than reporting in to Uncle Sam as a unit." — Lisa
"I farted when we were laying bed together and didn't even feel embarrassed. I thought, 'Yup, being married does make me feel secure!'" — Naomi
"I heard Ben on the phone with someone saying, 'My wife and I.'" — Ellen
"Sam was loving and chivalrous from the moment we met, but a month or so after the wedding, we were at a barbecue at his uncle's house — and a drunk guest made an obnoxious comment about me. Sam was in this letch's face instantly. I looked at my wedding band and thought, 'Wow, for the rest of my life someone will always have my back!'" — Sheila
Sherry Amatenstein is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.